Secondary School

Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 runs from Year 7 to Year 9 and is based on the National Curriculum for England whilst being adapted for our international and Myanmar setting. We apply the most appropriate elements and enhance the curriculum as appropriate to suit the needs of our students.

Evidence from cognitive science supports the assertions that we can only think with what we know, and that expertise and skill are domain specific (Willingham, 2007). Furthermore, research into human cognition tells us that working memory has a very limited capacity and is very easy to overload (Centre for Education Statistics & Evaluation, 2017). When dealing with complex problems or answering difficult questions, experts are able to do so, not because they have a superior working memory capacity, but because they have developed a huge knowledge base (schema) about their area of expertise that they have stored in long-term memory and that they draw on. They know lots of stuff! Hence, in order for our students to be able to think critically about something they must have a strong knowledge base about that something. In BSY’s Secondary School we aim to deliver a curriculum that builds up the core knowledge and vocabulary of our students overtime so that they can then apply this knowledge to think critically.

As student knowledge and ‘expertise’ develop overtime the opportunities for critical thinking, risk taking, problem solving and inquiry also grow, with these elements becoming increasingly deployed as part of our teaching strategy.

Learning is supported by up-to-date technology. Every pupil is provided with a MacBook and internet access is available throughout the school campus. Lessons incorporate technology as appropriate but rely on more traditional media where technology does not provide a clear benefit.

Our curriculum aims high, and is delivered by subject specialists in a motivating and inspiring way. Whilst powerful knowledge forms the basis of what is taught in lessons, how lessons are delivered at BSY will depend on a multitude of factors: the subject itself; the concept and idea being taught; the stage of the learning sequence/unit of study; and the current understanding of the students in each lesson. Classroom delivery develops understanding of core knowledge and moves students beyond it. Teachers plan challenging lessons to accommodate students at different levels of performance matching lessons as closely as possible to individual needs.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is founded on the acquisition of powerful and enduring knowledge and understanding and forms a robust platform for success in Key Stage 4 when students will work towards the internationally renowned IGCSE qualifications.

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Key Stage 4

In August 2018 our first ever Year 10 cohort will begin their (I)GCSEs offered by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and Edexcel examination boards.

GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education whereas (I)GCSE is the international equivalent (the ‘I’ stands for International). Most subject departments at BSY offer the (I)GCSE because their syllabi have a more global perspective that better suits our circumstance. These courses are offered by Cambridge (www.cie.org.uk) and Edexcel (www.edexcel.org.uk) examination boards. The GCSE and (I)GCSE qualifications are recognised as being synonymous. The (I)GCSE programme is academically rigorous and recognised as being amongst the best in the world for this age range of students.

Students at BSY will generally take between six and ten (I)GCSEs. Our system is designed to provide the right pathway for a range of students. We aim for academic breadth and depth as well as a wide range of additional opportunities.