For students aged 2 – 5 Years there is a foundation programme which involves learning through play in the initial stages. In the Reception Year [students aged 4 – 5 years old] some basic formalities in relation to the subjects of the National Curriculum [e.g. reading, counting, improving motor-skills and coordination] are introduced but the overall emphasis is still to lay the groundwork for formal learning which begins at aged 5 in Key Stage 1.
KEY STAGE 1
Students aged 5- 7 Years are now exposed to the range of subjects essential for the National Curriculum. Every day students are required to have lessons in English Language [Literacy] and Mathematics [Numeracy] and in addition throughout the week they will also study Science, Humanities, Expressive Arts [Music, Art, Drama], Information Technology [IT], Design Technology [DT] and Physical Education. At the end of Year 1 [aged 6 years old] the students will be assessed in Phonics and at the end of Year 2 [aged 7 years old] they will take the Key Stage Tests in English and Mathematics. These tests are diagnostic tests in order to assess a student’s progress in the initial years of The National Curriculum.
KEY STAGE 2
Students aged 7 – 11 Years continue to study the subjects in the National Curriculum and it would be expected that they receive some practical experience especially with regard to IT, DT and the Sciences. At age 11 they are again tested in Mathematics and English and teachers have to carry out an assessment of their performance in the Sciences. Years 5 and 6 [students aged 9 – 11 Years] are considered as key transition learning years in preparation for secondary education.
Students in Years 7 to 9 inclusive [i.e. aged 11 – 14 years old] continue studying the National Curriculum subjects which are now taught by subject specialist teachers. Usually a modern language e.g.Spanish, French, German may be introduced and some schools have added Mandarin ! They will also be expected to have laptops for classwork use and much of the work in DT and the Sciences will be of a practical nature. In English there will also be more of an emphasis on studying selected English literature texts. In Mathematics the disciplines of Algebra, Geometry, Coordinate Geometry, Trigonometry will be taught.
For Years 10 and 11 [i.e. aged 14 – 16 years old] the students are required to continue to study Mathematics, English [Language and Literature] and a Science subject but they will be allowed choices of subjects for their General Certificate of Secondary Education [GCSE] examinations which they take aged 16. Usually, students will be expected to take 8 or 9 subjects in total. Some schools add subjects at Year 10 level such as Business studies, Economics, Sports Science etc to give students a wider choice related to their interests and career plans.
POST SIXTEEN EDUCATION
At aged 16, students are legally allowed to discontinue formal education. However, most stay on to take examinations to lead them to their career goals.
For students wishing to go into Higher Education [i.e. at Universities], the Advanced Supplementary Level and the Advanced Level examinations [As & A Levels] provide the usual route. Students will study the most appropriate subjects related to their choice of study at university. AS Levels are taken aged 17 and the final A Levels at aged 18. As and A Levels may be studied in schools or colleges usually called Sixth Form Colleges which specialize in AS/A Level courses. To take a programme of study at A Level usually requires a minimum of 5 GCSE passes, two of which must be in Mathematics and English Language. To study at University will usually require a minimum of 3 A Level subject passes.
Some students may opt for Further Education offering vocational training related to specific jobs. Such studies are not completed in schools but in Colleges of Further Education. Different courses, require different GCSE qualifications with regard to registration
MOTHER TONGUE PROGRAMMES
Mother tongue is defined as the language a student would speak as a native of her/his home country. Once CGA is aware of the balance of its student intake it may be able, but cannot be committed to, offer tuition to some but certainly not to all language needs.
In the Secondary school it is usual for students who are proficient in their native language to be able to take an IGCSE in that language and invariably they naturally obtain a high grade.