Middle Years

The middle years, grade 9 and 10, follow the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) offered by Cambridge Assessment International Education in a two-year examination course.

The culturally sensitive curriculum is designed for an international context and encourages multilingualism while avoiding cultural bias. The students are helped to develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning, combining clear and defined content with developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem-solving.

The Cambridge learner profile encourages confident, responsible, reflective, innovative, engaged and confident learners. Teachers are specifically encouraged to use a variety of mental processes and resources, with both cognitive and effective resources to improve learning. There is an emphasis on engaging students in their learning through active learning and metacognition, using learner-centred and inquiry-based approaches to learning.

All RISS students are entered for an ICE (International Certificate of Education) group award, which guarantees a broad and balanced curriculum. In order to obtain an ICE diploma, a student should study at least seven subjects, including two languages, from five different areas. The ICE provides a foundation for further vocational training in the Netherlands or for higher academic level courses such as the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Global Perspectives develops key enquiring learner skills such as researching, analysis, evaluation, reflection, communication and collaboration. These skills are useful across all IGCSE syllabi and also prepare the students for the requirements of the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12. 

At RISS we believe that it is important for all students to be fit and healthy. Regular activity not only helps with growth and physical development, but it also aids concentration and focus, it helps to relieve stress and therefore has an overall positive impact on performance across the subjects. For these reasons, two periods a week of PE are compulsory for all students.


- First Language English (FLE) students will also take World Literature (WL)
- English Second Language (ESL) students will also take EAL to help to build their language skills
- ESL students will be introduced to World Literature during their course

Additional information:

Classes in columns 1-6: compulsory, no selection necessary.
Classes in columns 7-9: students must choose only 1 subject from each column.
Classes in columns 10-11: students can choose up to two additional options.

All requests for other languages exams need to be made at the beginning of the academic year to the Head of Middle Years. However, these exams should be first language not foreign language. Parents will need to find appropriate tutoring for their children and provide evidence of this. The language should be within the Cambridge IGCSE offering. We cannot support any exam where there is an oral or listening component.

Find the full class overview here.

The tiered structure of core and extended study in some subjects such as English, Maths and Science, allows for different ability levels to achieve their individual goals. The results for Extended range from A* to G, and with Core ranging from C – G, with A* being the highest. The combination of coursework, practical assessments as well as written and oral tasks within various subjects, allows the teachers to construct courses which suit the learners.

Cambridge Assessment International education has been developing the IGCSE for around 30 years, and it attracts over 800.000 entries every year from around 146 countries. The RISS is an approved examination centre. More information regarding the Cambridge Assessment Pathway and international recognition can be found here.

For more information please contact the head of middle years: 
Melanie Ward

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