Cambridge Lower Secondary
The Cambridge international curriculum sets a global standard for education, and is recognised by
universities and employers worldwide. The curriculum is flexible, challenging and inspiring,
culturally sensitive yet international in approach. Cambridge students develop an informed curiosity
and a lasting passion for learning. They also gain the essential skills they need for success at
university and in their future careers. Cambridge students study for Cambridge international
qualifications which are accepted and recognised around the world.
Cambridge Lower Secondary
Typically for students aged 11 to 14 years, Cambridge Lower Secondary offers a broad curriculum with
10 subjects including English, mathematics and science. It is offered by nearly 2300 schools in over
130 countries worldwide. It prepares students for the next step of their education, providing a
clear path as they progress towards the IGCSE courses in Upper Secondary.
Thames British School offers Cambridge Lower Secondary alongside the Polish National Curriculum,
giving its students the opportunity to graduate with both local and international qualifications.
Cambridge Lower Secondary provides a natural progression from primary education, helping to equip
students with the knowledge and skills needed for post-14 education programmes that lead to formal
The programme is flexible, allowing the curriculum to be tailored to the needs and culture of each
school while remaining internationally relevant. It is suitable for students with English as a first
or second language.
While studying the core subjects, including English, mathematics and science, students find plenty
of opportunities to develop creativity, expression and wellbeing in a variety of ways.
The core subjects: English, maths and science offer both core and extended syllabi, allowing all
students to aspire to challenging goals and reach their full potential. The questions are often
differentiated in terms of levels of difficulty to meet the needs of both the most able student as
well as those who, for whatever reason, find academical study challenging.
Because most assessment takes place at the end of the two year course, students whose first language
is not English are granted the time to fully embed the skills and understanding required of the
syllabus, before demonstrating their learning at the culmination of the course. IGCSE is certainly
an excellent option if you know your child has strengths in assimilating knowledge and
understanding, and is capable of demonstrating this knowledge under exam conditions.
Cambridge Lower Secondary English encourages a life-long enthusiasm for reading, writing and
spoken communication. Learners develop English skills for different purposes and audiences.
This curriculum is for learners who have English as a first language, and can be used in any
cultural context. Learners develop skills and understanding in four areas: reading, writing,
speaking and listening. They will learn how to communicate effectively and respond to a range of
information, media and texts to:
- become confident communicators, able to apply all four skills effectively in everyday
- see themselves as readers, engaging with a range of texts for information and for pleasure,
including texts from different times and cultures
- see themselves as writers, using the written word clearly and creatively for a range of
different audiences and purposes.
Lower secondary mathematics curriculum encourages life-long enthusiasm for analytical and
rational thinking. Learners develop a holistic understanding of the subject, focussing on
principles, patterns, systems, functions and relationships. They will become mathematically
competent and fluent in computation, which they can apply to everyday situations.
‘Thinking and working mathematically’, a unique feature of Cambridge curriculum, encourages
learners to talk with others, challenge ideas and to provide evidence that validates conjectures
and solutions. When learners are thinking and working mathematically, they actively seek to make
sense of ideas and build connections between different facts, procedures and concepts. This
supports higher order thinking that helps them to view the world in a mathematical way.
The subject is divided into three main areas called ‘strands’, which run through every lower
secondary mathematics stage. Learners will develop skills in:
- Geometry and Measure
- Statistics and Probability.
Lower secondary science curriculum helps learners develop a life-long curiosity about the natural
world and enables them to seek scientific explanations to the phenomena around them.
Students will think scientifically and develop practical skills alongside knowledge and
understanding, which is vital for explaining the world around us. Improving learners’ awareness
of science in the world around them develops their sense that ‘science is for me’, helping to
connect themselves to the subject.
This approach provides them with the knowledge and skills they require to excel at science in
later stages of education and to make informed choices, including considering sustainability
issues and meeting the challenges facing our environment.
This curriculum covers six main areas called ‘strands’ that work together so that you can teach
- Biology – living things and how they interact.
- Chemistry – the study of matter.
- Physics – the interaction of matter and energy.
- Earth and Space – planet Earth, the wider Solar System and beyond.
- Thinking and Working Scientifically – develops understanding and skills of scientific
models and representations, scientific enquiry and practical work.
- Science in Context – helps teachers demonstrate the relevance of science to learners and
unique to our science curriculum.
Cambridge Lower Secondary assessment includes:
Cambridge CEM: computer-based assessments for 11-14 year olds, which help identify and diagnose students’ learning needs.
Year-round classroom assessment: formative feedback on the skills learners need to develop so that they can reflect on, and improve their performance.
Cambridge Lower Secondary Progression Tests: internal assessments that check learners’ knowledge, skills and understanding.
Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint: external tests which monitor individual and group performance at the end of the primary programme. Available for English, maths, science and Cambridge Global Perspectives.