Welcome to ESF

Curriculum: Upper School 

The curriculum in the Upper School Department of The English School Fahaheel is designed to provide a balanced, broad and rich education as preparation for university courses within the Middle East and further a field. A strong team of proven specialist teachers contribute much to the academic and all-round education of Upper School students.

Pupils entering the Upper School study a range of subjects in the IGCSE and A Level programmes. These programmes, offered through the Cambridge International board, provide rigorous and highly respected qualifications, through a programme of study that gives solid foundation knowledge while improving pupils’ critical thinking skills. Some of the features of these programmes are:

  • An underlying philosophy that rewards pupils for positive achievement-showing what they show, understand and can do-rather than penalising them for an accumulation of errors.
  • Examinations suitable for virtually the whole ability range.
  • A wide range of assessment techniques appropriate to different skills and attributes in various subjects, including short answer questions,multiple-choice questions, structured questions,
    research, essays and practical tests.
  • Language examinations for both mother tongue and foreign language speakers. All language examination papers are written completely in the target language. Language
    syllabuses are based on communication and the pupils’ ability to express themselves in both speech and writing, which forms an ideal preparation for today’s modern globalisation.

The Upper School Department of The English School Fahaheel is committed to providing a qualitative teaching and learning environment to enable the needs and expectations of both students and parents to be matched with the criteria for success in external examinations and in personal and social living,

IGCSE Curriculum

IGCSE is a balanced international curriculum which is designed to encourage high academic standards through a practical approach to teaching and learning. The curriculum consists of a course of study which is usually examined at the end of two years, although students at ESF are given the
opportunity to sit the examinations in some subjects at the end of one year, which is equivalent in standard to the international GCE Ordinary Level and British GCSE examinations.

The curriculum is suitable for students of all nationalities and all levels of ability. It provides an ideal preparation for Higher Level courses such as –

  • British Advanced Level and AICE.,
  • American SAT and APT.,
  • International Baccalaureate,
  • Egyptian University degree courses,
  • British University Foundation courses,
  • American University Foundation courses,
  • Kuwait University Degree courses.

IGCSE is used by schools in over 90 countries throughout the world and has been recognised as a qualification for matriculation purposes by universities in the United Kingdom and in many other

IGCSE covers a broad range of subjects with syllabuses which are regularly reviewed to meet the needs of schools throughout the world. ESF maintains such an ongoing review on behalf of all our


IGCSE examinations lead to the award of one of eight grades (A*, A, B, C, D, E, F and G) in each subject. The highest grade is A*, which matches A* in British GCSE examinations. Grades A, B and C are equivalent to the corresponding grades in the international GCE Ordinary Level and the British GCSE examinations.

IGCSE certificates list the results in all subjects in which the candidate has gained a Grade G or better. Candidates who fail to achieve the minimum satisfactory standard of work in a subject will not be given a grade in that subject. In most subjects, candidates have a choice of sitting examinations at one of the two levels: Core or Extended. The Extended examination is more academically challenging and is designed for candidates who are expected to achieve a Grade C or above. The Core paper is structured to allow students the chance of being awarded a Grade
C, even though they have been predicted a lower grade.

There is no indication on the examination certificate which paper the student sat and a Grade C on both papers is of equal standing.

IGCSE Examinations

IGCSE examinations are conducted by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES). The examinations consist of a variety of tests and are not limited to conventional written papers.

Examination in all subjects may include projects, oral or practical work which are assessed by the students’ own teachers. The English School Fahaheel is fully recognised by Cambridge
University as a centre to teach, internally assess and present students oral and written work for examination at IGCSE and ‘A’ levels.

The IGCSE Strategy

  • The examination strategy for IGCSE and ‘A’ Level subjects at The English School Fahaheel is designed to be flexible. It is structured to meet the needs of all students and provides
    the entry requirements for Further Education courses throughout the world.
  • Between Years 9 – 11 (Upper School 3 – 5) students study up to 10 IGCSE subjects in one-year or two-year programmes of study.
  • Students sit their IGCSE examinations in Years 10 and 11.
  • In Year 11, in addition to IGCSE options, students may begin to study 2 or 3 ‘A’ Level subjects.

The ‘A’ Level Syllabus

Almost all universities, especially in the Faculties of Medicine and Engineering, look for applications from students who have been successful in examinations at a level higher than IGCSE.

This is one of the reasons ESF offers students the opportunity to sit Advanced Supplementary Level (A/S) subjects in the May/June of Year 11. The standard of the syllabus contents in A/S Level programmes of study is the same educationally as that of the Advanced Level (‘A’ Level) examination in England

However, the course content is not as large as a full ‘A’ level, and so can be completed in one year. It is credited as a half ‘A’ Level in universities and colleges worldwide. Students who started their ’A’ Level studies in Year 11 would normally finish them in Year 12. Alternatively, students may wish to finish Year 11 before commencing their ‘A’ Level studies, in Year 12.

For a complete list of the IGSCE and AS & A2 Level  subjects offered at ESF PLEASE CONTACT THE Head of Upper School