Cambridge International Examinations

The Senior Qualification Pathway

In 2012 City Impact Church School has implemented the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).

This system enables us to more freely teach the content covered from a Biblical worldview, encouraging our students to articulate, evaluate and justify our Christian perspective. The Cambridge system has been running for a number of years throughout the world, having established a sound international reputation of quality, reliability and academic challenge.

Cambridge qualifications prepare students for their next steps in education, work and life, with learning skills that will enable them to keep pace with an ever changing world. Cambridge qualifications also develop key skills in investigation, evaluation and problem-solving, which are important for tertiary study.

The Cambridge International Examinations Programme (CIE) provides the basis for study at Years 11 – 13. Every student will also take part in a City Impact Church School Doctrine and Mentoring programme.

Click Here to download the Cambridge International Examinations Presentation.

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is the first level of the Cambridge examination system and is the entry point for Year 11 students. Students at City Impact Church School are required to take Mathematics, English Language and English Literature, and Coordinated Science. Students are then able to select two other subject options, giving a total of six IGCSEs.


AS (Advanced Subsidiary) courses are the first half of a two year A level (Advanced level) course. This is the stage when most students begin to specialise and is the entry point into a subject for many Year 12 and Year 13 students, providing they have the necessary Year 11 qualifications and requirements. There are some AS subjects that can be taken without an IGCSE as a prerequisite in that subject, although this needs to be considered most carefully.


A2 courses are the second half of an A level – they upgrade an AS into a full A level qualification. These are usually taken by students keen to become specialists in a specific field and usually require that the AS course in that subject has been studied and passed (normally grade D or better).


It is expected that most Year 12 students will select a course of four AS subjects and at Year 13 a student’s programme is most likely to consist of AS and A2 subjects; three or four in their final year.

University Entrance (UE)

UE standards for CIE are based on a UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) Tariff system. This is determined by the following table:

Grade Approximate mark range UCAS points awarded   Papers not meeting the passing grades of A* – E are deemed to be Ungraded (U).
    A Level AS Level 
A*  90%+ 140
A  80%+ 120 60
B  70% – 79% 100 50
C  60% – 69% 80 40
D  50% – 59% 60 30
E  40% – 49% 40 20


University Entrance Minimum Requirements

For UE all students are required to meet a General Subject Standard, and reach specific standards in both Literacy and Numeracy.

General Subject Standard; Minimum of 120 points from A or AS levels and a minimum grade of D in each of at least three subjects equivalent to those on the approved list.

Numeracy Standard; Minimum grade of D in IGCSE Mathematics.

Literacy Standard; Minimum grade of E in any one of the AS English courses offered.

Please find below a brief synopsis of the subjects currently offered to our Year 11 students.

IGCSE: Art and Design (0400)

The IGCSE Art and Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Students gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. Students also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. An ideal foundation for further study, IGCSE Art and Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.

IGCSE : Business Studies (0450)

The IGCSE Business Studies syllabus develops students’ understanding of business activity in the public and private sectors, and the importance of innovation and change. Students learn how the major types of business organisations are established, financed and run, and how their activities are regulated. Factors influencing business decision-making are also considered, as are the essential values of cooperation and interdependence. Through their studies, students not only learn about business concepts and techniques but also enhance related skills such as numeracy and enquiry. The syllabus provides both a foundation for further study at A Level, and an ideal preparation for the world of work.

IGCSE: English – First Language (0500)

Designed for students for whom English is their mother tongue, IGCSE First Language English develops the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both speech and writing. Students learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. Students are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. IGCSE First Language English also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

IGCSE : English – Literature (0486)

The syllabus enables students to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. They develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, students learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied. The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting students’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.

IGCSE : Geography (0460)

Through the IGCSE Geography syllabus, students will develop a ‘sense of place’ by looking at the world around them on a local, regional and global scale. Students will examine a range of natural and man-made environments, and learn about some of the processes which affected their development. They will also look at the ways in which people interact with their environment, and the opportunities and challenges an environment can present, thereby gaining a deeper insight into the different communities and cultures that exist around the world.

IGCSE : History (0470)

The History IGCSE syllabus looks at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as covering the history of particular regions in more depth. The emphasis is on both historical knowledge and on the skills required for historical research. Students learn about the nature of cause and effect, continuity and change, similarity and difference and find out how to use and understand historical evidence as part of their studies. IGCSE History will stimulate any student already interested in the past, providing a basis for further study, and also encouraging a lifelong interest in the subject. Both coursework and non-coursework options are available.

IGCSE : Mathematics (0580)

An essential subject for all students, IGCSE Mathematics is a fully examined course which encourages the development of mathematical knowledge as a key life skill, and as a basis for more advanced study. The syllabus aims to build students’ confidence by helping them develop a feel for numbers, patterns and relationships, and places a strong emphasis on solving problems and presenting and interpreting results. Students also learn how to communicate and reason using mathematical concepts.

IGCSE : Sciences – Co-ordinated (Double) (0654)

A double award, earning two grades, IGCSE Co-ordinated Sciences gives students the opportunity to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics within a cross-referenced, scientifically coherent syllabus. Students learn about the basic principles of each subject through a mix of theoretical and practical studies, whilst also developing an understanding of the scientific skills essential for further study. Students learn how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both good and bad effects on individuals, communities and the environment. As well as focusing on the individual sciences, the syllabus therefore enables students to better understand the technological world in which they live, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments.

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