This series of articles will inform readers about different aspects of the IGCSE curriculum offered by Shiv Nadar School. In the second post, you will know why the IGCSE program is sought after and its salient features. 


In an age where students face a plethora of professional options, their educational journey must also offer them alternative routes. It is said that “You Have to Do Things Differently to Get Different Results”. To prepare students for future jobs, many of which have not yet been created, we will need to change the way we educate them. IGCSE is a step towards the goal of bringing about a paradigm shift in education. Read on to know how this is accomplished through the thoroughly structured international program for Grades IX and X. 


Wide Choice of Subjects


The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a holistic program that empowers students by providing them with an extensive range of subjects. This translates to greater freedom of choice and the flexibility to pursue various talents. Students are allowed to choose a minimum of five and a maximum of 14 subjects across the groups. They must elect two languages from the first group, and at least one subject each from the rest four groups.

IGCSE provides the flexibility to design a curriculum based on specific local needs. Schools in India have chosen from this wide basket and offer subjects that are suited to the Indian academic structure. The IGCSE program at Shiv Nadar School offers a total of 25 subjects across groups and requires students to opt for eight subjects across groups, of which, five are compulsory. The subjects that students can pursue are as follows:


Group I: Languages

  • First language English
  • Second language (Hindi/ French/ Spanish/ Sanskrit)
  • Foreign Language (French/ Spanish/ German)


Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Global Perspectives (Compulsory)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Economics
  • English Literature


Group III: Sciences

  • Pure Sciences (Physics/ Chemistry/ Biology)
  • Combined Sciences


Group IV: Mathematics

  • Extended Mathematics
  • Additional Mathematics


Group V: Creative and Professional

  • ICT (Computer Science)
  • Business studies 
  • Design and Technology 
  • Drama
  • Music 
  • Physical Education


The flexible curriculum ensures that IGCSE is well suited to students with different intellects and interests. Students must choose subjects that are aligned with their long-term plan for professional development. The criteria should not aim to avoid or eliminate any subjects they consider low scoring. We will discuss the best way to select subjects in our next blog. 


Conceptual, Creative, and Critical Learning


Conceptual understanding instead of rote learning is at the core of IGCSE. Students are accountable for their learning with an inquiry-led curriculum. They are encouraged to map their learning through personal projects and refer to additional reading resources for a wider perspective on chosen subjects. Higher-Order Thinking Skills or HOTS are developed through creative thinking and problem-solving practices. The other skills that IGCSE focuses on are:


  • Relating subjects for a comprehensive understanding 
  • Application of knowledge to solve problems
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Effective English communication
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Influencing outcomes


With this set of qualities, students become confident, empathetic, and ready to lead. Since they are responsible for learning outcomes, they take a greater interest in exploring subjects in depth.


Acceptability at the international level

Another factor that makes IGCSE a favoured program for 14 to 16-year olds is its acceptability at the global stage. IGCSE qualification supports higher education by developing skills for research, communication, and critical thinking. The leading universities recognize the fact and value IGCSE students.

Even employers consider IGCSE qualifications as an added advantage. The subjects like Global Perspective give a broad outlook that helps students understand different cultures and perspectives. They are equipped for conflict resolution and leadership with agility.


These are the top three reasons that make IGCSE a leading choice for students. Personalised counselling at Shiv Nadar School helps them to choose appropriate subjects and frame a career path. Such holistic education goes a long way in developing students as grounded and productive individuals.


Jan 28, 2022 by Shiv Nadar School

International curriculum, IGCSE, Critical thinking