Our Secondary School

Why your child will flourish in our Secondary School

Should I send my child to the Secondary phase at GEMS Cambridge International School?

 Let us tell you why you SHOULD!

 The most innovative, rigorous and diverse Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) Curriculum in East Africa

  • In English, Maths and Science we study the world renowned and respected Cambridge Curriculum
  • Students complete the Cambridge Checkpoint exams at the end of Year 9 along side hundreds of thousands of learners from around the world
  • In Foundation subjects we study the National Curriculum for England but with bespoke units of work tailored for the needs of young people living in Uganda.

Which subjects will my child study in KS3?

 As well as the above-mentioned English, Maths and Science we study:

  • African History
  • Geography
  • Business & Economics
  • French
  • ICT
  • Music
  • Food Nutrition
  • Art & Design
  • PE including swimming

From September 2016 we are excited to offer the following:

  • Drama
  • Scientific Discoveries
  • The Life of Pi
  • Poetry
  • Mobile App Design
  • Resistance Training

In addition, once per week, students will be perform within a choir and this is to be led by two of the UK’s top vocal coaches.

 Of course we also have our LEGO Innovation Studio which is a must see!

 Finally for KS3 we have our new ‘Carousel of Creativity’ session. Once per week all students will do something just a little bit different and examples will include:

  • Animal Farm – We will breed, care for and develop our knowledge of a variety of animals
  • Dance – In a country with such a heritage of dance, all students will develop their ability to express themselves through this art form
  • Photography – Do we have the next top photographer?
  • Religions From Around the World – As well as Christianity, we will explore other religions

 What happens to my child in Year 10?

 Here at GEMS Cambridge we study the hugely respected Cambridge IGCSEs. These include:

 Compulsory Subjects

  • English Language
  • Literature in English
  • Maths

Students then choose 6 of the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Food Nutrition
  • French
  • PE
  • ICT
  • History
  • Geography
  • Art & Design
  • Music
  • Drama

From September 2016 we are now also offering BTEC qualifications. BTEC Firsts offer level 2 learners an engaging introduction to life and work in a vocational sector. Students develop knowledge and understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.

 Taken as part of a balanced curriculum, BTEC Firsts provide a tried-and-trusted progression route to further study, to an apprenticeship or into employment.

 Each BTEC is the equivalent to one GCSE and each course is divided into:

  • Core or mandatory units
  • Optional specialist units.

 Each unit covers a specific area of knowledge, skills and understanding required by the sector. Every BTEC First learner will study the mandatory units, ensuring all students gain a solid foundation through a broad understanding and knowledge of the sector.

 BTEC First assignments offer learners the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a real-life context. Students work on assignments in a variety of ways; some they complete on their own, and for others they work as part of a team. Subjects offered are:

  • Art
  • Performing Arts
  • IT

 What happens to my child when they complete their IGCSEs?

 Quite simply, from September 2016 they can now continue to study at GEMS Cambridge and can opt for either A Levels of Level 3 BTEC courses. The A Level choices are:

  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Information Technology
  • Literature in English
  • Mathematics
  • Music Technology
  • Physics

BTEC Options include:

  • Art & Design
  • Computing
  • Business

A Level

 The A Level course is split over two years. The first year is referred to as ‘AS’ and is in fact a stand-alone qualification. In theory, students could leave CIK at the end of Year 12 with an AS qualification, although this is rare. Students nearly always complete this first year then continue into Year 13, which is referred to as ‘A2’. Completion of the two years results in a full ‘A Level’.

 The process is that students can choose up to four AS levels, however a minimum IGCSE grade B or above is required to enrol in the course. For entry to a foreign university, four AS Levels are recommended; for Ugandan universities the number of subjects can be fewer, though students should liaise carefully with university admission departments to ascertain specific course needs. Students who want to enter a UK university would then usually take three of their AS subjects to A2 in the Upper Sixth (Year 13).


What are BTECs?BTECs are specialist work-related qualifications. They combine practical learning with subject and theory content. There are over 2000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors and are available from entry level through to professional qualifications at level 7 (equivalent to postgraduate study).

 Who are they for?BTECs are designed for young people interested in a particular sector or industry, but who are not yet sure what job they’d like to do.

 At CIK we study Level 3 BTEC Qualifications (Nationals) that are of a similar standard to A Levels. Many of these are well regarded by universities, further education colleges, and employers. A BTEC National qualification can lead to employment, continuing study, or professional development programmes.

 How do they work?BTEC qualifications are flexible – you can take one alongside (or instead of) A Levels.

BTECs are divided into units, which cover specific areas of knowledge, skills, and understanding required by the particular sector or industry.

  1. Every BTEC student takes the core units, which provide a broad foundation and understanding about the sector.
  2. There is a range of optional units to choose from which enable students to focus on particular interests and plans they have for next steps into further study, an apprenticeship, or employment.
  3. The course involves a series of assignments, which can be either written or activity-based. For example, creating a film clip, planning and putting on a performance, or creating a business plan. Students complete some assignments individually and some as part of a team. For some BTEC courses, students can also apply their knowledge and skills through work experience.


We are here to help, guide and educate your child. It is our aim and mission that every child succeeds at GEMS and it is my personal goal each and every day. I encourage you to take a visit to the school, meet myself and the team and we will be able to answer any questions you may have and I look forward to meeting you soon.


Mr Ben Green

Head of Secondary School.