Do you dream of providing your child the best possible preparation for life and career? Anexcellent education is one of the great legacies that you can bestow to your child.
Education is something that cannot be stolen and it opens wide range of opportunities for your child. But what if your child does not want to pursue college? What is the next best option?
If you are a UAE citizen or an expat residing in Dubai with your family, you can enroll your child in one of the secondary British schools in Dubai.
These schools provide top quality education based on the British General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE system. The standards of these schools are at par with international standards. Some also offer International General Certificate of Secondary Education or IGCSE curricula.
These schools have curricula that are designed for the realities of a globalized economy and multicultural society. These curricula include traditional academic subjects like mathematics, cultural subjects such as languages, including Arabic, and practical subjects such as business studies.
Here are great reasons why British GCSE curricula is the best choice for your child’s education.
- Emphasis on excellence
GCSE curricula are globally recognized standards in secondary education that emphasize excellence in core academic subjects and high competency in vocational fields. These cover secondary school subjects from grade 7 to grade 11.
Examinations are conducted by exam boards for every subject to qualify students for certifications. The grades are awarded based on per subject certification. The A* grade was added in 1994 to distinguish a higher qualification above A grade.
- Flexibility for students
The GCSE system was originally introduced in 1988 to establish a national scholastic standard in the United Kingdom for those who do not intend to pursue university degrees. It was intended for high school students who plan to stop schooling by the age of 16 years old. The system superseded and combined the CSE and O-Level qualifications.
Both modular and linear schemes are offered to students for assessments. The modular schemes allow students to have certifications for some subjects before taking the final exam. You may ask your child and the school about which scheme will best fit the abilities and temperaments of your child.
- Wide range of subject choices
The range of subjects may vary depending on the geographic region and school that you or your child will choose. However, the core subjects are standardized specifically for International GCSE curricula.
The core subjects include the following:
- English — This core subject covers both language (grammar) and literature.
- Mathematics — All the standard secondary math subjects such as algebra and trigonometry are included.
- Science — Your child has two options: He can choose either combined science subjects worth two GCSE credits, or three subjects from physics, computer science, chemistry, and biology.
- Foreign modern languages — The specific foreign languages offered are generally based on the region. These may include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Greek, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu. Your child has the option to choose several of the foreign languages as subjects.
- Ancient languages — Ancient languages are also taught like Classical Greek, Biblical Hebrew, and Latin.
- Humanities — Your child may choose to enroll in history, sociology, geography, or economics subjects.
To balance the academic subjects, vocational subjects and sports or physical activity subjects are also included in the options for students. The GCSE system is aimed at developing well-rounded individuals.
- Special considerations for the differently abled
The system is designed to be as all-inclusive as possible. Special considerations are given to differently abled students during examinations and assessments. If your child has some physical or learning disabilities, he can benefit from the special considerations.
Here are some of the special considerations given to examinees:
- Extended time — The amount of extra time that will be given will depend on how severe the disability is, such as in the case of dyslexia.
- Amanuensis or assistant — If your child cannot write on his own due to a physical injury, he will be allowed to have an assistant during the exam to write for him.
- Electronic word processor — In place of an assistant, your child may be allowed to use a word processor without the grammar and spelling tools during exams if he has difficulty writing legibly.
- Different exam paper format — Visually impaired pupils are provided with Braille-printed exam papers or papers of different colors to aid them.
Choose the right school
GCSE curricula will open doors for your child regardless of his background, disabilities or special abilities. He will develop a wide range of skills and obtain valuable knowledge that he can use to pursue a rewarding career.
This education scheme will help him gain the competitive edge even if he chooses not to pursue a university degree, as he will have certifications that will be globally recognized.
However, the bottom line is choosing the right school. Not all schools are created equal, so do background research and ask around for recommendations so you can find the best institution for your child’s needs.
Sybil AbouRahal-Jones is the Marketing & Communications Manager at The English College in Dubai. She majored in Graphic Design and has experience of 20 years working in Graphic Design, Branding, Marketing and Communications. Her role is to set the MarCom strategy for both primary and secondary schools, and implement branding, graphic design, internal and external communications, marketing, and digital marketing.