Go Top
Home / Academics / Programmes / Secondary School
IGCSE Programme

IGCSE Programme

The IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) Programme is administered by CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education). In the two-year IGCSE programme at DAIS, Classes IX and X students study a range of subjects that are exciting and challenging. It helps improve performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem-solving. While the Programme is international in outlook, it very much retains local relevance. The holistic and experiential nature of learning balances knowledge, understanding and skills, and ensures that students are well-prepared for the IB Diploma and other pre-university programmes.


In Class VIII, which is a preparatory year, students study academic subjects that prepare them for the IGCSE programme, ranging from First Language English, Second Languages, Sciences, Social Sciences and Mathematics, along with optional subjects like Drama, Art and Computer Studies. It is complemented by the Macquarie University-designed, inter-disciplinary 'Big History' project offered in Class VIII, to develop critical thinking and research skills.


Through a stimulating classroom environment and high levels of student engagement, the programme empowers students to build on their own learning styles. In doing so, the curriculum actively supports discussion-based learning and hands-on activities, and embeds innovative approaches to learning across all subjects. In addition, the co-curricular activities and service initiatives are integral to student life, nurturing self-aware individuals who are responsible towards themselves and the community.


Students have opportunities to pursue their varied interests and engage in overseas exchange programmes, the International Award for Young People (IAYP) trips, Model United Nations (MUN), Round Square (RS) and educational trips. Through several exchange programmes, we encourage students to experience and appreciate other cultural contexts and broaden their world view. This holistic approach to teaching and learning is important for the physical, emotional, intellectual, creative, spiritual and social well-being of children, and to develop them as well-rounded individuals.


For more details about the IGCSE programme, visit: www.cambridgeinternational.org


An Overview- Why IGCSE?


The challenges schools face in preparing students for the future are significant. In the words of Andreas Schleicher, OECD Education Directorate (2011):


"A generation ago, teachers could expect that what they taught would last their students a lifetime. Today, because of rapid economic and social change, schools have to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not yet been invented and problems that we don't yet know will arise."






An international project concerned with the assessment and teaching of 21st century skills [Griffin et al 2012] identifies the changes in educational focus needed to prepare learners for the modern world, under four categories:


  • Ways of thinking: including creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning how to learn
  • Ways of working: including new forms of collaboration and communication
  • Tools for working: including developing information literacy and the capacity to harness the potential of new technologies
  • Skills for living in the world: involving the development of local and global awareness, and personal and social responsibility.

The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) Programme - an evolving, globally relevant educational opportunity.


The IGCSE Programme is administered by the University Of Cambridge Assessment for international Examinations (CAIE). The IGCSE Programme is firmly established and recognized world-wide; over 9000 schools in 160 countries offer the Cambridge qualifications. The IGCSE has always emphasized adding value within a national context whilst also contributing to internationalism. The focus is on safeguarding distinctive cultural identity through specific language and literature syllabi, whilst also encouraging an international outlook. Thus, the importance of an appropriate mix of global and local contexts is well recognized as an essential dimension of IGCSE.


IGCSE Key Features of the Programme


Provides an ideal foundation for higher-level courses such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, 'A' Levels and the North American APT (Advanced Placement Test);


Has worldwide recognition and is equivalent to the Certificate of Secondary Education from Indian education boards, General Certificate of Secondary Education, and 'O' Level;


Offers syllabi which reflect local economies and cultures within a global context, hence ensuring that students gain a wide perspective while recognizing and valuing their own environment;


Develops key learning, problem-solving and investigative skills by encouraging an active, critical and questioning approach to study;


Ensures a broad-based education, while encouraging a degree of choice.


IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:


  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as unfamiliar situations
  • Intellectual enquiry
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness.

The IGCSE Curriculum in DAIS


The syllabuses are international in outlook, but retain a local relevance. They have been created specifically for an international student body and avoid cultural bias. The following are the subject Choices for Classes IX and X.


Group 1 (Compulsory) Group 2 (Compulsory) Group 3 (Any one) Group 4 (Mathematics) Group 5 (Creative, Technical & Vocational)
First Language English World Literature
Global Perspectives
Physics Chemistry
and Biology
(all 3)
or Co-ordinated Sciences
International Mathematics Art & Design
Business Studies
Computer Science
Physical Education(optional)
A Foreign Language (French or Spanish) or a Second Language (Hindi) Geography and/or History Additional Mathematics (optional)


Students in Classes IX and X will normally select a total of 10 subjects. They will all study First Language English and French, Spanish or Hindi from Group 1; World Literature and Global Perspectives (compulsory subjects) from Group 2 and International Mathematics from Group 4. If they choose Split Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) from Group 3, they will choose a subject each from Group 2 (History or Geography) and 5. If they choose Co-ordinated Sciences (which is treated as two subjects) from Group 3, they will choose two subjects (both History and Geography) from Group 2 and one subject from Group 5. While, normally, students will take 10 subjects in the IGCSE, in exceptional circumstances they will take 9 subjects. Additional Mathematics taught outside the school hours may be allowed as a 11th subject.


In addition, students must also choose from a range of sporting and non-sporting activities. Such co-curricular experiences help them to develop a well-rounded personality.


Non Sporting Co Curricular Sporting Co Curricular
Art Animation


Woodwork Basketball
Pottery Football
Theatre Table Tennis
Perspective (School Newsletter) Volleyball
Insignia (School Magazine) Chess
Cookery Jazz Dancing
Model United Nations Rugby
Science Club Taekwondo
Foreign Language Clubs  
Tuesdays- 3-4 PM Fridays- 3-4 PM

The IGCSE Assessment


The IGSCE Assessment DAIS


Assessment techniques are based on Criterion referencing and go beyond just knowledge recall. It emphasizes


  • Accessibility to candidates of widely differing abilities.
  • Student's ability to use and apply knowledge appropriately,
  • Handling information and using it to solve problems.
  • Acquiring experimental and investigative skills.


What is Criterion referencing?


  • a student works to reach his/her highest standard,
  • a student is awarded a Grade based on the quality of his/her work irrespective of what others may have done,
  • getting top grades is within the reach of many - in theory of all.

Assessment techniques are used appropriate to the various subjects, such as oral and listening tests, practical's, project work, performance and course work as well as conventional written exams


Awarded a grade for each subject : A*, A, B, C, D, E, F or G; (A* indicating highest performance and G the minimum satisfactory performance).


All students qualify for the ICE (International Certificate of Education) Award as long as they select subjects from all five groups. The ICE is an additional award, in recognition of their quest for knowledge and the breadth of subjects studied. The ICE Group Award grading scheme gives


  • Distinction to students who receive Grade A or above in 5 subjects and Grade C or above in two subjects;
  • Merit to students who receive Grade B or above in 5 subjects and Grade G or above in two subjects;
  • Pass to students who receive Grade G or above in 5 subjects


Student Well Being


The teacher student ratio as well as the active participation of Student Care Department goes a long way in ensuring that the delivery of the curriculum is supported by an understanding of the distinctive learning styles of each student.


Securing the emotional well being of the student as well as growth of a positive personality is the focus of the PSHE (Physical Social Health Education) Classes held on a weekly basis. Active and continuous communication is maintained with CAIE to gurantee concessions in Examination condition for students with special needs to ensure a high success rate for them. A Learning Support Department with well qualified professionals counsel and maximize the performance of students with special needs.


Check Point Examinations in Class VIII


The tests are marked in Cambridge and provide schools with an external international benchmark for learner performance. Each learner receives a statement of achievement and a diagnostic feedback report, giving schools detailed information and parents extra trust in the feedback they receive. They are available in English, mathematics and science, and give valuable feedback on learner's strengths and weaknesses before they progress to the next stage of education


PSAT and College Counseling


The IGCSE students nearing the end of the Grade 10 can access College Counseling Section of the School for consultation regarding choice of subjects in the IB or any other High School Program that they will opt for. PSAT Exams in the first term of Grade 10 help them to match their skills at an international level.


Out of Class/ school activities


The IGCSE curriculum engages the student in experiential learning beyond the Class room by providing opportunities to engage in out of school service activities, overseas exchange programs, IAYP trips, subject specific educational trips and others, to explore every possible aspect of a student's strengths and build on it. The aim is to build a self aware as well as responsible individual who later strides the world with empathy, confidence as well as responsibility towards self and the larger community.


Special Interest Initiatives and Competitions-


  • Science Fair
  • Robotics
  • Press Corps from IG Section in Insignia, Perspective and DAIMUN
  • IAYP
  • Service trips
  • Art Workshops and exhibitions
  • Skiing Camps and SLA


Educational trips Section- examples this year


  • Model United Nations (Thimun affiliated)
  • Round Square
  • International Student Exchange trips

The School time is as under

Classes VIII to X
(on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)
8.15 am to 3:00 pm
Classes VIII to X
(on Tuesdays and Fridays)
8:15 am to 4:00 pm