Advantage of a British Education
WHY CHOOSE CAIRO ENGLISH SCHOOL?
At Cairo English School or CES, we, like all other international schools can choose and adapt the curriculum chosen to suit the needs of the children in our care. Many international schools choose the UK system of education as the foundation to their curriculum. However, just like other international schools it does not have to follow every aspect of the UK system being able to choose other curricula as well. Also, international schools in Egypt have regulations they must follow from the Egyptian Ministry of Education."International schools which follow the English National Curriculum use the same standardised testing regime and criteria as schools in England."
Any comparison of school systems must start with the statement that one is not comparing like with like. For example; the USA or Australia doesn’t have a single educational system in the sense that England does. International schools do however, have the opportunity to be assessed and visited by a number of accreditation bodies, who ensure that the school has certain standards and fundamentals. Cairo English School are proud to be accredited by two of the leading accrediting agencies in the world: The Council of International Schools (CIS) and The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). CES is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) and is called an IB World School. CES are also members of the British Schools in the Middle East (BSME). Membership of these highly respected bodies is testament to the qualities and enduring strength of Cairo English School.
Teachers in most educational systems have some degree of personal freedom to develop their own teaching style within the structure of the particular curriculum that they follow. The English National Curriculum (ENC) specifies in some considerable detail the educational milestones that children should reach on a year-by-year basis as they progress through their school life. Children are continually assessed by ENC levels in detail by teachers, who use a standardised set of criteria, to assign levels to their progress. Standardised tests are also employed, which give a very strong indication of how well a child is doing compared to national standards.
International Schools which follow the English National Curriculum, such as, Cairo English School, use the same standardised testing regime and criteria as schools in England. This allows, for example, a British International School to compare and benchmark itself with the very best schools in the UK and to ensure that its standards are set at that level. Each child is assessed and set targets that are achievable for them. It is important to note that schools are tasked with not only ensuring the progress of the very able, but also of those whose abilities are not at the top of the range. It is important that the schools ensures that each student does as well as they can and is challenged to progress at a rate over and above that they might achieve at an ‘average’ school. These targets are sometimes referred to as ‘Golden Targets’ and are often used as criteria for parents to judge the ‘value added’ by their school. ‘Value added’ refers to the progress that students in each school make over and above the average progress that a child would be expected to make, and is an important element in school evaluation in the UK.
The Early Years/Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is centred on developing all aspects of a very young child, both social and academic. It monitors and assesses key developmental milestones. Parental communication is heavily emphasised in the EYFS. Play is of course emphasised in the play-based learning sections of the curriculum, as are areas of continuous provision such as outdoor play, water play, sand play, arts activities and books. Even before children can read it is important to have books around so that they begin to develop habits which will lead to a lifelong love of learning.
Moving into Primary School students are assessed at English National Curriculum levels whilst CES also follows the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which matches our mission, vision and aims. However, within the IPC system children are still assessed using ENC levels which can be compared with other UK curriculum schools.
In Secondary School by most standards the average British educated child is indeed one year more advanced in Mathematics and English Language than their US counterpart (based on national average statistics) Secondary School concentrates on developing the skills and aptitudes from Early years and Primary through the English National Curriculum in Years 7 and 8. From Year 9 onwards the validation of the success of the school is through international examining bodies such as Cambridge International Examinations and the International Baccalaureate Organisation. The aim is for students to leave Year 12 fully prepared both academically and socially for Higher Education and adult life. CES prepares students by taking IGCSE exams in Year 10 and sitting either the IB Diploma Programme or following a 2 year A level course in Year 12. Academic success is built through a holistic approach, teaching critical thinking skills and allowing students to be able to think analytically. Whilst achieving this CES is also working on developing the whole child socially, morally and ethically. We have programmes in place where we encourage democratic processes, environmental awareness, leadership skills and understanding their role in serving the school community as well as local, national and international charities. CES aims to develop the whole child to become a leader for the future!
One key area to consider is that of tradition. Many British schools like CES still have uniforms and an explicit emphasis on teaching good manners and social skills. The UK system, of course, aims to combat bullying and other obvious social ills. Many parents may consider the teaching of good manners rather old-fashioned, or school uniforms a restriction of children’s freedom of expression. The British Headmaster would reply that uniforms make for a family atmosphere, a feeling of community and reduce fashion pressure on both children and parents. If sending your child to CES you should expect to follow the School Uniform Guidelines and Behaviour Management expectations.
Do you choose Cairo English School? It will come down to parental choice!
The UK Primary and Early Years system has proven to be highly successful in nurturing young minds. The UK systems features a strong emphasis on ICT skills. GCSE’s, IB and A levels are recognised as the leading external examinations with IB and A Level recognised worldwide by universities. The UK system is outward looking teaching inter-culturalism and international mindedness. CES students study for internationally recognised and accepted external examinations. The key to a good curriculum will always be one of approach. Cairo English School is a modern forward-looking system aiming to maintain traditional values. I recommend you look through our website and please if you can come and visit our great campus!
Headmaster, Cairo English School.