Cambridge offers flexibility for students to construct courses that meet individual interests and abilities. Individual advice and counselling is important to ensure that students make sound choices.
At Year 11, students will mostly study IGCSE subjects (usually between 5 and 7 subjects).
At Year 12, students will mostly study AS courses, although some may include further IGCSE courses. Most will study 4-5 AS subjects.
At Year 13, students will usually study either further AS courses or a combination of AS and A Level (A2) courses. The number of courses may vary according to the levels studied. A common combination will be to study 4-5 subjects with between 1 and 3 A Level courses included.
Cambridge allows students to study a diverse number of disciplines to a pre-university level. By selecting several AS subjects, students can gain a background that will allow them to enter a range of tertiary courses. Students who have particular strengths or who wish to take a more specialist qualification will probably select some A Levels in their courses.
Students intending to study overseas are advised to study 3 A Levels.
Centres will also provide a range of different approaches for students. This will depend on the size of the centre, the number of Cambridge subjects offered and the proportion of students involved. The following provide some possible structures for centres to use.
Centres may offer subjects at more advanced levels to meet the needs of students, either on an individual or class basis. This will usually occur in subjects such as English or Mathematics. Several programmes are available for able mathematicians.
Individual Educational Programmes
Small schools or schools with a small number of very able students who may benefit from advanced programmes can prepare students for Cambridge examinations in one or more subjects. This is best done in subjects where there is significant overlap with other courses. Such programmes may need to be supported by additional tutorial support and extra study on an individual basis in a similar way to that used for NZEST in the past.
Dual Pathway Programmes
Large schools may choose to offer Cambridge along with other qualification systems. Students should check that they select a course programme that will enable them to meet the requirements for matriculation (university entrance). It is important that schools provide good advice to students and that tertiary plans are closely monitored.
Limited Subject Programmes
Schools may choose to offer a small number of Cambridge subjects alongside other qualification systems. This may be done in dedicated classes although some subjects have sufficient overlap that students may be taught in classes studying for other qualifications.
Exclusively Cambridge Programmes
Some schools have chosen to offer only Cambridge courses and qualifications. This option is very suitable for smaller schools where a dual approach is not practicable.