Cambridge International IGCSE is a program offered by the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge IGCSE is the most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. It is offered by over 4800 schools in over 150 countries in preparation for IB qualification. 

The IGCSE programs and qualifications set the global standard for international education and are created by subject experts, rooted in academic rigor, and reflect the latest educational research. They provide a strong foundation for learners to progress to the next stage of their education and are well supported by teaching and learning resources and flexible teaching methods. The programme of study helps students consolidate knowledge, discover new abilities and a wider world, and gives them the skills they need for life, so they can achieve at school, university, and work.

We recommend that learners starting the Cambridge International IGCSE programme of study should have studied an English curriculum such as the Cambridge Lower Secondary (Middle school) program or an equivalent national educational framework or a bilingual curriculum. 

There will be the option to choose between the Core and Extended curriculum in certain subjects. The Core curriculum is suitable for most students and aims to provide a full overview of the subject, targeting those expected to achieve grades C to G. The Extended curriculum is designed for more academically able students and targets those expected to achieve grades A* to E.

The Acorn Cambridge International IGCSE program offers the following wide range of subjects:

Acorn Pre - IB  IGCSE Cambridge subjects availability
Core Subjects 

  • English Language and Literature
  • Italian Language and Literature
  • Sciences  double programme 
  • Integrated Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • Language Acquisition (Spanish and Italian L2)
  • PE
Electives 

  • Latin / Philosophy
  • Music / Visual Arts
  • Design / STEM

 

Skills

  • CAS
  • Study Skills
Pre IB Weekly Subject Times - 

35 Periods a week - 7periods X 50 min each day  - 5 min transition time between subjects 

1h 30’ breaks (morning and lunch break) - School starts at 8.10 am and finishes at 3.45 pm

Core SubjectsPeriodsElectivesPeriods
English Language and Literature Ancient Language (Latin), Philosophy2
Italian Language and Literature Music, Visual Arts 2
Mathematics 5Design, Computer Science2
Science 42
Integrated Humanities ATL Skills 
Language Acquisition 2Study Skills 2
PE 2CAS 1

Cambridge IGCSEs are accepted and valued by leading universities and employers around the world as evidence of academic achievement. Many universities require a combination of Cambridge International AS & A Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs and IB qualification or equivalent to meet their entry requirements. The UK's national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications, UK NARIC, has found that Cambridge IGCSE is comparable to the standard of the reformed GCSE in the UK, meaning that students can be confident that their Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK GCSEs by leading universities worldwide.

Assessment at Cambridge IGCSE has two purposes: to measure learning and achievement and to show likely future success. The assessment confirms achievement and performance in relation to the knowledge, understanding, and skills specified in the syllabus, to the levels described in the grade descriptions. The outcomes of the assessment help predict which students are well prepared for a particular course or career and/or which students are more likely to be successful and help students choose the most suitable course or career.

The approach in Cambridge IGCSE encourages learners to be:

IGCSE Subjects overview:

 

English Literature

Content overview
  • The syllabus enables learners to read, interpret, and evaluate texts in English literature, including drama, prose, and poetry from Shakespeare to contemporary works
  • Through their studies, learners will deepen their understanding and appreciation of how writers use language to express meaning and achieve effects, and be able to present personal responses to the material they have studied
  • Learners will also develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts, and deeper themes or attitudes expressed in the texts
  • The program stimulates learners to read for pleasure and encourages them to explore universal issues, promoting a better understanding of themselves and the world
Subject content
  • Set texts regularly rotate on the syllabus and may change from year to year
  • The syllabus allows for flexibility in designing a course that will interest, challenge, and engage learners
  • Teachers are responsible for selecting appropriate texts, resources, and examples for their students based on the students' age, cultural background, and learning context, as well as school policies and legal requirements

English First Language

Syllabus overview
  • The Cambridge IGCSE English Language program at Acorn is designed for learners whose first language is English
  • The course aims to help learners:
  • Read a wide range of texts fluently and with good understanding, enjoying and appreciating a variety of language
  • Read critically and use knowledge from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write accurately and effectively, using Standard English appropriately
  • Work with information and ideas in language by developing skills of evaluation, analysis, use, and inference
  • Listen to, understand, and use spoken language effectively
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, along with knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions
  • Communicate clearly, accurately, and effectively when speaking and writing
  • Learners are also encouraged to read widely for their own enjoyment and to expand their awareness of how English can be used
  • The program also develops general analysis and communication skills such as inference and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively
  • Content overview
    • The Cambridge IGCSE First Language English program offers students the opportunity to respond with understanding to a range of reading texts throughout the course
    • Students will use these texts to inform and inspire their own writing and write in various text types for different purposes and audiences
    • Students will also develop their speaking and listening skills, delivering presentations and engaging in conversations and responding to questions
    • Students are encouraged to become appreciative and critical readers, writers, speakers, and listeners
    Subject content
    • The English First Language IGCSE syllabus is designed to appeal to, challenge, and involve learners
    • Acorn selects appropriate subject contexts, resources, and examples for students, taking into consideration the students' age, cultural background, and learning context, as well as school policies and legal requirements
    • The syllabus emphasizes the importance of reading skills, including engaging with various genres and text types from the 20th and 21st centuries
    • Writing skills, including planning, drafting, and revising, are also emphasized, along with the use of Standard English and correct grammatical conventions
    • Speaking and listening skills, including delivering presentations and responding to questions and engaging in conversations, are also a focus of the syllabus
    • The program also includes the study of language, including vocabulary, grammar, and linguistic conventions, as well as the analysis and evaluation of texts

     

    Mathematics

    Core content overview:
    All students will study the following topics: 

    Number

    Algebra

    Shape and space 

    Probability and statistics 

    Number

    Algebra and graphs 

    Geometry 

    Probability

     

    Coordinate geometry

    Mensuration

    Statistics 

      

    Trigonometry 

     
      

    Vectors and transformations

     

     

    The content is not presented in a teaching order. 

    This content structure and the use of tiering allows flexibility for teachers to plan delivery appropriately for their learners. 

    Learners should be able to both use techniques listed in the content and apply them to solve problems. 

     

    Course Aims:
    The aims describe the purposes of the Mathematics course based on this syllabus.
    The aims are to enable students to:

    • Develop understanding of mathematical principles, concepts and methods
    • Apply mathematics in everyday situations and understand its role in the world
    • Analyze and solve problems, present solutions clearly, and interpret results
    • Recognize and represent mathematical situations, choose appropriate methods to solve problems, and evaluate methods used
    • Use mathematics as a means of communication with clear expression and structured argument
    • Apply mathematics in other subjects, particularly science and technology
    • Reason logically, make deductions and inferences, and draw conclusions
    • Appreciate patterns and relationships in mathematics and make generalizations
    • Appreciate the interdependence of different areas of mathematics
    • Acquire foundation for further study of mathematics or other disciplines

    Additional Mathematics

    Syllabus aims overview:
    The aims describe the purposes of the Additional Mathematics course based on this syllabus. They are not listed in order of priority.

    The aims are to:

    • Consolidate and extend mathematical skills, use in context of advanced techniques
    • Further develop knowledge of mathematical concepts and principles, use for problem solving
    • Appreciate interconnectedness of mathematical knowledge
    • Acquire foundation in mathematics for further study in the subject or in mathematics-related subjects
    • Devise mathematical arguments and use and present them precisely and logically
    • Integrate IT to enhance mathematical experience
    • Apply mathematical skills and knowledge in appropriate situations
    • Develop creativity and perseverance in problem solving
    • Derive enjoyment and satisfaction from engaging in mathematical pursuits and gain appreciation of the elegance and usefulness of mathematics
    • Provide foundation for AS Level/Higher study

    Content overview:

    1. Functions
    2. Quadratic functions
    3. Equations, inequalities and graphs
    4. Indices and surds
    5. Factors of polynomials
    6. Simultaneous equations
    7. Logarithmic and exponential functions
    8. Straight line graphs
    9. Circular measure
    10. Trigonometry
    11. Permutations and combinations
    12. Series
    13. Vectors in two dimensions
    14. Differentiation and integration

    Note: Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics content is assumed as prerequisite knowledge for this qualification.

    Combined Science

    Syllabus aims overview:
    The aims describe the purposes of the Combined Science course based on this syllabus.
    The aims are to;

    • Provide enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners
    • Enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
    • Become confident citizens of the world who understand scientific issues and are able to make informed decisions about the use of science and technology
    • Appreciate the scientific method of enquiry, and be able to apply it to their own observations and experiments
    • Understand the fundamental scientific principles, concepts, and processes, and be able to apply them in a variety of contexts
    • Understand the interdependence of science and technology with society and the environment
    • Develop scientific literacy and an appreciation of the aesthetic aspects of science
    • Understand the potential and limitations of science and technology, and the ethical implications of their use
    • Understand the role of science and technology in the development of modern societies

    Content overview:

    Biology:

    • B1 Characteristics of living organisms 
    • B2 Cells 
    • B3 Biological molecules 
    • B4 Enzymes 
    • B5 Plant nutrition 
    • B6 Animal nutrition 
    • B7 Transport 
    • B8 Gas exchange and respiration 
    • B9 Coordination and response 
    • B10 Reproduction 
    • B11 Organisms and their environment 
    • B12 Human influences on ecosystems 

    Chemistry:

    • C1 The particulate nature of matter 
    • C2 Experimental techniques 
    • C3 Atoms, elements and compounds 
    • C4 Stoichiometry 
    • C5 Electricity and chemistry 
    • C6 Energy changes in chemical reactions 
    • C7 Chemical reactions 
    • C8 Acids, bases and salts 
    • C9 The Periodic Table 
    • C10 Metals 
    • C11 Air and water 
    • C12 Organic chemistry

    Physics:

    • P1 Motion 
    • P2 Work, energy and power 
    • P3 Thermal physics 
    • P4 Properties of waves, including light and sound 
    • P5 Electrical quantities 
    • P6 Electric circuits

    History
    Syllabus aims overview:
    The aims describe the purposes of the History Programme course based on this syllabus. 

    The aims of the History course are to enable students to:

    • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for learning about the past
    • Acquire knowledge and understanding of individuals, people, and societies in the past
    • Understand key historical concepts such as cause and consequence, change and continuity, and similarity and difference
    • Understand international issues in history
    • Develop historical skills such as investigation, analysis, evaluation, and communication
    • Lay a foundation for further study and personal interest in history

    Course Content overview

    All students study History Core content in either:

    • Option A: The nineteenth century: the development of modern nation states, 1848–1914
    • Option B: The twentieth century: international relations since 1919

    In addition, all candidates must also study at least one of the following Depth studies:

    • The First World War, 1914–18
    • Germany, 1918–45
    • Russia, 1905–41
    • The United States, 1919–41
    • The Second World War in Europe and the Asia–Pacific, 1939–c.1945

    The Core content and Depth studies are structured around key questions, focus points, and specified content. Key questions define the overarching issues, focus points identify the issues that enable candidates to understand the key questions, and specified content provides guidance on what needs to be studied for each key question. Candidates are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the key questions using knowledge of relevant historical examples.

    Option A: The nineteenth century: the development of modern nation states, 1848–1914

    The content focuses on the following key questions:

    • Were the revolutions of 1848 important?
    • How was Italy unified?
    • How was Germany unified?
    • Why was there a civil war in the United States and what were its results?
    • Why, and with what effects, did nations gain and expand their overseas empires in the nineteenth century?
    • What caused the First World War?

    Option B: The twentieth century: international relations since 1919

    The content focuses on the following key questions:

    • Was the Treaty of Versailles fair?
    • To what extent was the League of Nations a success?
    • How far was Hitler’s foreign policy to blame for the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939?
    • Who was to blame for the Cold War?
    • How effectively did the United States contain the spread of communism?
    • How secure was the USSR’s control over Eastern Europe, 1948–c.1989?

    Economics

    Syllabus aims overview
    The aims describe the purposes of the History Programme course based on this syllabus.
    The aims of the Economics course are to enable students to:

    • Know and understand economic terminology, concepts, and theories
    • Use basic economic numeracy and interpret economic data
    • Use the tools of economic analysis
    • Express economic ideas logically and clearly in written form
    • Apply economic understanding to current economic issues

    Course Content overview

    The Economics course covers the following topics:

    In each section, students will learn the relevant concepts and theories, as well as how to use them to analyze and understand current economic issues.

    Topic

    Description

    The basic economic problem

    Introduces fundamental ideas and concepts, including the basic economic problem, factors of production, opportunity cost, and production possibility curves.

    The allocation of resources

    Considers the principles of resource allocation through the price mechanism in a market economy. Examines market forces, equilibrium and disequilibrium, and elasticity.

    Microeconomic decision makers

    Focuses on the role of major decision makers in the microeconomy, including banks, households, workers, trade unions, and firms.

    Government and the macroeconomy

    Explores the macroeconomic aims of governments and the conflicts that can arise between them. Examines variables and considers the causes and consequences of change, as well as appropriate policies.

    Economic development

    Analyzes changes in population, living standards, poverty, and income redistribution as an economy develops. Examines the effects of population size and structure on development in various countries.

    International trade and globalisation

    Discusses the importance of trade between countries and the growth of globalisation. Covers principles such as specialisation, free trade, multinational companies, exchange rates, and balance of payments stability.

     

    Geography
    Syllabus aims overview
    The aims describe the purposes of the Geography Programme course based on this syllabus.
    The aims of the Geography course are to enable students to:

    • Understand location on a local, regional and global scale
    • Be aware of the characteristics, distribution and processes affecting contrasting physical and human environments
    • Understand the ways in which people interact with each other and with their environment
    • Be aware of the contrasting opportunities and constraints presented by different environments
    • Appreciate and be concerned for the environment
    • Appreciate the earth including its people, places, landscapes, natural processes and phenomena

    Content Overview

    The Geography syllabus is divided into three themes:

    Theme 1: Population and settlement

    Theme 2: The natural environment
    Theme 3: Economic development

    The themes are designed to progress over what has been proposed in Middle school and further develop an understanding of natural and human environments.

    Computer Science

    Syllabus aims overview

    The aims describe the purposes of the Computer Science Programme course based on this syllabus. 

    The aims of the Computer Science course are to enable students to:

    • Develop computational thinking skills
    • Understand the main principles of solving problems using computers
    • Develop the skills necessary to solve computer-based problems using a high-level programming language
    • Understand the component parts of computer systems and how they interrelate
    • Understand the internet as a means of communication and its associated risks
    • Understand the development and use of automated and emerging technologies

    Content Overview
    Students study the following topics:

    Computer Systems

    • Data representation
    • Data transmission
    • Hardware
    • Software
    • The internet and its uses
    • Automated and emerging technologies

    Algorithms, programming and logic

    • Algorithm design and problem-solving
    • Programming
    • Databases
    • Boolean logic

    AHI MIDDLE SCHOOL FORMATIVE OFFER

    Subjects British curriculum

    Hours per Week

    Subjects Italian curriculum

    Hours per week

    Total weekly teaching hrs.

    English literacy and language

    8

    Italiano

    6

    13

    Matematica

    6

    6

    History

    English/European

    2

    Storia

    Italiana/Europea

    1

    3

    Geography

    1

    Geografia

    1

    2

    Science

    2

    Scienze

    1

    3

    Music

    1

    1

    Art

    1

    Storia dell'Arte

    30'

    1:30

    Technical Drawing

    1

    Tecnologia

    30'

    1:30

    Gym

    1

    1

    TOTAL

    17

    TOTAL

    16

    33

    Additional European language (Spanish)

    2

     2
    Weekly learning time

    35

    Middle School Timings: Monday-Friday from 8:15-16:15

    EMPTY CONTAINER DISPLAY NONE

    Art & Design
    Syllabus aims overview
    The aims describe the purposes of the Art and Design course based on this syllabus.
    The aims are to enable students to:

    • Record from direct observation and personal experience
    • Identify and solve problems in visual and/or other forms
    • Develop creativity, visual awareness, critical and cultural understanding
    • Achieve a personal, imaginative and creative response
    • Gain confidence, enthusiasm and a sense of achievement in the practice of art and design
    • Foster independence in refining and developing ideas and personal outcomes
    • Explore a range of media, materials and techniques, including new media and technologies
    • Work in relevant frameworks and explore manipulative skills for 2D and/or 3D communication
    • Develop a working vocabulary and interest in other practitioners, environments, and cultures
    • Acquire investigative, analytical, experimental, interpretative, practical, technical, and expressive skills for effective and independent learning

    Content overview

    Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design has been designed to offer a broad choice of media and approaches so that students can produce a personal response and schools can play to their strengths in terms of staff expertise and interests.

     

    The broad areas of study are:

    • painting and related media
    • graphic communication
    • three-dimensional design
    • textiles and fashion
    • photography.

    Candidates can respond to either component using any of the media listed in the areas of study above

    Music
    Syllabus overview aims
    The aims describe the purposes of a course based on this syllabus. 

    The aims are to enable students to:

    • Acquire and consolidate basic musical skills, knowledge, and understanding through listening, performing, and composing
    • Develop a perceptive and critical response to Western music history and styles
    • Recognize and understand non-Western music, forming an appreciation of cultural similarities and differences
    • Provide a foundation for an informed appreciation of music
    • Provide a foundation for further study in music

    Content overview

    When studying the Cambridge IGCSE Music syllabus, learners listen to, perform and compose music, encouraging aesthetic and emotional development, self-discipline and, importantly, creativity. 

    As a result, learners enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of music, an achievement that forms an ideal foundation for future study and enhances lifelong musical enjoyment. Learners study music of all styles; each style is placed in its historical and cultural context, and learners are encouraged to be perceptive, sensitive and critical when listening. Although the majority of the syllabus examines Western European music, the music of other cultures is always represented.

    Physical Education

    Syllabus aims overview
    The aims describe the purposes of the Physical Education course based on this syllabus.
    The aims are to enable students to:

    • Develop knowledge and understanding of the theory behind physical performance
    • Apply this knowledge to improve performance
    • Perform a range of physical activities, developing skills and techniques, and selecting and using tactics, strategies, and compositional ideas
    • Understand and practice safe physical activity and sport
    • Understand and appreciate the benefits of physical activity and sport for health, fitness, and well-being
    • Gain a foundation for further study in Physical Education

    Content overview

    The syllabus provides candidates with an opportunity to study both the practical and theoretical aspects of Physical Education. It is also designed to foster enjoyment in physical activity. The knowledge gained should enable candidates to develop an understanding of effective and safe physical performance.

     

    Candidates will study all of the following topics:

    1 Anatomy and physiology

    2 Health, fitness and training

    3 Skill acquisition and psychology

    4 Social, cultural and ethical influences

    Candidates will also undertake four different physical activities 

     

    Italian L2 Syllabus Overview

    The aims describe the purposes of a course based on this syllabus.
    The aims are to enable students to:

    • Develop language proficiency to communicate effectively in Italian at level A2 (CEFR Basic User) with elements of level B1 (CEFR Independent User)
    • Offer insights into the culture and society of countries where Italian is spoken
    • Develop awareness of the nature of language and language learning
    • Encourage positive attitudes towards speakers of other languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures
    • Provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation
    • Develop transferable skills (e.g. memorizing, drawing inferences) to complement other areas of the curriculum
    • Form a sound base of skills, language, and attitudes required for progression to work or further study, either in Italian or another subject area

    Italian L2 Content Overview

    The subject content is organised in five broad topic areas below. These provide contexts for the acquisition of vocabulary and the study of grammar and structures. The study of these topic areas enables students to gain an insight into countries and communities where Italian is spoken. 

    Topic Areas:

    • Everyday activities
    • Personal and social life
    • The world around us
    • The world of work
    • The international world

    Skills:

    • Listening: Understand short recordings and texts on familiar topics, identify main points and details, deduce meaning of unknown words from context
    • Reading: Understand short and simple texts and authentic texts on familiar topics, identify main points and details, deduce meaning of unknown words from context
    • Speaking: Participate in short exchanges and communicate on familiar topics, describe people, events, and personal experiences, express opinions and preferences
    • Writing: Write short texts on familiar topics, describe people, events, and personal experiences, express opinions and preferences

    Grammar and Structures:

    • Present tense of regular and irregular verbs
    • Simple past tense of regular and irregular verbs
    • Present and past tense of modal verbs
    • Adverbs of frequency
    • Present and past tense of reflexive verbs
    • Basic adjective agreement
    • Negatives
    • Possessive adjectives
    • Direct and indirect object pronouns
    • Prepositions of place and time
    • Partitive articles
    • Comparisons
    • The imperative

     

    3 Subject content

    Skills

    The skills covered in the syllabus are outlined below.

    Listening

    • Understand short recordings dealing with everyday needs (e.g. simple transactions in shops, simple directions or instructions).
    • Understand factual information and ideas from a range of sources (e.g. announcements, phone messages, news items, interviews, dialogues) on familiar topics.
    • Understand descriptions of events, opinions, emotions, hopes and ambitions in simple texts (e.g. in radio broadcasts, interviews, dialogues).
    • Identify main points, specific information and details on everyday topics (e.g. personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment, school, leisure activities).
    • Identify main points, themes, opinions, ideas, emotions and attitudes in predictable texts (e.g. news reports, conversations, interviews, simple monologues).
    • Deduce the meaning of occasional unknown words and expressions from the context.

     

    Reading

    • Understand short, simple texts (e.g. signs and notices in public places, such as streets, restaurants and bus/ railway stations and airports).
    • Understand authentic texts on familiar topics and situations (e.g. newspaper/magazine articles, email messages, blogs and letters).
    • Understand descriptions of events, opinions, emotions, hopes and ambitions in simple texts (e.g. in articles, interviews or personal messages).
    • Identify main points, specific information and details in predictable texts (e.g. advertisements, brochures, menus, timetables, instructions, messages).
    • Identify main points, themes, opinions, ideas, emotions and attitudes in predictable texts (e.g. newspaper/ magazine articles, simple plots of films or books).
    • Deduce the meaning of occasional unknown words and expressions from the context.

     

    Speaking

    • Participate in short social exchanges (e.g. greet people, make and respond to invitations, apologies) and communicate on familiar topics to meet simple needs (e.g. order food and drink, simple transactions in shops, use public transport, ask and give directions, request information).
    • Participate in unprepared conversations on familiar topics of personal interest or relevant to everyday life (e.g. family, friends, home environment, hobbies and interests, education, work, travel).
    • Describe past events and experiences, hopes and ambitions and give brief reasons for opinions and plans.
    • Communicate with reasonable accuracy, using a range of structures, tenses and vocabulary relevant to the given situation.
    • Use simple connectors (e.g. and, but, because, then) to link a series of shorter discrete elements into a connected sequence of points.
    • Use appropriate strategies to maintain interaction.
    • Use features of pronunciation and intonation to convey meaning and attitude.

     

    Writing

    • Fill in forms providing simple details.
    • Communicate simple factual information in writing using everyday vocabulary and expressions.
    • Write a series of simple phrases and sentences linked with simple connectors, relating to personal life, immediate environment and everyday topics (e.g. writing about a holiday).
    • Write simple connected texts (e.g. email messages, articles) on familiar topics (e.g. plans and arrangements, likes and dislikes, family, home environment, hobbies and interests, education, work and travel).
    • Describe past events and experiences, opinions, hopes and ambitions and give brief reasons for opinions and plans.
    • Communicate with reasonable accuracy, using a range of structures, tenses/time frames and vocabulary relevant to the given situation.
    • Use simple connectors (e.g. and, but, because, then) to link a series of shorter discrete elements into a connected sequence of points.

    Learning Objectives

    Select each item to expand content