Moving from CBSE to IB/IGCSE

My son might be moving from CBSE to British curriculum when he starts his grade 11 after March 2017.  He is planning to take up Humanities after he completes his grade 10.
I am looking for information on the curriculum i.e. what to expect, how the curricula are laid out, exam patterns etc.  Also looking for information on Dubai schools which offer Humanities in Grade 11.
Please help. Thanks!

vinaylaks Default Asked on May 9, 2016 in Curriculum.
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1 Answer(s)

Hi Vinay,

Much of the information you are seeking in relation to the curricula and exam patterns can be found in our curriculum guide for the English National curriculum which you can find in the Guides section of the site.  Many of the schools provide detailed information about the courses on their websites in relation to Sixth Form courses – I would suggest that you check the websites for some of the schools that may be of interest to find out more.

Essentially, students study over a two year period and usually a maximum of 4 subjects.  Exams are taken at the end of year 12 (grade 11) and year 13 (grade 12).  The A level exam programme is changing currently and, in some cases, the full two year period is now being examined at the end of year 13 only. The schools that you contact will be able to provide you with greater detail, as there are a number of different exam boards and each is slightly different in its subject content and administration.

Humanities covers a wide range of subjects, but generally is expected to include subjects such as Archaeology, Geography, History, Languages & Linguistics, Law, Literature, Philosophy, History, Theory, and Criticism of the Arts and Social Sciences.   Not all schools will cover all these subjects, as inevitably courses offered are determined by demand and the availability of academic staff to support this.  You can find details of UK curriculum Secondary Schools on our site (under the Schools tab on the Home page) and also via the KHDA website –

Please bear in mind that the way in which the English National curriculum is taught is very different to the Indian Curricula.  It is far more research based and requires a great deal of independent learning.  There is very little rote learning or testing in the way that the Indian curriculum requires and so this is likely to be a very significant transition for your son.  Only if he is academically strong, is he likely to cope with the change of curriculum and study methods.  He will also need to continue in grade 11 in the Indian curriculum until the end of the first semester, as the UK curriculum starts in September and he cannot be admitted part way through the academic year.  He would need to then complete the full two year programme from September onwards.

My advice would be that you start to contact schools as soon as possible to find out more about the courses available, the application process and more particularly, the requirements of the schools for him to be offered a place.

WhichSchoolAdvisor Head of Department Answered on May 12, 2016.
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