HS 1 curriculum – IGCSE as a great introductory step to the IB programme

In Poland the state schools that have decided to adopt the IB programme often experience the problem of combining the 2-year IB course with the demands of the Polish system, in which high school education should last 3 years. The question is how to plan teaching in the first year of high school, commonly known as the “pre-IB” year.

We have found a reasonable solution!

In HS1 we work with British syllabuses preparing our students to IGCSE exams (to learn more about the qualifications: http://www.cie.org.uk/qualifications/academic/middlesec/igcse/overview). We encourage our students to choose subjects sensibly as it should make their start in the IB programme easier. On the basis of our long-term experience in teaching IGSCE, we can conclude that this curriculum indeed provides a great academic training before the IB DP.

In HS1 our students are obliged to choose at least six subjects from the groups presented below:

Language A1 /mother tongue/ Polish or English
Foreign languages German, French, Italian, Russian
Social studies Business Studies, ITGS, History, Psychology
Experimental sciences Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Studies
Mathematics Core or Extended
Arts Art and Design


HS1 students sit their IGCSE exams in the summer session (May and June) and their results are available in late August. Our school is an authorized examination centre of three major British exam boards – University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) and Pearson Edexcel.