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Secondary School

Secondary Curriculum

Students join us at Traill International School at different ages, from a variety of educational and cultural backgrounds and with varied levels of English Language skills and exposure. They have different levels of ability and may leave the school to return to national education systems or to attend international schools, colleges and universities elsewhere in the world. Our aim therefore, is to provide a curriculum sufficiently flexible to meet a wide range of demands, and rigorous enough to meet the challenge of any national system, whilst catering for a wide range of abilities.  

The curriculum is a modified version of the English National Curriculum leading into a two year programme where students prepare for University of Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examinations at the end of Year 11. This is followed by a further two years leading to the Cambridge Advanced Certificate in Education at the end of Year 13.


For further information regarding IGCSE curriculum please click or tap the following link - Cambridge IGCSE curriculum.


We intend that every learner, regardless of age and gender, aptitude and ability, cultural or religious background, will have access to a rigorous curriculum which provides breadth through a range of learning experiences.  In addition to that, balance that allows for the adequate development of each area of learning relevance, by placing the learning in contexts which allow students to develop not only knowledge but also understanding.  We encourage progression and continuity in the acquiring of knowledge and skills, and the development of conceptual understanding. Reinforcement and extension of these qualities is important as students move between units of work and stages of the education system. Through our development planning and schemes of work, we define success criteria for curriculum delivery. We review our curriculum annually with a thorough and coherent assessment. The assessment policy is co-ordinated to follow seamlessly between primary and secondary phases. Regular assessment of student work informs teacher planning and aids differentiated approaches to learning.

KEY STAGE 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

In Years 7, 8 & 9 students are taught in mixed ability groups by specialist teachers. They follow a broad and balanced curriculum and study a range of subjects:

  • English Language and Literature  

  • Thai Language  Mathematics  

  • Science  

  • Information and Communication Technology  

  • History  

  • Geography  

  • Music  

  • Drama  

  • Art and Design  

  • French  

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin  

  • Physical Education  

  • Personal Health and Social Education 

The structure, content and teaching principles underlying our curriculum for Years 7-9 are ideal preparation for the IGCSE, AS and A Level courses followed by students in Years 10 to 13. Further information about subjects can be obtained in our Key Stage 3 Curriculum booklet. Information about topics covered during the year is issued in a Yearly Overview at the start of the year, to parents, via letter.

Student performances in internal End of Year 9 tests, combined with ongoing teacher assessment, are used to produce an end of Key Stage 3 grade. This information is used to decide settings for English, where three groups are available – First Language English with English Literature or First Language English, English as a Second Language (Extended Tier), English as a Second Language (Core Tier) – and Mathematics, into Extended or Core tiers. This information is also informative in helping students to choose the option subjects that will enable them to be successful at IGCSE.

KEY STAGE 4 - IGCSE (Years 10 & 11)


IGCSE is a two-year programme taken by all students in Years 10 & 11. IGCSE qualifications are recognised throughout the world and provide access to a range of higher level courses, including Advanced Level, International Baccalaureate and many vocational programmes.  Assessment is by a combination of examination and coursework, the amount varying from subject to subject.


Subjects are divided into core (compulsory) and options.


Core subjects:

  • First Language English, Japanese or Thai

  • Second Language English, Thai, French or Mandarin

  • Mathematics

  • Physical Education

  • Personal, Social and Health Education


Core Physical Education and PHSE are not examination subjects.

In addition to the mandatory core subjects, students choose six other subjects, at the end of Year 9, from the following options:

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physics

  • Geography

  • History

  • Business Studies

  • Economics

  • Art and Design

  • Graphic Communication

  • Music

  • Drama

  • Physical Education

  • Computer Science

  • Information Technology

  • English Literature can be taken as an additional option as part of the First Language and Literature class

  • French, Japanese, Mandarin can also be offered as options if there is sufficient demand.


Full details of course content is given in the Options Booklet which is distributed to students in Term 2 of Year 9.

Students will sit for 9 or 10 IGCSEs at the end of Year 11. It is not advised for students to sit less than this number unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Also, it is not possible to sit IGCSEs before Year 11 at Traill.  It is, in fact, strongly discouraged for a student to sit an IGCSE outside of school before this time, as the result achieved is invariably lower than that which would be achieved if sat at the correct time.


Planning for a successful future is an important part of education and we therefore strive to provide the best guidance for our students here at Traill International School.


The school offers a three-pronged approach to career guidance: Career Options Extra-Curricular Activity Club, Guest Speakers and Internships.  Students are welcome to discuss university and career options with our Head of Sixth Form, either by approaching them informally or by making an appointment at the Library.


Career Options Extra-Curricular Activity Club: At Traill we run a weekly Career Options Extra-curricular Activity Club for students of Years 11, 12 and 13.  This encourages students to get involved in various activities to discover the opportunities available to them and discuss what is required for them to achieve their ambitions. Students are introduced to professional websites to browse useful resources and interact with professionals from a variety of fields. Many sessions focus on developing employability skills, such as teamwork, time management, open-mindedness and adaptability. For older students there are many practice interview sessions and workshops for fine-tuning their Curriculum Vitae. Students may also speak with our careers team one-to-one for more personal career advice.

Guest Speakers: Professionals and experts from a breadth of professional backgrounds are invited to the school to provide students with the opportunity to gain insight into a particular field and develop invaluable contacts. Guest speakers have included engineers, architects, CEOs, educationists, social enterprise entrepreneurs and development managers from the United Nations. We also have regular guest speakers from both International and Thai universities.


Internships: We organise internships for high achieving students. These experiences are invaluable in strengthening their CVs and university applications.


During the Sixth Form years, the focus is on planning ahead for entry to higher education and making a successful application. Students have the opportunity to attend bespoke presentations and workshops from universities from key destination countries, such as UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong and Singapore. They also have the opportunity to attend internal workshops on subject choices, application processes and personal statement writing.

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