Years 10–11 (ages 14–16) IGCSE

In Years 10 and 11, students work toward completing a learning programme based on the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). This qualification is the most popular international certificate worldwide for this age group and is administered by Cambridge Assessment International Education.

Students are required to choose at least one course in the five major subject areas: Languages; Humanities; Sciences; Mathematics; and Creative, Technical, and Vocational Studies. Students must take at least seven subjects, although they can take up to 12 subjects. Most students at YCIS will take nine IGCSE courses.

The breadth of the programme allows it to cater for different ability levels and student interests. IGCSE success can be achieved through a variety of ongoing assessments for coursework and oral communication, as well as final examinations.

YCIS students who undertake the IGCSE programme of learning are recognised internationally for their problem-solving abilities, investigative skills, and their capability to work both independently and co-operatively.

Year after year, YCIS Shanghai students have earned “Top in World” and “Top in China” IGCSE awards.

A large group of IGCSE students performing traditional chinese dance at YCIS Shanghai

Chinese Language and Culture Studies Programme

All IGCSE students at YCIS take one class period of Chinese language lessons daily, tailored to their ability. In these high school years, classes focus on high level vocabulary and topics, such as global issues. Our students also participate in a variety of Chinese cultural events throughout the year and are encouraged to engage deeply with the local Shanghai community.

Three close girl friends at YCIS Shanghai

Student Wellbeing

As our students enter Upper Secondary, it’s of great importance that they are building the character values and skill set necessary for success and independence in adulthood. Therefore, our IGCSE students develop and reflect on Learner Attributes such as responsibility, communication, balance, and confidence. As a school community we seek to help our students cultivate the academic, personal, social, character, and moral life skills they will need to be successful in all of their future pursuits.

A girl in YCIS Shanghai IGSCE programme learning woodwork

Holistic Education

The IGCSE programme, paired with the YCIS International Curriculum, offers engaging compulsory and elective courses for our students. Based on their interests and focus, students are able to choose from a broad selection of elective subjects, including Art & Design, Business Studies, Design & Technology, Drama, Economics, Geography, History, Computer Science, Music, and Physical Education Studies.

A group of YCIS IGCSE students on a trip in rural China

Trips and Excursions

IGCSE students have an abundance of community service opportunities and take educational and service trips within China. In Years 10-11, many of our students embark on a visit to one of our Seeds of Hope Schools – local Primary schools located in small, rural villages in regions throughout China which are supported by the YCIS charity programme – in order to complete service and volunteer projects in the classrooms.

For more information about the IGCSE programme at YCIS, please talk with our Admissions team.

For an overview of the IGCSE programme, visit

To learn more about our Years 12-13 (IBDP) programme for children aged 16-18, please click here.

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