Studying at our school

Academia International School provides an unusual level of flexibility. Where possible we allow students to excel in their strongest subjects and repeat subjects where they may not have met the minimum progression criteria. This means we tend to have mixed-age classes.

In grades 9 and 10 we follow the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Students take between 6 and 10 subjects. In order to progress to A Levels students must pass their IGCSEs with a minimum of a 5/9 or B. Students accessing our programme from other educational systems will need to take entrance assessments before they can enter into our 2-year A Level programme

Extracurriculars and curriculum layering

We supplement our academic programme with a range of exciting non-examined electives such as Art, Coding, Life Skills, Event Management, The Envoys, Student Council and Robotics. In addition, we have launched curriculum layering through the performing arts. In Basel, our history curriculum is now taught through regular weekly lessons which includes a dedicated drama class designed to supplement and deepen historical knowledge in a multi-sensory, creative and fun way.

Assessments, report cards and exams

We carry out regular formative and summative assessments in class. Student performance is then used to inform and adapt classroom instruction. We encourage all students to develop the ability to self- and peer-assess as part of our formative assessment strategy. Teachers also give verbal formative feedback in individual mini conferences.

In addition, teachers give 3 to 4 summative tests per semester and all students sit formal mock examinations in December. Our parent-teacher conferences in January are timed so that results and progress can be discussed with each subject teacher.

Students and parents receive a snapshot mid-semester report after the October holidays where performance, effort and attendance are communicated. Should there be any concerns or additional support required, action can then be taken early in the academic year.

End-of-semester report cards are issued in January and June. Students are awarded two sets of grades: one for academic attainment and the other for effort.

Outside of these regular reporting periods, if we notice anything of concern or something we are particularly impressed with, we will reach out to parents to let them know

Formal examinations (IGCSEs, A/S and A Levels) are held in our main May/June examination session. As we are an accredited examination centre (Cambridge Assessment International Education and Pearson Edexcel) this means our students benefit from sitting their formal exams in a familiar place.

IGCSE and International A Level grading system

IGCSEs are graded from 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest and 9 the top grade. 5 corresponds to sufficient.
International A Levels are graded from A* to F, with A* being the best grade. An exam is passed with a C or higher.

Subjects

The following subjects are offered in Basel and Zurich:

Year 1 and 2 (Grade 9–10, IGCSE)

  • English (as a first language)
  • English (as a second language)
  • French (as a foreign language)
  • Geography
  • German (as a foreign language)
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Year 3 and 4 (Grade 11–12, Advanced Level subjects)

  • Biology
  • Business/Economics
  • Chemistry
  • English (as a first language)
  • French (as a foreign language)
  • German (as a foreign language)
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

For a full list of subjects and electives offered, please consult our range of available subjects in Basel and Zurich.

SEN (Special Educational Needs)

We are equipped to offer a small number of places to students with SEN such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. We have a SEN register and regular inhouse school training as well as access to SEN specialist teachers. For an additional fee, our specialist tutors can work with students who require that service. Please note, we are not equipped to host students with severe needs or behavioural problems.

Entry and progression requirements

Please note that our system has some flexibility, which means as long as timetabling allows students can progress in one class and repeat another. We have a mixture of ages in each grade.

Year Entry requirements Progression requirements Comments
Year 9
  • English B1+ level (assessment)
  • Previous school report
  • 85% attendance rate
  • Respecting school values
We will review attendance every 6–8 weeks.
Year 10
  • English B2 level (assessment)
  • Individual subject assessments
  • Minimum B grade or grade 5 required for Advanced Level
  • 85% attendance rate
  • Respecting school values
Students unable to reach these grades will be counselled on the various options available to them.
Year 11
  • English B2 level (assessment)
  • Individual subject assessments
  • Minimum D grade required to continue to final year
  • 85% attendance rate
  • Respecting school values
Students unable to reach these grades will be counselled on the various options available to them.
Year 12 We only accept students entering into grade 12 if they have completed 11 with the same examination board at a school following the same curriculum.    
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«Mein Sohn hat seine Fächer und Levels selber gewählt und ist wieder mit Begeisterung dabei. So macht Schule der ganzen Familie Spass!»