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School Curricula Guides


The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academically rigorous, internationally recognised qualification, generally taken in a number of subjects by pupils in secondary education in the United Kingdom

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academically rigorous, internationally recognised qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over two years (three years in certain schools).

The GCSE and its international counterpart the IGCSE form the basis of entry requirements into post 16, '6th form' study - to A' Level or IB Diploma studies.

Recently the GCSE exam has been in a period of flux with some quite radical changes, notably a move from a "modular approach" to a "linear one". In a modular approach a course is split into different units, or modules, with an exam at the end of each unit. In the new linear system, exams are taken at the end of a two year period - much like the older O' Level exams.

In the exams there are fewer ‘bite-sized’ questions and more essay-style questions.

There are fewer course options in the new Science GCSEs: Most students will either take the new Combined Science course (worth two GCSEs) or three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Finally coursework and controlled assessment will disappear from most subjects, apart from practical ones such as art, dance and drama.

All new GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths, were launched in September 2015, with the first qualifications due to be awarded in August 2017. These subjects will be graded between 1-9, with 9 being the highest grade awarded.

It is hoped that this new grading will introduce greater differentiation between high performing students and will also mark out the new GCSEs from their older counterparts.

Schools in the UAE do both GCSEs and its International counterpart, the IGCSE.

In the UAE, IGCSE is used predominantly for languages and humanities.

However curriculum changes are making some schools - in both the UK and the UAE - reconsider the international qualification.

In the UK that is because IGCSEs will no longer be considered or accepted for school league tables.

In the UAE some schools, notably those with a large UK student population, have expressed concerns about the ability to transfer back to the UK given the increasing divergence between the two qualifications.

More on the changes to the GCSE exams may be found here



54 UAE Schools offering GCSE

School name Emirate Community
Abu Dhabi International School Mohammed Bin Zayed City
Ajman Academy Muwaihat
Al Mamoura Academy Abu Dhabi Al Nahyan
Al Najah Private School Mohammed Bin Zayed City
Al Worood Academy Private School Dubai Dubai Investments Park
Al Yasmina School Al Raha Gardens
Brighton College Abu Dhabi Bloom Gardens & Khalifa City
Brighton College Al Ain Gafat Al Nayyar
Brighton College Dubai Al Barsha South
British International School Abu Dhabi Shakhbout City
British School in Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi Al Khubairat
Cambridge International School Dubai Garhoud
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island
Deira International School Festival City
Diyafah International School MBZ Mohammed Bin Zayed City
Dover Court Queenstown
Dubai British School Emirates Hills
Dubai College Al Sufouh
Dubai English Speaking College Dubai Academic City
Dubai Gem Nursery Al Wasl
Dubai Scholars Private School Al Qusais
Emirates International School Jumeirah Umm Suqeim
English College Dubai Umm Suqeim
English Language Private School Oud Metha
Fujairah Private Academy Fujairah
GEMS Al Barsha National School Al Barsha
GEMS Cambridge International School Abu Dhabi Baniyas East
GEMS FirstPoint School The Villa
GEMS Metropole Motor City
GEMS Wellington Academy Al Khail Al Khail
GEMS Wellington Academy, Dubai Silicon Oasis Dubai Silicon Oasis
GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai Al Sufouh
Global English School Manaseer
Grammar School Dubai Garhoud
Horizon International School Umm Sheif
International Community School Mushrif Al Mushrif
Islamia English School Al Dhafrah
Jumeirah College Jumeirah
Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches Arabian Ranches
Kent College Dubai Nad al Sheba
Kings' School Al Barsha Al Barsha
Nord Anglia International School Dubai Al Barsha
Pristine Private School Al Nahda
Providence English Private School Al Gharayen
Raffles World Academy Umm Suqeim
Rosary School, Muweilah, Sharjah Muweilah
School of Research Science Al Qusais
Sharjah English School University City
Sheffield Private School Al Nahda
St. Mary's Catholic High School Muhaisnah Muhaisna 1
St. Mary's Catholic High School Oud Metha
The International School of Creative Science, Muwaileh Muweileh
The Westminster School Dubai Al Qusais
United World College of South East Asia Queenstown