Find out more about Cambridge-certified schools in China and what to expect working there
What Is a Cambridge School?
Cambridge School is a general term for schools accredited by CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education), University of Cambridge's international assessment department, or Cambridge International for short. Before 2017, it was also called CIE (Cambridge International Examinations). The Cambridge Examinations Committee, affiliated to Cambridge University’s Examinations and Evaluation Institute, is a direct department of Cambridge University. This also makes CAIE the largest international qualification certificate issuing agency under the world's leading universities. Besides CAIE, there is another academic awarding body which brings University of Oxford together became OxfordAQA, it occupies the largest market share, which is nearly half of the market in the UK; however, it did not enter into China until May 2015.
CAIE provides comprehensive education services of Cambridge courses, teaching and assessment for 5-19 years old. Among them, rich curriculum syllabus, multi-faceted teacher support, professional assessment, consistency and coordination of the three. This reflects the professionalism and advantages of Cambridge in education. The reason for the name change in 2017, therefore, was to reflect the work and philosophy of the organization more accurately, not just limited to examinations.
Facts and Figures
Cambridge Assessment International Education is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds.
Over 10,000 schools in more than 160 countries offer Cambridge programmes and qualifications.
Every year, nearly a million Cambridge learners prepare for their future with an education from Cambridge International.
What Are Cambridge Programmes?
The Cambridge Primary School curriculum designed by CAIE is aimed at 5 to 11 year olds and provides six years of primary education, aiming to cultivate young learners who are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and involved.
Cambridge Primary Schools develop skills in ten subjects including English, Mathematics and Science. Cambridge helps to schools provide a broad and balanced curriculum that suits their backgrounds, cultures and spirit.
Cambridge Lower Secondary
Cambridge Lower Secondary provides three-year junior high school education for students aged 11-14. Develop skills in ten subjects, including English, mathematics and science. The subjects build upon those of the primary school curriculum, while the content becomes more challenging.
Cambridge Upper Secondary
Cambridge Upper Secondary is suitable for students aged 14-16. It provides two ways for learners: Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Level.
IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education)
IGCSE is a two-year junior high school curriculum for students aged 14-16. It has laid a good foundation for the next stage of AS and A Level, or other advanced courses.
IGCSE provides more than 70 subjects, including 30 languages. The school can provide courses according to the students' needs in the school. Students are required to take 5-14 subjects. The core subjects are English, Mathematics and Science. Other subjects can be selected according to the interests of the students and their university aspirations.
Cambridge O Level
O Level stands for ‘Cambridge Ordinary Level.’ It is an internationally recognized qualification equivalent to Cambridge IGCSE and the British GCSE, providing learners with excellent preparation for Cambridge advanced courses and other advanced courses.
O Level courses emphasize a broad and balanced study of a wide range of subjects, and offer more than 40 subject choices, aiming to cultivate learners' skills in creative thinking, inquiry and problem solving. The assessment focuses on writing and reading and more restricted practical test options.
The advanced courses offered by Cambridge are mainly A-Level, as the Pre-U course was officially announced to be cancelled on November 8, 2019. The official document stated that only a few schools used it, which made the course unable to continue to operate.
Cambridge International A-Level
Cambridge International's AS & A Level is an advanced high school programme, helping thousands of young people successfully enter the world's top universities. It is for students aged 16-19. Its achievements are widely recognized around the world, and it can serve as a pass to enter Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy League University in the United States, as well as being recognized by more than 600 universities in the United States and all UK universities.
Cambridge International A-Level is typically a two-year programme, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A-Level.
Cambridge International AS and A-Level provides 55 courses. The subject groups are shown below.
Table1: Cambridge International AS & A Level subject groups
This flexibility means that the school can establish a personalized curriculum system where students can choose their own subject areas.
In addition, Cambridge Advance also provides AICSE Diploma and IPQ courses for students.
What does Cambridge International Education provide for Schools and Teachers?
Support for Schools
When a school joins Cambridge International, the organization will provide extensive support to ensure that they have all the tools they need to proceed. For example, CAIE provides free marketing support resources for schools, such as posters, presentations, logos, a template press release, photos and so on. It also delivers professional training and development for teachers, exam officers and leadership.
Training for Teachers
Cambridge International firmly believes that supporting the professional development of teachers also means improving the quality of learners. High-quality training and reflective practice are an important part of a teacher’s professional life.
CAIE provides teachers with many different training and professional development opportunities according to their experience and needs, divided into three categories: introductory training; extension training; and enrichment professional development. The key information is shown below.
Cambridge School Jobs
According to the recent job openings via TopTutorJob, IGCSE and A-level English literature, Social Studies(History, Humanity, Geography, Psychology and etc), Mathematics, General Science(Physics, Chemistry, Biology), Art, Music, PE, STEM/STEAM are some of the most common subjects for Cambridge Schools in China.
IGCSE and A-Level are the most well-known courses in the Chinese K-12 Education Market. Over 20 of Top Cambridge schools are hiring with TopTutorJob. TTJ summarised the general requirements and benefits for the teachers who are interested in jobs with Cambridge accredited schools.
Bachelor’s degree or above in a relevant major;
Relevant subject majors or teaching credentials is preferred;
Competitive salary commensurate with experience and overall qualifications(20,000RMB-30,000RMB)
Free, fully furnished on-campus dormitory or housing allowance
International airfare allowance
Work Permit sponsorship
Medical check and visa fees coverage
Comprehensive medical insurance
Paid national holidays
Free school placement for dependent children
Opportunities for professional development
Please note, different accredited Cambridge schools may have slightly different requirements and benefits.
How to Find a Cambridge School in the World/China?
Recognise a Cambridge School
CAIE provides certificates and wall plaques for registered Cambridge schools. This confirms their status as a Cambridge school. CAIE also provides Cambridge schools with a customer logo to reflect what kind of customer they are. They can use this logo in their communications, such as brochures, websites, advertisements, and posters.
Only organizations registered with CAIE can use customer logo. It investigates all reports of unauthorized or improper use of the CAIE logo. If you think a school or organization uses the logo without their permission, please contact them at [email protected].