The Senior Section is where all the hard work that has been undertaken earlier in a student's educational journey comes to fruition, with the attainment of excellent grades in the UK-based IGCSE and A Level examinations.
Success in these examinations will enable students to enter top universities in Britain, America, Australia, India, Singapore or elsewhere in the world.
Throughout a child's time in the Senior Section, parents are kept fully appraised of their academic progress and potential. There are both mid-term and end of term reports, regular parent/teacher meetings and direct individual contact between the school and parents. CIS aims to facilitate open communication in order to fully support student achievement.
CIS has a strong culture of student support, with teachers frequently working with small groups, or individual students outside of timetabled lessons. This is facilitated by generous staffing where the school takes pride in a staff to student ratio of approximately 1:9. The school also has a strong pastoral system, with each student receiving support, both academic and personal, from their class teacher during daily tutoring sessions.
The Senior Section consists of two parts, covering Intermediate (Years 7-11) and Sixth Form (Years 12/13).
The five years which make up this part of CIS cover the vital period in every student's academic and social development, culminating in their IGCSE examinations. As children grow older, they need to take more responsibility for their own learning, time management and self-discipline. Consequently, from the start of Year 7, students are actively encouraged to begin to work more independently and resourcefully so that they are able to acquire these essential life-skills. However, teachers are mindful that this process requires guidance and thus take an active role in supporting and monitoring students throughout this journey.
Students who require additional English language support also benefit from the school's Supportive Literacy programme handled by a specialized branch of the English Department, which creates specific and individualised programmes for students with literacy needs.
In Years 10 and 11, students embark on a two-year course leading to IGCSE examinations which are taken at the end of Year 11. All students must continue with English and Mathematics throughout this time. In addition, seven subjects are chosen from the wide selection available, which include the Arts, Commerce, Humanities, Modern Languages and the Sciences.
Towards the end of Year 11, all students receive a comprehensive induction into the Sixth Form and also take part in a programme of work experience outside the school. This encourages them to begin thinking seriously about future career paths and possible degree courses.
The intermediate years see such rapid development and change in boys and girls, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. It is therefore vital at this time that they are educated in an atmosphere which is structured and secure, while also being stimulating and challenging.
In Year 12, all students study four subjects for AS Level. They then continue with either three or four subjects in Year 13 for the final A2 Level examination.
Examination results have been consistently outstanding, with many students achieving three or more A or A* grades every year. In addition to the wide range of possible A Level subjects available for study, there is a valuable Enrichment Programme incorporated into the CIS Sixth Form curriculum, which broadens intellectual horizons and develops critical thinking skills. This enables our students to enhance the breadth of their skills as is necessary for admission to the most prestigious overseas universities.
CIS and its worldwide university links
The school also provides assistance, training and preparation for a variety of other examinations in the Sixth Form, depending on what students wish to study at university. These include the BMAT and UKCAT (for those wishing to study Medicine or Dentistry in the UK), LNAT (for Law in the UK) and SAT 1 and 2, (for all those who wish to go to university in the USA or Canada). The IELTS course is also offered to those who require this English language qualification for university admission and this is taught by experienced staff.
The school offers comprehensive university and career guidance to all students. This begins formally in Year 12, with initial advice and orientation, and continues throughout the application process. Interview training is also arranged and conducted for all those called for interviews (such as applicants to Oxford, Cambridge and UK medical schools).
There are three specialists appointed with specific responsibility for UK universities / UCAS, US and Canadian college counselling, and Australian / Asian universities coordination. All three specialists work closely with the Principal, who oversees the entire process. Significantly, all students continue to receive help and guidance where necessary after leaving CIS, whether it is with further applications or with the clearing process.
We are extremely fortunate that all our university applications are supervised and supported by the school's former Principal, Mr. David Sanders who is now the Director of University Admissions and Tertiary Education. Mr. Sanders is based between Colombo and the UK, allowing him to stay fully abreast of emerging trends in higher education. Students and parents have access to his advice and guidance at any time via skype and also have opportunities to meet him during his visits to CIS.
Heads of Department and Sixth Form subject teachers are also more than happy to offer advice and guidance to students and parents, so that they can make well informed decisions on which university or course to choose for further study.
CIS is justifiably proud of its teaching faculty and boasts a large number of highly qualified, experienced and competent staff, with a proven track record of facilitating academic excellence.
The overall ambition of the Sixth Form is to encourage students to aim high, both in their studies and in their lives, thereby achieving what is set out in our Mission Statement. By the time they leave the school, students will have become confident, disciplined, resourceful and independent learners, fully prepared to make the very most of their lives at university and beyond.