Students in the UK start their initial preparation for GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) at the age of 13 and for International students at Taunton School, there are 2 pathways available:
1. Students with lower levels of English (CEFR ≤ B1; IELTS < 5.0) complete Year 9 at the International Middle School (TSIMS) where they join our Pre-GCSE Programme, comprising intensive English coaching as well as studying a broad range of other academic subjects, including Maths, Science, Geography, History, Music, ICT, Art and Games/PE.
Without the necessary English skills, studying at a top UK independent school can be extremely daunting for any international student. This is why at TSIMS, we employ specialist teachers to deliver a varied curriculum in small class sizes (average 8 students/class) with subject-specific vocabulary development at the heart of what we do.
Throughout their time at TSIMS, our Year 9 students integrate with the Senior School students for Games, clubs, activities and weekend trips, so that when they transfer to the Senior School (usually after one academic year) it is much easier to settle as they already have many friends and they are familiar with their surroundings.
2. Students with higher levels of English (CEFR ≥ B1; IELTS ≥ 5.0) will enter directly into the Senior School, where they will learn alongside the British students (an average of 14 students/class) and study a broad curriculum in preparation for the start of their GCSE course in Year 10.
The Year 9 curriculum covers the core subjects of Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, Geography, History, Physics, Religious Studies, Computing and ICT, Maths, PSHEE and PE. One modern foreign language from German, French or Spanish must also be studied.
Pupils in Year 9 also choose one subject from each of the additional two study blocks, which include EAL, Extra Maths/English, a second foreign language, Design Technology, Drama, Latin, Classical Civilisation and Music.
For further support and advice, please contact our Admissions Team, who will be happy to help you with any questions you might have or to take you through the application process.