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CAPS to Cambridge | How to make the switch

Can my child switch from CAPS to Cambridge? We take a look at the steps to change school curriculums.
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Cambridge learners are known for their deep subject matter insights, critical thinking skills and passion for learning.

With its myriad benefits, you may be considering making the switch over to the Cambridge International curriculum for your child. Luckily for you, it’s a relatively simple process, but there are a few things you’ll need to know going in. 

We’ll summarise the Cambridge Pathway essentials, and the various entry points from CAPS schooling to Cambridge.

What is the Cambridge Pathway?

In short, the Cambridge Pathway is the learning journey through the Cambridge International curriculum. Your child can follow the Cambridge curriculum throughout their schooling, from ages 5 to 19. But this isn’t a requirement. 

While each stage of the Cambridge Pathway does build on each other – and looks to increase learner confidence, responsibility and engagement – there are numerous points where it’s possible to switch over from another curriculum, such as CAPS. 

The Cambridge Pathway is made up of four stages: 

  1. Cambridge Primary (Age 5+)
  2. Cambridge Lower Secondary (Age 11+)
  3. Cambridge Upper Secondary (Age 14+)
  4. Cambridge Advanced (Age 16+).

Can my child switch to Cambridge?

To qualify for Cambridge, your child must demonstrate that they’re able to manage with the curriculum. They also need to be in the right age bracket (either 14 turning 15, or 15 turning 16) for the programmes we run and qualify for the subjects we offer. 

For example, the only additional South African language currently available at our school is Afrikaans. That’s because Afrikaans, or another approved second language, is a requirement for matric exemption in South Africa. To take Afrikaans at the Cambridge Upper Secondary level at UCT Online High School, your child must have passed Grade 9 Afrikaans. 

Steps to switch to Cambridge

Our team will work with you and administer an admissions assessment to check if your child is ready to switch over to Cambridge. You’ll also need to provide us with various certified documents, and your child’s academic record. 

The first entry point on offer by UCT Online High School is at the Cambridge Upper Secondary level, where we offer the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). To begin their IGCSE, your child must have passed Grade 9 in the CAPS curriculum. The local equivalent to IGCSE years 1 and 2 are Grades 10 and 11. 

If your child has already progressed past Grade 11, they can jump over to Cambridge for their 12th year of study with one of two Cambridge Advanced programmes. 

At this stage, they can kick off their Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level, which is considered equivalent to Grade 12, or opt to do their full Advanced (A) Level. And if they’re looking to continue their tertiary studies locally, they’ll need to make sure they meet South Africa’s matric exemption requirements. 

  • AS Level: The AS Level is a school-leaving qualification in South Africa, and all your child needs to apply for tertiary studies locally (provided they meet the subject requirements for a South African matric exemption). The AS Level at UCT Online High School takes 18 months to complete. 
  • A Level: Your child doesn’t have to complete the full A Level qualification in South Africa. However, the qualification does lead to deeper learnings and skills development that’s highly beneficial at a tertiary level. It’s also the minimum requirement for entry to an international university for a Bachelor’s degree in certain countries . 

As with AS Level, they will need to meet certain subject requirements if they want a South African matric exemption.

Can my child transition from Cambridge back to CAPS? 

While it’s easy enough to transition from CAPS to Cambridge, you shouldn’t take this decision lightly. 

It’s far less simple to return to CAPS after starting a Cambridge journey. Between the diverse subjects on offer and the differences in learning material and learning approaches, they will have a difficult time transitioning back to CAPS. So, make sure you’ve taken your time to think through the change.

To learn more about the Cambridge requirements for UCT Online High School, you can reach out to one of our friendly Admissions Consultants, here.

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