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Making the switch: Is the Cambridge International curriculum right for your child?

So your child is enrolled in the CAPS curriculum and wants to make the switch to the Cambridge International curriculum, great! The next big question is what goes into making this curriculum switch?
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Is the Cambridge International curriculum right for your child?

So, your child is enrolled in the CAPS curriculum and wants to make the switch to the Cambridge International curriculum? Great! UCT Online High School is an accredited Cambridge International school — one of only 16 in the world that is offered online.

You already know that the partnership between the greatest university on the African continent and one of the best curriculums in the world can only mean great things for your child. The next big question is what goes into making this curriculum switch. 

Your options with UCT Online High School 

While the majority of South African learners are currently working towards their matric under the SA National Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS), UCT Online High School offers an additional curriculum choice; the Cambridge International Curriculum. 

The Cost of the Cambridge Curriculum 

We pride ourselves on being the most affordable, fully accredited online school in Africa to offer this prestigious curriculum, at only R3,300pm. This fee, in 2023, will include your child's required subject choices for their year group, access to their online learning material, Support Coaches, and an opportunity to join our Virtual Clubs! There are upfront payment discounts as well as sibling discounts — more details about these discounts can be found in our info pack.

What to know before you make the switch to Cambridge International 

Before you hop on board with us, there are a few things to consider when it comes to applying for the Cambridge International curriculum. Making the switch to Cambridge International will open up your child’s world and options and because this is an international curriculum, it will look very different from what you might know locally in terms of both content and pathways. The Cambridge Pathway is grouped in Lower Secondary, IGCSE (from 2023), AS - Levels and A-levels (from 2025). This means your child can get an advanced education that will prepare them for university studies. 

‍How do I know if the Cambridge International curriculum is right for my child?

Cambridge International is an academics-oriented curriculum that provides learners with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in an increasingly global work environment. With a focus on higher-order thinking, this curriculum, while challenging, helps develop critical thinking and delves deep into subjects. If your child has international ambitions and needs to be stretched a little more than their current school offers then this is the right curriculum for them.

Learners joining the Cambridge International curriculum will need to develop the following mindset to thrive:

  • Be confident in working with information and ideas – their own and those of others 
  • Be responsible for themselves, responsive to and respectful of others 
  • Be reflective and willing to learn 
  • Be innovative and equipped for new and future challenges 
  • Be engaged intellectually and socially
  • Be ready to make a difference in the world

What are the biggest differences between Cambridge International and CAPS? 

The CAPS curriculum is tailored specifically to the South African context and allows for entrance to local universities, technikons and colleges. Cambridge International allows the opportunity to explore many tertiary institutions in South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. There are more differences between the CAPS and Cambridge International curriculum that make each offering well suited for different individuals.

How do I know if my child will cope with online high school?

As with anything new, you never really know what you are capable of until you are in it. If your child is coping well with their current school, they can learn to cope with Cambridge International. Yes, there will be growing pains and stumbling blocks but children are able to adapt and adjust to new challenges. 

How do I make the switch to the Cambridge International curriculum? 

If your child is already on the CAPS curriculum and wants to make a switch to Cambridge International, it’s easy! A request needs to be made to the school’s Admissions Team and a decision will be made on whether or not a learner can move over to the Cambridge International curriculum.

UCT Online High School is enrolling learners into the Cambridge Curriculum from 2023

We’re taking our first cohort of learners in January 2023 and applications are now open for Lower Secondary (Year 8 and 9)

We’ll be accepting learners for Lower Secondary (Year 8 and 9) and the first year (Year 10) of Senior Secondary, the first step towards the world-renowned International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). This means that the Cambridge International curriculum at UCT Online High School will be starting with the equivalent of Grades 8, 9 and 10 in 2023 and will continue to AS-Levels and A-Levels in 2025.  

Can my child qualify to switch to Cambridge? 

Our Admissions Team will take you through the finer details when you apply, but in order to be eligible your child will have to:

  • Fall into an applicable age group for admission (we are currently accepting learners who are turning 12, up to learners who are 15 years old) 
  • Have passed their previous year of study 
  • Pass an admissions assessment 
  • Have their documents verified 
  • Be able to make valid subject selections based on current academic progress 

Is there only one admission period per year? 

Yes, we will only have a January intake!  

When are the school holidays and how does the Cambridge curriculum school calendar run? 

The Cambridge International curriculum works on a three-term system starting in January and concluding in December. Our Info Pack has a detailed calendar with all the holidays. 

How many hours per day should my child spend working with the Cambridge International curriculum?

Just like with regular school your child should be looking at creating a balanced day that is a good mix of academics, breaks, physical activity and pursuing hobbies. This means they should be engaged in academic work for the majority of the day. However, it is important to include time for a mid-morning break, a lunch break and a mid-afternoon break.   

In the beginning, it will take some time for your child to get used to the expectations — both how to work online and to get used to the academic demands of an International curriculum. This might mean putting in a bit of extra work as they adjust. Don’t worry though — your child will adjust and get into a rhythm.  

Can learners change from Cambridge International back to CAPS? 

It’s important to note that making the switch back to a local curriculum is not so easy. Learning paths begin to diverge once you’ve embarked down the route of an international curriculum. The further down the stream you go, the more difficult it is to turn around. 

Apply now!

Feeling inspired to unlock a more global future? Make the switch today, and you’ll receive an early bird discount on your placement fee!

If you’ve still got questions, or need some more guidance, please contact one of the UCT Online High School’s friendly Admissions Consultants on +27 21 140 1792 or email; they’ll be more than happy to assist!

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