HEAD OF SECONDARY SCHOOL WELCOME
Dear MISY Mandalay Family
Welcome to the 2022-2023 academic year at MISY Mandalay Secondary School!
We are delighted to welcome you on campus physically this year and look forward to working together with you to provide all students with exceptional educational experiences and support them in reaching their goals.
This year we are expanding the Secondary school to include the first Year 12 class, which will follow Cambridge AS (Advanced Subsidiary) programme and we wish our pioneer cohort all the best.
We are also happy to welcome many new additions to every year level of MISY Secondary and will do our best to support them through the transition and onward.
Although these are undoubtedly uncertain times, we are confident that as we work together as a team, we can successfully navigate the challenges that lie ahead and help our students achieve their goals.
Mr. Alex Metelev
Head of Secondary
Welcome to Key Stage 3 (KS3) Year 7 to Year 9 of the English National Curriculum
The first three years of the secondary school form Key Stage 3 (KS3) of the English National Curriculum. Here, students study a range of subjects in an academically challenging environment.
Year 7 students are usually 11 – 12 years old.
Year 8 students are usually 12 – 13 years old.
Year 9 students are usually 13 – 14 years old.
The school day is from 8:45 am to 3:30 pm.
Key Stage 3 (KS3) is an academically challenging programme that prepares students for the IGCSE courses in years 10 and 11. It is a rigorous programme that focuses on English and expanding knowledge and skills not only academically but socially, emotionally, and physically.
The KS3 programme at MISY consists of the following subjects:
- Physical Education (PE)
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
- Mandarin Chinese
Student Learning and Assessment
Throughout KS3 student learning is assessed in a variety of ways, which may include essays and other forms of written work, presentations, artistic representations of learning, research tasks, problem solving activities, among others. Student progress is measured with external progress tests that give teachers, students and parents clear information about students’ academic standing. Student potential is measured with a CAT 4 test at the beginning of Key Stage 3 in Year 7.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
For the large majority of our students English is not their first language. The process of acquiring English is supported by the English as an Additional Language (EAL) department. If students arrive at MISY with limited English proficiency they are required to take additional English classes as part of their school day. As English proficiency or these students improves they are taken off the EAL programme and integrated fully into the mainstream classes. Over time, all of our students acquire a necessary level of spoken and academic English to access the curriculum and communicate effectively.
Extra Curricular Activities
Secondary students can profit from many exciting extra-curricular activities and sports coaching, which students are encouraged to sign up for each term. All classes go on educational trips which are linked to the unit of study, such as Week Without Walls, and join in school wide celebrations such as:
- After school activities (ASA) programme
- International day
- Cultural days
- Art week
- Music programme and regular music events
Key Stage 4 (IGCSE)
In Year 10, when students begin Key Stage 4, a degree of choice is introduced to allow students to develop their individual interests and talents in greater depth. Even then the curriculum is designed to provide a broad and balanced range of courses and allow students access to a wide variety of learning and teaching styles. The curriculum is adapted by staff to ensure that it is relevant, stimulating and truly international.
These adaptations ensure that our students are suitably well qualified to enter universities around the world after completing their education at Myanmar International School Yangon at the end of Year 13.
Making the right choices
Few 14-year-olds know exactly what they want to do when they leave school, and the career aspirations that they now have may well change over the next few years. According to research, the average person should expect to change their career 3 or more times, and their employer or job many more times. It is important that students make choices now that will keep open as many career paths as possible. For this reason, students are strongly advised to take a broad and balanced selection of IGCSE subjects. We would encourage students to take humanities and a creative subject, for instance. Choosing three options will allow students to study 8 IGCSE subjects, which is more than sufficient to meet the demands of universities anywhere in the world. Support is available from a number of staff to help students and their parents to make the right choices.
Independence and initiative
Cambridge IGCSE curriculum places increasing emphasis on students becoming independent learners able to use their own initiative. There is less emphasis on what students know – after all, with modern technology, it is possible to find the answer to most questions using a mobile phone – than on the higher level skills of communicating knowledge, as well as understanding, analysing and evaluating evidence, and the sources of this evidence.
Beyond the classroom
Academic study provides the tools for students not only to further their education at university, but also an education for life, which requires far more than just book work. Whether in the Art Department, on the stage or on the playing field, our very talented secondary students happily balance a heavy academic load with a range of after school activities. The stimulus that these activities provide prepares students for the wider world and for university.
The IGCSE programme
IGCSE stands for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education. For many subjects, it is more suited to students in international schools where the courses and examinations will have an international flavour rather than being grounded in British situations and settings. MISY Mandalay is fully registered to offer Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) curriculum and assessments.
Programme of study at Key Stage 4 is made of core/compulsory and optional subjects
Students will either take IGCSE First language English or English as a Second Language (ESL).
Students may follow Core or Extended curriculum. Some students may also choose additional Maths as a subject in the optional IGCSE choices.
Students take up three separate sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with an option of dropping one of the Sciences in the Year 11.
All Students have two 45 minute lessons each week, but this is not taken as an IGCSE subject.
All students have two 45 minute lessons each week, but this is not taken as an IGCSE subject.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
All students have one 45 minute lesson each week, but this is not taken as an IGCSE subject.
Optional IGCSE Subjects
Students also choose up to three subjects and one reserve subject from the list below. Each option choice is allocated three lessons in the timetable. Students should read this booklet carefully and only make choices after careful consideration and discussion with their parents, teachers and other knowledgeable parties; this does not include external educational consultants, from which the school has great concerns about the quality of advice students will be given.
The final option blocks will be generated once all students have made their choices. If a particular subject is oversubscribed, it may be possible to add an additional class although this will not always be possible. However, some subjects which are offered may not run if numbers are not sufficient.
- Business Studies
- Foreign Language Mandarin
- Computer Science
- Global Perspectives
- Additional Mathematics
Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level)
Motivation and management
As students enter the Sixth Form programme, they will be immediately aware of the expectations placed on them to acquire and develop the motivation and skills required to learn independently. Students will be given regular guidance and support to manage both their study and enrichment programmes in an effective way and they will work closely with their tutor who will monitor their academic progress and pastoral well being.
After Sixth Form
A key role of the Sixth Form team is to prepare students successfully for the transition to university and to help equip them for the competitive global environment thereafter. Students will have access to a wide range of careers and higher education resources and will be supported in the application process by a highly experienced team of staff who have specialist knowledge of the UK, USA and other university systems. Representatives from many of the world’s leading universities visit the school each year to provide an insight into their campus and courses and how to process high quality applications.
Universities and global employers are increasingly focusing on the extensive skill base and leadership qualities that applicants illustrate. At MISY there are opportunities to become involved in a wide range of enrichment activities both inside and outside of school and this will allow students to demonstrate clear leadership skills. Our Sixth Formers are by definition, school leaders and are active role models for our younger students throughout the school. Representatives of the Sixth Form regularly meet with the School’s Senior Leadership Team in order to represent 'The Student Voice’ and thus help to shape the development of the school and maximise the educational experience for all students; defining what makes MISY Mandalay so special.
There is a breadth of opportunities for all students to develop their leadership and innovation qualities and in addition, we look to our Sixth Form students to give back to the community and become involved in the School’s many charitable activities and varied community engagement projects.
Above all, the Sixth Form provides an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment that prepares students to meet the requirements and demands of both studying and competing at the very highest level on the world stage.
What are AS and A-Levels?
AS and A Levels are international qualifications taken when students are normally aged 16-18 before they go to university. AS stands for Advanced Subsidiary. An AS-Level is a qualification normally obtained after a one-year course. It constitutes the first half of an A Level course but is a qualification in its own right.
A Level stands for Advanced Level. An A Level is a qualification normally obtained after two years of study. Modules studied in the second year of A Level study are referred to as A2 modules. Normally three good grades at A Level are required for university, although four A Levels will increase the likelihood of a student gaining entry to one of the world’s top universities or a course for which there is a high demand.
Are AS and A-Levels suitable for me?
A Levels are a “gold standard” qualification, recognised around the world and currency for entry into any major universities. You will need to study very hard for two years. A Level courses are best suited to students with an academic focus and/or who have a strong work ethic.
What will I need to start the course?
You will normally need to have passed, with a grade C or higher, in at least 5 subjects at IGCSE. This would include C grades or higher in the subjects a student wishes to take at A Level. In some cases it is possible to begin an A Level course with no previous experience, although discussion with the subject teacher and the Head of Secondary would need to take place before this option could be confirmed.
How many A Levels should I take?
At MISY we would normally expect students to take four subjects and continue three or four to A Level standard. However, we do allow students to begin with three subjects in Year 12 and this can be reduced to two subjects in Year 13. At the beginning of Year 13, students have conversations with their Head of Secondary School to discuss whether releasing a subject is in their best interests.
How much time is devoted to each subject?
Each subject receives 7 periods, each of 45 minutes, of curriculum time within a 5-day cycle. You will also be expected to spend considerable time outside of lessons on set homework and private study.
Which subjects are available at MISY?
- English Language
- Art and Design