Why don’t TASIS and TASIS England follow the IGCSE as closely as TASIS Portugal?
TASIS Portugal must abide by the Portuguese Ministry of Education’s requirements, which stipulates students must undergo formal assessments to graduate from 10th Grade. The two options available to TASIS Portugal are either the IGCSE or MYP programs.
TASIS England and TASIS have no such restrictions and can design their curriculums and offer a greater variety of choices. This said, they both offer the IGCSE and value its inclusion in their frameworks.
I don’t want my child to have the pressure of formal exams in 10th Grade. Can they opt out?
TASIS Portugal is very aware of the pressures such a thorough examinations process can have on senior school students. To that end, the school has designed a program where extracurricular activities and a love for learning remain nurtured. Consequently, exam practice and exam teaching will not be a fundamental component of lesson planning. Instead, we will offer a rich and diverse curriculum using the IGCSE framework.
Students cannot opt-out of the IGCSE examinations. However, there is scope to reduce the number taken. The minimum requirements include at least a Grade C in six IGCSE courses.
TASIS Portugal will do all we can to ensure students feel supported and confident in their abilities going into these examinations. We understand that a student’s results do not define them. However, we will build towards the May 2024 examinations, building their character, organization, and knowledge.
The IGCSEs don’t hold great significance for American colleges. Is there still the need to do them if college is our aim?
Absolutely. The knowledge and experiences gained, plus the successes and mistakes felt, will help build your child into a college-ready student. Furthermore, the IGCSEs will help students define the direction they wish to take for higher education. The IGCSEs are known by every established college and university globally, even if they are not required for entry. Having such a well-founded and defined curriculum on their record will undoubtedly do our students no harm in the application process for North America.
How will TASIS Portugal ensure my child’s curriculum does not become overly exam oriented?
High-quality instruction will be a significant factor throughout hiring, training, choosing materials, and lesson planning. While results matter, we focus on the connection between student outcomes, instruction, practice, and reflection.
Was the MYP an option over IGCSEs?
Given the clearly defined Core Knowledge and Singapore Math content in PK-Grade 8, we believe the IGCSE provides the best bridge towards graduation, with a rigorous and challenging preparatory curriculum.
What if my child underachieves in their IGCSEs? Will their options be limited, and place at school be at risk?
We at TASIS Portugal are fully aware that IGCSE results do not define a student. Children can struggle with the exam process for multiple reasons. We will thoroughly prepare students for the challenge. If a student does not meet expectations, students, parents, and teachers will discuss and review the situation. There are also options for examination re-writes. In any case, students who complete the TASIS Graduation Diploma will qualify for study at universities worldwide.
TASIS Portugal does not offer the IGCSE in PE. What sporting opportunities are there for my child?
TASIS Portugal chose not to offer the IGCSE in PE after close inspection of what it offers students. However, we strongly feel the various after-school activities, competitive sports options, and optional "fitness and health" sessions we provide ensure our students’ bodies and minds are being sufficiently developed.