The Secondary School recognizes that the highest aspiration of the educational process is to imbue the human mind with knowledge, tolerance and vision, and to stimulate a lasting desire to learn. Our programs are designed to ensure, as much as possible, that graduates are prepared to meet the admission requirements of the most competitive colleges and universities, to excel in such institutions, and to attain their personal and career goals.
All school programmes are designed to develop students’ academic and leadership abilities and their personal, social and civic awareness. Teachers, who are highly trained specialists–most have at least a Masters degree in their subjects–recognize and prioritize that individual needs must be met: they work hard at developing a close relationship with their students, one of the hallmarks of an Island Academy education.
Regional and International Examinations
The Secondary curriculum, for ages 11-12 to 16, prepares students for 2 eventual regional and global challenges. The regional challenge come in the form of Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC Exams) that students generally sit in grade 11. They are similar to the British GCSE. Most students sit between 7-9 CXCs. CXCs are predominantly 2 year courses and some subjects have a School Based Assessment (SBA) element to them. This can often mean 20-30% of the overall grade for the subject comes from class work that is assessed by the teacher and submitted to CXC for external moderation and validation.
The global challenge presents in the form of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). The IBDP is one of the fastest growing qualifications on the planet. For more information on the programme, please see the IB link under academics.
From grades 7-9 students study the following subjects: English, Maths, Spanish, IT, Science, Art, PE and History. The curriculum from grade 7 evolves with an increasingly focused attention given to both in-depth subject knowledge and considerations of research abilities, self-motivated learning techniques, and community service.
CXC Options in Grades 10 and 11
Most students at IA graduate with 8-9 CXCs. The CXC options at Island Academy are designed to prepare students for the rigors of the IBDP.
Compulsory CXC subjects required to receive the Island Academy High School Diploma are: English A (Language), English B (Literature), Maths, Spanish, IT.
In the Summer term of grade 9 students choose their CXC subject options that they will take in grade 10 and 11. Although options vary from year to year, there are generally 3 blocks offered with 2-3 subjects in each block. Generally students can choose 3 subjects from the following 6: Chemistry, Physics, Visual Arts, PE, Geography, Principle of Business and a bespoke International History course.
A student-centered approach is adopted that aims to go beyond compartmentalized pedagogy, to embrace a holistic attitude involving instructor and learner, emphasizing the interconnectedness of academic subjects. This horizontal linkage of subjects is central to the eventual approach defining the IBDP.
PSATs and SATs
Island Academy strongly encourages all students to take the PSAT in Grade 11 year and to repeat this practice test in anticipation of the SAT, which should be taken in the Grade 12 year.