Homeschooling with Cambridge

Cambridge Assessment International Education prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. CIE is part of the University of Cambridge.


Cambridge Primary: Grades R to 6
Cambridge Secondary 1/ Lower Secondary: Checkpoint – Grades 7, 8 and 9
Cambridge Secondary 2/ Upper Secondary: IGCSE – Grades 10 to 11
Cambridge Advanced: AS-Levels is Grade 12 and A-Levels is Grade 13

Cambridge Primary

(ages 5-11)

Typically for learners aged 5 to 11 years, it develops learner skills and understanding through the primary years in English as a first or second language, Mathematics, Science, Cambridge Global Perspectives and ICT.


Stage 1 is started in Grade 1 (in the UK this is at age 5; in South Africa at around 6). Cambridge Stage 1 English however does not include any Phonics. You might thus want to get extra Phonics workbooks whether it be Cambridge or Letterland or a South African publication like Simply Phonics published by Trumpeter. There are no recommended Readers either. You could use the Usborne Guided Readers (our favorite) or even Read With Biff, Chip & Kipper published by Oxford University Press. Again, it’s about personal preference – all these readers (and many others) are available from online book suppliers or your local Bargain Books.

For a child transitioning from CAPS it is often recommended to select English one level down (iow select Stage/Level 2 for a child in Grade 3). Stage/Level 3 Maths would generally be a good fit for a Grade 3 child that does not find Maths extremely challenging. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can select books according to your child’s strengths and weaknesses so as not to frustrate him/her. You move onto the next Level when the previous is mastered regardless of the time of year.

Various publishers offer texts for these subjects. Some are endorsed by CIE (see their website for a list) and others not. Some publishers offer a Teacher’s Resource, Learner Book and Activity Book (which, for Maths and Science, sometimes has the option of Challenge – more difficult – or Builder – for struggling learners). If finances are really tight you could get away with the Learners Book only, though the Teachers Guides in Maths really enhances the curriculum and the Activity Book provides extra practice.

Jot down the names of books you’re considering from the list on the CIE website and search for them on the curriculum suppliers’ websites listed below. You can also go directly to some Cambridge suppliers’ websites (e.g. Prestantia, Schoolsuppliers or Homeschoolbooks) just to browse what they offer. You don’t need to only use endorsed texts as external examinations are currently not available to homeschoolers for Primary (and even if they were, I would not use them). Find something that appeals to you & works for your family. The best way to do this is by either viewing extracts or samples of the texts online on the supplier’s website or alternatively at Amazon (UK) or even better still by paging through an existing homeschooling family’s books.

(Sourced from:  Adele Breedt from the Facebook Group: Cambridge Primary Homeschooling  gives very good advice on starting Cambridge for Primary Homeschooling.)

Cambridge Checkpoint

(ages 11-14)

Cambridge Lower Secondary is typically for learners aged 11 to 14 years, grade 7 to 9. It provides a flexible framework for developing skills and understanding in English as a first or second language, mathematics, science, Cambridge Global Perspectives and ICT Starters. Make sure you use Cambridge endorsed resources. For endorsed resources and lists of material see the Secondary Resource List

*Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint tests have been designed to assess learners at the end of Cambridge Lower Secondary.  They are available in English, English as a second language, mathematics and science, and give valuable feedback on learners’ strengths and weaknesses before they progress to the next stage of education. It is optional for homeschoolers to do the Checkpoint Tests, it is not compulsory. It can be very useful to make sure your child has mastered the content.

Cambridge IGCSE

(ages 14-16)

Cambridge Upper Secondary builds on the foundations of Cambridge Lower Secondary, although learners do not need to complete that stage before this one. Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. It is recognized by leading universities and employers worldwide, and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 30 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide.

Cambridge IGCSE was first examined in June 1988 (introduced for first teaching in September 1986). At the same time the GCSE was introduced in the UK. Cambridge IGCSE assessment takes place at the end of the course and can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessment. This broadens opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, particularly when their first language is not English. In many subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade. Cambridge IGCSE examination sessions occur twice a year, in June and November. Results are issued in August and January.

Find out more about Cambridge IGCSE subjects.

What is the difference between IGCSE Core and IGCSE Extended?

To take into account differing abilities, there is a choice between Core and Extended curriculum papers in some subjects. The Core curriculum is within the ability range of a large majority of students. It provides a full overview of the subject and is targeted at students expected to achieve grades C to G. The Extended curriculum has been designed for the more academically able. It is targeted at those expected to achieve grades A* to E.

Find out more about IGCSE Core and IGCSE Extended.

Cambridge AS & A-levels

(ages 16-19)

Thousands of learners worldwide gain places at leading universities every year with Cambridge International AS & A Levels. The syllabuses develop a deep understanding of subjects and independent thinking skills.

Cambridge offers a choice of 55 subjects and schools can offer them in almost any combination. This flexibility means schools can build an individualized curriculum, and learners can choose to specialize in a particular subject area or study a range of subjects.

Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A Level. Find out more about the different assessment options.

Cambridge International AS & A Level develops learners’ knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • In-depth subject content
  • Independent thinking
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Handling and evaluating different types of information source
  • Thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
  • Making judgements, recommendations and decisions
  • Presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
  • Working and communicating in English.

Find out more about the choice of 55 subjects for AS & A levels. Find teaching resources for Cambridge International AS & A Levels.

Cambridge Exams

Private candidates

If you don’t attend a Cambridge school, you can still enter our exams as a private candidate. 

First, you will need to find a Cambridge school in your country that accepts private candidates and register with them to take Cambridge exams. You are responsible for making your own arrangements with the school and must liaise directly with them – not with Cambridge International – if you have any exam-related queries, such as special arrangements.

Some syllabuses or options are not available to private candidates, and this is detailed in the specific syllabus under the ‘availability’ heading. The school name will not appear on certificates issued to private candidates. See directory for a registered Cambridge school or exam center in your area


Cambridge International Examinations: CIE is the Exam board and local examinations syndicate for Cambridge International. It is now known as Cambridge Assessment:

Universities South Africa’s Requirements:…/203545221-Admission-requirements-f…


British Council:

Past Papers (including Checkpoint):



Homeschooling in South Africa (5000+ members):

Homeschool Exchange South Africa (2nd hand educational material)

Cambridge International Examinations:

British Council:


Cambridge Tutoring:

Teach Cambridge at Home:

Tutor Support

There are a number of distance colleges who offer distance tuition, such as:

The British International Distance College


CL Education

Clonard Education

Theocentric Christian Education

Think Digital College

#Think Digital College

THINK Digital College is the first virtual school in South Africa providing both the CAPS and Cambridge curriculum. We provide the CAPS and Cambridge curriculum in an integrated, engaging and effective way. 

Courses and subjects currently offered:


English First Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
Chemistry and Physics
Business Studies

AS Levels (choose a minimum of 5 subjects)
English First Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
PPP (Personal Power Programme)

Grade 12 will be available from 2018

Information on the costs involved, see Products and Pricing


CambriLearn is an online education platform that prepares students for their Cambridge O-levels and AS/ S-levels. Our technology platform enables learning and learner support in the easiest possible way. The delivery of our learning is flexible and customized to suit the needs of each individual and his/ her career growth. Our platform includes active tutoring, continuous assessments and learner forums.

We have selected highly qualified and Cambridge experienced tutors to write the interactive and Cambridge content appropriate Study Guides. Our dynamic teaching methodologies leverage the right mix of content, interaction and media to enable students to achieve their full potential.

Our goal at CambriLearn is to make quality education accessible so that success is no longer exclusive.

Courses and subjects currently offered:


  • English Language (0500)
  • French (0520)
  • Math (0580)
  • History (0470)
  • Chemistry (0620)
  • Physics (0625)
  • Biology (0610)
  • Economics (0455)
  • Business Studies (0450)
  • Accounting (0452)


  • English language (9093)
  • Pure math paper 1 (9709)
  • Pure math paper2 (9709)
  • Mechanics paper 4 (9709)
  • Statistics Paper 6 (9709)
  • History (9389)
  • Chemistry (9701)
  • Physics (9702)
  • Biology (9700)
  • Economics (9708)

Information on the costs involved, see Fees and Payment options

Textbooks and study materials

The cost of textbooks and study materials is dependent on course registration and the exchange rate. Kindly note that textbooks and study materials are not included in the tuition fee.

#British International Distance College

British International Distance College

Subjects offered:

Foundation (Grades 7,8,9)

  • Afrikaans / French
  • Combined Sciences (Biology, Physics & Chemistry)
  • English
  • ICT Skills
  • Integrated Topics (Business Studies, Expressive Arts, Geography, Health Education, History)
  • Mathematics

IGCSE (Grades 10,11)

  • Accounting
  • Afrikaans 1st & 2nd Language
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Studies
  • English 1st & 2nd Language
  • English Literature
  • French Foreign Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Science (Physics & Chemistry)
  • Sociology

AS Level (Grade 12)

  • Accountancy
  • Afrikaans
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • English Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology

Schedule of Fees 2018

*Their fees include textbooks*

Study Pack – Your study pack for each subject will contain the following:
 A work programme with a weekly planner to keep you on track.
 Assignments set by the Tutors to assess your progress.
 Textbooks.
 Additional materials both digital and printed.
 Syllabus and 3 years of past Cambridge examination papers.

#Distance Learning Academy

Distance Learning Academy

Subjects offered

IGCSE (Grades 10 & 11)

  • English Language (1st Language)
  • Afrikaans (2nd Language)
  • French (2nd Language)
  • Mathematics
  • Accounting *
  • Business Studies *
  • Computer Studies *
  • Economics
  • Co-ordinated Science (a combination of Chemistry, Biology & Physics)
  • Geography
  • History

* To study these subjects at AS-Level, a student must take mathematics

AS Level Courses

  • English 1st Language
  • Mathematics
  • Accounting *
  • Business Studies *
  • Computing *
  • Economics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History

* Students wishing to take these subjects to qualify for a Matric certificate, must have passed IGCSE Maths with a grade C or higher.

International AS Level & Matric Exemption

To obtain a matric exemption a student must obtain the following:
(i) Pass English with a grade D or higher.
(ii) Have passed a second language at IGCSE Level.
(iii) Pass one of the sciences with a grade D or higher.
(iv) Pass the remaining two subjects with a grade D or higher.
(v) Have passed at least one IGCSE subject with a grade C or higher (excluding English).

What is included in our fees?

The fees cover all of the subject material including the study pack, work schedule, assignments, syllabus, past papers and unlimited support, via telephone Skype or email.