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.
South Africa is Cambridge Administrative Zone 3: You are in administrative ZONE 3 and so please ensure that the Timetable and the Cambridge Guide to Making Entries booklet you receive have ZONE 3 clearly marked and are colour coded GREEN. See Cambridge Exam for details.
Cambridge Primary: Grades R to 6 (Key stage 1 = gr.1-2; Key stage 2 = gr.3-6)
Cambridge Secondary 1/ Lower Secondary: Checkpoint – Grades 7, 8 and 9 (Key stage 3)
Cambridge Secondary 2/ Upper Secondary: IGCSE – Grades 10 to 11 (Key stage 4)
Cambridge Advanced: AS-Levels is Grade 12 and A-Levels is Grade 13 (Key stage 5 / College / Sixth form)
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.
WHERE TO START:
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.
Past Papers (including Checkpoint):
SOME TEXT BOOK SUPPLIERS:
OTHER HELPFUL FACEBOOK GROUPS & PAGES:
Facebook Group: Homeschooling in South Africa (5000+ members):
Facebook Group: Homeschool Exchange South Africa (2nd hand educational material)
Facebook Group: Cambridge International Examinations
Facebook Group: British Council
Facebook Group: CIE@homeSA
Facebook Group: Cambridge Tutoring
Teach Cambridge at Home: https://homeschoolbooks.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Teach-Cambridge-at-Home.pdf
Facebook Group: Cambridge SA Homeschool Support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/358203488251169/
Facebook Group: Cambridge Homeschooling Community in South Africa: https://www.facebook.com/Cambridgehomeschoolcommunity/
Facebook Group: SA Cambridge Homeschool Books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1264738453605280/
Facebook Group: Cambridge Primary Support for SA Homeschooling Families: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CambridgePrimaryHomeschooling/
There are a number of Distance Colleges / Online Schools / Virtual Schools that offer distance education and tuition, such as:
The British International Distance College
Theocentric Christian Education
ART & DESIGN
As a private candidate / homeschooler it is impossible to take Art & Design as a subject and to write the Cambridge exams at a CIE exam center. However, there is a different route available: OCAD Arts is an UK online Cambridge school that offers Art & Design as an IGCSE and A levels subjects. They also offer Art & Design Animation. You write the exams through different exam board and it is a Cambridge IGCSE or A levels equivalent. It is not currently recognized by USAf and the South African Matriculation Board, although it is widely accepted in the UK for university entrance.
The courses are OFQUAL regulated, see https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofqual – The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and, until May 2016, vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Colloquially and publicly, Ofqual is often referred to as the exam “watchdog”.
See https://www.artcoursework.com/ for courses available through OCAD Arts.