Secondary Curriculum - Key Stage 3 & IGCSE

Secondary education takes place at The Thinking Words Academy - British Academy Private School Marrakech.
We aim to provide a broad educational experience across the key stage that prepares pupils for higher level study. The focus is on skills development, to enable pupils to develop their understanding of higher level concepts and increased content at a later stage in their education. Ensuring pupils have the literacy and numeracy skills to access IGCSEs is fundamental to their first years in the academy.

Key Stage 3 – Years 7-9 | Ages 11-13

The curriculum at KS3 is designed to prepare pupils for further study in all the key areas at KS4 and beyond.

T.W.A – KS3 compulsory national curriculum subjects are:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Science
  • Maths
  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Physical Education

In year 7 geography, history and religious studies are taught as an integrated humanities programme to support our literacy provision. In years 8 and 9 these humanities subjects are taught separately to prepare pupils for the start of their GCSEs.

A modern foreign language (French) is taught in years 7 and 8 and some pupils are given the opportunity to learn another language (Spanish) in year 9 which allows them a choice of 2 language options at KS4. In years 8 and 9 some pupils are withdrawn from their language lessons to develop their literacy skills.

In year 7 all pupils follow a ‘Mindset’ programme to develop their resilience in learning, which is continued in years 8 and 9 with extended project based work to develop their independent learning skills.

In Year 7 pupils with lower reading levels will also have up to 2 additional literacy lessons, dependent on individual need. To accommodate this the number of Humanities lessons are reduced. Pupils with lower numeracy levels will have up to 2 additional numeracy lessons, dependent on individual need. To accommodate this the number of French lessons are reduced.

IGCSE – Years 10-11 | Ages 14-16

Students of The Thinking Words Academy – British Academy Private School, in Key Stage 4, enter the last stage in compulsory education  (Years 10 and Year 11)  and, over these two years, are preparing for the examinations of the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Subjects are now studied in more depth. Some of them are compulsory and decisions must be made as to which optional subjects to take.

In Year 10, pupils begin the two-year Oxford IGCSEs course, during which they follow a number of compulsory subjects, including French and Spanish, as well as their chosen optional subjects.

Pupils generally sit their Oxford IGCSEs examinations at the end of Stage 11.

We believe that both practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge are equally important phases of learning. Throughout the Secondary department our teaching team combines both experiences to allow pupils to develop their minds and to learn to convert theoretical learning into practical performance.

In Years 10 and 11, students at TWA will work towards obtaining IGCSE qualifications offered by the Edexcel examination board. The two-year IGCSE programme is academically rigorous, and recognised to be amongst the best in the world for this age range of students.

Many of the subjects will have specific international elements and content, developed by specialists to make the subject matter relevant to students worldwide.

Compulsory Subjects

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Single/Double Award Science

Optional Subjects

  • Business Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • French
  • Spanish

Pupils may choose any of these optional subjects


External examinations are taken at the end of Year 11 (16 years). The Thinking Words Academy – British Private School of Marrakech has links with different EDEXCEL authorized test centres in different countries.

The school requires students to gain 5 or more A*-C grades or 9-4 grades (depending on subject choice) to enter Year 12.

In order to successfully complete Year 11 and meet the requirements needed for validation of the International Certificate of Secondary Education (ESO), students must:

  • Pass a minimum of 4 subjects of (I)GCSE with the qualifications between A* and C (or 9-4)