Years 9 - 11 (IGCSE)

Why a Learning Community? The YCIS Secondary IGCSE programme in Beijing is re-imagining schooling in order to better provide for the students of the connected generation so each is even better equipped for the demands of study and work that awaits them.

Several students working on a project on their laptop

Our understanding about how learning can take place has changed and moved away from the Victorian industrial era where teacher talk and facts to remember dominated the learning landscape. We are creating learning communities that increase student belonging, creating time and space for student-directed learning, refining assessment practices and allowing more opportunities for student from different year levels to work together. The traditional classroom layouts of students sitting at desks in rows is disappearing and we are supporting teachers and students to connect, share, create and reflect more effectively.

YCIS student reading a book

The YCIS curricular programme in Years 9–11 includes a wide range coursework leading to IGCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. The IGCSE programme has earned a proven reputation as excellent preparation for university, employment, and life; and provides a valuable international benchmark for student performance. IGCSE English, IGCSE Chinese, IGCSE Mathematics, IGCSE Science, and Global Perspectives are required courses for all YCIS students. YCIS Beijing students are also encouraged to attain the academically rigorous Cambridge International Certificate of Education (ICE).


The YCIS Challenge programme is designed to prepare and partner with the CAS programme in IBDP. It is an integral way YCIS Beijing attempts to nurture caring, tolerant and responsible global citizens. The goal of the YCIS Challenge programme is to increase student participation in extra-curricular activities and develop reflection techniques by completing reflections on their experiences.


Following the end of year examination period, we deliver a well targeted academic programme. During this programme, students are involved in workshops targeting key areas such as academic honesty, the management, presentation skills, resume building, internship preparation, stress management and leadership skills.

YCIS students form a circle on the sports field

Students engage in group projects based on the concept of 20% Time & Genius Hour. This is where students investigate an area of interest emerging from their studies or elect to develop a new skill which is then shared with others. The Genius Hour component prepares students for the compulsory requirement at IBDP level of independent research known as the Extended Essay.

Two students during class

The students attend workshops to help them formulate relevant, interesting and creative ideas for projects on which 10 hours of their Enrichment Week time will be allocated. Some of the ideas that have been brought to fruition include learning how to make a new app for the iPhone, choreograph a dance to make a music video, and to set up a fashion show for charity.

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