The Cambridge Curriculum

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What is the Cambridge International Curriculum? | CIE

Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) have been developed by a department of the University of Cambridge to provide high-quality qualifications that meet the demands of employers and educators around the world. Cambridge has been offered internationally for almost two decades and Cambridge programmes are currently taught in more than 160 countries. The Cambridge syllabuses and assessments aim to encourage independent learning, self-reliance, problem-solving, and enquiry-based approaches to teaching and learning.

Click to go to Frequently asked questions about Cambridge International Examinations

The Cambridge advantage | When going to University

There is clear research at New Zealand Universities showing that the greater the number of points earned by a College student at AS/A Level entering first-year University, the higher the grades attained in Stage One papers. The studious work ethic gained from studying Cambridge International assists our students with their confidence and sets them ‘ahead of the pack’ when they enter Tertiary Studies, as their ability to keep up with content, and achieve personal excellence is well engrained.

Cambridge International regularly consults with leading universities to ensure that each syllabus encourages students to master the key concepts in each subject and develop the skills necessary for success in higher education.

Every year, nearly a million students from 10,000 schools in 160 countries prepare for their future using a Cambridge curriculum.

How does Cambridge work?

The Cambridge International qualifications offered at Huanui College are:

  • IGCSE Level (typically Years 10-11)

    Students take English and Mathematics along with three other subjects. Students are open to apply to take an additional sixth option after discussion with the Careers Education and Futures Leader, Mrs Toni Koning.

  • AS Level (typically Year 12)

    Students must select one English course along with a maximum of three other subjects. 

  • A Level (typically Year 13)

    There are no compulsory courses for students in Year 13. It is expected that students will typically choose three or four subjects to study at A Level (A2) dependent upon their university entrance pre-requisites and/or other tertiary education requirements.

Cambridge Assessment

External Examinations

By this we mean formal examinations sat at the school and marked by Cambridge International Examinations Board. Usually there are two or three papers per syllabus, though this varies from subject to subject. Many IGCSE syllabuses and some AS/A Level syllabuses have a coursework component in addition to formally scheduled examinations.


Coursework is assessed internally. This component of the syllabus allows schools to introduce local material and to assess skills not tested by formal examination processes. For example, science syllabuses include practical tests covering experimental and observational skills, language courses have listening and oral tests, performance or practical assessments in Music and Physical Education, whilst portfolios of work are created for the Visual Arts.


Cambridge International Examinations Board does not report ‘raw’ marks to students. Instead, each student is given a scaled or graded mark. Marks for the various components and papers are combined for each subject and grade boundaries are then determined. Grade boundaries differ from year-to-year and across subjects. Results for November examinations are available from approximately the third week of January, and final certificates are posted out in March/April. CIE does not return examination papers to candidates, but past papers are available on their website for revision purposes.

What does a Cambridge Qualification equate with overseas?

Cambridge’s international A and AS Levels satisfy entry criteria for every university around the world and are considered equal in value to A and AS Levels that are sat by children in the UK. They are recognised by universities in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom (including Oxford and Cambridge), as well as throughout the European Union. In the US they are accepted by all Ivy League universities (such as Harvard and Yale), and can earn students course credits of up to one full year of credit. 

Cambridge publishes comprehensive lists of all institutions that recognise its qualifications, including details about entry criteria and the subject grades needed for entrance. Please note, if students are considering overseas study, they are advised to include at least three A Level subjects in their courses of study.

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*We would like to advise that we are at capacity for 2024 in Years 8 & 9, and have limited spaces available for Year 7.  For enrolment in Senior School please contact to discuss further.

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