Phoenix Secondary School

In Secondary, our students study a wide range of subjects, both academic and practical.  Our curriculum is broad, balanced and challenging for all of our students.   Careful monitoring and assessment ensure that  students’ learning progresses appropriately from Year 7 right through to Further Education.  There are detailed curriculum guides available from school, which give further information for parents and students.

We have a good record of examination success for all students at all levels.  We believe strongly in academic achievement and we work closely with students to achieve their goals. We ensure that we provide high quality learning resources to support student achievement.   In particular, we are investing heavily in up-to-date computer technology.

In Key Stage 3 all students follow a core curriculum.  This comprises Art, Drama, English, Spanish, Geography, History, ICT, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, PSHE RE, and Science.

In Key Stage 4 all students follow a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Double Award Science, Spanish, History, Geography, Business Studies, PE, ICT, Global Citizenship, PSHE with Religious Studies. In Year 11, following their mock exams, they can make an informed decision regarding which International GCSEs they intend to sit.

How we teach

Students arrive in Year Seven having already completed their Primary Education.  Students are carefully assessed throughout the year and measured against their potential to ensure that work is challenging and tailored to their particular needs.

A variety of teaching methods are used with individual targets being set for each student.  Regular review of their progress towards these targets is a vital part of our teaching. All students spend time with their Form Tutor to discuss their progress following guidance from their subject teachers.  The National Curriculum demands that student experiences in school are relevant and suited to their level of ability.   At Phoenix International School, we have always sought to achieve this and provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced and differentiated.


All students have assessments at the end of each term to assess their individual levels across each subject.  This information is then recorded and school reports are written annually and discussed during parents evening.

Key stage 3 (11 to 14 years)

Year 7 offers a new set of experiences and challenges for students.  For most students this is the first time they experience studying with more than a core group of 2 or 3 teachers.  In the Secondary School, students often meet with 6 or more teachers a week, each of whom have expectations and objectives specific to their subjects of instruction.  In order to ensure that students make a comfortable transition to secondary life we have an introduction programme for those students moving up from Primary.

Years 7 and 8 are foundation years when the basic skills and knowledge required for success in different courses are introduced.  Specific attention is paid to building a student’s enthusiasm for the written word, scientific discovery, artistic expression and other areas of personal interest.  Key Stage 3 has a range of study which we believe provides a broad and balanced education.

In Year 9, our focus changes to building an awareness of the topics studied and skills required for success in Key Stage 4.  Courses become more specialised and tasks are designed that challenge a student’s ability to manage independent reading and learning. It is during Year 9 that students make their choices for courses of study in IGCSE, GCSE and BTEC.

The Curriculum

(Please see the curriculum books, available at school, for more information)


We follow areas of study that incorporate opportunities for developing reading and writing skills alongside those for developing speaking and listening.  The students are encouraged to be critical of texts and styles so that they are aware of the different genres of the English language. Both traditional and modern literature is taught throughout Key Stage 3.  We believe that reading is the key to independent learning.


The study of Mathematics at Phoenix International School provides the students with a sound education in both pure calculation and practical applications of mathematical concepts.  For those students with specific problems in mathematics, we use a programme to facilitate a rapid catch-up or booster programme.

The students will be encouraged to use a range of problem solving strategies and to use mental calculation techniques to supplement the traditional “pencil and paper” techniques.

As with English, the students are encouraged to develop their Mathematical skills in all areas of the curriculum.

Modern Foreign Languages

The students at Phoenix International School learn Spanish, taught by native Spanish teachers following a syllabus that will lead to International GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11.  Students develop skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing thus helping them to integrate into Spanish society.


Science in Key Stage 3 involves the development of observational, investigational and communication skills using scientific knowledge. It builds upon the previous knowledge the students bring from the primary phase and encourages independent study and research.  The units of study offer a comprehensive understanding of the three main scientific branches of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, which impart specific knowledge of topics as diverse as human reproduction to the Earth’s mineral resources.


During the course of Key Stage 3 the students study a series of units of study covering key aspects of British and World History, using a wide range of historical sources and activities whilst developing specific skills.


At Phoenix International School we cover the three main areas of the subject; physical; human and environmental geography. Investigations, enquiries and map skills form part of the curriculum covered.

Drama and Music

This wide ranging subject covers all aspects of performing arts including stagecraft and movement.   The students will learn the basics of performance using an extensive range of source materials, from Shakespeare to contemporary playwrights.  The overall aim of the course is to develop a degree of artistic awareness and improve self-confidence in front of an audience.


The students are exposed to a broad range of ICT skills. These include desktop publishing, web design, and use of digital media. The course of study is designed to reflect current trends in ICT in the world outside the education arena and will prepare them for IGCSE examinations.

Physical Education

The students experience a wide range of activities which are intended to build up their physical stamina, strength and suppleness and their skill-levels. They will follow a programme including football, basketball, rugby, athletics and dance, providing them with a well-rounded and thorough preparation for a range of team and individual activities.


The students will follow a wide-ranging programme of study that will build upon the skills they have been developing in Art through the primary phase. This will include studying the basic elements such as colour, shape, line and texture using a variety of media and studying artists work critically, historically and socially.

Personal Social and Health Education (Citizenship)

This subject has been raised in status in recent years by emphasising the need to develop children into good citizens.  Accordingly, we encourage the students to consider and discuss their own behaviour and attitudes and those of other people. We approach almost all of the content of this subject through cross-curricular links with other subjects, drawing the students’ attention to the need for personal responsibility, consequence and social conscience.   Religious Education is incorporated with our PSHE lessons.

Sex and Relationships Education

We believe that Sex and Relationships Education should contribute to each child’s personal growth, development and capacity for caring and loving relationships. Sex and Relationships Education is taught as part of our programme of Personal, Social and Health Education, which spans Year 7 to 10.

The Sex and Relationships Education programme provides:

  • Comprehensive information about human sexual behaviour and relationships which is appropriate to the student’s age.
  • Help to students in understanding and coming to terms with their own developing sexuality in ways that enable them to feel comfortable about their sexual desires, needs and identity.
  • Help to students in developing a moral framework for themselves within which they can make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual behaviour and relationships.

(Key Stage 4) 14 – 16 Years International GCSEs

This is the final stage of compulsory education for your child, and is the equivalent to the two final years of the Spanish Secondary Compulsory Education System (ESO).  The main aim of this stage is to prepare students for successful International GCSEs.

The International GCSE is a balanced international curriculum which is designed to encourage high academic standards through a practical approach to teaching and learning. The curriculum consists of a two-year course of study leading to an examination which is typically taken at the end of year 11.

The curriculum is suitable for students of all nationalities and different levels of ability. It prepares students for higher level courses such as; International Baccalaureate; Advanced Level; vocational training; and for employment.  The International GCSE covers a broad range of subjects with syllabuses which are regularly reviewed to keep pace with developments in educational practice and to meet the needs of schools throughout the world.

The Examinations

International GCSE examinations are held once a year, in May and June.  The examination boards charge a fee for the administration and assessment of each subject taken.  These are due, per subject taken, on top of your normal school fees.   At the moment, the fee is approximately 120€ per International GCSE or GCSE.  The examinations are structured so that students of differing abilities and skills can follow the same curriculum.  In some cases, the students are assessed using papers designated as Core or higher.

The decision whether a student should be entered at Core or Higher level in each subject examined, is made by the subject teacher, in consultation with the parents and student. This decision is usually taken after the “Mock” examinations in December / January prior to the summer examinations.

Course Descriptions

International GCSE English Language and Literature (2 subjects)

The English syllabus will develop students’ ability to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively in speech and writing.  Students will be encouraged to use relevant vocabulary, to employ correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and to display a sense of style and audience.  There is a strong emphasis on reading and writing skills based largely on an Anthology of short extracts and stories.

The syllabus will help students to understand and respond appropriately to what they see, hear and experience, and to enjoy the full variety of the English language. In addition, it will complement their other studies by developing general skills such as the ability to analyse, synthesise, and make inferences, order facts and present opinions.

A study of First Language English will promote personal development and an understanding of self and others.

Through the study of literature students are encouraged to read, interpret and evaluate literary texts.  They will develop an understanding of texts in terms of literal meaning, relevant contexts and deeper themes or attitudes. They will learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use language to achieve their effects, and to communicate an informed personal response.

The study of literature allows students to explore areas of universal human concern, thus leading to a greater understanding of themselves and others.

International GCSE Mathematics

Students will be encouraged to develop their mathematical knowledge and skills in a way which encourages confidence and provides satisfaction and enjoyment.  They will develop a feel for numbers and for patterns and relationships in Mathematics.  There will be a strong emphasis on solving problems and presenting and interpreting results.  Students will be encouraged to communicate clearly and reason logically using mathematical concepts.

The Mathematics syllabus aims to encourage students to make use of Mathematics in other subjects and to provide a firm foundation for the further study of Mathematics and other disciplines.

International GCSE Spanish

In studying Foreign Language Spanish the emphasis is on developing the ability to communicate effectively in practical situations in all countries where the language is spoken. The four linked skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are encouraged and expanded throughout the course. The syllabus offers students an insight into the culture and civilization of the countries where the language is spoken. It encourages a positive attitude towards language learning and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilizations.

International GCSE Double Award Science

The Biology syllabus offers a combination of theoretical and practical studies leading to an understanding of the concerns and basic principles of biology,.

Students will develop scientific abilities and skills relevant to the study of biology in relation to the four main areas of syllabus content.  These are: characteristics and classification of living organisms, organisation and maintenance of the organism, development of the organism and continuity of life and relationships of organisms with one another and with their environment.

The course will stimulate an interest in, and concern for, the environment. It will prepare students to become confident citizens in a technological world and to take an informed interest in scientific matters; it will also form a basis for more advanced study.

The Chemistry and Physics syllabi offer a combination of theoretical and practical studies leading to an understanding of the basic principles of chemistry and physics.

Students will develop scientific abilities and skills relevant to the study of these disciplines; these will be of use in everyday life and, if desired, will form a basis for more advanced study.  Students will gain an awareness of the study and practice of science and will understand that scientific applications may have both beneficial and detrimental effects on the individual, the community and the environment.

The course will prepare students to become confident citizens in a technological world, and to take an informed interest in scientific matters and the environment.

International GCSE Geography

Students will be encouraged to develop a sense of place and an understanding of relative location on a local, regional and global scale.

Through a study of the characteristics and distribution of a selection of contrasting physical and human environments, students will come to understand some of the patterns and processes which affect the development of these environments. They will gain an insight into the spatial effects of the ways in which people interact with each other and with their environments.

Together with a wider understanding of different communities and cultures throughout the world, students will come to appreciate the contrasting opportunities and constraints presented by different environments. Emphasis will be placed on developing core Geographical skills throughout the course to enable pupils to meet the demands of the examinations.

International GCSE History

The History syllabus offers students the opportunity of studying some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as looking in somewhat greater depth at the history of particular regions. However, the emphasis within the syllabus is as much on the development of historical skills as on the acquisition of facts.

The syllabus will promote an understanding of the nature of cause and consequence, continuity and change, similarity and difference, based on an appreciation of the nature and use of historical evidence. The syllabus aims to stimulate student’s interest in and enthusiasm about the past, and to provide a sound basis for further study and the pursuit of personal interests.

International GCSE Business Studies

Business Studies provides students with a good all round knowledge of the principles of business including: the ownership & control of business, the management of people within a business, production methods and principles, finance and accountancy, marketing and direct selling.

A final word

The school is extremely proud of its track record in high quality education and we positively encourage students to achieve to the best of their abilities providing equal opportunities for all whilst recognizing the diversity of each student.  The school is an integrated whole.  We aim to address each person’s unique needs: intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional and social.   Please call us to make an appointment or drop in at any time.