You are here

Types of Popular International Curricula

A curriculum can be defined as the academic content and lessons taught in a school. The purpose of a curriculum is to act as a guide or framework to meet educational goals and philosophies of a school.

Here is an overview of the three popular curricula offered at international schools which are the British Curriculum, the American Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate Curriculum.

1. The American Curriculum

The American Curriculum covers Elementary school (Kindergarten to 5th Grade), Middle School (6th to 8th grade) and High School (9th to 12th grade). Students from the ages of 4 to 18 are provided a holistic curriculum with an emphasis on personalised learning. Each grade in the American Curriculum consists of two semesters and credits are earned at the end of each semester. Students will be granted the American High School Diploma after earning a certain amount of credits during their final year of High School.


2.  The British Curriculum

The British Curriculum is also known as the National Curriculum of England. The curriculum is divided into blocks called Key Stages which are Early Years (ages 2 to 5), KS1 (Ages 5 to 7), KS2 (Ages 7 to 11), KS3 (Ages 11 to 14) and KS4 (Ages 14 to 16). At international schools, the curriculum usually leads to the IGCSE examinations during the final year of secondary school education. Students who pursue the British Curriculum are prepared to take up the A Level programme at pre-university level.


3. The International Baccalaureate Curriculum

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum was introduced by the International Baccalaureate Organisation in 1968. The IB Curriculum consists of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The PYP and MYP are designed for students from the ages of 3 to 12 and 11 to 16 respectively. At pre-university level, students can sit for the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP). The IB is known for being a progressive and innovative curriculum that aims to develop students who are curious, articulate and can think critically.

Visit the Features section on the Education Destination Malaysia website for more informative articles on international school education!