How is our curriculum different?

A UK independent school is focused on providing a well-rounded education to its students. This encompasses rigorous academic study while providing opportunity for the arts, sports and active citizenship in the community. Through a well-designed curriculum and broad extra-curricular activities our students develop into motivated, inquisitive, independent and life-long learners who are critical thinkers and internationally minded.

Cambridge IGCSE

ESM is fully accredited as a centre for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Students follow the Cambridge IGCSE programme in years 9 and 10 and take IGCSE examinations at the end of year 10. All students at ESM complete IGCSE courses in English (first language or second language as appropriate), mathematics and the sciences. They also choose from a range of additional IGCSE subject options including geography, history, physical education, music, art & design, French, Russian and Chinese. These qualifications are globally recognized and give students the opportunity to progress onto further study worldwide.

You can learn more about Cambridge IGCSEs on the CIE website:

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

As an IB World School, ESM is able to offer students in years 11 and 12 a number of study options based on their academic background, their interests and their plans for further education. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is our most popular choice, and is available to students with sufficient academic background. The philosophy of the course is based on the IBO’s mission statement, which shows values shared by ESM:

“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

The IBDP course is academically rigorous, and students are required to take one subject from each of the six groups:

  • Studies in Language and Literature
  • Language Acquisition
  • Individuals and Societies
  • Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • The Arts

All IBDP students are also required to complete the three elements of the IBDP Core:

  • Theory of Knowledge – a course based on reflection and thinking skills, linked to all of the subjects
  • Creativity, Action, Service – a programme which involves students taking on new challenges and developing their personal qualities outside the classroom
  • The Extended Essay – a four-thousand word independent research project completed over the two years in an area of the student’s academic interest

You can learn more about the IBDP on the IBO website:

What are the entry requirements?

Students applying to join the IB Diploma Programme at ESM require IGCSE passes in at least five subjects (Grades A*-C) or the equivalent. Students who are new to ESM must also complete an interview with the IB Coordinator and take placement tests in English and mathematics. All students must successfully complete a two-week trial period at the beginning of the course and sign the IB student contract before being officially accepted into the programme.

Is the IB Diploma Programme recognized by universities?

The IB Diploma Programme is officially recognized by over 3300 universities in 90 countries. Graduates of the IB Diploma Programme are in demand at leading universities globally: many universities give additional credit for IB subject certificates and award scholarships specifically to students from the IB Diploma Programme.