Curriculum Structure

Curriculum Structure at TKHC

TKHC has three “schools” or levels, each covering a two-year programme in a 2-2-2 structure. The curriculum structure can be visualised as follows:

Lower School (G7-G8): Foundation Years Programme

In the Lower School, we run the Foundation Years Programme, our bespoke school-based curriculum. The Foundation Years Programme is designed to be varied and stimulating for our students, and to provide them with a solid foundation in the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in Middle School and beyond. This includes developing their interests and soft skills as well as providing academic knowledge.

In order to achieve this, the Foundation Years Programme incorporates elements of the International Baccalaureate, such as a conceptual, inquiry-based approach to learning, Approaches to Learning (ATLs), and a globally-minded perspective. Content-wise, the curriculum is loosely aligned with the UK’s KS3.

Middle School (G9-G10): IGCSE Programme

Sandwiched between the Upper and Lower School is the Middle School. For two years, students study for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) qualifications. TKHC is an approved Cambridge CAIE, Pearson Edexcel and Oxford AQA IGCSE official centre. Teachers will select the most suitable and appropriate examination board for their students based on the examination syllabus and assessment design.

Students are required to study Chinese, English, mathematics, and at least one subject in each of the following disciplines: Sciences, Humanities and Arts & Technical up to a total of nine subjects. The subjects we offer at IGCSE may differ slightly year to year depending on the popularity of specific subjects and teaching capacity.

Subjects offered for the 2021-23 IGCSE Programme

Compulsory Subjects
(3 subjects)

Optional Subjects
(up to six in total)

(one of the following)

  1. Chinese as Foreign Language
  2. Chinese as a Second Language
  3. First Language

(one of the following)

  1. English as a Second Language
  2. First Language


(at least one)

(at least one)

Arts & Technical
(at least one)

Business Studies
Tourism and Travel

Separate Sciences

  1. Biology
  2. Chemistry
  3. Physics

Combined Science

Further Mathematics

Fine Arts

IGCSE subject selection is subject to timetable blocking.

The IGCSE subjects on offer for the next round (2022-24 Programme) will be finalised during Term 3 of 2022.

Upper School (G11-G12): A-Level / IBDP* Programme

Students follow one of two programmes in Upper School, either A-Level or IBDP*.  Which programme students do is up to them.

A-Level and IBDP* are both very highly regarded, challenging academic programmes widely known and accepted by universities word-wide, so which programme students do is largely immaterial when it comes to university admissions. What matters is that students choose the most suitable programme for them as an individual.

A-Level or IBDP*?

Generally speaking, A-Levels are ideal for students that want to specialise in a small range of subjects and prefer to focus more on preparing for a specific area of study at university. Students typically study 3-4 subjects over two years with no restrictions on the combination of subjects they choose.

IBDP*, on the other hand, is a very broad and comprehensive programme that requires students to study a wide breadth of subjects with some fixed requirements and also to complete a set of core elements that require students to write two extensive essays (a Theory of Knowledge essay and an Extended Essay) and complete a series of non-academic activities (CAS). The IBDP programme is perfect for those that are all-rounders, strong not just academically but across a spectrum of different skills.

The academic and university counselling teams at TKHC will provide students and parents with consultation and recommendations as to which programme may be more suitable for each individual on a case-by-case basis based on future plans, preferred university destinations, learning style, academic strengths and weaknesses, and other relevant factors.

IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improve the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.

*Only schools authorized by the International Baccalaureate can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programe (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme (IBDP*) or the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit