Around the world: Pearson Edexcel helps teachers and students shine at Academia International School, Zürich

Around the world: Pearson Edexcel helps teachers and students shine at Academia International School, Zürich

Preparing students for progression to university requires more than just a strong grounding in academic understanding, students also need to be equipped with the right developmental skills such as the ability to learn independent, critical thinking, communication and creativity. We caught up with the team...

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Douglas Nupen Academia International School, Zürich

Preparing students for progression to university requires more than just a strong grounding in academic understanding, students also need to be equipped with the right developmental skills such as the ability to learn independent, critical thinking, communication and creativity.

We caught up with the team at Academia International School in Zürich, Switzerland, to find out how Pearson Edexcel qualifications are helping their learners develop a global mindset and achieve their ambitions of entering the university of their choice. Academia are finding that, as international qualifications with clear results and outcomes, Pearson Edexcel A levels suit their students, many of whom are from a multicultural environment, challenge them to embrace their subject matter in depth, and leads them to develop the right skills that will help them thrive at university and beyond.

International qualifications delivering clear outcomes to help learners achieve their goals

Douglas Nupen is Head of Academics and a History and Geography teacher, delivering Pearson Edexcel International GCSE and International AS/A levels at Academia. He says: “Teaching the Pearson Edexcel qualification has been a very positive and rewarding experience. The Pearson Edexcel qualification allows for a broad spectrum of topics and choices in the social sciences. In IG and A level History, there is a good balance between compulsory and optional topics, while offering a variety of global topics. Having taught in a country-specific curriculum before, it has been refreshing to learn and teach an international qualification that covers global aspects.

Douglas Nupen, Head of Academics, Academia International School

The Geography specification provides an interesting mix of fundamental geographical skills acquirement with a blend of interesting choice specialisations for the individual learner. In a multicultural environment with a range of student nationalities, the goals of the Pearson Edexcel qualification match the learning aims of our institution.”

He goes on to say: “The students find the Pearson Edexcel content engaging and motivating because it covers the broad aspects of the subject but also allows for individual choice leading to more interest. There is no doubt that the standards of the Pearson Edexcel qualification are high and attaining a good grade requires hard work. Once the learners are used to the examination structure and style, they enjoy the format. Pearson Edexcel delivers clear examination results and outcomes based on international qualifications which help learners achieve their education goals. Ultimately, Pearson Edexcel qualifications enable students to gain entry into a variety of different universities.”

Engaging and stimulating content develops academic rigour and creative growth

Nayana Chakrabarti teaches English at Academia, delivering Pearson Edexcel International GCSE and International AS/A levels.

She says: “I teach English Literature and English Language at the IG and International AS/A level. My students come from a whole host of different backgrounds, different countries and different experiences. They are studying Pearson Edexcel International GCSE and International A levels for their greater flexibility; they want to learn from within the British curricula but also in a contextually appropriate manner. Pearson Edexcel qualifications cater to this demand – they is as International as our students are.

Nayana Chakrabarti, Academia International School

It’s been an enjoyable experience teaching the Pearson Edexcel qualifications in my subject. The qualifications act as a springboard for further research and development. With regards to AS English Language, in particular, I find that the qualification caters for both academic rigour in addition to creative growth.

My students find the Pearson Edexcel content engaging and stimulating. We have animated conversations in class taking in everything from history, geography, literature, linguistics and socio-linguistics.

Despite being presented with challenges such as the Pearson Edexcel English essay questions, I think my students appreciate the angles which inspire thoughtful answers. They see the value of developing essay-writing as a skill. I find that my students’ writing is getting stronger. They are more confident in their ability to express themselves.

In addition, I could see that Pearson Edexcel qualifications taught my students to think both outside of and inside the box. They are developing their abilities to flex their intellectual muscles daily.

Our school was motivated to choose Pearson Edexcel qualifications for our learners because we could see that they are relevant to the goals and ambitions our students have. I’m proud to say that one of my current students has been accepted into her first choice of an international university. Her Unit 3 success in my subject (IAL English Language) certainly had a role to play in this! She can advocate for herself in writing much better now that she has learned about crafting language to suit audience, function and context.”

Building independence and laying the foundation for the future

Ella Cameron is an A level student at Academia. She tells us:

“I am 20 years old and I just started studying Pearson Edexcel A Level qualifications. I’m taking Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and English. While looking for pre-university options, I found that Pearson Edexcel A levels allowed me to choose as many subjects as I wanted without any mandatory subjects. Academia International School, Zürich is my school of choice because it is affordable, could cater to my needs and will help me to achieve my end goal. I plan to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in English or German at an international university, or perhaps a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in the Netherlands.

Ella Cameron, A level student at Academia International School

What I enjoyed most about my Pearson Edexcel qualifications is that they build a need to hold myself accountable to do the work and study at my own pace. In essence, they encourage me to become independent with my studies.

While doing International GCSEs, I was given a basic understanding of the subjects. But, in the AS levels, I can tell that we are going into further detail from the basic knowledge of the IGs. I enjoy this because despite it being challenging to take on multiple subjects at AS level, I understood why and it felt justified.

Further to the subject depth, Pearson Edexcel A levels are teaching me how to achieve things independently, which I find is an important skill for the future. I’ve also deepened my skills and knowledge of the subjects, thanks to the teachers, experiences and environment created by Pearson Edexcel. I would certainly recommend Pearson Edexcel to other students because it’s a great option to study various and specific subjects to any level that you want!

With thanks to the team at Academia for sharing their experiences and thoughts on Pearson Edexcel international qualifications.

Further reading

Find out more about a British education pathway and the huge range of international universities that accept Pearson Edexcel International A levels.

Read more about Pearson Edexcel International A levels.

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