The Cambridge Curriculum

The educational cornerstones that our school’s curriculum is based on include Academics, Personal Development Programmes, Culture, Coding and Entrepreneurial Skill Development. 

Academic: ‘Education for tomorrow’s world’ – Real world ready
Nova Pioneer offers a range of internationally accepted qualifications including Cambridge’s A levels, AS, IGCSE, Secondary 1, ICT Starters, Primary and Lower Secondary Programmes. The Cambridge Curriculum is designed to teach students how to learn and to go on learning. Our role goes beyond helping students achieve good results, and beyond giving students passports for progression to university or employment. We give our students a curriculum that will bring lifelong success in tomorrow’s world.

Cambridge International Qualifications are welcomed at the world’s leading universities – Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge qualifications are recognized locally by the South African Matriculation Board for entrance into South African Universities. In order to comply with the requirements for Matric Exemption certain subject groupings are required. We will guide our students in their subject choices to ensure compliance with the Matriculation Board’s requirements should they intend going on to University.

Mountain Cambridge School offers tuition for the Cambridge Lower Secondary Level (LSL equivalent to Grade 7 & 8), Cambridge IGCSE level (International General Certificate of Secondary Education, equivalent to Grade 9 & 10/form 2 & 3) and Cambridge International AS Level (Advanced subsidiary- Grade 11 & 12/form 4 & 5) and A level (Advanced level). The AS course is the equivalent of Grade 12 and the GCE A levels are equivalent to Grade 12 and 13 (1st year university/form 6). The AS level (Advanced Subsidiary) is the first stage of A levels and has replaced the HIGCSE course. Advanced levels are the follow up requirements for University entrance.

Cambridge Lower Secondary level (LSL – Form 1) builds on the primary stage, and develops students’ knowledge and skills.

The 4 major subjects are:

  •  Mathematics;
  • English;
  • Information and Communication Technology;
  • Science (which includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

At the end of grade 8/form 1 students will write Cambridge Checkpoint Tests in these 4 major subjects, set and marked by the CIE, providing detailed diagnostic information on students’ strengths and weaknesses, before students move onto the IGCSE Level.

Other subjects offered on this level are:
Afrikaans 1st Language, Afrikaans 2nd Language, Social Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences (EMS).
The students will write internal exams in these subjects.


IGCSE qualifications provide a solid foundation for higher level courses such as A and AS Levels, as well as excellent preparation for employment. IGCSE has been designed to equip students with the skills needed for immediate employment. A minimum requirement for a RSA Matriculation Certificate is: 5 IGCSE + 2 AS subjects.

Students need 7 subjects selected from the 5 IGCSE curriculum areas. The subjects selected must include two different languages from GROUP 1 and one subject from each of GROUPS 2, 3, 4 & 5.The seventh subject can be taken from any of the 5 subject groups. No candidate who has taken fewer than six IGCSE subjects will be awarded an ICE certificate (Cambridge International Certificate of Education).

Personal Development Programme /Life Orientation

As the name suggests it is an interdisciplinary learning area that orientates students to engage in a personal development journey towards life – life with all of its tests and contests – to prepare our students to be real world ready. PDP is concerned with developing knowledge about the self and skills that will enable young people to engage socially, to be responsible citizens, and to live healthy and productive lives. It is also about adopting a positive attitude towards physical activities, fitness and recreation. Our school supports the “Healthy body Healthy mind” philosophy. We want to prepare our students to be morally responsible, law-abiding participants in our multifaceted country. These include opportunities to engage in the development and practice of a variety of life skills, to solve problems, to make informed decisions and choices and to take appropriate actions to live meaningfully and successfully in a rapidly changing society. The PDP programme is compulsory for all our students from Grade 4 – 12. For the Form 1 -5 it is offered as a non-examination subject.

The seven focus areas are: (this is cost inclusive)

  • Personal Well-being
  • Personal Skills Development
  • Social Development/Citizenship Education
  • Physical Development and Movement
  •  Careers /Career Choices and Business Behaviour – orientation to the world of work
  • Leadership Development: Prefects, Duty Panel, Library Prefect, Sport Captains, Heads of houses
  • Entrepreneurial Skills Development & Financial Planning
  • Mentorship programme
  • AS public speaking programme

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