The Somerset College Cambridge Programme (SCCP) offers a programme which allows students to complete their A levels through a two year staged route consisting of AS level in the first year and A level in the second year, with internal examinations written in May / June and external examinations written in October / November of each year.
For students wishing to study overseas, Cambridge A levels are a passport to any university, as they are internationally recognised. For students wishing to study in South Africa, the Cambridge Programme brings a university approach and maturity to their work, which is of enormous benefit to their tertiary education.
The Somerset College Cambridge Programme students are taught in separate classes to those students following the IEB curriculum. AS and A level classes are integrated with the IEB timetable and are taught mostly in the morning. Some classes and practical sessions may be run in the afternoon where necessary.
Qualifications for Entry
Two year course
Candidates must have a minimum of six IGCSE credits. Subjects being considered for A level must have ‘A’ or ‘B’ symbols in their IGCSE or equivalent examinations. A minimum of a ‘C’ is required in all other subjects written.
South African candidates who have completed their Grade 10 may apply with a minimum of 60% in the subjects being considered at A -level.
It is the student’s responsibility to confirm eligibility for South African university exemption with Universities South Africa http://www.universitiessa.ac.za/
Changing to Cambridge after completing Grade 10
If you are considering such a change, it is important to bear the following advantages and disadvantages in mind before making a final decision.
Should you know that your child will definitely be aiming for an overseas university, moving to the CIE examination system will streamline the process. A levels are recognised worldwide as the premier university entrance qualification and your child would exit the South African school system with this international qualification in the same time as it would take to complete a matriculation qualification.
International Acceptance of CIE A levels
In the UK, CIE A levels are very highly regarded in comparison to local UK A levels and will ensure that students enter university on a more than equal footing with UK students.
In countries such as the United States and Canada, good grades in carefully chosen Cambridge International A Level subjects can result in up to one year of university course credit.
Over 450 US universities accept Cambridge International AS and A Levels, including all Ivy League and Ivy Plus universities. These universities include: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.
Research has been carried out to explore whether Cambridge International AS and A Levels predict readiness for and continued academic success at US universities. Findings from a number of research studies suggest that the Cambridge programme compares favourably with other more established acceleration programmes in the US including Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB).
If a student wishes to keep the South African university option open, very careful consideration of subject choices is necessary to ensure matriculation exemption and adequate points. The Cambridge results are released later than the NSC results and this may make entry into university difficult in some cases.
The transition from Grade 10 to the Cambridge Programme is a challenging one in terms of academic standards and the levels of independence required. Some students miss the feeling of completion that finishing matriculation in their original school gives, with the possibility of prefect status and team sport representation.
Candidates must select five subjects in the first year (AS level) and at least three subjects in the second year (A-level).
The following subjects are offered (AS level subjects are indicated):
• Afrikaans (IGCSE)
• Computer Science
• Other languages are offered by special arrangement
All activities offered in the College are open to students in the Somerset College Cambridge Programme (SCCP) who are also encouraged to develop new talents and to contribute to inter-house sporting and cultural activities. Community service and work experience form an integral part of the curriculum.
All College sporting facilities are available to our SCCP students but sport is not compulsory. Students who wish to continue their sport may do so but on the clear understanding that academic demands take precedence at all times.
The first intake of AS-level students!