web analytics

What’s the difference?

The differences between the High School programme and the International IGCSE and AS/Advanced Levels:

IGCSE exams are set and marked externally. All candidates for these qualifications, across the world, have the same exam, on the same day, with the same standards of marking.

Dates are published internationally, and have to be adhered to. Certificates are awarded in each individual subject at the end of the course (Grade 10/Year 11) and are recognised internationally.

High School exams are set and marked in each individual school, by the teachers. A Diploma is awarded at the end of Grade 12: transcripts of grades are provided for each year. Teachers choose what to set in the examinations, and the school itself decides on exam dates.

Choice of subjects. IGCSE candidates can choose from a wide range of subjects, and each subject will receive a Certificate, with a grade (including a failure if applicable) for the exam at the end of the course.

Surval students are expected to study a core of English, French, all three sciences, mathematics and history. In addition students can choose from a range including one further language (including mother tongue), English Literature, humanities, creative and expressive subjects, entrepreneurship (Enterprise) and international relations.

All will take etiquette (culture and customs) and cookery and pastry.

High School students have a prescribed program of subjects with a specified program of maths, and a single science, for each grade level. They continue with these subjects (subject to the changes in sciences) up to Grade 12.

Foundation Year (Us Grade 8, Uk Year 9) 13 To 14 Years

Surval welcomes students from the age of 13, for a Foundation Year which will prepare them either for the American High School Program or for IGCSE and A Levels.

Foundation Year has a strong language element. English is the language used throughout the school, and extra support for non-native speakers is given to those who need it. French is compulsory and another language is optional. Mathematics, all three sciences, humanities, drama and art all form part of the curriculum, together with the sporting programme and personal, social and health education, as well as a module on ‘Switzerland, our host nation’.

The combination of the academic programme and the wide range of enrichment activities and sport give the girls an outstanding start to their future at Surval; and the chance to make international friends across ages and cultures.

Foundation 2, for girls from age 12, is a special introductory course for those whose English is limited, and who are staying at Surval for a full five years. These girls study intensive English, and move on to French when they are ready. They take part in some lessons on the main curriculum, and within a year we expect them to join the full timetable offer.

IGCSE (14 – 16 Years)

IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds. IGCSE provides excellent preparation for more advanced study including AS and A Levels, as well as other progression routes. It incorporates the best in international education for learners at this level. It develops in line with changing needs, and is regularly updated and extended. We are delighted to have been awarded the status of a Cambridge school, and will offer the examinations provided by this prestigious organisation.

IGCSE encourages learner-centred and enquiry-based approaches to learning. It develops learners’ skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving, giving them excellent preparation for the next stage in their education.

Each subject is certificated separately. A wide range of subjects is available, and we will offer courses according to the individual choice of the girls who join us. For example, there are many different language courses, offering a variety of routes for learners of different abilities. IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:

Subject content
Applying knowledge and understanding to familiar and new situations
Intellectual enquiry
Flexibility and responsiveness to change
Working and communicating in English
Influencing outcomes
Cultural awareness

Assessment includes written and oral tests, coursework and practical assessment. We can assess students using only external examinations or, in most subjects, combining examinations with coursework. Coursework is set and marked by the teacher and externally moderated.

English (First Language), English (Second Language), English Literature
Sciences: Combined or Co-ordinated( Double Science)
Single sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Human and Social Biology, Environmental Management
Modern Foreign Languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian
First language: Afrikaans, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish (others as required)
Humanities: Global perspectives, Geography, History
Art, Art and design

Advanced Level (16 – 18 Years)

After IGCSE, students move into the Sixth Form to study for AS and Advanced Levels (A2), successful completion of which leads on to University or other courses and eventual careers. In the Lower Sixth, (British Y12, American 11th grade) students can choose four subjects to study in depth. This gives them flexibility, and again as a small school we are able to offer girls the courses they particularly enjoy or want to take further. They continue into the Upper Sixth, (Y13 British, American 12th Grade) with three, sometimes four of these subjects, or they can choose to start another AS Level.

English Language (AS only)
English Literature (AS and A Level)
Mathematics (AS and A Level)
Further mathematics
Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Physics (AS and A Level)
Languages: AS: options of Language and Literature at First or Second Language level. A Level: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguse, Spanish (all include Language and Literature content)
Geography (AS and A Level)
History (AS and A Level)
Art and Design (AS and A Level)
Business Studies (AS and A Level)
Thinking Skills (AS and A Level)

Advanced Level (16 – 18 Years)

GRADES 9 to 12

Surval Montreux having met the requirements established by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and Board of Trustees is hereby accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. The Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) is a division of Advanced Worldwide.

This international study program and diploma is aimed at students who wish to enter colleges in the US and Canada, Business Schools, or other institutions.

The course offers a strong college preparatory curriculum with an emphasis on top American and Canadian university entrance requirements. At the same time, our students enjoy the benefits of a unique international cultural experience through a wide enrichment programme a strong emphasis on languages and exceptional opportunities for travel within and beyond Europe. Students can key into electives in the Liberal Arts Programme where their timetable allows them to do so. Classes are small and meet the individual needs of each student: help is always available for students with any special need such as dyslexia. Upon graduation, our girls are ready to meet the challenges of higher education in their own countries, the United States and Europe.

English language requirements for all high school students:

Minimum TOEFL score of 500 or
Cambridge First Certificate

If an applicant cannot present either of these papers, she will be tested at the beginning of her stay at Surval and if necessary, placed in an appropriate ESL class (English as a Second Language). She will continue to attend English support classes until her level of English reaches the standards indicated above.

Minimum High School Course Requirements for Graduation from Surval’s High School Program

Surval’s goal is to provide students with extra credits making them more competitive for the best universities and reflecting our international linguistic environment. Girls may combine the High School with IGCSE or in exceptional cases Advanced Level qualifications.

For graduation a student must have a minimum of 22 units of high school coursework, distributed as follows:

4 years of English
3 or 4 years of Mathematics
3 or 4 years of Science
3 or 4 years of Social Studies
2 or 3 years of French or another foreign language
4 years of Electives chosen from Foreign Languages, Business, Fine Arts and Others.

In addition to high school coursework, universities wilI continue to use high school rank, grade point average, entrance examination scores, and other information in making admission decisions. Since admission requirements may differ among higher education institutions, it is essential that candidates communicate with colleges and universities about specific requirements for admission and that the school is aware of each girl’s aspirations. Surval must receive all past transcripts and details of her proposed destination and requirements before entering grades 11 or 12.

For full course details, click here.

G.Patrick Gruhn

Tim Daum