Academic overview

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Academic overview

Surval offers internationally recognised academic programmes, combined with a personalised curriculum tailored to the individual. It includes a strong language element together with culture and customs across the world, cookery and a rich programme of cultural and sporting activities. Our programmes provide access to top universities across the world, and prepare girls for university, as well as future careers and responsibilities within their own communities.

Two different and complementary academic routes are available through the school, from Foundation Year (Grade 8) to Grade 12. We also offer a pre-University Liberal Arts year, for girls who would like an international year of language, culture and travel before embarking on their higher education.  

As a small school, we provide a bespoke education for girls to ensure we meet their academic needs and aspirations, as well as complying with specific academic requirements from their home countries. For example, we find that students from Latin America tend to choose the American High School program. This is tailored to the curriculum in their school of origin to ensure a smooth return if they eventually go back, or definitely want to study in the US or Canada at College level. Students from Asia, Eastern and Western Europe tend to choose the British/International GCSE and Advanced Levels to prepare for entry to top UK and European Universities, or to the second year in US Colleges. We also ensure that girls from Eastern Europe who wish to continue their Russian studies have time to complete their work from their home schools during homework time, with support from our Russian speaking Student Co-ordinator. 

Students at all levels receive information and support about future college and university choices, and benefit from visits from Admissions Tutors at top colleges and universities across the globe. SATs, IELTS or TOEFL preparation are available for all who need them. 

Please click on the sections below for more information on Grade Levels, curriculum and the main differences between the American and British programmes outlined.

International Grade Level Comparison Chart

Curriculum per Grade Level

  FY 1 FY 2 Electives
FY
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Pre-Algebra, Algebra & Geometry)ro
Combined Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
French
Global Studies
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
Intensive English
Mathematics (Pre-Algebra, Algebra & Geometry)
Additional subjects could include:
One science subject
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport (compulsory)
French (Introduced when appropriate)
Music
EAL
  UK US Electives
Grade 9 English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry)
Combined Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
French
History
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry)
Combined Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
French
History
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
German
Spanish
EAL
Music
  UK US Electives
Grade 10 English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry)
Combined Sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics)
French
History
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Algebra, Geometry & Trigonometry)
Biology
French
History (World History)
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
German
Spanish
EAL
DELF
SAT
KET
PET
Music
  UK US Electives
Grade 11 Students study 4 A Level Subjects from:
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics
Chemistry
Biology
Physics
French
History
Electives non A Level:
Art, Cookery & Etiquette
Sport(compulsory)
Core Curriculum
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Algebra ll, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus & Calculus)
Chemistry
French
History (US History)
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Sport
EAL
DELF
SAT
PET
IELTS
TOEFL
Music
  UK US Electives
Grade 12 Students study 3 A Level Subjects from:
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics
Chemistry
Biology
Physics
French
History
University & College Preparation
Sport(compulsory)
Core Curriculum
English (Language and Literature)
Mathematics (Algebra ll, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus & AP Calculus)
Physics
French
History (European History)
University & College Preparation
Sport(compulsory)
EAL
DELF
SAT
PET
IELTS
TOEFL
Music
Art
Cookery
Etiquette
Pre University: International Year of Culture, Languages & Travel Electives
Pre University Intensive French or Intensive English
World Literature and English Language
Fine Arts
Culinary Skills
Etiquette (French and English)
Charity
Sport
Travel
Independent Travel
International Volunteering
Italian
German
International Relations
Enterprise
Careers
TOEFL
IELTS

Differences between the American and British programmes

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

Exams

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 students can choose from a wide range of subjects, and each subject will receive a Certificate, with a grade for the exam, at the end of the course. All girls will take IGCSE in their native language, provided it is offered by the Board. Surval students are expected to study a core of English, French, all three sciences, mathematics and history. In addition, they can choose from a range including one further language (including mother tongue), English Literature, humanities, art (not examined), geography, business and international relations. All subjects are offered according to demand and may change from time to time. All girls will take etiquette (culture and customs) and cookery and pastry, and will follow our Personal, Social and Health Education programme in their tutor time.

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.

They may also take IGCSE in some or all of these subjects if they meet the standard and can incorporate the work into their timetable. US universities are very interested in IGCSEs and will normally offer entry to first year based on these plus a good SAT score, although of course this varies amongst institutions: so this additional qualification is an advantage.

Academic Programmes

Academic Programmes

Foundation Year

Grade 8 (12+ years)

IGCSE

Grade 9 and 10 (14 to 16 years)

A Levels

Grade 11 and 12 (16 to 18 years)

American High School

Grade 9 to 12 (14 to 18 years)

Pre University

International Year (17+ years)

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