The International Stream: Secondary (InSS) provides a high quality, authentic international education for students aged 11-16, largely delivered in English with some distinctive Azerbaijani components. Instruction in Azerbaijani language and history is delivered on a more intensive basis to host country nationals, with alternate provision offered to expatriate students.
Lessons are delivered in a range of curriculum subjects (see Curriculum and teaching approaches below) pitched at a level similar to or above that experienced by students at top independent (private) schools in an English-speaking country.
Students who attend the InSS receive a first-rate holistic education, enabling them to excel in higher education either at an international or tier-one local university.
The core language of the classroom / other languages used
English is the language of instruction used in lessons. Our aim is to create an English-immersion environment achieved by positively encouraging students to use the InSS shared language.
Since our students are a blend of host-country nationals and expatriates, many of whom speak English as a second or additional language, special effort is made to ensure that discussions and collaborative learning are conducted in English.
The use of our shared language is always encouraged in a sensitive, appropriate manner by teachers who use phrases such as “Can you now explain that in English, so that your partner can understand?” Teachers avoid reprimanding students for speaking another language in class, while making clear the expectation that English is the shared language.
Assistant teachers who possess skills in Azerbaijani, Russian (or other languages which are students’ non-English mother tongue) use this in a positive way to support learning, for example, by translating key vocabulary in lessons or creating dual language resources to which students can refer to.
Induction of students who are new to English / have EAL needs
A baseline of competence in English is a pre-entry requirement for International Stream: Secondary entrants; some EAL support within class is provided in the younger InSS years but this is far less of a feature than in the International Stream: Primary. An important element of pre-entry assessment of students is to establish their potential for succeeding in compulsory International GCSE examinations completed by all International Stream students at age 16. Since students’ best interests will always guide our decision-making, our recommendation may be for the student to enter an Azerbaijani or Russian stream both of which have intensive English language components (a minimum of eight lessons a week).
The successful induction of students to the International Steam: Secondary (even more so than for primary) relies heavily on an effective home-school partnership.
If you wish to enrol a child in our International Stream: Secondary, we require the following:
Since the school day is relatively long, particularly if students attend extra-curricular activities from 15.:30 - 17:00, we generally encourage any additional English language instruction to be provided before 17:00 and at school (if the student attends this part of the school day, which is optional); nonetheless, we acknowledge that for older students such as Year 9s (13-14 years) and older, it may be necessary to arrange tutoring in the evenings, at weekends and during holiday time. Tuition for a student (once a week or more frequently) is especially helpful during the summer, during which time a long absence from formal education may result in academic and English-language regression. In this way, achievement levels can be maintained.
Families planning to enrol students in InSS should also consider that the AzSP and RuPS (Azerbaijani and Russian Streams: Primary) provide a minimum of eight lessons a week in English (English as an additional Language and Global Perspectives) and that these, depending on their intentions for their child’s university education, may also be an excellent option.
Class sizes and adult to children ratios
Classes in the InSS have a maximum of 18 students and every class / lesson is supported (as a minimum requirement) by both a teacher and an assistant teacher.
Often a higher level of adult support is provided, depending on the subject and students’ general ability.
Classes in the InSP include:
Years 7-10 are offered by In the International Stream: Secondary in the 2018-19 academic year; Year 11 will open in 2019-20.
Year 11 students study for and sit IGCSE examinations, marking the end of compulsory education in the International Stream: Secondary. From 2020-21, the majority of our students will progress to Years 12 and 13 where they will prepare for and sit A-Level and AS Level exams in preparation for entrance to university.
The curriculum subjects and our approach to teaching and learning
Students attending the International Stream: Secondary study the following subjects:
The International Stream: Secondary uses the Cambridge Secondary Curriculum as the core curriculum document, structuring the delivery and assessment of the majority of subjects. A blend of Azerbaijani and other international curricula are used to structure the delivery of the remaining subjects.
Although various international and Azerbaijani curricula are combined to create our distinctive curriculum path, the use of successfully tried and tested, modern teaching strategies across all of the subjects ensures consistently high levels of quality and achievement.
Learning in the InSS involves a blend of traditional and modern teaching methods; opportunities for experiential learning, project-based work and frequent access to a plethora of educational technology. Our approach ensures that students achieve exceptionally academic high levels of academic proficiency whilst also developing the skills of communication, collaboration, creativity. These transferable skills are essential for personal and professional success in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. Opportunities for students to use computers and other devices, to work independently, in pairs and in groups and to sometimes decide how (and about what) they wish to learn are actively encouraged in the curricular and extra-curricular approaches used at MTK International School.
Assessing students progress / examinations
Students studying in the International Stream: Secondary are assessed by a blend of summative testing and teacher assessment. At the end of each term (in December, March and May) children complete standardised progress tests.
From 2019-20, students in Year 11 will sit International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams in a range of subjects.
In 2021-22 our first year 13 A-Level cohort will study for and sit examinations that prepare them for entry into some of the world’s leading universities.
In addition to completing standardised termly and annual tests, students are regularly teacher assessed and tested upon completion of units of learning (weekly or monthly) in order to ensure that they are making progress and to enable teachers to optimise lesson planning.
Examinations and other forms of assessment are administered in an age-appropriate and positive way, with the aim of identifying and addressing any gaps in learning and fostering a ‘growth mindset’ in our students; we also aim to support students in developing the examination skills that they require in order to succeed in their further studies.
Students are served breakfast around the start of the school day, lunch and a snack mid-afternoon.