Senior School Academic Policy

Pakistan International School Jeddah – English Section provides a detailed, planned and integrated academic scheme covering a child's whole school experience, from the ages of 3 to 18. The Academic Programme is the intellectual embodiment of the School’s core values and designed to engage students in the life of the mind through cultural and scientific exploration from around the world.
At PISJ-ES, students gain exposure to a broad spectrum of thought in humanities and sciences, develop their intellectual curiosity, and work to channel this curiosity by thinking and learning both independently and collaboratively. Students are also encouraged to reinforce theory through practice – in laboratories, model performances, and school representations.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum at PISJ-ES is based upon the programmes of the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE), starting with Cambridge Primary and moving through Lower Secondary, IGCSE to AS & A-Level in the senior years. The integrated international programmes ensure a smooth transition through the years of schooling and provide the opportunity for students to succeed in a stimulating, externally validated and highly respected world-class educational programme. Ultimately, the universally recognised qualifications obtained by our senior students open the doors to universities all over the world.

Y9 – Y10: IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a two-year programme leading to externally set, marked and certificated examinations from the Cambridge International. It is an internationally recognised and endorsed curriculum for students aged 14 – 16 year. It is ideal preparation for further study, equipping students with the knowledge and skills for their A-levels.
The School’s tailored IGCSE programme includes nine IGCSE subjects and caters to the interests and aspirations of the students by offering following core tracks.

  • Core Subjects:
    Sciences Commerce
    Biology Accounting
    Chemistry Business
    Physics Economics

  • Compulsory Subjects: English Second Language (ESL)/ First Language English (FLE), Mathematics, ICT/Computer Science, Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies & Urdu/USL

  • Special Subjects: Physical Education & Saudi Studies/Arabic

The external assessments are split across the two years with students taking Humanities (Islamiyat, Pakistan Studies and/or Urdu) CAIE examinations at the end of Year 9 and remaining six at the end of Year 10.

Internal Assessment for Humanities (IAH): All students are required to take Humanities as part of the PISJ-ES academic programme and are required to undergo internal assessments.However, the students are given the choice to follow either the “IGCSE – Humanities” stream or the “IAH” stream.
As per the Inter Board Committee of Chairman (IBCC) Pakistan ‘Equivalence of Qualification’ for overseas or international candidates, students may opt not to sit for the CAIE examinations for Humanities and obtain their IGCSE qualifications by satisfying the ‘minimum six subject’ criteria.

A-Levels:The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level, or A-Level, is the ‘gold standard’ of Cambridge qualifications. It is accepted as an entry qualification by universities all around the world. The students should take a minimum of three subjects to qualify A-Levels, although the School has the provision for students to opt for a maximum of four subjects.

A diverse range of subject areas are offered at A-Levels and students are free to choose their subject combinations based on their interests and pursuits. However, the School reserves the right to regret a subject combination if the number of registered students is less than fifteen.

  • Pure Sciences: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Pure Mathematics with Statistics & Mechanics and Computer Science (Note: for Pure Sciences, the student has to pass the IGCSE qualification for a given subject)
  • Social Sciences: Accounting, Business, Economics and Information Technology

For A-Levels, the School uses the ‘staged’ assessment route – students take Cambridge International AS Level in one examination series and complete the final Cambridge International A (A2) Level at a subsequent series in a span of two years.

Urdu for Beginners (UFB)
PISJ-ES is a diverse learning community with students from various backgrounds and academic needs. All students are required to acquire Urdu language skills as part of the PISJ-ES academic programme. Understanding the international context of the School, newly admitted student(Pakistanis/Non-Pakistanis) are offered Urdu for Beginners (UFB) syllabus in place of Urdu CAIE syllabus, if they have not previously taken the language. The students sit for a ‘UFB Placement Test’ to determine their proficiency level, based on which they are registered at the following levels:
▪ UFB 1 – Foundation Level
▪ UFB 2 – Limited Working Proficiency Level
The performance of the applicants in the placement test will determine if they will take UFB for one year or two years.

▪UFB will be offered to the students from Y2 onwards.
▪ After 2 years of UFB, students admitted to Y2 – Y5 will continue with regular Urdu.
▪ Students placed in UFB from Y6 – Y9 will have a choice to continue to stay in the UFB Programme after language proficiency evaluation.
▪ Non-Pakistani Nationals can choose to stay in the UFB Programme throughout their course of studies, based on the language proficiency evaluation.
Note: Exemptions from the Urdu language are not allowed under any circumstances.

Special Subjects
To ensure that the education provided at PISJ-ES is well-rounded and satisfies the local context, the School offers certain subjects in parallel with the structures of the Cambridge International Curriculum. These are referred to as ‘Special Subjects’.

▪ Physical Education (PG – A2) focuses on developing physical fitness, confidence, and healthy competitiveness, students engage in regular fitness exercises and coaching sessions necessary to participate in a wide range of sports activities such as football, basketball, cricket, badminton, squash, and taekwondo
▪ Saudi Studies (Y8 – A2) develops acquaintance with the Kingdom’s history and culture to enhance social integration as per the requirements of the Ministry of Education, KSA.

Approach to Assessment

The School follows a Continuous Assessment Model across all grade-levels, evaluating students’ progress throughout the prescribed duration using various assessment tools.Continuous Assessment has abundant purposes to serve including determining students learning achievement, identify their learning difficulties for special support, to improve teacher’s pedagogical practices and to enhance the quality of education in general.

The School has devised a precise, nuanced and comprehensive assessment system for appraising student’s academic progression and achievement of learning objectives using a wellthought-out mixture of formative and summative assessment techniques.
▪ Formative assessment is used to monitor student’s learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. This comprises of classwork and homework activities such quizzes, assignments, practice questions, group projects and presentations.
▪ Summative assessment is used to evaluate student’s learning and achievement of curriculum objectives at the end of an instructional unit, term or year by comparing it against Cambridge International standards. This is conducted in the form of scheduled tests,mid-year and final year examinations.

Grading Structure

Y9 – Y10: For all subjects including Saudi Studies, students are assessed continually on a formative basis throughout the academic session using graded classwork and homework. Students are required to take scheduled tests and exams, designed as per Cambridge International’s paper pattern for summative assessment.

Assessment Weightage
Classwork 10%
Homework 05%
Scheduled Tests 20%
Mid-Year & Final-Year Exams 60%
Student Conduct 05%

A-Levels (AL): For all subjects, students are assessed continually on a formative basis throughout the academic session using graded classwork and homework. Students are required to take scheduled tests and exams, designed as per Cambridge International’s assessment pattern for summative assessment

Assessment Weightage
Classwork 5%
Homework 5%
Scheduled Tests 25%
Mid-Year & Final-Year Exams 60%
Mid-Year & Final-Year Exams 05%

Saudi Studies (A-Levels):

Assessment Weightage
Mid-Year & Final-Year Exams 100%

Special Subjects
Physical Education (PG – AL)
Based on students’ performance across scheduled Sports activities, including Annual Sports Day and in-school tournaments, student skills are evaluated as classwork whereas overall fitness level is assessed as homework. Keeping in view the aforementioned attributes, the overall grade is determined by the respective P.E teachers.

Term Distribution: The academic calendar comprises two terms, First Term and Final Term. For each term, the student's performance is evaluated as per the Grading Structure outlined for the respective schools and grade levels. The final grade on the Report Card is calculated using a term distribution in line with the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) report card format:

School First Term Final Term
Junior School (Y3 – Y4) 50% 50%
Middle School (Y5 – Y8) 50% 50%
Senior School (Y9 -A2) 50% 50%

Grading Scale
Ungraded (U) indicates a standard below the required percentage for grade D i.e. 50%.
Not Applicable (NA) indicates:
▪ The student is a late admission and has not taken the relevant assessment.
▪ A subject is not applicable or opted e.g. Islamic Studies for Non-Muslims

Y9 – AL:

Percentage Grades
90% and above A*
80% - 89% A
70% - 79% B
60% - 69% C
50% - 59% D
Below 50% U (ungraded)
  NA (Not Applicable)

Student Conduct Rubric (Y1 – A Level)

The student conduct will be graded, using the following rubric on a 5-point scale (once per term) and will be reflected in the Midterm and Final Term Report Cards.

Behaviour Observation Points
Disruptive behaviour in class
Friendly & respectful behaviour towards adults and peers
Follows school rules
Attention span
Respects school property
Follows task submission deadlines

Verification, Standardisation and Moderation
Verification, standardisation and moderation are the key processes by which the School maintains academic standards by assuring the appropriateness of assessments, and the accuracy of marking and grading decisions. These procedures also ensure alignment with the learning objectives and marking guidelines set out by Cambridge International.
Verification ensures that the form and content of assessment tasks and briefs are appropriate, fair and valid in terms of standards, effectively assesses the achievement of learning objectives and presents an appropriate level of challenge to students.Marking involves the academic judgement of students' submitted assessments against predetermined marking schemes and the provision of raw marks.
Standardisation activities are employed to ensure the consistency of marking across a cohort where there are multiple teachers involved.
Moderation is employed by the respective Head of Department to ensure that academic standards and marking are regulated within agreed norms and against predetermined marking scheme for the assessment. Moderation is usually undertaken by reviewing a sample of students’ work.


Student attendance is essential for learning as it ensures proper utilization of valuable instructional time. For this reason, the School equates attendance with academic achievement and establishes policies and procedures designed to encourage and require students to be in school.

Approved Leave
In case a student is unable to attend due to reasonable circumstances or commitments, they are required to submit a leave application for approval.
In case a student is on an approved leave:
▪ Any missed homework must be made-up for upon resumption by coordinating with the concerned teacher.
▪ Any missed classwork or test is automatically graded based on the average performance across all similar assessments taken by the student (denoted by AL).
▪ Any missed exam must be made-up for as per the concerned school’s ‘Retake Schedule’. In case multiple exams are missed, a student may need to sit for more than one exam on a single day. If a student fails to appear for the retake, they will not receive any additional make-up chances.

Unapproved Leave (Truancy)
A student is considered on unapproved leave when absent without valid cause for a school day or any portion of a school day. If a student’s leave is unapproved, they do not receive credit for any graded work or tests that are missed.
In case a student is truant for more than 30 days in an academic session, the School reserves the right to defer the student’s promotion to the next grade-level/ registration for CAIE Exams.

Academic Honesty

The School is a learning community in which students experience educational practices that honour and empower them. The School works with students to design the education and training needed for their academic and career success through programs which develop and enhance skills, competencies, attitudes, and values.
In order to take advantage of the educational opportunities at PISJ-ES, students must engage with and produce their own original papers, exams and other assignments. They may not reproduce the work of others and characterize it as their own. Not only is such a practice dishonest, but it does not lead to the development of new skills and intellectual capacity.
Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, any form of academic conduct that is deceptive, dishonest, or fraudulent such as cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication.

Base Consequences
In any actionable case of academic dishonesty, the following consequences occur:
▪ A “0” for the assessment in question
▪ Notification to the student’s parents

First Offense
The first offence in a student’s academic history incurs a base consequence as defined above.
If a first offence is deemed to be more serious, it may incur additional penalties

Additional, Multiple, or More Serious Offenses
Additional, multiple or more serious incidents of academic dishonesty (including serious first offences) are dealt with more severely. In addition to the base consequences defined above, consequences may also include any of the following:
▪ 1-10 days of suspension (in or out of school)
▪ Removal from any leadership positions in the school or extra-curricular activities, including, but not limited to, captaincy on sports teams and club/activity leadership positions
▪ An ‘Ungraded (U)’ letter grade for the subject in which the offence occurred

Variables for Determining Severity of Offense
Penalties and consequences are determined by the Disciplinary Committee based on the severity of the offence. In determining severity, the Disciplinary Committee considers factors such as:
▪ Recurrence (prior incidents)
▪ Collusion with other students
▪ Type of violation
▪ Seriousness of offence
▪ Contrition of student
▪ Premeditation of offence
▪ Degree of effect on the school community

Promotion & Retention

Promotion Board
The following members constitute the Promotion Board which is solely responsible for all decisions pertaining to the promotion and retention of any student.
▪ Principal
▪ Deputy Head
▪ Homeroom/Subject Teacher
▪ Relevant HOD

Y5 – Y9: A student’s promotion to the next grade-level is subject to the following conditions
1. Achieving a minimum of 50% in every subject
2. Achieving a minimum of 60% aggregate across all subjects
3. Regular attendance

Retention: A student failing to qualify the above conditions will be retained in the same grade level.

Y10 – A2: As students are externally assessed at the end of these grade-levels, promotion is strictly subject to the CAIE exam results.

Conditional Promotion: Conditional Promotion is granted only in extra ordinary circumstances where the student is unable to perform due to extreme emergencies e.g., medical conditions, or close family
tragedies. The Promotion Board will decide about the Conditional Promotion on the merits of each case

Academic Probation
A student on academic probation is required to demonstrate academic improvement during the course of the session. If no such improvement is observed until the end of the first month of probation, the School reserves the right to withdraw or retain the student .

Academic Support Programme (ASP)

The PISJ-ES Academic Support Programme (ASP) provides support to all students identifie with additional educational needs. The programme strives to develop each student’s ability b establishing a solid foundation in key academic areas.

An objective and data-oriented student profiling process, Multi-Tiered Support System MTSS (see Annex F) is in place for the development of a swift and appropriate plan of action for eac student every month. The support program offers a variety of academic services for studen including targeted skills sessions, peer tutoring, one-on-one specialized tutoring, and sma group instruction.

To monitor the student’s academic progression, the school encourages positive feedback from the parents. Parents are not to wait for the Official/ Regular PTC conducted once a term to interact with the teacher and to share academic concerns.

To discuss academic queries, parents may secure an appointment anytime with the concerne teacher by reaching out to the Deputy Head Office of the relevant school via Query Portal.

Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP)

The PISJ-ES Academic Enrichment programme is aimed at high-performing students to further stretch their competencies through the use of thought-provoking and challenging hands-on activities, which extend upon what they are already learning in their classroom. The programme sets extended expectations of academic rigour and offers students to become mentors to their peers and gain vital leadership skills.

CAIE Registration

Registration of students for the IGCSE, AS and A-Level examinations is subject to the following conditions:
▪ A minimum of 50% in every subject and a minimum of 60% aggregate across all subjects
▪ A minimum of 80% attendance till the end of the session
Note: The School’s CAIE registration process for IGCSE and A-Level students is available for May/June series only.

Extra-Curricular Activities

The wide selection of extra-curricular activities at PISJ-ES broadens the opportunities for students to enhance their natural abilities and to challenge themselves through the development of new interest areas. Extra-curricular activities include Science & Arts exhibition, Quran Competition, Model National Assembly (MNA), Model United Nations (MUN) and a variety of sports activities.

Student Clubs
The School has a well-established system of Student Clubs in place for Middle and Senior School students. These clubs have been formed with the vision of tapping into the metacognitive skills of the students and serve as a platform for self-exploration and selfdevelopment. Developing the ability to ponder over one’s thought process and guiding towards innovative outcomes play a pivotal role towards the School’s vision for educating the future leaders and global citizens beyond the ambit of traditional classrooms. These club activities are student-led and student-driven to provide diverse opportunities boosting critical-thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and personality development.
In order to promote active participation of students, the School offers a credit-hour program – applicable to Senior School.

Awards and Recognition

PISJ-ES seeks every opportunity to recognize the students’ accomplishments and recognise their hard work and positive efforts. The PISJ-ES student awards aim to celebrate the students’ commitment to all aspects of school life.

Academic Awards are given in the following categories:

Category Criteria Grade-Levels
Outstanding Achievement 90% and above Y9 – AL
Achievement Awards 80% to 90% Y9 – AL
Top Achiever Top in Subject Y9 – AL

The following Soft Skills Acknowledgment Awards are available for students from Y9 – AL:

Category Criteria Grade-Levels
Perfect Attendance 100% attendance throughout the year Y9 – AL

Apart from the end-of-year certificates, students from Year 10 and A-Levels also participate in PISJ-ES’s Annual Student Awards in the following categories:

Sr. No. Award Category Description
1 STUDENT OF THE YEAR “Student of the Year” is the nominee for being the most versatile & all-rounder student of the year, who meets par excellence in all aspects throughout the session of A Level or IGCSE respectively. The selection will be based on having an overall dominance in;
• Academics
• Conduct
• Discipline
• Punctuality
• Extracurricular activities etc

AS & A’ Level
“Academic Student of the Year” is the nominee achieving the highest score in aggregate of the three compulsory core subjects of the chosen groups as mentioned below:
• Pre-Medical Group
• Pre-Engineering Group
• Commerce Group
The selection in this category is based on the aggregate average of the Midyear and Mock Exams of both AS & AL level (Internal School Exam) Result.
“Academic Student of the Year” is the nominee achieving the highest score in aggregate of the nine IGCSE subjects holding with either Science or Commerce Group. The selection is based on the performance of the Internal (School Exam) Result.


3 DISTINCTION AWARD The nominees for this award are the students ranging under 5% to the top in aggregate of the respective academic groups.
4 CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION Awarded to the dynamic volunteers who give their best in organizing events & healthy activities throughout the school year.
5 MOST PROGRESSED STUDENT The student who exhibits remarkable improvement overall during the respective session of A Level or IGCSE.
The student who shows remarkable improvement (at least a grade jump e.g. from D to C and vice versa) in 4 subjects out of 6 core subjects will be entitled to acquire this award.
The student, showing improvement (at least a grade jump) in 2 subjects will be eligible to obtain this award.
6 OUTSTANDING ATTENDANCE & PUNCTUALITY Most punctual and regular student of the year.
7 LONGEST SERVING STUDENT First enrolled student in the school from the current batch.
8 SPORTS AWARD OF THE YEAR Awarded to the student who is prominent in overall sports including athletics and PE; from the class of boys and girls separately.
9 HEAD PREFECT Awarded in recognition of the services provided as Head of the Student Prefect Team.
10 BEST OF CAIE PISJ-ES AWARDS Best results in CAIE within the school
11 CAIE RANKINGS AWARDS As per the Accreditation of Cambridge Assessment International Education