Azzan Secondary - ABQ
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My name is Kevin Vertue and I am the Head of Secondary at ABQ Azzan Bin Qais International School. I work closely with Ms Rachel Long and Ms Sheeja Satish, the deputies in the Secondary section. Ms Rachel Long is in charge of Pastoral Care and together with her team ensures that students are safe and emotionally supported during their time with us. Ms Sheeja Satish is responsible for our Academic Programme and leads an experienced team of Department Heads to ensure that our academics are of the highest standard.

The backbone of any school is their staff, and at ABQ Azzan our staff are well-qualified and highly enthusiastic and live our motto, ‘We Care’ on a daily basis. This creates a safe and inspiring environment for our students and gives them the platform to reach their full potential. Our Academic programme is unique as we offer both the General Education Diploma (GED) and Cambridge curriculum as an option to our students. This gives them the opportunity to choose a curriculum that suits their future objectives.

Students in Secondary school are in a crucial phase of their schooling career, and holistic development during this period is of the utmost importance. For this reason, we offer a variety of sports and clubs for students to take part in. Some of these sports/clubs include basketball, swimming, soccer, tennis, robotics and photography. Being part of the ABQ family is an enriching experience where students grow into well-rounded individuals that are equipped for life after school.


Grade 7 and 8 Cambridge Lower secondary – checkpoint for English, Math and Science

  1. The programme develops students’ skills and understanding of English, Mathematics and Science.
  2. Cambridge Lower Secondary forms part of the Cambridge Pathway. Subjects are designed to support a smooth transition onwards to the IGCSE syllabus in Cambridge Upper Secondary. Students write the Checkpoint external exam at the end of grade 8.
  3. A list of learning objectives for each stage of learning is provided by Cambridge and is followed by teachers to support students’ learning and prepare them for IGCSE.
  4. All of our assessments are based on these learning objectives.
  5. We make use of standardized progression tests prepared by Cambridge in grades 7 and 8 to assess and support learning.

Grade 9 -12 IGCSE/A level /GED/IGCSE (9 and 10)

  1. The Cambridge IGCSE curriculum offers a variety of routes for students with a wide range of abilities, including those whose first language is not English. It is a 2-year course where students write an external exam in grade 10. The content taught in grades 9 and 10 is tested.
  2. For students, Cambridge IGCSE helps improve performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving.
  3. Students get a chance to choose subjects according to their aptitudes.
  4. Support sessions are offered to help students achieve their maximum potential.
  5. To take into account varying abilities, there is a choice between Core and Extended curriculum papers in certain subjects.

A level (11 and 12)

  1. Cambridge International AS & A Level develops students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in in-depth subject content, thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments and presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly.
  2. Both AS level (Grade 11 ) and A2 level ( Grade 12) are assessed externally.
  3. For all science subjects, practical learning is given a lot of importance and regular support sessions are provided after school hours.
  4. Based on IGCSE results targets are set and teachers support students to achieve these results.
    Students can choose 3 subjects at AS level and continue with the same subjects in grade 12.

All the teachers teaching Cambridge syllabi, regularly update their knowledge through courses offered by Cambridge.

GED (General Education Diploma)

  • There are no subject choices in Grade 9 and 10 for GED students, and students are exposed to a variety of subjects which improve their overall knowledge.
  • Students get a chance to choose subjects in Grade 11. This can be seen as an advantage as students might have a clearer view of what they want to do after school.
  • We offer an excellent outcome improvement programme, GEDx, to improve our students’ attainment.

Pastoral Care

We believe that good behaviour is the key to effective education and promotes effective pedagogy. We work to create a learning environment where everyone feels valued, secure and motivated to learn.

We firmly believe that every member of our school community has a responsibility to teach students socially acceptable behaviour. We aim to change the narrative from focusing on discipline and punishment by following a positive discipline framework and ensuring that we “catch them being good”. This allows our students to receive rewards and praise in return for their academic achievements and efforts, as well as for following our school values. These ideologies are supported by a number of different opportunities for the students to express their opinions, creativity and leadership skills whilst being supported by their Head of Year, our school counsellor and the pastoral team.




  • 52 out of 68 (76%) of our students received full scholarships after the first screening
  • 38% of students scored above 90% average
  • Highest score of 99.3% average


  • IGCSE: 43% of students achieved an A – A*
  • AS: 43.5% of students achieved an A
  • A2: 89% of students achieved an A – A*

Unique Programmes


Aimed at improving the overall development of students who choose the Bilingual path and hence improve attainment in grade 12 which gives students the best chance to receive scholarships. Targets are set for each student based on a diagnostic test at the start of the year and progress is tracked by the relevant academic staff. Targeted tuition is offered on certain Saturdays to support students who struggle in specific areas.

Booster classes
Teachers identify a small group of students who require support in specific subjects and support sessions are provided to them after school.

Get Ready packs
Students are provided with study packs during the summer holiday to prepare them for the next grade.

CAT4 test
Benchmarking test that helps teachers adapt teaching according to each group’s ability and strengths. This is done in Grade 8.

Leadership opportunities
We have a variety of leadership positions within the Secondary section including, Head Boy & Head Girl, House Captains and Student Representative Council. All these positions give an opportunity to students to showcase and develop their leadership qualities.

What makes our Secondary section special?

  • Leadership Day – which helps develop students’ Leadership skills and provides greater clarity on their own leadership powers.
  • Subject-related weeks – where we celebrate identified subjects and showcase some of the key work in that subject.
  • International Week – a week set aside to celebrate all different countries and what makes them unique.
  • International Enrichment Tours – Enrichment tours that help develop students into global citizens.
  • Senior Fun Day – A special day set aside to celebrate the Grade 12’s final stage of their school career.
  • Awareness Weeks – To ensure that we are providing our students with continuous opportunities to be a global citizen, we host a number of different events and awareness weeks throughout the year. As we are moving into more of a digital age than ever before, these topics can include digital citizenship, online bullying and safety procedures that should be followed while online. These allow students to have conversations and debates about topics not previously covered in the traditional curriculum and invite both critical and flexible thinking.


Our facilities in the Secondary section are of a high standard and perfectly reflect that of an International School. In our classrooms, we have Apple TVs which enable teachers to implement the latest teaching trends.

Three well-equipped Science Labs are available to our students and provide the space for them to develop into ‘Isaac Newtons’.

Two newly renovated ICT Centres are set above our library to give the opportunity to students to develop their computer skills which are so important in the majority of careers today. A modern library is just the perfect space for our students to let their imagination run wild with some amazing books available for them to read, or simply provide them with a quiet space to sit and work during their free time.

we care.

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