AGES 11 - 16

Lower Secondary Framework

The Casco Secondary School currently provides classes for students in Years 7, 8, 9 10 & 11.  Over the coming years, the school plans to grow by one course each year, taking our current students all the way through to the end  of their Secondary School journey in Year 13 to the IB Diploma.  In Secondary, 80% of the classes are taught in English and 20% in Spanish. Small class size and constant teacher interaction means English is the main language heard in hallways and commons areas. Spanish is also promoted.

For years 10 and 11, The Casco School follows the guidelines of the two year curriculum designed by the Cambridge University team that created the IGCSE. The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSEs) is the secondary school requirement for students completing Year 11. The IGCSE curriculum aims to support academic, social and personal growth through robust lessons in and out of the classroom.

Students have the opportunity to tailor their individual learning program by selecting from a range of elective classes. Students at this stage study subjects and themes drawn from the National Curriculum of England. They learn core subjects: English, Spanish, French, Mathematics, Science, Humanities (History and Geography) , Information Technology, Social Sciences of Panamá, Art, Music, Physical Education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE).


Topic based learning

Upon completion of this two-year program, students will have developed skills in creative thinking, inquiry, and problem-solving. Teachers continue applying a personalized approach to instruction, ensuring that every student feels confident to step outside of their comfort zone and achieve beyond what they may have thought possible. Learning outside of the classroom is equally important. Through a full roster of extracurricular activities, peer mentoring, leadership opportunities and community service initiatives, students apply their academic learnings to the real world and learn to manage the challenges and responsibilities that they will face in higher education and beyond. In Year 10, students meet for the first time with the college counselor to discuss course selections and extracurricular and career interests. As students move on to Year 11, the college counselor plays a key role in developing a long-term, individualized plan for standardized testing, college selection, and admissions. This holistic approach to learning helps students feel safe and secure to fulfill their potential, and enables them to thrive in a world of opportunity.


Areas of learning

Elective Courses*

*These courses are designed as two-year programs of study, and provide the foundations for success within our Junior and Senior years.


AGES 16 - 18

Uper Secondary Framework

After completing the IGCSE Certificate, students will begin a two-year course to complete the Diploma Programme of the International Baccalaureate. The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is an international curriculum and set of exams respected by leading universities across the globe. The IBDP program gives students the best possible preparation for college or university, opening the doors to their top choices and preparing them for a successful future after Secondary School. 

Our IB Diploma Programme is planned for students aged 16 to 18. It will require students to study courses in six main subject areas, complete the IBDP Core Requirements and gain necessary life skills.The Diploma Programme’s six subject groups are:

  1. Studies in Language and Literature (usually English or Spanish)
  2. Language Acquisition (usually English or Spanish, but could be other languages)
  3. Individuals and Societies (examples are History, Business Management, Psychology and Environmental Systems and Societies)
  4. Sciences (examples are Biology, Chemistry, and Physics)
  5. Mathematics (four levels of math courses are offered)
  6. The Arts (examples are visual arts, music and film)

Studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, students work towards earning an internationally-recognized qualification that is respected throughout the world’s top colleges and universities. The programme provides a variety of curriculum choices designed to fully prepare students for college studies and help them develop to their full potential.

Students go beyond the collection of facts and learn how to flourish in our interconnected and globalized world. They ask challenging questions, discover what it means to learn, develop a strong sense of identity and culture, as well as the ability to communicate with and understand people from different cultures and backgrounds.


Topic based learning

IB examinations
The IBDP culminates in written examinations in Year 13 that are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in school, which are initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external examiners, or sent directly to external examiners. IB subjects are assessed using a points system from 1 to 7. The IB Diploma is awarded to students who achieve at least 24 points (subject to minimum levels of performance across the whole programme) and satisfactorily complete the Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) requirements. The highest total an IBDP student can achieve is 45 points. 

College Counseling
In Years 11, 12 and 13, our students become especially engaged in the college planning process, attending local college fairs and meeting representatives from colleges and universities who visit The Casco Secondary School throughout the school year. The parents and students will meet regularly with our college counselor, receiving guidance and support with college selections, applications, essays, and transcripts.
Our students will obtain two or three diplomas:
After completing their 13th year at the Casco Secondary School, students will obtain a MEDUCA (Panamanian Secondary School) diploma, a US Secondary School Diploma, and most of our students will obtain the IB Diploma.


Core IB Requirements

The Extended Essay (EE) is a requirement for students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the subjects they’re studying.

is a course designed to encourage each student to reflect on the nature of knowledge by critically examining different ways of knowing (perception, emotion, language, and reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, and historical).

requires students to actively learn from the experience of doing real service tasks that create a positive impact in a community beyond the classroom. Students can combine all three components or do activities related to each one of them separately.

Areas of learning

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