24 Nov 2015

External IGCSE


24th November, 2015
 External IGCSE
Dear Parents

Recently it has come to our attention that some students are choosing to sit (I)GCSE examinations external to the school, in advance of the school examinations.

I am writing this letter to share our concerns as a school about this practice and ask that you consider your options fully before doing this.

When you apply to other institutions, either Higher Education or to other schools, we are asked by these institutions to supply a full academic transcript as a part of the application process. We can only include results for the examinations we have administered in this transcript. This means that we require all students to sit all of the (I)GCSE examinations with the school, regardless of whether they have already taken these examinations externally or not. To not do this would leave a gap in the transcript for this paper and this is not viewed favourably by Higher Education Institutes, even if you were to supplement this transcript with a result which you had achieved externally.

When receiving an application, universities and other schools strongly prefer to see that the examinations have all been at the same time and through the same centre. They use this as an indicator of a student’s ability to perform under difficult conditions. It is their way of ensuring that there is a level playing field when comparing academic results. To have a transcript with gaps or results from different times maybe perceived to provide that student an unfair advantage and can therefore be seen as a weaker application.

In recognising this we do all we can to stretch and support students in order to be able to perform at their best while sitting the examinations with their year level. We provide many opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of subjects, and this is supported in the school by our Gifted and Talented Education team. We also have an excellent Learning Support Centre which helps our students with learning difficulties to reach their potential in all subjects. If you have any concerns about the progress of your child then I would encourage you to raise these with their Head of Year in the first instance and we can then work with you to find ways to assist your child.


Yours sincerely



Greg Thornton                                             Sian May

Vice Principal                                              Head of Middle School



Sha Tin College, No. 3 Lai Wo Lane, Fo Tan, Sha Tin. Tel: 2699-1811, Fax: 2695-0592
The English Schools Foundation | 25/F, 1063 King’s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong