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Academic Pathway in Bala-City

Bala-City School is a unique combination of two educational programmes - the Russian Programme (Federal State Educational Standard) and the Cambridge International Programme.

International education has its advantages. But there are strong and effective traditions in the Russian system that we do not want to be lost. We have taken an innovative path by integrating two programmes, where knowledge is layered and built upon, there is an overall effect of synergy. This approach has proven successful.

It should be noted that Bala-City became the first school in the Volga region accredited by Cambridge University, which is annually ranked among the best universities in the world. Its methodologists and our teachers are constantly working to improve the educational program. Due to this, children living in Kazan can receive a British education. And in this article I will tell you more about our Cambridge programme and its aim.

You may see the Pathway your child passes during the years in Bala-City and the final destination of this path is Cambridge “IGCSE certificate” (Grade 9) and “AS & A Level certificate” (Grade 10-11). Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds, leading to globally recognised and valued Cambridge IGCSE qualifications.

There are some misunderstandings of the concept of IGCSE and A-levels as some have an idea that our school and Cambridge programme in general prepare our students ONLY for some language exams like TOEFL or IELTS. It is simply not true.

Not only do we give kids the ability to confidently use the English language and indeed pass language exams, but we also allow them to develop a deep knowledge of subjects such as English, Science, Math, Enterprise and Global Perspectives (each subject is certificated separately). Indeed, there are a large variety of subjects available that we hope to offer in the future. These subjects are combined with the conceptual understanding and higher order thinking skills that they need for success at school, at university and in employment - and these are what IGCSE and A-levels are.

Cambridge IGCSE encourages learner-centred and enquiry-based approaches to learning. It develops learners’ skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving, giving learners excellent preparation for the next stage in their education.

Cambridge IGCSE is recognised as a reliable record of attainment by universities and employers around the world, and by this we mean not only Cambridge University, but a range of different universities. Many universities worldwide require a combination of A Levels and IGCSEs to meet their entry requirements. In the UK, Cambridge IGCSE is accepted as equivalent to the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

Students graduating from Bala-City and who have passed all the stages are expected to acquire B2-C1 levels of English according to the Common European Framework of Reference, which means that a kid is ready to pass International Exams (such as Cambridge Advanced English, TOEFL, IELTS etc) to certify the knowledge of English independently after graduating from school.

It is important to mention that the focus of our work in Bala-City is not only academic knowledge. It is certainly important and is the foundation on which children will rely on. But our task is to teach them to generate non—standard ideas, to be able to work in a team, express their point of view, analyze, and find necessary information in the flow. We understand that the learning process never ends. The world is changing, and we must be open to new knowledge.

The Cambridge Pathway prepares students for life – helping them to develop an informed curiosity and lasting passion for learning. It helps students develop thinking and learning skills – ready to tackle the demands of tomorrow’s world, capable of shaping a better world for the future.

That’s why success with Cambridge opens doors to the world’s best universities – in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and beyond. Cambridge qualifications are accepted and valued by universities around the world, including MIT, Harvard and Cambridge.

We are very proud of our students and wish them all the best in their future!

Albina Nasyrova, CEO of Bala-City Group


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