Cambridge International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds. We are part of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities and trusted for excellence in education. We are the only international exams group in the UK owned by a university. Our [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Cambridge delivers excellence in education in Sri Lanka


Cambridge International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds. We are part of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities and trusted for excellence in education. We are the only international exams group in the UK owned by a university. Our qualifications are recognised by the world’s universities and employers.

We understand education. More than 9000 schools in over 160 countries are part of our Cambridge learning community. Our mission is to provide excellence in education, and our vision is that Cambridge learners become confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged.

Understanding learners’ needs around the world means listening carefully to our community of schools, and we are pleased that 98 per cent of Cambridge schools would recommend us to others. We work closely with schools in Sri Lanka to help them deliver the best possible education to learners.

Our programmes and qualifications are carefully designed to engage learners and give them solid foundations to achieve high levels of academic and personal attainment. Our approach is flexible, so schools can offer Cambridge at every stage of education or focus on specific stages. This means schools are free to build a unique curriculum which reflects their values. Our programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19 year olds include:

Cambridge Primary

Cambridge Primary is an established and successful international programme, typically for learners aged 5 to 11 years. It is taken in 80 countries worldwide, and taught in over 550 schools. The programme combines a world-class curriculum with high-quality support for teachers and integrated assessment. It develops skills and understanding in English as a first and second language, mathematics and science.

Cambridge Primary Progression Tests help schools monitor learner progress during the programme so student learning needs can be addressed. They provide an international benchmark for learner performance and are also a valuable tool in reporting to parents. At the end of Cambridge Primary, learners can take Cambridge Primary Checkpoint. This new testing service gives feedback on learners’ strengths and weaknesses in the key curriculum areas of English, mathematics and science. The tests are marked by Cambridge and every learner receives a statement of achievement and diagnostic report. We developed Cambridge Primary Checkpoint in consultation with schools, modelling it on our successful Cambridge Checkpoint tests, which have been available for 20 years.

Panchalika Kulatunga, Schools Development Manager, Cambridge International Examinations, Sri Lanka

Panchalika Kultatunga, Schools Development Manager for Cambridge International Examinations in Sri Lanka, says the programme’s flexibility and integrated assessments are popular with schools. She said: “We have a dedicated website for Cambridge Primary where schools can download progression tests at any time, and analyse results using the Cambridge Progress Checker.”

Cambridge Secondary 1

Cambridge Secondary 1 is typically for learners aged 11 to 14 years. It starts learners on an educational journey for their first few years of secondary education, developing skills and understanding in English as a first and second language, mathematics and science. It gives learners a solid foundation for later stages of education and includes integrated assessments.
At the end of Cambridge Secondary 1, learners can take Cambridge Checkpoint tests. These tests are marked by Cambridge and provide comprehensive feedback on learner performance. They are very popular with schools – Cambridge Checkpoint entries in the November 2012 series grew by 37 per cent worldwide on the same series last year. Both Cambridge Primary Checkpoint and Cambridge Checkpoint give learners experience of taking international exams at a young age, building their confidence for the future.

Schools following the national curriculum in Sri Lanka can adopt Cambridge Primary and Cambridge Secondary 1. They are flexible programmes that can be offered alongside the national curriculum. Alternatively private candidates can enter Cambridge Checkpoint and Cambridge Primary Checkpoint tests through the British Council.

Cambridge ICT Starters

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is now part of the educational experience of learners in most parts of the world. Taught as either a discrete subject or embedded within the curriculum, ICT is regarded as a new ‘literacy’, alongside reading, writing and numeracy.

Cambridge ICT Starters is designed to introduce learners, within Cambridge Primary and Cambridge Secondary 1, to the key ICT applications they need to acquire that literacy and to understand the impact of technology on our daily lives. The syllabus provides a curriculum framework in which ICT competence can be developed. Modules can be delivered according to the needs of each learning situation and age of the learners – across the curriculum or as a separate course of study.

Learners develop key ICT skills in a range of applications including: word processing, computer graphics, databases, spreadsheets, email, internet, presentations, video/animation and web authoring. Through Cambridge ICT Starters, students learn ICT practical skills; also they learn to consider wider issues such as adapting their work according to the audience, and internet safety.

Cambridge O Level

Cambridge International Examinations is the biggest provider of O Levels in the world. Cambridge O Level is taken in 80 countries and recognised as a reliable record of attainment by universities and employers worldwide, equivalent to Cambridge IGCSE and the UK GCSE. We have designed Cambridge O Level especially for an international audience. It is sensitive to the needs of different countries and for learners whose first language may not be English. The curriculum also enables teaching to be placed in a localised context, making it relevant wherever you teach it.

Cambridge IGCSE®

Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. Cambridge International Examinations was the first exam board to develop IGCSE, over 25 years ago, and it now attracts entries from 137 countries. Cambridge IGCSE develops skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving and is recognised and valued by universities and employers worldwide. In June 2010 the UK Government announced that IGCSE would be made available to state schools in England. Since then the popularity of Cambridge IGCSE has been growing fast in the UK, and it is now taught in 900 UK schools. Many Cambridge IGCSEs are approved by the qualifications regulator, Ofqual, for teaching in UK schools.

More recently, our work with education partners in the US has led us to map a range of Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses to Common Core Standards. These bespoke Cambridge IGCSE syllabuses are being trialled in an US education programme called ‘Excellence for All’ aimed at increasing the number of high school students who are ready for university when they graduate.

Cambridge International AS and A Levels

Cambridge International AS and A Levels are typically for learners aged 16 to 19 years who need advanced study to prepare for university and higher education. They develop a deep understanding of subjects, as well as independent learning and constructive thinking skills – abilities which universities value highly. They are available in 60 subjects and taken in over 125 countries.

Cambridge International AS and A Levels are taken by thousands of learners every year who gain places at leading universities worldwide, including the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. They are accepted by over 450 US universities, all UK and European universities, and other universities around the world. In places such as the US and Canada, good grades in carefully chosen Cambridge International A Level subjects can result in up to one full year of university course credit.

Opening doors to universities worldwide

We work closely with universities worldwide to make sure they understand Cambridge programmes and qualifications and reward Cambridge learners appropriately for their achievements. Our Recognitions team in Cambridge and our consultants around the world work with key influencers – such as ministries of education and bodies that regulate universities – to extend university recognition. They also raise the profile of Cambridge qualifications by giving presentations at major conferences and attending seminars and meetings hosted by universities around the world.

Cambridge Professional Teachers

Being part of the Cambridge community opens up a wide range of professional development opportunities for teachers. Our mission is to help raise standards of international education and so the support we offer goes beyond what you might expect from an exam board. We offer qualifications for teachers and trainers based on international best practice in teaching and training. Many Cambridge schools run our qualifications in house to develop standards of teaching, motivate their staff and encourage new ideas. Here are some examples of our professional development qualifications:

1. Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers

The Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers and Trainers is a practice-based qualification for continuing professional development, relevant to all teaching and learning contexts. Candidates can be teaching Cambridge programmes or other international, national or local programmes. The Diploma enables candidates to develop and demonstrate their all-round competence as reflective practitioners.

As it is an extended modular programme, the Diploma provides many opportunities for candidates to apply new ideas and approaches and achieve a sustained improvement in their professional thinking and practice.

2. Cambridge International Certificate for Teachers in Bilingual Education

The Cambridge International Certificate for Teachers in Bilingual Education is a practice-based qualification for the continuing professional development of practising teachers working, or preparing to work, in a bilingual education programme. Teachers may be planning to teach for the first time, or may have recently started teaching in a bilingual school or programme, and are looking for ways to make lessons more effective. The Certificate has been specially designed for teachers with little or no experience of teaching through an additional language, who wish to gain confidence and develop the relevant skills, knowledge and understanding. It helps teachers to improve their practice to support meaningful and effective learning in a bilingual education context.

Panchalika Kultatunga said: “Providing first-class professional development training for our teachers continues to be a top priority for Cambridge. That is why we increased the number of training events by 20 per cent this year, delivering over 530 face-to-face and 200 online training events for our teachers around the world. Every year, Cambridge learners in Sri Lanka excel in their exams – receiving our Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards – and we recognise that Cambridge teachers play a large part in their success.”

To learn more about Cambridge in Sri Lanka, go to
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