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  • Subjects offered in Dipont Educations’s General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (A-level) centers include:

    Accounting >

    Biology >

    Business Studies >

    Chemistry >

    Economics >

    English for Academic Purposes >

    ICT >

    Mathematics/further mathematics >

    Physics >

    English for Academic Purposes is compulsory for all students throughout the program, even when they have met the language entrance requirements (IELTS/TOEFL) for overseas universities. Students can choose four to five subjects at AS-level and, in most cases, take three to four subjects at A2-level.

    Subjects in-depth

    Accounting

    During the first year, the emphasis of the A-level Accounting program is on mastering double entry bookkeeping and developing an understanding of how income statements and balance sheets are drawn up.

    Classwork and homework involve exercises that allow students to become confident in using accounting techniques.

    Covering financial and management accounting, topics studied include:

    • double entry system
    • classification of accounts
    • international accounting concepts
    • departmental accounts
    • stock evaluation
    • analysis and interpretation of company financial statements.

    At A2-level, the course seeks to deepen students’ understanding. The program covers more complex costing methods and examines budgeting and cash flow statements as management accounting tools for business decision making.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    As Chinese students tend to have greater familiarity with numerical skills than they do with international accounting conventions, our focus is on developing notes that lead sequentially through the internationally acceptable procedures for recording business transactions. We aim to make the subject as practical as possible, using published accounts and data that exists in the public domain.

    Accounting students tend to have excellent logical thinking skills, particularly given their strengths in mathematics and sciences. The teaching of the subject, therefore, is very much about applying these skills to accounting practice.

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    Biology

    The A-level Biology program provides well-designed studies of experimental and practical biological science. The subject enables students to acquire sufficient understanding and knowledge to be able to develop an informed interest in matters of scientific importance.

    At IGCSE level, the program covers the basic biological concepts needed for further study. Much learning time is spent on science language learning as well as scientific methodology to prepare the students for further study not only in biology, but also in chemistry and physics.

    At AS-level, the program offers a range of biology units including cellular biology, molecular biology, genetics, immunity, diseases and ecology.

    At A2-level, we cover areas such as respiration, photosynthesis, evolution, inherited changes, regulation and control in greater detail. Application units in the A2 course include major topics such as bio-diversity and conservation, biotechnology and gene technology. This aims to stimulate students’ interest in the local and global environment and to promote their understanding of the need for conservation.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    It is essential to have a high level of English for a theoretical science subject like biology. To reflect the varying language skills among students, we initially move slowly through the scheme of work to allow students an opportunity to develop the necessary language skills. In addition we incorporate many visual learning opportunities to give all students equal access to the learning material.

    The biology program prepares students for studies in biological sciences, and other science courses, in higher education or in professional courses. Additionally, students gain an understanding of local and global issues that stimulates debate and critical thinking skills.

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    Business Studies

    A-level Business Studies is practical, applied and exciting. Theories are explored and investigated using real examples and students’ own experiences. The course embodies all the fundamental areas of the subject:

    • entrepreneurship
    • financial planning
    • marketing
    • motivation
    • organisational structure
    • workforce planning
    • PEST analysis
    • external influences on the business.

    The course is designed so that students develop their understanding of the relationships that enable businesses to function and the role that businesses play in wider society.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Chinese students generally have a strong interest in business studies, although can struggle when developing the higher order skills of analysis and evaluation. Our schemes of work have been developed to encourage and enhance these skills and to broaden the subject-specific language skills needed to communicate ideas to the examiner.

    We use the latest supplementary materials to provide our students with learning opportunities to understand how knowledge gained in the classroom can be applied in real life business situations.

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    Chemistry

    A-level Chemistry covers all the major aspects of theoretical chemistry, in addition to having a strong practical component. Time in the laboratory is used not only to develop students’ investigative skills but also to reinforce and illustrate key concepts.

    During the IGCSE course, students study basic concepts to prepare them for AS and A2 material. They develop basic skills needed to perform experiments, plot graphs and draw valid conclusions.

    In the final part of their course, students look at important areas in which chemistry is being used to enhance our lives, such as in biological systems and medicine, in analyzing and designing new materials, and in monitoring and protecting the environment.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Chinese students generally have high levels of numeracy but less developed practical skills. They also need support in applying their knowledge to new situations.

    In many centers students spend much of their time in the laboratory, whilst classroom teaching affords ample opportunity for learning through discussion, group work and demonstration.

    The scheme of work provides PowerPoint presentations, student notes, laboratory worksheets and other resources that can be adapted to meet individual needs. Assessment materials are provided at regular intervals throughout the academic year.

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    Economics

    The A-level Economics program covers both micro and macroeconomics. It permits students to reach logical understanding of the impact of developments in business, society and the world economy. Strong emphasis is placed upon the practical application of economic theory.

    The course covers microeconomics issues such as how individual economic agents and individual markets allocate resources. It also examines macroeconomic concerns such as the relative strength of economic performance, international trade and exchange rates and evaluating government intervention.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Most of our students have never been exposed to western economic approaches, so emphasis is placed on enabling students to develop their knowledge of economic events and how these are perceived and dealt with in different countries.

    Classroom discussions and group work develop students’ ability to criticize effectively and constructively. Teachers enliven academic study with practical and real-world examples that stimulate discussion and constructive criticism, as well as develop students’ analysis and evaluation skills.

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    English for Academic Purposes

    In most Dipont A-level centers students prepare for an IGCSE exam in English as a Second Language in their first year. The focus of the course is on skill development in the four key skill areas, reading, writing, listening and speaking, and is intended to provide students with a strong foundation in the English language.

    The essential objective is to assist students to develop strong proficiency skills in English and prepare them to become global learners. Students will need to achieve acceptable scores in international tests in English and to do so requires good communicative ability, a solid grasp of academic study skills and a capacity for critical thinking. All of these elements are integrated into the English program.

    As English instruction is such a crucial area for our centers and students, management and staff are in frequent dialogue to develop our program further. This creates a lively and innovative approach to the development of English learning and ensures that we continue to strive to meet the needs of our students.

    At AS-level, students follow the NorthStar upper intermediate reading and writing textbook that includes the development of critical thinking and study skills. The development of speaking and listening skills is also an integral component for students at this level. A literature and independent research component has been incorporated into the program for more able learners.

    At A2-level, students take a university preparation program that focuses on the skills they need for studying in an academic learning environment abroad. During this academic year, students complete personal statements for university applications and focus on writing standard college essays. Extended level students will have an opportunity to gain exposure to different types of literature commonly found in university-level English classes.

    In a small number of our centers, Cambridge exams designed for native English speakers are offered to students with high English language ability. These include AS Language and Literature and AS Literature.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Students enter the program with various degrees of English proficiency, therefore the instructional pedagogy includes an awareness of these differences and English remediation is offered when necessary.

    The university preparation program at A2 level prepares Chinese students for studies in a western environment, who, without adequate preparation prior to attending, are often unfamiliar with the academic demands at university. The program addresses aims to ensure a smoother transition into western academic life.

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    Mathematics/further mathematics

    The A-level Mathematics program is a core subject in all our A-level centers and comprises pure mathematics, mechanics and statistics. It is offered as either a one- or two-year course.

    Most centers prepare students for A-level Mathematics by teaching the IGCSE Additional Mathematics course as a pre-A-level course. This course allows students to learn mathematical vocabulary and is an excellent foundation for A-level study.

    The A-level Further Mathematics program includes further pure and further applied mathematics, the latter requiring students to undertake both mechanics and statistics. Further mathematics is a very demanding course and is only offered to committed students who have been awarded a grade A or A* in the second year of the A-level Mathematics program.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    As English is a second language for our students, we explain the mathematical concepts clearly, using visual representations wherever possible and reinforcing learning with examples.

    The numerical ability of our students is outstanding and the vast majority score high grades in their final year. Most students have a very strong mathematical background from the Chinese education system so many require work that is challenging.

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    Physics

    During the IGCSE course, students study basic concepts and develop the skills needed to perform experiments, plot graphs and draw valid conclusions.

    At AS-level, students gain in-depth knowledge of Newtonian Mechanics, heat and thermodynamics, sound and light, electricity, nuclear physics and electronics. They learn how to plan an investigation, follow scientific steps to perform an experiment, record findings and evaluate their performance.

    At A2-level, students are given the opportunity to plan and perform experiments on their own, providing a chance to measure their own performance and develop creativity. They also learn more about electricity and magnetism, nuclear physics, thermodynamics and electronic communication.

    Students’ skills and knowledge

    Physics is a popular subject for most Chinese students. They have a good understanding of basic physics and enjoy learning more through experimentation and demonstrations, which is not normally a focus in most Chinese schools.

    In the IGCSE year there is a strong emphasis on science language learning. Class sizes enable students to have personal interaction with the teacher. Students are also keen to watch subject-related videos and review relevant information available on the internet.

    Project work forms an important step towards expressing innovative ideas and the development of group working skills and presentation skills. Exam results in physics are impressive and a number of our students have received performance awards for their examination results. 

    A number of centers run physics-orientated clubs as extra-curricular activities.

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    We have a range of career opportunities

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