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UWCSEA is an IB World School, offering the IB Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12. Our K–12 academic curriculum is shaped by our mission and educational goal and guided by the UWCSEA profile and learning principles. Learning goals in languages, mathematics, sciences, the Arts, humanities, technology and physical education build logically through each grade, preparing students for the next academic challenge.

Our curriculum was developed following extensive research examining best educational practice across the world, and our educational leaders continue to refine our unique curriculum across all five elements - academics, activities, outdoor education, personal and social education and service.

Academic curriculum

The UWCSEA academic curriculum is a concept-based curriculum. This means that from K1 to Grade 12, each curriculum area (or subject) has standards, which identify key concepts that underpin that curriculum area. These standards are applied at all grade levels and build naturally in complexity through the Infant, Junior, Middle and High Schools, culminating in the IB Diploma in Grades 11 and 12.

In turn, each standard has conceptual understandings that describe what a student should understand as a result of studying a particular content area. They are statements of understanding that are appropriate to a student’s developmental stage, and build towards the standard.

Benchmarks are then attached to each conceptual understanding. The benchmarks describe what a student should know, understand or be able to do at each stage of their learning in each subject. These benchmarks are what our teachers assess to ensure that students are reaching the conceptual understanding and are working towards the standards.

In the High School, the standards, conceptual understandings and benchmarks specifically take into account the requirements of external examining bodies that set the (I)GCSE and IB Diploma examinations that students sit at the end of Grade 10 and Grade 12.

Educating for a better world

The academic curriculum aims to develop the specific conceptual understandings necessary to build Peace and a Sustainable Future. These are derived from UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development Goals for and through a collaboration with our educational partners the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. Along with the skills and qualities of our Learner Profile many of these concepts are reinforced through linkages to the other four elements of our Leaning Programme. You can find out more here.

Transition into UWCSEA's curriculum

Because the UWCSEA curriculum standards are conceptual in nature, these ideas can transfer across the world. This supports students who are joining the College from different countries and educational systems and backgrounds. For example, while the content of a chosen text in English or a specific time period in History may vary between educational systems, the concepts that underpin that subject area remain the same and the learning is therefore transferable between systems. 


UWCSEA has outstanding IB Diploma results. In July 2019, our cohort of 561 students achieved an average IB Diploma score of 36.59—the worldwide average was 29.8. Each year a number of our students are admitted to highly selective universities in the US, the UK and many other countries. For further information please see the results section of this website.


At UWCSEA, we recruit and retain highly qualified teachers, who have an average of 17 years of teaching experience. Teachers provide the avenues that stretch student thinking, creating a challenging and stimulating environment that helps students to grow in appreciation of and passion for academics. 

Our teachers are provided with extensive professional development to ensure they are supported as new initiatives are implemented across the school. This is delivered via both a structured individual Professional Learning Programme and a College-wide focus on implementation of best practice, which regularly sees world-leading experts visiting to conduct workshops and extensive follow-up support with our teachers.


Each campus has two libraries: one for Infant and Junior School students, and one for Middle and High School students. All are designed and resourced to both support the curriculum and to promote broad reading as important and pleasurable. Digital and critical literacy are integral to the library programme; this can clearly be seen in the shared websites for library and research resources. Please see

Through our Academic programme, students develop intellectual habits and passions that stay with them for life.


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