Hoi An International School is excited to introduce its new A Level Programme for the 2022/2023 academic year. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the opportunity for forward-thinking educators to develop alternatives to the traditional on-site face-to-face classroom model while still delivering the important elements of social interaction, community involvement and extracurricular activities.

A Level is a critical time for students in their preparations for university studies. It is a time when the continuing development of independent study skills takes on greater importance. Our current global environment has required educators to re-think approaches to delivering a seamless, supportive learning experience with minimal disruption to the learning process.

HAIS is proud to step into the future with a learning model that will not only provide students with a customised learning experience but also offer flexibility through a wide range of academic options,  with minimised disruptions from global events. Students will be able to independently select from a range of online course providers, with our assistance, or choose (one of) our preferred provider(s). Students will study on campus in our new, purpose-built facility and work with our Student Support Coordinator (SSC) to create their own personalised timetable. Our SSC fulfils an important role in ensuring your child is on track for success by working directly with each individual and with their course provider in overseeing and managing their studies and offering individualised support. Our on-site subject teachers are available to offer additional support. Our Support Coordinator will send home weekly reports to parents to keep them up-to-date with their child’s progress.

Students will participate in our HAIS Community Work Experience Programme during their time at HAIS to help them gain real-life work experience and further prepare them for their next step into university studies and adulthood. There will be timetabled Physical Education (PE) lessons joined with our IGCSE cohort, Music lessons, and a range of workshops and activities, including participation in our HAIS ECA programme and full access to all HAIS facilities. Our development of supplemental activities will be ongoing, updated and tailored to our current student needs. Our HAIS A Level Programme is designed to help students find their passion and realise their dreams.

Holistic Pastoral Approach

PSHE education is a part of our curriculum that helps young people stay healthy, safe and prepared for life – and work – in the modern world, and helps pupils to achieve their academic potential. The acronym PSHE stands for personal, social, health and economic wellbeing.

By the end of A Level studies, many young people will leave home for the first time and live independently, possibly in distant locations. There is a balance between preparing students to manage their current lives and laying the foundations for managing future experiences. It is essential that students continue to learn about issues with real-life relevance to them at a crucial transition point in their lives.

The HAIS Pastoral Programme is an opportunity to ensure that students have the knowledge and understanding, skills, strategies and attributes they need for independent living and the next stage in their education or career.

Pathways to Personal Growth and Development

The transferable skills and extensive subject knowledge learners develop while studying with the HAIS A Level Programme equips them with the foundational learning base needed to continue their studies in higher learning. Throughout their two years in the HAIS Programme, students engage in a variety of activities, experiences and projects to help get them ready to move on to university, careers and life.

Work Experience
A Level students take part in off-campus work experience placements in order to gain hands-on experience in the industries and careers that interest them.

SCI Personal Growth Programme
A Level students join in community service activities, build healthy lifestyles through exercise, and express themselves creatively.

Active Lifestyle
In order to ensure that our students are maintaining their health and fitness, all A Level students are provided with an annual gym membership. Research has shown that exercise increases cognitive performance and by having access to a fully equipped gymnasium, our students will remain physically healthy while delivering strong academic performance.

Career & University Counseling
A Level students (depending upon the online course provider) will speak with a professional university counsellor to consult and guide them as they plan their pathway beyond graduation.

Essential Life Skills
Students have lessons in basic budgeting, home management and essential domestic skills, such as cooking.

Physical Education
We believe that it is essential that our students remain physically active. This required class also allows them to interact with other HAIS students.

Nurturing Creative Outlets
A Level students will have the opportunity to join the Year 11 students in Music lessons.

Paid Work Opportunities
A Level students have the opportunity to earn money if they choose to lead Extracurricular Activities for younger students.

Social, Digital and Network Literacy
There will also be skill-building opportunities, workshops and a guest speaker series.

Daniel Maguire

A Level Support Coordinator, Mathematics & Digital Literacy Teacher

Truong Thuy Linh

A Level Student Support Coordinator, ESL Teacher

Specialist Subjects Teachers

Yoann Labrue

Head of Sport, Physical Education Teacher

What is A Level?

Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS Level) and Advanced Level (A Level) are subject-based qualifications usually taken in the final two years of high school. AS Level is typically a one-year programme of study, while Cambridge International A Level typically takes two years.

Most subjects follow a staged assessment starting with AS Level and continuing with an A Level. The syllabuses are international in outlook but retain local relevance. They have been created specifically for an international student body with content to suit a wide variety of schools and avoid cultural bias. The contexts or examples used in syllabuses and exam question papers are culturally sensitive in an international context.

Why choose A Level?

A Level is the most common and natural progression after students finish their IGCSE. A Level is an excellent choice for students who have a clear idea of which subjects they excel in. For example, a student who is strong in Maths and weak in English Literature would benefit from focusing on Maths and dropping English. Focus on specific subjects is not possible with the IB or many other curriculums, which have a much broader study area.

Who takes A Level?

Aimed at 16–19-year-old students before university study, AS & A Level are taken by hundreds of thousands of students in more than 125 countries every year. In the UK, these are taken in Years 12 and 13 of the secondary school curriculum.

What subjects do A Level students take?

The most important criteria for choosing A Level subjects are:

    • Looking at what you are likely to enjoy and be good at. If you enjoy a subject or have an ability in it already, you are more likely to do well.
    • Are there any particular subjects you may need? If you have a particular career, job, or further study in mind, you may need to choose specific A Level subjects to meet entry requirements.
    • How open do you want to keep your future study and career choices?
What subjects should you choose?

There are no compulsory subjects with A Level. Instead, students are free to choose the subjects that interest them the most or feel will benefit them for their future studies or careers. Students typically study three subjects.

How many A Level subjects should you take?

Students have the option of selecting 3 or 4 subjects to study online, from a wide variety of courses available through high-quality online providers.

It is most important to finish with strong grades at the end of 2 years, and students traditionally find that completing 3 subjects over 2 years is challenging but reasonable.

The most common path is to start with 4 subjects in the first year and choose to discontinue one subject. In this case, the student would still receive a 1-year AS Level qualification for the discontinued course and aim to finish the second year strong with high grades in the remaining 3 A Level subjects.

Trying to finish with 4 A Level subjects is less common and should only be considered for the most dedicated and diligent students.

How is A Level Assessed?

A Level students will be assessed by their respective online course providers. Written examinations, taken at the end of the 2-year course of study, are the main assessment form.* For A Level courses, assignments are designed to prepare students fully for their exams. These assignments generally do not count towards the exam grade, but they are assessed, and the student’s Tutor will provide extensive feedback. In many cases, the assignments are based on previous exam papers, so they are an excellent opportunity for students to practise answering the kinds of questions they’ll face in the exam.

The grading scale runs from A* – E. Students not meeting the minimum standard will receive a grade of U. They need 40% to achieve an E, 50% for a D, 60% for a C, and 70% for B, 80% for A, 90% for A*. Any student averaging 80% across all modules will gain an A*.

* Some syllabi have coursework components and can still contribute to the final grade.

How do we monitor student progress and learning?

Based on the amount of work required to complete an AS or A Level subject, each student creates an anticipated pace at which they will need to work for that subject in order to complete their studies in the allotted time of 2 years and be well prepared for their exams.

At the close of every week, students complete a form to record the progress they have made in each subject over the past week. They include details about which topic or unit they studied, what pages or chapters they covered, and what progress they are currently making through their assignments. Using this method, students are able to compare their current progress with the pace they have anticipated and make adjustments as needed. Parents and school administration are kept informed of student progress. Any concerns with lack of motivation, engagement or effort will be addressed immediately.

Students meet regularly with the A Level Support Coordinator to discuss strategies to keep ahead of their studies and upcoming assignments. They are also asked to regularly share and discuss the notes they have been taking and show the passages they have highlighted and annotated in their textbooks as evidence of their continued progression. Our fundamental goal is to give our students the tools to thrive in their online studies, prepare for university life, and grow into responsible young adults.

How do students get practical work experience during the programme?

Work experience has been shown to enhance students’ employability skills, motivation in education, career-decision making and knowledge of the world of work. Many habits and skills needed to thrive in employment can only be learned by doing, and being immersed in the workplace.

The HAIS Work Experience Programme will match employers with students. They will need to write a letter of intent and apply for the placement they want. They’ll be well-prepared before the work placement and thoroughly debriefed at the end, to encourage them to reflect on what they have learnt.

The local businesses that participate and assist in the Programme also get a chance to give back to the local community, while enhancing their local reputation and profile, and also further developing the management skills of their existing staff. This mutually beneficial arrangement speaks directly to HAIS’s core values of collaboration and responsibility.

Of the many benefits of participating in the Work Experience Programme, the most important are:

Student Portfolio

  • Highly valued at top-ranked universities
  • Enhance personal statements for university applications

Employability Skills

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Confidence and maturity
  • Teamwork and problem-solving skills
  • Time management

Career Readiness

  • Decide on potential career options
  • Insight into the world of work
  • Career decision-making
  • Opportunity to sample particular job roles
  • Confirm or reject potential career options

Personal Effectiveness

  • Motivation to do well at school

How do students build their portfolio of experiences?

Besides personal growth and real world experience, another pivotal and crucial aspect of the HAIS A Level Programme is that students are building a portfolio to support their university applications. After completing the required hours of Work Experience and successfully collecting evidence of hours spent in Sports, Community, and Inspiration activities, students will receive certificates which will set them apart from other university applicants.

Following their studies with the HAIS A Level Programme, students will have the necessary tools to compete for admission into universities worldwide, colleges or successfully transition into the world of work. It is well known that, in a student’s personal statement, universities encourage applicants to include not only work experience but also extracurricular interests and activities that demonstrate personal growth. The HAIS Portfolio of Experiences will be a collection of eye-catching undertakings tailored to impress any university admissions officer or prospective employer.