Years 7–9 (Ages 11–14)

The curriculum of our Lower Secondary programme (students aged 11–14) is based on the framework of the National Curriculum for England, with an extended focus on Chinese language, global citizenship, international-mindedness, character education, and the arts. Our holistic international education is designed to nurture and prepare our Lower Secondary students with the knowledge, skills, concepts, and understandings aimed toward becoming caring global citizens.

Four YCIS Secondary students wear YCIS uniform using computer in the YCIS campus

Chinese Language and Culture Programme

In YCIS’s globally recognised Chinese Language and Culture Programme, all students’ language and cultural competency skills are heightened and refined. Our Chinese courses are divided into two sections: Chinese as an Additional Language (CAL) and Chinese as a First Language (CFL). Students are grouped into different classes according to their language background and their particular needs, helping them to develop their abilities in Mandarin Chinese to a greater extent during their daily language lessons. Furthermore, Secondary students deepen their connection with Chinese culture while participating in regular cultural activities and culture studies courses.

Three YCIS Secondary students wear YCIS uniform in the school

Character Education

To align with the YCIS Philosophy & Objectives, our Character Education programme in our Lower Secondary programme helps foster positive moral values and principles, and educates the whole child. Through lessons and a wide-range of activities across and beyond the curriculum, students gain practical knowledge and skills to help them live healthy lives and learn to manage the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural challenges that they face as they approach adulthood.

One YCIS Secondary student drawing a picture


At YCIS, we believe that art and culture should play an essential role in the school’s programme and the life of our students, both inside and outside our classrooms. Through our Secondary Art courses, students build and improve their knowledge of materials, processes, and practices, and engage confidently with art, craft, and design, both in the contemporary world as well as that of different cultures and periods of history.

Three YCIS Primary students wear YCIS uniform playing drums

Music and Drama

In our Music and Performing Arts programme, Lower Secondary students focus on listening, performing, and creating. They are encouraged to discern music from different styles, genres, and parts of the world. Throughout the year, YCIS students participate in a wide-range of music and drama activities and learn to evaluate their own and others' contributions. Our students are encouraged to work both individually and in groups, with the aim of gaining confidence as creators and performers.

Three YCIS Secondary students wear YCIS shirts playing rugby


In our Physical Education (PE) course at Secondary level, learning areas are interrelated and contribute to the development of healthy, active lifestyles for students. Our students also build interpersonal skills such as communication and conflict resolution for refereeing and team communication, and decision-making skills for tactics and strategies. Our YCIS Qingdao Secondary campus also offers a wide-range of sports teams, and students have the opportunity to compete in leagues against other international schools, both locally and China-wide.

A group of YCIS Secondary students went to a school trip

Trips and Excursions

In addition to regularly scheduled class field trips integrated into the Secondary curriculum, YCIS students have the opportunity to travel throughout China as well as to other countries through our Experiencing China programme and World Classroom programme. In our Experiencing China programme students gain cultural appreciation in a series of trips to different regions in China, such as Guilin, Xiamen, and Inner Mongolia. Our World Classroom programme provides opportunities for our students to visit a wealth of countries around the world to learn first-hand about other major world cultures.

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