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Senior Secondary Curriculum - delivered through the HKDSE and the IBDP courses

The most distinctive feature of our Senior Secondary Curriculum is the wide range of courses we provide to support the diverse aspirations and career pathways of our students. After following a broad and balanced junior secondary curriculum, students clearly look forward to pursuing their individual interests through opportunities to specialise.


Students begin their HKDSE studies in Form 4. In addition to the 4 compulsory core subjects, Chinese, English, Mathematics and Liberal Studies, they have a free choice of any three from the 13 elective subjects offered across the 4 Key Learning Areas (Sciences, Humanities, Arts and Technology) of the Hong Kong curriculum.


In the HKDSE, all students study the 4 core subjects of Chinese (as a 1st or 2nd language), English, Mathematics and Liberal Studies. English Literature and extended modules in Mathematics are also available to students in Form 5 & 6 who aspire to these additional challenges. Students also follow a programme of Other Learning Experiences (OLE).


Form 4 students may apply to study the IB Diploma Programme as an option to the principally offered HKDSE at CSS. The IBDP programme begins in Form 5, and entry is through a selection process conducted during Form 4. The programme at CSS also offers many subjects as well as a compulsory core of 3 components – Extended Essay (EE), Theory of Knowledge (ToK) and Creativity, Activity & Service (CAS).


Whilst both Diplomas have successfully supported many CSS students to enter universities in Hong Kong and abroad, a major difference between the two Diplomas is the degree of specialisation.


The IBDP requires all students to study literature, a science and a humanities subject as 3 out of 6 compulsory courses of study. In the HKDSE, the study of literature is optional, and there is no restriction on any elective combinations or number of subjects, so students can choose just sciences or arts electives, for example. This is why two Diplomas are offered at CSS, to meet the aspirations and aptitudes of different students.


In both Diplomas, F5 and F6 students share a common core of learning which includes a combined CAS/OLE programme, a personal growth programme, physical education as well as guidance in university entries, careers & life planning.


For further information please refer to our F4 – F6 Senior Curriculum Brochure, as well as the IB Diploma Programme webpage and the HKSAR Education Bureau’s webpages on the Hong Kong curriculum, particularly the HKDSE section.

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