Cambridge ICT Starters – Frequently Asked Questions

When will the new Programming modules be assessed for the first time?

The new modules, Starting Programming, Exploring Programming and Programming for a Purpose,
will be assessed for the first time in January 2019. The Schemes of Work for these modules will be
available from January 2018, so you can start to teach the module content as soon as it is suitable
for your learners to do so.


Will assessments in the ‘Control’ modules continue?

The assessments for Starting Control, Exploring Control and Control for a Purpose will continue
throughout 2018 with the last session being December 2018. These modules will then be replaced
by the assessments of the new Programming modules from January 2019 onwards.


Which age group is ICT Starters suitable for?

Cambridge ICT Starters contains three levels: Initial Steps, Next Steps and On Track. It is aimed at learners aged between 5 to 14 years, but schools can choose to start the programme at the point which is most suitable to them and to their learners.

As a suggestion: Initial Steps could be for those aged 5 to 9 years, Next Steps for those aged 10
to 12 years and On Track for 13 to 14 years. For more information, please refer to the syllabus.


How many modules do learners have to take to gain the full certificate?

Each of the levels in Cambridge ICT Starters contains two stages. The number of modules in each
level and stage is shown in the following table:



At each level, learners can complete the stage 1 modules to receive a Stage 1 Certificate (for
example ‘Cambridge ICT Starters Stage 1 Certificate (Initial Steps)’). If the learners also complete all of the stage 2 modules, they will receive the Full Certificate for that level (for example ‘Cambridge ICT Starters Full Certificate (Initial Steps)’).

When preparing for each certificate (Stage 1 Certificate or Full Certificate), schools can choose to
teach the required modules in any order.


Can learners get a certificate for an individual module?

No, all of the modules for a particular certificate must be completed together


Can learners re-sit an individual module?

Yes, learners may re-sit an individual module if they have previously failed it. Under these
circumstances, this single module can be entered to achieve either the Stage 1 Certificate or the Full Certificate.


Does Cambridge ICT Starters have exam papers or practical assessments?

Each module of the syllabus contains the Assessment Criteria which must be met to achieve a Pass or Merit and is accompanied by exam papers that are available through CIE Direct. Once a learner has completed an assessment, the teacher should mark their work and complete a record of assessment. The record of assessment should be completed using the template ‘Learning Objectives Record Sheet’, which can be found at the end of each level in the syllabus document. A Learning Objectives Record Sheet should be completed for each learner and the teacher must sign each one to confirm that the learners have met all of the appropriate criteria.


Is it possible to amend the assessments prior to the learners taking them?

Schools can design their own assessment activities to relate them to their wider curriculum, but the amendments must be restricted to minor changes only. The changes can be made to tailor the
assessment towards curriculum topics, to the local learning environment or to align them with the
software used by the school.

These amendments must be approved by Cambridge International and schools should therefore
submit their proposed papers to Cambridge International for approval at least eight weeks before
learners take the assessment.


How does the moderation process work?

Cambridge International will request to see a sample of work completed at each level from the school (see page 77 of the syllabus). Cambridge International moderators will then make recommendations to:

  • approve all marks
  • approve some marks but to request that others are adjusted for a particular module or
    modules (for example to change a pass to a fail or a pass to a merit)
  • request to see further samples of work in order to ensure that the marking has been


Can assessments be carried out in lesson time?

Yes, as long as the procedures stated in the syllabus (see pages 75–77) are followed. These
procedures include the necessity for learners to be supervised, to not have access to their own files, to not receive tuition during the assessment and to complete work within a fixed time period (which is a maximum of 1 hour at Initial Steps and 1½ hours at the Next Steps and On Track levels).


What should the learner:device ratio be?

Learners can share computer devices during their lessons but they will all need access to a separate device whilst completing their individual assessments.


Can the assessments be taken on Apple Mac computers?

Yes. The only evidence we require is a copy of the learners' work and the completed Learning
Objectives Record Sheet.


Does specific software have to be used?

No. Any software which both the school and their learners feel comfortable with is appropriate, as
long as it allows all of the Learning Objectives to be met.


Is Cambridge ICT Starters available in any other languages?

The syllabus and assessment is available in English and Spanish. With the prior consent of
Cambridge International, schools may also be permitted to translate the syllabus and administer their assessment tasks in another language. However, the resulting sample of learners' work must be translated into English before submission for moderation purposes.


How much class time is recommended to teach Cambridge ICT Starters?

Cambridge International do not specify a defined number of learning hours in any of the modules.
Learners of different ages, with differing levels of experience of using ICT in other curriculum areas, may progress at different rates. Therefore, a judgement needs to be made within each school regarding how much teaching time is needed to enable their learners to confidently meet the learning objectives.


Is any special training or certification required of teachers of ICT Starters?

Cambridge International does not demand any formal training or certification for teachers. Teachers should familiarise themselves with the skills required from the whole syllabus before delivering the course. In particular, they should be able to teach the programme effectively carry out assessment activities and cope confidently with a wide range of software and applications.

It is also recommended that teachers view the Cambridge ICT Starters schemes of work as these
provide recommended activities and additional guidance in support of each module. The schemes of work can be downloaded from the Cambridge School Support Hub.


How can I register for Cambridge ICT Starters?

If you are already a Cambridge International school, you need only notify us in writing that you wish to add Cambridge ICT Starters to the list of courses that you are eligible to run. You will automatically be sent an information pack, including Provisional Entry forms, once you have been registered.

If you are not already registered with us, you will need to contact us in the first instance. We will send you a school registration pack. Subject to a school inspection and satisfaction of our school status criteria, you will be allocated a centre number and you will automatically be sent entry documentation. Please note registration can take some time, so we advise you contact us at least 3 months prior to offering your first course. You can find more information at 


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