Cambridge Lower Secondary Checkpoint Global Perspectives– The Checkpoints

How many Global Perspectives Checkpoints are there?

There are two Checkpoint assessments in the Cambridge Global Perspectives Primary and Lower Secondary programme:

  • a team project which is taken at the end of Primary.
  • a research report which is taken at the end of Lower Secondary.


Why is the group project at Stage 6 and individual project at Stage 9? Why not the other way around?

We have carefully developed the appropriate Checkpoint assessments for these two important stages. The Team Project at the end of Primary is designed to encourage the learners to demonstrate how they have developed their team-working skills, especially collaboration and communication. These team skills are very important and we want to reinforce the value of these. The subject of the Team Project is selected by the learners themselves, not the teacher. It’s their opportunity to demonstrate that they can listen, negotiate and work together on a topic of their choice. They find this rewarding and challenging!

At the end of Lower Secondary the individual Research Report prepares learners for their next stage of learning and is particularly useful for those going on to study Cambridge IGCSE or O levels in any subject. It is often the first long formal piece of writing that they submit to Cambridge and writing it gives them confidence to show that they are ready for the next stage.


Does Cambridge mark the Checkpoint projects and reports?

Teachers mark the work and Cambridge moderates the marking. To help teachers we have developed an easy to use, upload and marking system. Schools have given us favourable feedback about the process as being quick and the system as easy to use.


Is the Global Perspectives Checkpoint the same as the other Checkpoints?

The Checkpoints for Global Perspectives have important differences to the written assessments for English, English as a Second Language, Mathematics and Science.

Here are some of the ways that they are the same:

Checkpoint is available at the end of Primary and end of Lower Secondary.

There are two Checkpoint exam series in May and November.

Entries are made by the Exams Officer using CIE Direct.

Entries are the same price for all subjects.

Checkpoint entry is optional.


And how they are different:

There is no Global Perspectives test paper that you receive from Cambridge.

There is not a time limit on how long learners spend doing their Checkpoint work (although we do offer guidance).

There is no paper to return to Cambridge. Work is uploaded in the Checkpoint area of the Online Learning Area. We give you access to this when we process your entries.

The Global Perspectives Checkpoint is marked by teachers and moderated by Cambridge.

It is not necessary to tell us about candidate special considerations.


When is Global Perspectives Checkpoint offered?

It is offered in the two Checkpoint exam series in May and October each year.


Why don’t you need to know about special considerations for Checkpoint?

As these Checkpoints are not timed tests there is no extra time for us to allow. Teachers decide how much time to give learners to work on their team projects or research reports whether in class or at home or a combination of both.

In addition, spelling, punctuation and grammar are not assessed. This means that candidates with special considerations for other subjects are not discriminated by participating.


How much do entries for the Cambridge Global Perspective Checkpoint cost?

All the Checkpoint subjects, including Global Perspectives are the same price.


Can learners in different schools work on a Checkpoint group project?

No, learners must be in the same class so that when they work together the teacher can observe and mark their participation.

There are opportunities to collaborate with Cambridge schools throughout the programme. The Teacher Guide has some guidance on this.


We would like to choose one topic for all of our learners for their Checkpoint team projects. Is that allowed?

No, the teams must choose their own topics. Some marks are awarded for this and the learners need to provide evidence about how they made their choice.


Is there any information for teachers to help them mark the Checkpoint team projects and reports?

Yes we provide step by step guidance for this and our system for submitting and marking work is easy to use.


Is it difficult to assess individual contributions to group projects? Will learners and parents say it is unfair?

It is important that parents and learners understand what makes a good team member and why collaboration and communication are important skills to develop. These skills involve listening and reflecting on other people’s opinions, and doing a fair share of the work, not taking over or doing very little. Some learners may produce great work in class when they work on their own but they may find they struggle in a group.

Teachers should feel confident that leading up to the Primary Checkpoint their learners have had opportunities to practise their group work skills and have had feedback on them.

Providing feedback on these key skills is very useful as learners get ready to start their secondary education.


Do learners need to use a particular citation format when referencing sources?

We want to see them using referencing accurately but we do not ask learners to use a particular format.


There are only four Challenges for stages 6 and 9 but there are 6 for the other years. Is this correct?

There are four Challenges in Stage 6 and Stage 9 because preparing for Checkpoint takes approximately the same lesson time as two Challenges.


If we decide not to offer Checkpoint we have a gap of two Challenges in our timetable. Do you provide extra Challenges for those schools who do not take Checkpoint?

We have carefully designed the programme to offer assessment where it is appropriate. We think that it is important that learners have the opportunity to demonstrate their skill development at the end of Primary and Lower Secondary.

Checkpoint is optional so you can offer it if it suits your school. If you choose not to offer it, you can look at other options, for example extending the time you spend on the other Challenges in those stages.

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