Senior School

The Senior Section is where all the hard work that has been undertaken earlier in a student's educational journey comes to fruition, with the attainment of excellent grades in the UK-based IGCSE and A Level examinations.

Success in these examinations will enable students to enter top universities in Britain, America, Australia, India, Singapore or elsewhere in the world.

Throughout a child's time in the Senior Section, parents are kept fully appraised of their academic progress and potential. There are both mid-term and end of term reports, regular parent/teacher meetings and direct individual contact between the school and parents. CIS aims to facilitate open communication in order to fully support student achievement.

CIS has a strong culture of student support, with teachers frequently working with small groups, or individual students outside of timetabled lessons. This is facilitated by generous staffing where the school takes pride in a staff to student ratio of approximately 1:9. The school also has a strong pastoral system, with each student receiving support, both academic and personal, from their class teacher during daily tutoring sessions.

The Senior Section consists of two parts, covering Intermediate (Years 7-11) and Sixth Form (Years 12/13).



The five years which make up this part of CIS cover the vital period in every student's academic and social development, culminating in their IGCSE examinations. As children grow older, they need to take more responsibility for their own learning, time management and self-discipline. Consequently, from the start of Year 7, students are actively encouraged to begin to work more independently and resourcefully so that they are able to acquire these essential life-skills. However, teachers are mindful that this process requires guidance and thus take an active role in supporting and monitoring students throughout this journey.

Students who require additional English language support also benefit from the school's Supportive Literacy programme handled by a specialized branch of the English Department, which creates specific and individualised programmes for students with literacy needs.

In Years 10 and 11, students embark on a two-year course leading to IGCSE examinations which are taken at the end of Year 11. All students must continue with English and Mathematics throughout this time. In addition, seven subjects are chosen from the wide selection available, which include the Arts, Commerce, Humanities, Modern Languages and the Sciences.

Towards the end of Year 11, all students receive a comprehensive induction into the Sixth Form and also take part in a programme of work experience outside the school. This encourages them to begin thinking seriously about future career paths and possible degree courses.

The intermediate years see such rapid development and change in boys and girls, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. It is therefore vital at this time that they are educated in an atmosphere which is structured and secure, while also being stimulating and challenging.


Sixth Form

In Year 12, all students study four subjects for AS Level. They then continue with either three or four subjects in Year 13 for the final A2 Level examination.

Examination results have been consistently outstanding, with many students achieving three or more A or A* grades every year. In addition to the wide range of possible A Level subjects available for study, there is a valuable Enrichment Programme incorporated into the CIS Sixth Form curriculum, which broadens intellectual horizons and develops critical thinking skills. This enables our students to enhance the breadth of their skills as is necessary for admission to the most prestigious overseas universities.

CIS and its worldwide university links
The school also provides assistance, training and preparation for a variety of other examinations in the Sixth Form, depending on what students wish to study at university. These include the BMAT and UKCAT (for those wishing to study Medicine or Dentistry in the UK), LNAT (for Law in the UK) and SAT 1 and 2, (for all those who wish to go to university in the USA or Canada). The IELTS course is also offered to those who require this English language qualification for university admission and this is taught by experienced staff.

The school offers comprehensive university and career guidance to all students. This begins formally in Year 12, with initial advice and orientation, and continues throughout the application process. Interview training is also arranged and conducted for all those called for interviews (such as applicants to Oxford, Cambridge and UK medical schools).

There are three specialists appointed with specific responsibility for UK universities / UCAS, US and Canadian college counselling, and Australian / Asian universities coordination. All three specialists work closely with the Principal, who oversees the entire process. Significantly, all students continue to receive help and guidance where necessary after leaving CIS, whether it is with further applications or with the clearing process.

We are extremely fortunate that all our university applications are supervised and supported by the school's former Principal, Mr. David Sanders who is now the Director of University Admissions and Tertiary Education. Mr. Sanders is based between Colombo and the UK, allowing him to stay fully abreast of emerging trends in higher education. Students and parents have access to his advice and guidance at any time via skype and also have opportunities to meet him during his visits to CIS.

Heads of Department and Sixth Form subject teachers are also more than happy to offer advice and guidance to students and parents, so that they can make well informed decisions on which university or course to choose for further study.

CIS is justifiably proud of its teaching faculty and boasts a large number of highly qualified, experienced and competent staff, with a proven track record of facilitating academic excellence.

The overall ambition of the Sixth Form is to encourage students to aim high, both in their studies and in their lives, thereby achieving what is set out in our Mission Statement. By the time they leave the school, students will have become confident, disciplined, resourceful and independent learners, fully prepared to make the very most of their lives at university and beyond.

Arts & Activities

Art, dance, drama and music play an important role in the Senior Section at CIS. Not only is Art offered as a subject within the curriculum (with lessons for all children in Years 7/8/9), but it also features outside the time-table, with students preparing for art competitions and exhibitions both in and out of school.

These include the renowned annual Digital Art competition, which has a become a very popular national event, open to all schools in the country.

With regular musical and cultural evenings, a major annual school drama production and a host of other events, there are plenty of opportunities for students to display their talents and build confidence to perform in public. The choir performs regularly both in and out of school at a wide range of events.


Sports certainly receive due recognition at CIS. We offer athletics, badminton, basket-ball, cricket, netball, rugby, soccer, swimming and tennis.

At CIS, we believe in diversity and offering our students the chance to participate in many different sports. We compete against other schools island-wide, including both local and other international schools and we are proud to say that no school ever regards a match against CIS as easy. Our students have had spectacular success whilst representing CIS locally, nationally and even internationally.

Clubs & Societies

There are ample opportunities to enrich both the mind and body through mental and physical development. Students are strongly encouraged to join societies, whether it is to discover new skills and interests or to develop existing ones.

  • Around 20 different clubs and societies are offered in the Senior section, covering everything from Debating to Drumming, Environment to Engineering, Interact to IT and Social service.
  • Whilst every club and society has a member of the teaching staff supervising and helping with organization and administration, the President and Secretary are always students who are appointed on an annual basis.
    • Animal Welfare
    • Art
    • Chess
    • Choral
    • Cultural
    • Debating
    • Drama
    • Drumming club
    • Environmental
    • Eureka
    • Interact Club
    • IT Society
    • Literature
    • Math Olympiad
    • MUN
    • Orchestra
    • Science
    • Social Service
    • Scrabble

The Drama Club includes students from Year 7 to the Sixth Form. There are more than 80 students in the club, which meets regularly on Thursdays. Two major productions are held each year; one production for the Sixth Formers and one for the Intermediate students (Year 7 to 10).

The Drama Club's past productions include:

Cash on Delivery (2019)

Hotel Paradiso (2018)

Blood Bothers

Jane Eyre

Fiddler on the Roof


Musical Evening 2020
Musical Evening 2019
Activities & Sports

At CIS we place great importance on sports in the curriculum. All students from aged 3 to 18 have weekly P.E. classes and are encouraged to participate and develop their abilities in sports for which they have a special talent or skill.CIS sports teachers and coaches are highly experienced and are able to train and guide our young sportsmen and women to achieve their best.

There are sports teams in Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Netball, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis and we regularly participate in competitions against other international as well as local schools.

Hotel Paradiso - 2018
Carol Service 2018
Cultural Evening 2017
Annual Production 2014

♦ Cinderella (the Pantomime)

The Sixth form presented their version of pantomime for the 2014 production. The Cast consisting of 35 players in the production ran to packed houses on the 7th and 8th February 2014. The Auditorium was converted into the grand ball room and the stage resembled the genre of fairy tale.

The production had it all- the comedy, the romance, the verbal fights of the sisters, the dance, the magic just to name a few.

The lead roles were performed by Ramathi Bandaranayaka (Cinderella), Eran Fernando (Buttons), Isuru Perera (Prince), Rahal Wijewardena (Dandini), Aavin Dambawinna (Baron Hardup), Chantel Soza (Medusa Hardup) Keshya Amarasinghe (Asphyxia), Aishwarya Jayasinghe (Euthanasia), Senani Gunatilleka (Mr. Tongs), Udani Mahamithawa (Mr. Ameer), Shania Munidasa and Hashila Fernando (Fairy Godmother).


Musical Evening 2013

♦ Musical Evening 2013

Cultural Evening 2013


An occasion when pupils and teachers meet for discussion of matters that relate to the running of the school, the everyday business of notices, sports, results etc.

Attendance at assemblies is expected in the same way as it is for lessons, with no opt-out clause on conscientious grounds.

The Themes

Carefully selected themes along with an outline planner is assigned to classes, societies and clubs.

Themes are drawn from many varied spheres. The choice of topics is endless, from music to sports and history to world affairs.

Special assemblies are organized for the Independence Day, Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Vesak, Ramadan, Deepavali and Christmas.

Highly qualified and experienced guest speakers from different fields are invited to address assemblies.

Students play a vital role at these assemblies

  • They catalogue and update resources.
  • Set up audio and visual aids.
  • Perform, deliver speeches and make presentations.
  • Put up displays, make props, costumes etc.
  • Organize all backstage activities.

Debaters Council League

CIS triumph in hard fought debating final

The Debaters Council League is considered to be the most prestigious school level debating tournament in Sri Lanka. The top eight school debating teams are selected from the Law Faculty Debating Tournament, and the previous year’s tournament to ensure that only the highest caliber of debaters are entered into the elite league.

The league consists of 56 debates spanning almost 8 months which tested debaters knowledge on a plethora of varied topics, each school must participate in 14 debates, 7 of which are prepared and 7 impromptu.

This year finalists were St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia and Colombo International School. Wesley College and Ladies College were in 3rd and 4th place respectively. The final was held at the Colombo International School auditorium; a fitting venue for this prestigious event. The large hall was filled by a partisan crowd which included numerous school representatives from other teams in the league.

The all male team from St. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia were resplendent in all white suits but were more than matched by the all female team of CIS. No quarter was asked or given in well argued and heated final and it was easy to see why these two teams had topped the league and had qualified for the final.

The motion for the final was “This House Would ban Wikileaks”, a topic, that true to expectations, provided to be an intense, hotly debated affair, awakening new realizations and admissions from the audience as well as the debaters. On a six-three split, the distinguished adjudication panel awarded the win to CIS, crowning them champions, effectively “The best of the best”.