A grades from anywhere: The surprising advantages of online school for IGCSE, A level and IB students

Online schooling has become a game changer for families living abroad – and it’s not just because it offers the same high quality as physical international schools without the usual steep fees and waiting lists.


Walid Sabihi, graduate of King’s InterHigh


This article is taken from the Summer 2024 issue of

Think Global People magazine

Click on the cover to access the digital edition.
View your copy of the Summer 2024 issue of Think Global People magazine.
Back in 2018, Walid Sabihi joined online British international school King’s InterHigh because his family was split traveling between the UK and Morocco. Studying his A levels online for two years, Walid went on to graduate from King’s InterHigh with three A*s in maths, further maths, and physics, as well as an A in chemistry. Now, he’s studying computer science at the University of Oxford. Numerous students follow in his footsteps at the school each year.If your child is gearing up to study their IGCSEs, A levels, or IB diploma, the biggest benefit of online learning may not just be in its global accessibility, but also in the unique ways it helps students achieve top grades in their exams. Take revision, for instance, which is arguably one of the most challenging experiences any young person goes through. To get top grades, your teen will need to recall information they may have learned up to two years ago – a daunting prospect, even for the most meticulous note-takers.But what if there was a way to make the whole process easier? Online schools may have found the key. At King’s InterHigh, for example, students learn in live, real-time classes with their teachers and classmates over video link, but full recordings of those classes are then made available after each lesson.Alongside giving students a way to catch up on vital learning when they’ve been unwell, these recordings serve as one of the most invaluable revision tools in a student’s arsenal. Instead of struggling through old notes and Google searches, online school students can simply tune into their teachers’ expert explanations on complex topics at any time.Katie Jones, who was awarded the highest mark in the world in A level psychology last year, credits King’s InterHigh’s lesson recordings as instrumental to her success. “It allowed me to recap the lesson immediately if I needed to make sure I had understood a topic,” said the alumna, “or at a later date if I needed to double-check my notes or add any missing information.”

Read related articles

Flexible learning for student-centred education

It's flexibility like this that sets online education apart from the traditional classroom model. Students can get all the benefits of classroom interaction and the ability to progress through their studies at a pace that suits them, allowing them the time to master each and every topic. Some schools take this a step further, like King’s InterHigh does with AI-powered personalised learning pathways that bring students after-school learning activities tailored to their unique progress – all in complement to the great teaching that happens in the virtual classroom.The benefits of flexible learning extend far beyond academics too. Wellbeing, for example, is particularly important during the exam years.The chosen partner of Pearson Edexcel, King’s InterHigh recently became the world’s first school to offer fully online IGCSE examinations through remote invigilation, which has been transformative for students who experience anxiety or sensory difficulties around exams. There are plans to expand the same opportunity to A level and IB students in the near future too, but the wellbeing benefits of online learning extend to all learners.Without the distractions often found in physical classrooms, online teachers are typically able to cover lesson content in a more condensed time frame. In turn, this focused environment and shorter school day helps students maintain that healthy balance between studying for high grades and looking after their mental and physical health.School-life balance proved to be the biggest, unexpected advantage of online learning for Tabitha Hartley, who explained, “Online learning is really special because it removes the limitations of a regular school day.” Tabitha joined King’s InterHigh as a way to keep up with her studies while travelling with her family. With more free time outside of her online A level classes, she was able to immerse herself in travel experiences, practice yoga, go swimming and more. None of that stood in the way of her achieving three A grades and a place at the University of Exeter last year.Striking that balance also helped Tabitha build her time management abilities: one of the many future-ready skills online schools build in their students, including an increased sense of independent organisational abilities and technological know-how. Students who’ve learnt virtually often find they have a competitive edge when applying for universities or entering the career market.

Future-ready global leaders

Learning online also provides a solid foundation for the modern world of employment, including how it fosters a global mindset. While physical international schools do usually boast diverse student bodies, nothing compares to online schools like King’s InterHigh, where students come together in over 100 countries worldwide. Collaborating and socialising together gives these young people a deep cultural understanding and appreciation that many of the best universities and businesses actively seek, along with unique perspectives that add an edge to learners’ exam responses (especially on the IB diploma).Plus, your child gets to keep those global friendships no matter where you move next. It’s all part of the complete educational continuity online schooling offers, avoiding the serious knock-on effects that can come when you need to move abroad again during the exam years. With an online school, teens don’t need to wait for a new school placement or learn new content from scratch due to exam board changes. Their education goes with them wherever they go, as does a vast community where many classmates will be going through the same pressures and challenges.Students at King’s InterHigh prove the benefits of online schooling year after year. The school surpasses the UK national average at GCSE and across A level subjects from economics to Spanish. Alongside the many young people who use flexible virtual learning to fit school around passions like acting or sports, numerous alumni also go onto some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.With a choice of timetables in three time zones worldwide and a personalised education experience that guides each student to thrive, a leading online school like King’s InterHigh may just be the perfect pathway for your child’s IGCSEs, A levels or IB studies.An Introduction to Kings InterHigh webinar with Ashley Harrold, CEO of Inspired Online Schools in conversation with Fiona Murchie - intext banner

Read about award-winning global mobility, leadership and education in the upcoming Summer issue of Think Global People magazine, with the teams and organisations being celebrated in the Relocate Think Global People Awards 2024. Secure your copy here.


Have you heard about our Think Global People community?


Find out more about the Think Global People and Think Women community and events.

Subscribe to Relocate Extra, our monthly newsletter, to get all the latest international assignments and global mobility news.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.

Related Articles