Introducing online learning at King's InterHigh

Discover why King’s InterHigh online international school is perfect for expatriate children and families frequently on the move in this conversation with Ashley Harrold, CEO of Inspired Online Schools.

Online learning at KIH
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This article is taken from the latest issue of Think Global People magazine.Click on the cover to access the digital edition.

In this webinar, Relocate Global’s managing editor, Fiona Murchie, talks to Ashley Harrold, CEO of Inspired Online Schools.He explains how high-quality teaching meets best-in-class technology at King’s InterHigh for an enriching, portable and individualised international education journey.

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Related reading from Relocate Global and the International Education and Schools Fair

Innovation in international education and schools

Ensuring a high-quality international education that offers continuity, community and care has always been one of the biggest considerations for parents when offered an international assignment.Today, the complexity of this challenge has grown in line with the diversity of assignment types.Move frequency has increased as companies remain agile and in a state of continual transformation. Assignment locations have also become more diverse and often in tier two, three or remote locations where traditional brick-and-mortar international schools have yet to extend their offering.Families with cross-cultural connections, third-culture kids and the growing band of globally nomadic gig workers also have more options over when and where to move. This as remuneration and expat packages are becoming more streamlined and the global cost-of-living crisis continues.In response, the thriving international education and schools’ sector is successfully pioneering fresh approaches to challenges new and old. They are adopting best-in-class technology and pedagogy to meet the specific needs of all globally mobile families and their children.“Education is so important and often the number one concern for their parents, so the ability to have an online education that is portable, that is flexible, and that maintains high-quality standard is quite a game-changer for lots of families,” says Ashley Harrold, CEO of Inspired Online Schools.”

More than online learning – building global connections and learning

King’s InterHigh, part of the Inspired Online Schools group, enrols students year-round between the ages of 7-19. It offers a wide-ranging and flexible curriculum to thousands of students all over the world based on British key stages followed by formal examinations in IGCSEs, then either A levels or the IB Diploma for sixth-form students.The school has been at the forefront of high-quality international online education for the past two decades. “Some people may have a view of online learning that was perhaps formed during the pandemic when schools needed to move online,” says Ashley Harrold. “And actually, online learning has been a growing area for some time now. Kings InterHigh was founded way back in 2005, so we’ve got a lot of experience of what makes really good online learning and the things to avoid.”One of the biggest questions most parents have about online education is how their child – and the family – will fit into a virtual-based community, especially when education is social as well as classroom-based.  “One of our strengths is that we have a large presence online, which means we can connect parents and families in most places through social networking where they have small groups set up by geography,” says Ashley Harrold. “From this, we do see quite a lot of physical meetups between families around the world and it’s a really nice way of finding some local connections when you are just arriving.“The global aspect is very important to us,” continues Ashley Harrold. “Our approach is very much rooted in global mindedness and the mindset of diversity and inclusion and the benefits of that in the community. We are a very diverse school group and it is one of the things the students enjoy. Classmates might not usually be geographically next to them, but from all around the world, which makes for a very exciting learning experience.”Children attendings King’s Interhigh also have plenty of social opportunities to meet physically as well as virtually. There’s an extensive programme of term-time and holiday after-school clubs, visits and exchanges. Around 80 extra-curricular clubs, included in the tuition fees, take place each week. These are an opportunity to meet and make new friends, share interests and develop individual passions or compete with their international peers.

Leading the way in high-quality online education

Online schools like King’s InterHigh also have a significant advantage in terms of the timetable, subject options and tailored approach it can offer to all students. This includes children who are neurodiverse, have special educational needs (SEN) or appreciate a more distraction-free learning environment.King’s InterHigh’s student-first flexibility means students can act on their curiosity in a much wider range of subjects than most physical schools can offer. This is greatly appreciated by young students on the school’s roll who are often already highly successful in their chosen field of sports, the arts and media, who are currently combining their studies at King’s InterHigh while growing their talents in other areas.Sixth-formers also have a choice of pathways between A levels or IB. “We extend that range of options all the way through from year 7, says Ashley Harrold. “Students can select their own package of subjects and try something they’ve always wanted to without a prior need to have studied it.“Equally, if they know there is a subject that isn’t for them that would be on a traditional timetable, students can reduce their commitment to it and add something else in. Students have huge flexibility in following their areas of interest. We do have children who already know what they are interested in and know their pathway. Equally, for those who don’t, they get to sample a wide range and really explore what it is that would work for them.”Essential to delivering quality across the board whatever subjects and areas students decided to follow are King’s InterHigh’s dedicated subject-specialist staff. Every teaching staff member is fully trained with at least the same qualifications teachers following their careers in physical schools have.Teaching takes place live, with some flexibility for time zone, which makes it an excellent offer for families who are travelling and internationally based. It also means real-time opportunities for feedback and questions to support all learners on their individual journeys. Classes are recorded so students can refer to lessons during their individual studies and at their own pace.

Best-in-class technology for richer learning experiences

Importantly, King’s InterHigh’s approach, which successfully blends family and student needs with excellence in teaching and student support, harnesses the latest tried-and-tested technology to enrich the learning environment.AI, the metaverse and EdTech are all huge topics in education right now. They are all making King’s InterHigh’s classrooms an even more engaging place to prepare students for the future wherever they are in the world.“It’s such an exciting time in education,” says Ashley Harrold. “Even in the past six months, there’s been a real explosion in the potential impact that technology in education can have through things like AI for example.“There’s so much technology out there, but we have a really diligent process as to how we select our technology. We have around 170 different pieces of software our students can access. That might sound incredibly overwhelming, but we bring them together into a student hub – we have a parent hub as well – that makes navigation very quick and easy. It’s like a school gate where you’re directed where to go and we curate that very carefully.“In terms of the metaverse, we’ve been very interested in this. One of the things you can do in virtual reality is bring students together into a mock physical space where you can do science experiments, language learning in various realistic settings like a café and order food. That’s brilliant for immersion.”What is also clear is that online learning in school communities like King’s InterHigh are excellent preparation for an even more globally-minded and tech-enabled future world or work.With the school’s final formal examination results outperforming the UK average for at both top grades and pass rates, it is clear online schools can also be a top-tier choice for globally mobile families.
An Introduction to Kings InterHigh webinar with Ashley Harrold, CEO of Inspired Online Schools in conversation with Fiona Murchie - intext banner

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