Some schools have not only embraced this change but are passionately working towards elevating the perceptions around online learning, demystifying “remote” or “distance” learning and continuously increasing the quality of the outcomes delivered online. There is a similar conversation also taking place in the world of work with companies implementing “work from home” policies and hybrid working environments.
A sense of belonging and community are key in any school and pastoral support cannot be understated. In online school, students are not able to meet in person on a daily basis as they would in traditional schools. Nevertheless, pupils in online schools do embrace opportunities for enhanced pastoral care, socialising online, well being workshops and co-curricular activity. Schools may have breakout rooms and class discussions online – encouraging young learners to interact in a safe environment. In fact, some students are more comfortable interacting online than they would in school. Virtual chess competitions and leadership conferences are some examples of activities available to students that help foster a sense of school community.
This November, the UK’s leading online school InterHigh becomes King’s InterHigh. While it may seem like a small change in name, it moves the conversation around education to a new level. It represents a rich addition of the King’s group of schools and their 50 years’ experience in delivering educational excellence and a connection to the global Inspired group of 70+ schools spread across 5 continents to the original online school, InterHigh.
So how is school changing? King’s InterHigh is one example of a school without walls where students are not constrained to one location and where opportunities for learning are available on line and in person. While education should be student centered and focused on learning, schools that bring learning online in an engaging and effective way, represent a viable alternative for many families now and into the future.