April 1, 2022
The perks of studying A Levels online
A Level education is a significant change of pace compared to GCSEs, where students narrow down their choice of subjects to only a select few. Instead of trying to cover upwards of 10 subjects, students now have fewer lessons in the day but will deep-dive into specialist topics for each subject and have time to work on them independently
Although it’s easy to think that students who take A Levels online might miss out on a traditional Sixth Form experience, there are many perks to an online college or Sixth Form which can help students reach their fullest potential and achieve the highest grades possible.
The benefits of smaller classrooms
A good virtual school will teach lessons in interactive online classrooms. Compared to traditional schools, class sizes are kept smaller, giving teachers the ability to focus on the individual needs of each student. Students will not only benefit from the extra time and attention they get from their teachers, but they will also benefit from a more intimate learning environment where they can break out into groups, share ideas, and work together through learning topics.
Lesson technology provides an engaging education
Have you noticed how easy it is to remember almost every detail of a program that you have watched on the Discovery Channel? The reason you can easily remember things like dates or historic facts so well after watching one of these shows is because you are being taught using video, graphics and narrative.
A good online Sixth Form will have a department dedicated to creating visual learning resources for their teachers, which are then used in real-time lessons to teach students difficult topics with ease. Complex information can be turned into what is known as an infographic, which uses visual language to make topics easier to understand and remember. Similarly, videos can be created to explain detailed learning topics.
At the online Sixth Form at King’s InterHigh, the software used to power the virtual classrooms has a range of features to improve the teaching process. A group chat allows students to raise questions, add comments or discuss topics as a group. Teachers have the power to create discussion groups and each student can send a message to the teacher privately if they don’t want to say something in front of the whole class. These tools open endless possibilities for teachers to deliver highly engaging lessons for students.
The power of lesson recordings
It would be highly unusual for a student at any school to have 100% attendance for all lessons. In some cases, students will miss lessons because they are ill, and in others it will be for reasons such as going on a family holiday, or visiting family abroad. In a traditional learning environment, it can be difficult for teachers to stay on top of who missed which lessons, and for students to know what topics were covered in their absence.
A good virtual school will record all lessons and make them accessible to students through an online learning portal. This not only gives students the ability to easily know what they have missed and catch back up, but it also acts as a powerful revision aid for students when they are preparing for their exams. This feature is highly praised by students at King’s InterHigh, and we believe it has played a significant role in our school seeing over 43% of our Sixth Form students achieve A* and A grades.
Studying for A Levels will be the biggest challenge a student has faced to date in their studies. Although there are less subjects to study, students will need to develop a broad and deep knowledge in those to achieve good grades. For some subjects, you may need to remember huge volumes of information such as dates, names and locations for important events. In others, you may need to be able to solve complex equations or mathematical problems.
Studying A Levels online gives students the ability to focus on their education with minimal distraction. Although you are attending virtual classrooms online, it is much easier to focus on the teacher, the learning materials, and your own activities. Disruption from peers is also not an issue, so everyone is able to focus on their learning at the pace that works for them. There is a clear line between study and social activities – students can engage in conversation in online common rooms, at social clubs or through other online platforms outside of lesson time.
In traditional learning environments, a student may not want to ask too many questions for fear of sounding silly, or just to avoid interrupting the lesson plan. In a virtual online classroom students can ask any questions they have in private, receiving one-to-one guidance during their studies.
A better balance between studies and extra-curricular pursuits
With significantly shorter school days and the ability to attend lessons from anywhere with a computer and internet connection, students who study A Levels online have a lot more freedom to pursue other activities.
For some students, they may use the extra time to take part in sports. Others may decide to do extra-curricular activities and work on projects that will help them to achieve their next ambitions.For example, students who are looking to go into a medical profession will need to pass what is known as a BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) to take certain courses in university. From rising athletes through to entrepreneurs and film stars – a little extra time in each day goes a long way to striking the balance between study and aspirational pursuits. Studying virtually with an online Sixth Form will allow the extra time to focus on additional pursuits like these, any many students at King’s InterHigh have benefitted from additional flexibility.
Independent learning that prepares students for university
For many students, moving on to university can be challenging. It is very different to a traditional Sixth Form, where students progress will be monitored, and teachers will actively seek to push students to achieve high grades. At university, students are accountable for their own studies and lecturers are unlikely to chase those who fall behind.
Students who have studied A Levels online will have had lots of practice when it comes to independent learning. They will have had two years to learn how difficult it can be to catch back up if you fall behind. This experience in self-driven study sets students up for university, allowing them to seamlessly integrate into a more mature form of learning.
At King’s InterHigh, more than 48% of our students have gone on to study at some of the best institutions in the world, including the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and other Russell Group universities like Queen’s Belfast and York. Many former students have also progressed to highly competitive degrees such as Medicine and Aerospace Engineering.