Article January 17, 2022
What to look for when choosing an online primary school
Over recent years, more and more parents are turning to online schools for the best primary education. Whether you’re living abroad, experiencing challenges with mainstream schooling, or you simply want your little one to reap the benefits of a modern education, online school can be a fantastic choice.
Of course, young children have unique educational needs, so it’s crucial that you choose an online school designed to support your child’s individual development. With the primary years marking the beginning of a child’s educational journal, a crucial life milestone, a stellar education is all the more important.
If you’re not sure how to choose the right online primary school for your child, here are four important points to consider.
1. A trusted curriculum
The strength of the curriculum on offer is an essential consideration when choosing a virtual primary school. The curriculum determines both what children learn and how they learn, so look for a school that follows a trusted educational programme.
A pedagogically sound curriculum should cover a range of subjects across key areas of study, teaching children the foundational knowledge they require to succeed in secondary school and beyond. Equally essential are the “hidden” aspects of the curriculum—those which develop your child’s emotional and social skills too.
The National Curriculum for England is an excellent example of a well-rounded curriculum which teaches children to blossom from every angle. Split into “Key Stages” that cover multiple age ranges, the British curriculum encompasses languages, mathematics, science, arts, and more. Through each subject, children in Key Stages 1 and 2 (aged five to 11) will also develop skills they’ll use throughout their lives, from communication and teamwork to self-management and problem-solving.
Choosing an online primary school that follows the British curriculum ensures your child will get off to a great educational start, progressing to secondary school as a confident and accomplished young learner.
2. Engaging teaching
At primary school age, students are still developing a sense of discipline and self-motivation. If their classes aren’t engaging enough, they’ll quickly lose focus and interest in learning. That’s why it’s important to choose an online school with live, interactive lessons and expert teachers.
It may surprise you to learn that online schooling can be highly engaging when done correctly. The best online schools use a range of digital tools to keep young children on-track and encourage them to participate in classes. Innovative technologies like augmented reality, for example, can be used in lessons to excite students and capture their attention. Exceptional teachers make all the difference too, and those experienced in online learning know exactly how to keep a child’s mind on their education.
3. Ways to socialise
When considering online primary schooling, one of the key concerns on parents’ minds is socialisation. Socialising is a crucial part of any young child’s development, helping them build their communication skills, confidence, independence, and empathy. Through communication, children also learn how to make friends, share, work as part of a team, and respect each other’s differences.
At a traditional school, students get plenty of opportunities to socialise in and out of class — but don’t make the mistake of thinking online school has to be lonely. A good online school will ensure children get to talk with their classmates on a regular basis. Alongside working together in lessons, your child should also be able to join online clubs, and many schools will later provide older children with access to a safe social messaging platform.
It’s important that primary-aged children learn how to communicate with adults too, so look for an online school where teachers are always interacting with students. Classes should include plenty of discussion opportunities, and support staff should be available to provide help and guidance throughout the academic year.
4. Small class sizes
Ideally, your choice of online primary school should also have small class sizes. While it’s important that children aren’t learning alone, young individuals don’t always get as much attention as they need and deserve in large classes.
In small classes, teachers can keep an eye on every child’s progress and provide feedback to each student, making sure no one gets left behind. In turn, this helps children gain a thorough understanding of every subject, preparing them for future educational success.
Children often feel more confident in smaller classes too. While great online schools also ensure shy children can interact privately during lessons, a tight-knit class community encourages children to speak up, participate, and contribute to their own learning.
Consider King’s InterHigh
At King’s InterHigh, our primary school is a thriving community where students aged seven to 11 years old can enjoy high-quality, flexible online learning.
Following the British Key Stage 2 curriculum, our passionate and knowledgeable teachers lead students through English, French, Maths, Science, STEM, Humanities, and Creative Media, with optional classes in Drama and Music too.
Over the course of their primary education at King’s InterHigh, pupils will learn through live, interactive classes, where teachers use virtual simulations, break-out rooms, and more to keep lessons engaging. Plus, all lessons are recorded, so our primary school students can learn at their own pace.
Outside of the classroom, children get to know each other through clubs and common rooms, building friendships with fellow classmates all around the world.