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December 17, 2021
With flexible timetables, a comfortable learning environment, and support for each student’s individual needs, online school is the perfect education option for children from all walks of life. Of course, even when you’re sure that online schooling is the best choice for your child, transitioning away from traditional school can still feel like a huge step.
However, transferring to online learning doesn’t have to be daunting. As long as you prepare in advance and know what to expect, you can set all the foundations for your child to have a happy, successful, and smooth start at their new school.
Not sure where to start? Here are five important tips to keep in mind.
A smooth transition to online education all starts with finding the right school. Since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of schooling, many new online schools have popped up across the UK and beyond. Of course, every school is different, and not all of them will be the best fit for your child.
When you’re browsing through online schools, make sure you look out for experience and expertise. While the virtual education market has grown rapidly over the past few years, you may be surprised to learn that online schooling existed long before the pandemic. Schools with over a decade of success behind them have already helped thousands of students to adapt to online learning. As such, they’ll know exactly how to get your child happily adjusted in no time.
Despite the many differences between virtual and traditional schooling, a great online school should also have many of the same qualities as a top bricks-and-mortar school. For example, qualified and passionate teachers, classes that follow the UK curriculum, and a strong sense of community are all must-haves. When children have supportive teachers, high-quality education, and welcoming classmates alongside them, settling in and feeling a sense of belonging will become much easier.
If your child is transferring to an online school in the middle of the academic year, selecting the right subjects is key — particularly when enrolling for GCSEs or A Levels. While new subjects may seem fresh and exciting, getting to grips with unfamiliar topics can add an extra layer of overwhelm to any online school transfer.
If your child will be transitioning to virtual school mid-year, consider sticking to the same subjects they’ve already been learning. While classes in your child’s new online school may not teach the exact same topics, students typically have an easier time catching up with new ideas in familiar subjects than they do starting a new subject from scratch. In turn, this will help them get off to a smoother start.
When enrolling your child for online A Levels, keep in mind that subject choice is even more important. Many A Level courses build on knowledge learned in previous school years, so students will often need a background understanding of their subjects of choice. Without a GCSE-level knowledge of French, for example, it won’t be possible to study a French A Level online.
Thanks to their innovative virtual platforms, the best online schools can provide a wealth of resources to students. As soon as your child gets access to these resources after enrolling, take advantage of them to aid in the online transition.
For example, great online schools record every lesson so students can watch them whenever they need to, whether they’ve missed a class or they’re revising for exams. These videos are also invaluable for new mid-year students who want to get up to speed with their upcoming classes. Watching past lessons during those first few weeks is a great way for children to immerse themselves in what happened before they joined the school, helping them feel like they’re already part of the classroom community.
Visiting a virtual common room or brushing up in the school’s online library can also help students get acclimated from the very first day. Just as you’d encourage your child to get stuck into student life in a traditional school, the same will be a big help in online school too.
A good online schooling platform should be intuitive and easy to get to grips with, but you’ll still want to get familiar with yours in advance. Your child may use this platform to attend lessons, access resources, join clubs, and communicate with teachers. Often, parents can use these panels to view their child’s grades, progress, and reports too.
Trying to learn how to use a new platform on the first day of school can quickly turn a student’s excitement into stress. To make sure everything goes smoothly on day one, log onto the platform ahead of time and take a look at all of its features. Make sure to browse any help documentation or FAQs available, or contact the school’s tech support if you need more assistance learning the ropes.
On a similar note, don’t be afraid to get in touch with teachers and other staff at your child’s new school. Whether you need help to use the online platform, more information about your child’s courses, or just an ear to listen to your concerns about the transition, staff at a great virtual school will always be happy to help you.
On top of that, encourage your child to do the same. Students should always feel comfortable approaching their teachers for help when they need it, and during those first few weeks, having the support of a teacher can really help children and teens adjust smoothly.
If you’re looking for an online school that meets your child’s needs, consider King’s InterHigh. Founded 16 years ago, our school has taught over 10,000 successful alumni to date — and your child could become one of them. Following a British curriculum through a proven online learning model, our expert teachers deliver live lessons to students from all walks of life each school day. From our 24/7 lesson recordings to our supportive expert teachers, we have all the resources your child needs to have the best online learning experience.
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