Story/Interview November 2, 2022
Checking learners’ progress at a glance
Ever felt like having a snack in class? Online school has made that easy for Rio, who likes a bite to eat to keep up his energy levels. It makes travelling for ice hockey tournaments hassle-free, as he can catch-up with lesson recordings later. And his mother, Juli, is happy she can check-in on his progress with the Parent Portal.
Rio attended primary school in Singapore from years 2 – 6, after Juli’s husband got transferred there for work. At the end of this time, learners have an entrance exam for high schools. But he was unhappy with their approach to teaching. “They were focused on rote learning and quite inflexible when it comes to creativity,”Juli tells us.
His family considered having him join an international school, but they were displeased with the requirements that needed to be met. So Juli started researching online schools, and that’s how she discovered King’s InterHigh.
Another decision that drove them towards this was Rio’s ice hockey commitments. He travels four times a year to compete across Southeast Asia, with each trip requiring a week off school. When Juli asked King’s InterHigh if this would be okay, she was delighted with the response. “They said, ‘Oh, the classes are recorded, so he can catch up with lessons and he’s not going to miss anything.’ That helped persuade us online schooling was the right choice.”
How has online school compared with attending physical school? Juli thinks Rio’s time management has improved. And he appreciates the freedom to eat whenever he wants and keep energy levels topped-up.
“If he’s hungry during class, he can have a snack so he’s not running on empty,” she explains. “I can monitor how he’s doing, and he can get a hot drink or food to keep up the momentum. We never got that from physical schools.”
“The classes are recorded, so he can catch up with lessons and he's not going to miss anything. That helped persuade us online schooling was the right choice.”
For Rio, the school day starts at around 1.30pm. In the morning, he’ll have something to eat, check his emails for homework or assignments, and then he’ll start prepping for his classes. He’ll have lunch before classes start.
His parents let him use their office, to avoid interruptions. He’ll come out for breaks, have a snack, or head into the back garden to water plants and check out the orange and lemon trees, before his next class starts. Is he a natural gardener? Juli explains the family would come back to Australia twice a year, to escape bustling Singapore. “But the tree planting was our idea. We wanted food we could eat that didn’t have to be bought from the supermarket,” she tells us.
Something Juli likes about King’s InterHigh is the Parent Portal, which parents can use to check-in on their child’s progress. She can see how Rio’s doing and if he’s missing any assignments. She can also use this to contact teachers regularly, which makes a huge difference from physical school.
“We’d meet the teacher at the end of each term, or 2 – 3 times a year to discuss his progress,” she says. “Now I can see his progress at a quick glance. If I have concerns, I can speak with him or his teachers.”
“With the Parent Portal, I can see my son’s progress at a quick glance. If I have concerns, I can speak with him or his teachers.”
Another benefit of being with King’s InterHigh is that it gives Juli, Rio and his dad the freedom to travel, without fear of Rio missing out on lessons. As long as he brings a laptop, and there’s an internet connection, he can attend. “We don’t have to worry about the things that he’s doing outside of school clashing with his timetable,” explains Juli.
Rio wants to become a palaeontologist. All his subjects focus on the sciences and maths. Juli says he also took up computer science and he’s loving it. Outside of the classroom, he’s developing a game with an old friend from his former physical school. “Computer science will come in handy for his programming,” thinks Juli.
When we ask Juli for her advice to parents considering online school, she says “some children need physical contact. Parents should ensure their kids will be okay with their own company during the school day. And if they are, then online school will be a breeze.”
“When we’re travelling, we don’t have to worry about activities outside of school clashing with our son’s timetable.”