June 21, 2022
How we teach the sciences online at King’s InterHigh
From computer programming to quantum physics, many of our King’s InterHigh graduates have gone on to study and work in STEM.
Never heard of STEM? This recently developed acronym covers:
These four fields are becoming more important to our modern society by the day. When integrated, they also guide students to develop skills they can use in all areas of life — think problem solving, critical analysis, and creativity.
It’s easy to picture how an online school like King’s InterHigh may teach subjects like technology, but you’re not alone if you’ve wondered how we teach the sciences. After all, in-person activities like experiments are a common fixture of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes.
In reality, our students get an exciting and effective online science education from the Primary years to Sixth Form. Read on to learn more about how your child can learn science with us online, from our simulation tech to opportunities outside the classroom.
P.S.: Curious about STEAM? Creative education is an important part of our online curriculum too! Discover how we teach the arts online here.
Experiment with cutting-edge technologies
When it comes to online science teaching, the big topic on everyone’s mind is experimentation. In a traditional classroom, a typical science lesson may involve creating chemical reactions or measuring photosynthesis. Naturally, most students can’t set up a Bunsen burner or corrosive chemicals at their desk at home.
However, it may surprise you to learn that your child can perform all these experiments and more through a computer. King’s InterHigh’s A Level and IB students, for example, conduct experiments during online classes using cutting-edge simulation technology.
With the same technology used at some of the world’s top universities (including Harvard and Yale), we bring students a virtual laboratory environment on screen. With over 200 simulation activities to choose from, your child can:
- Grow bacteria or sequence genetics in Biology
- Test pH and extract compounds in Chemistry
- Experiment with gravity and buoyancy in Physics
- And much more — all online
Alongside allowing students to experiment just as they would in a mainstream school, this technology offers additional educational benefits you couldn’t find in a traditional classroom.
For example, every online experiment includes quiz questions, the tasks adapt to student progress automatically, and you can replay simulations as many times as they want to. While some learners may get lost in a fast-paced traditional science lesson, this personalised way of learning ensures every student gets to fully understand each topic.
Learn with hands-on activities
While King’s InterHigh is an online school, that doesn’t mean every learning activity takes place on a computer.
Our Primary learners (aged 7 to 11), for example, all study STEM — a fun and educational project-based course where students apply their Science and Maths knowledge to real-world problems. Projects range from quick tasks where students need to think on their feet to termly assignments that require collaboration and planning. Students aged 11 to 14 can also choose to continue the STEM course in our Lower Secondary school.
One example of a great STEM task at King’s InterHigh is last year’s ‘Polar Explorer’ project, where Year 4 and 5 students designed an expedition, planned meals, and even created model boats. As part of the project, our learners also enjoyed a guest talk from Sir. David Attenborough, captain of the British Antarctic Survey ship!
Other project topics include sustainable home design, solar energy, and electric vehicles. These tasks projects give students time away from their screens to design prototypes and create models hands-on, from wind turbines to Rube-Goldberg machines.
In the older years, students who choose to study science may complete their practical examinations at one of our fellow Inspired schools. This year, learners headed to Reddam House Berkshire for their A Level science practicals, using everything they’ve learned from their simulations in a real-life lab environment.
Experience a variety of learning methods
Virtual simulations and hands-on project work are big parts of our science learning model, but don’t discount our more typical teacher-led online classes. Each school day, our experience and passionate teachers bring your child’s virtual lessons to life with powerful expertise and proven learning tools.
Multimedia learning, for example, is a staple of our online education. Over the course of a class, students may watch a peer-reviewed scientific video, take part in interactive quizzes and polls, listen to audio soundbites, and more.
Students also learn collaboratively in their science lessons. Similar to class discussions at any top school, classmates can contribute through their webcams, microphones, or even the text chat box. When it’s time for pair and group work, learners split up into virtual breakout rooms to plan their experiments and hypothesise their results. While King’s InterHigh students study in their own homes around the world, they’re always connected together through their learning.
Participate in STEM opportunities
As part of Inspired Education, we bring our student community numerous educational opportunities with Inspired schools around the world — both online and offline. Alongside summer camps and exchange programmes, that includes educational events and contests.
For example, our King’s InterHigh learners recently took part in the annual Inspired Global Robotics Competition. As part of the challenge, students had to create and programme a working robot with moving parts. These fun Inspired-wide competitions are designed to drive our students’ enthusiasm, get them solving problems, and help them develop skills for the jobs of tomorrow.
Just take a look at the amazing crane robot one of our students, Aadam, created using Lego:
Students at King’s InterHigh also get plenty of opportunities to take part in wider global competitions and learning opportunities. Earlier this year, for example, our Lower Secondary students joined the Ultimate STEM Challenge, run by BP. The 2022 challenge asked students to explore the concept of a “net zero community” and come up with ways to turn their local environment into an eco-friendlier place.
All around the world, our students produced incredible, thoughtful entries that showed just how much they’ve learned from their science classes. One student in Saudi Arabia proposed making use of the country’s sunlight with solar-panelled apartments, reducing the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Another learner based in Tenerife focused on the high levels of plastic usage caused by undrinkable tap water. They went on to devise an idea of how Tenerife could use renewable energy to produce safe drinking water.
These projects are also a testament to the benefits of a learning as part of a global community. In lessons with classmates from all around the world, our students get to learn from each other’s real-world experiences and apply their knowledge to international issues.
Choose from a wide range of subjects
No matter which facet of STEM interests your child the most, our curriculum is packed with several subject options for every year group.
In the Primary years (ages 7 to 11), all students study Science, Maths, and the project-based STEM course. STEM is an optional subject for Lower Secondary students (ages 11 to 14), who may explore more complex topics like how science can help us solve crimes. All students in this Key Stage also study Science and Maths.
Maths is compulsory for our IGCSE students (aged 14 to 16); your child can also choose to study Further Maths, delving deeper into complex arithmetic. On the science side, we offer Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. More tech-inclined students, on the other hand, can opt for IGCSE Computer Science.
A Level students (16 to 18) can choose from the same six subjects: Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Computer Science. We also offer A Level Psychology — a blend of social and cognitive science.
Finally, if your child chooses to study the online IB Diploma Programme (also for ages 16 to 18), they’ll take at least one science subject. Alongside Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, we offer a course called Environmental Systems and Societies. This subject delves into our world’s ecosystems and the economic, political, and cultural considerations that affect them. All IB students also take one mathematics subject, choosing between Analysis and Approaches (a more conceptual maths education) and Applications and Interpretations (which applies maths knowledge practically).
Become a future scientist at King’s InterHigh
Last year, former King’s InterHigh student Leana Janiszewsky achieved A* A* A in her Physics, Chemistry, and Maths A Levels from her home in Uganda. This year, she has an unconditional offer to study Civil Engineering at Imperial College London—one of the world’s most esteemed universities for sciences.
In an interview, Leana told us that King’s InterHigh was a huge help in building her independence and confidence as a learner. In mainstream schooling, Leana felt like she “wasn’t trusted and was studying to please [teachers], rather than myself.” At King’s InterHigh, on the other hand, Leana explained, “I have control over when, how, and where I study, which helped me learn how I work best.” Leana revealed that her aspiration is to build sustainable cities in Uganda, so we are delighted to watch her go on to study her dream degree.
And Leana isn’t the only student who’s progressed from online school student to science star. One of our earliest alumni, Kieran Bjergstrom, now has a PhD in Quantum Physics.
Kieran first joined us because his family travelled often for work, but he soon found our school brought him other benefits too. He told us, “At King’s InterHigh, my academic skills were allowed to develop ahead of the usual pace, which would have been unfeasible in an ordinary school.” Today, he’s a science entrepreneur, and he still keeps in touch with the close friends he made at King’s InterHigh.
This year, our students have received university offers to study a vast range of STEM subjects, from Veterinary Medicine to Astrophysics to Environmental Science — and your child could join them in the future.
Whether your young student is an enthusiastic scientist or they’re still on a journey to building STEM confidence, they’ll enjoy the very best education with our high-quality, flexible, and personalised learning.