Story/Interview August 20, 2019
Amy Poole | Jake's mum
Amy Poole is a teacher with over 30 years experience. She has been impressed by the quality and style of education her son Jake has received since joining King's InterHigh.
"Jake wasn’t enjoying school at all - he felt a lot of pressure to fit in with others and found it hard to be himself and to focus on his learning. The stress from school was affecting him at home and he was often exhausted and unwell . . . I now have a happy child, who feels positive about himself and is able to learn in a stress-free environment."
Can you tell us about your child’s educational experiences before joining King's InterHigh?
Jake wasn’t enjoying school at all – he felt a lot of pressure to fit in with others and found it hard to be himself and to focus on his learning. The stress from school was affecting him at home and he was often exhausted and unwell.
It felt horrible seeing him unhappy, and I felt awful sending him somewhere that he didn’t want to be, plus it was frustrating because he wasn’t really learning.
How does studying at King's InterHigh differ?
Studying at King’s InterHigh suits Jake so much better. He has been able to choose the subjects that he enjoys, and he really likes learning from home. He is still able to do lots of active and creative activities, and his independence and confidence have massively increased. I feel relieved that we made this decision and am positive about his education now and in the future.
Did you know about online schooling previously and how did you find out about King's InterHigh?
Jake had asked to be home-schooled for a couple of years. He found King’s InterHigh himself and showed me the website. I can remember feeling really impressed by what I saw, but I still didn’t feel confident enough to move away from the ‘norm’ of bricks and mortar school. After a few more months of Jake feeling exhausted, unhappy and not learning anything, we realised that something had to change. I deregistered him soon after and signed up for a trial with King’s InterHigh.
One of the concerns or misconceptions about online schooling is that children miss out on sport, social interaction and social development. Is this something you were concerned about? And what has your experience been in relation to King's InterHigh?
It took Jake a little while to start making social links, but once he did start to connect with other children, he has become part of a wide social network of friends, who are in regular contact. The children are a diverse mixture of young people, with many different reasons for doing online school, and they are very supportive of each other. Jake was lucky enough to be able to attend a masterclass with Colin Jackson and this was an excellent way to connect with other students and staff. He also attended the end of year party, where he had a fantastic time and made even more friends. He is now making plans to meet up with some of them. His new found confidence has motivated him to become more creative, and he is really enjoying a range of activities, such as swimming, film making, design and photography. Next year, he is going to do a photography course with King’s InterHigh.
Has the quality of education available through King's InterHigh surprised you and in what way?
I’m a teacher myself, with over 30 years experience, and I have been very impressed with the quality of education at King’s InterHigh. The lessons are engaging and well-paced, and I really like how the teachers involve and interact with the students. I have been amazed by the fact that there are no disruptions to the lesson, unlike a typical classroom. The nature of the teaching really encourages the students to be organised and independent, which are such important skills. I love the fact that the school focuses on rewarding the positive, rather than punishing the negative. During his time at King’s InterHigh, Jake has had some of the loveliest feedback to homework that he has received during his school career. Things like this really matter.
You can study at King's InterHigh wherever there’s an internet connection, where are the most unusual places you’ve had a live lesson?
Jake has had lessons in the car, while on holiday, and has had the occasional lesson while still in bed!
What’s been the best feature of King's InterHigh for you as a parent?
The best feature has been that I now have a happy child, who feels positive about himself and is able to learn in a stress-free environment.
At King's InterHigh, parents can monitor their child’s progress on a daily basis and don’t have to wait until a parents evening. Is this a feature you use? And how have useful do you find it and why?
I have notifications set up, so I see all his grades from quizzes, assignments and homework. It’s really useful, and I feel that I know more about his learning now than I did previously.
Would you recommend King's InterHigh to other parents? and if so why?
Absolutely, it is such a flexible way to learn, that has really suited Jake.
What advice would you give to parents considering King's InterHigh as an option for their child?
If your child’s current educational provision isn’t working for them, King’s InterHigh is worth a try (you can pay for a trial period). It felt like quite a scary decision for us to choose something that was moving away from the ‘norm’, but it has worked out brilliantly and made me realise that one size definitely doesn’t fit all.