Kings InterHigh is an on-line school teaching the English National Curriculum to families located within the UK and internationally. It offers a bespoke curriculum for families in the Middle East using Gulf Standard Time.
Established in 2005, King's InterHigh is a complete interactive Primary and Secondary School, and Sixth Form College offering the English National Curriculum for students from Year 3 to Year 13, together with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for students completing their final two years of education as an alternative to A Levels.
The past two years have been significant in the development of King's InterHigh (KIH). In May 2021, the then InterHigh online school was purchased by Inspired Education Group, a leading global group of premium schools, which educates over 50,000 students in over 80 physical schools across five continents, including the British School of Bahrain and Knowledge Gate International School in Muscat, Oman.
Furthermore, in September 2022, KIH became the first and only school in the world to be authorised to offer the IB Diploma Programme completely online. King's InterHigh has been selected by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to pilot a fully online IBDP course for students aged 16-19.
Although not formally accredited by a specific educational body, the UK Government Department for Education has established the Online Education Accreditation Scheme which advises a set of minimum standards for online schools to meet, based on the expectations of physical, independent schools.
King’s InterHigh works closely to these standards, which cover: education quality, personal development, welfare, health and safety, staff suitability, provision of information, communication with families, and leadership and management. In addition, KIH follows the curricula of the leading UK-based Examination Boards – Cambridge (CIE), Edexcel and AQA – offering I/GCSE and A Level subjects, in addition to the IB Diploma Programme.
Families choose Kings InterHigh for diverse reasons. The move to online learning as a result of Covid 19 has no doubt been a factor, but it certainly not the main one. Whilst some students choose the school in order to study in an environment where they can manage their own learning, where they have perhaps had difficulty in participating in physical schooling for practical or social reasons, or where physical schooling has not provided the support they required. Many students find the option of online learning an ideal solution to enable them to follow their passions outside school - be that performing arts including music or acting, sports or a wide range of other activities.
The Kings InterHigh student featured in the image included above this review is Anna Hursey, student ambassador and table tennis champion.
KIH’s online learning platform is able to offer a broad curriculum for students aged 7 upwards – from Key Stage 2 (Year 3) to Key Stage 5 (Year 13). With the EYFS curriculum for Foundation Stage - and through its extension Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2 students) - being in part play-based, King's InterHigh does not offer these early years of education. Starting from Year 3, as students move through the school, they follow the English National Curriculum in Key Stages 2 and 3 followed by a full range of IGCSE courses in Key Stage 4 and AS and A Level courses or the IB Diploma Programme in Sixth Form (Key Stage 5).
KIH has taught some 10,000 students since its foundation and currently has around 1,500 students registered, aged between 7 and 19 years with a slightly higher proportion of girls than boys. Students from 157 different nationalities currently study with KIH, with the largest nationality group being British – representing just under 6 out of 10 students. About 30% of students are located outside the UK, including countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Classes for Secondary school students are more in demand than those in the Primary section, with Year 3 currently operating 4 classes, but by Year 6, this number has more than doubled to 9 classes, increasingly rapidly to 16 classes in Year 7, and 36 each in Years 10 and 12! With an average and maximum class size of 20 students, these are significant numbers of families who have entrusted their children's education to KIH.
The KIS Ethos is explained thus:
“At Kings InterHigh, we engage students to reach for a success level they have never imagined. We deliver high quality virtual educational experiences to all our students, fostering a sense of belonging and respect for one another as well as providing the skills to solve real world problems through a love of lifelong learning.”
KIH employs 199 teachers – a number that has seen a considerable increase over recent years. All teachers are British trained and qualified - a fundamental requirement of the recruitment process. KIH strictly follows the requirements of the UK Government's Department of Education for teaching recruitment, which means that all teachers hold a University degree and teaching qualification that is registered with the government body. Most of the KIH leadership have Masters and PHD educational backgrounds.
Reassuringly, many teachers have lived and worked in the Middle East and Far East, which means they are well acquainted with the educational landscape and requirements of those countries and the experience of parents and students.
With an increasing percentage of students from the Middle East region - driven largely by the move to online learning during the Covid 19 pandemic - and to benefit these students, KIH offers a Middle East timetable, designed to operate at the local Gulf Standard Timezone (GST). This means students attend online classes during normal regional school hours without starting late in the morning or running late into the evening to comply with the UK tabletime. The King's InterHigh school calendar follows the traditional UK independent school three terms from September to July. Each year is a 35 week academic year.
In general, students are arranged into class tutor groups up to a maximum of 20 children. All lessons are taught live by experienced teachers. The learning platform offers all learners the opportunity to participate in continuous learning activities, as well as access to live lesson recordings 24 hours a day. One of the benefits of the online experience is for students who are gifted and talented to follow the classes of higher year groups where appropriate, or indeed for students in need of additional support, those of lower year groups where this is appropriate (subject to timetabling being possible).
KIH has a range of staff with a blend of experiences that help students at all levels. This not only includes hands on teaching staff, but leadership with strategic experience, operational staff to help with any online issues, a health and wellbeing panel, along with frontline staff available all day to support parents and students. Pastoral staff are always available to support learners in whatever way best suits the individual, and the school leadership team is available for guidance and advice. The school addresses the academic, pastoral and social needs of each student individually.
KIH says that it “delivers a fully interactive British education to the comfort of your home or wherever you may be. Our unique online school offers the best in Primary, Secondary, IGCSE, A Level and now IB Diploma courses, delivered by expert teachers. We are able to offer you everything you expect from a school, plus a whole lot more!”
The core subjects follow the National Curriculum of England focusing on English, Maths and the Sciences in the Primary years and broadening the subject range as students move through the school. There are no minimum academic requirements for students joining Kings InterHigh for all grades with the exception of the IB Diploma Programme, where students must have achieved at least 7 GCSEs or IGCSEs (including English and Mathematics) at grade 6 or above, or equivalent qualifications.
Students are generally expected to be fluent in English writing, reading, and speaking to study with KIH, although English as an Additional Language (EAL) is currently available in some year groups and is subject to constant review based on demand. KIH also offers extra language provision including Arabic classes, as the school is aware that this is also a core subject in many Gulf Standard Countries. This is offered alongside French and Spanish.
KIH Juniors is designed with younger students in mind. Based on the English National Curriculum for Key Stage 2, students study a core package of seven subjects, which includes English, Maths and Science, Humanities, STEM and Creative Media and a choice of Arabic or French. Optional additional subjects include Drama and Music. KIS Junior students also have weekly Tutorials and their own weekly Common Room with projects, activities and guest speakers. Students form part of house groups for competitions, team building and in-person community events (where available) and have opportunities for personalised sessions with tutors to ensure appropriate support, guidance and wellbeing.
KIH says that it offers the same quality, flexibility and accessibility to students in KIH Juniors as it does for those in the secondary school, but this is tailored to suit the needs of younger students. Teachers are subject specialists with expert knowledge and training to deliver engaging content online. Students can expect quizzes and games, interactive exercises balanced with lessons developed around 21st Century skills (empathy, digital literacy, resilience) designed to provide children with a love of learning and a solid foundation for their future education.
Parents are given their own access to the school portal which provides constant information about their son or daughter’s progress, feedback and assignments. This is supplemented by regular written feedback from all their teachers.
The King’s InterHigh Secondary School teaches the full UK curriculum in various subjects from Year 7 through to IGCSEs, AS and A Levels.
The curriculum is delivered via ‘Lead’ and ‘Explore’ lessons. 'Lead' lessons resemble masterclasses (or university style lectures) where larger groups have the same new subject content delivered to them at the same time by lead teachers in the subject. The ‘Explore lessons’ are the more traditional exercise lessons (similar to tutorials and seminars) in much smaller groups where the understanding of the new subject content is explored.
The syllabus in Secondary school for Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9) includes subjects aimed at engaging students, giving them the chance to discover which subjects they have a passion for before making their IGCSE choices at the end of Year 9.
For flexibility, students at Key Stage 3 can enrol into as many or as few of the subjects from the core list as they wish. The nine core subjects include Maths, English, Geography, History, Science, STEM, French or Spanish, Art and Music. Additional subjects (at an additional fee) include Communication, Creative Media, German, Computer Science (from Year 9) and Film Studies (Years 8 and 9). Students can select extra languages for an additional fee.
At Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11), all core subjects follow the Edexcel exam board. There are many exam centres in the Middle East, with the majority of KIH families entering as private candidates with the British Council, but there are also a number of international schools where students can register to take their exams including those from within the Inspired Education group.
KIH offers a core of three International GCSE (IGCSE) examination courses - English Language, English Literature and Mathematics with a basic package of 8 subjects. There is no cap on the number of subjects that students may choose, but the basic package includes the three core subjects together with 5 options.
Students may add to the core English Language, English Literature and Mathematics, adding one Core Science option from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and up to four Additional Core subjects from Arabic, Business, Computer Science, Film Studies, French, Further Mathematics, Geography, German, History, Psychology, Religious Studies and Spanish. Film Studies and Psychology are also available but examinations for these must be taken in the UK.
In addition to the IGCSE subjects, KIH offers a range of non-examined Assured subjects which are accredited and certified by City & Guilds of London Institute (an organisation set up in 1878 in London to provide training and certification following the Industrial Revolution which today focuses on training and qualifications for vocational/practical subjects). Assured subjects include Art & Design in Action, Computer Game Development, Drama and Performance in Practice, Health & Wellbeing Management, International Relations: Perspectives, Music in Culture and Society, and Photography. Although these subjects are not recognised as university entrance qualifications on their own, they are valuable evidence of vocational learning to support such applications.
Subjects may be delivered through a “Lead” lesson (seminar) and an “Explore” lesson (tutorial of up to 20 students). Students apply the knowledge they have learned through “Apply” or homework assignments and are assessed regularly through summative and formative assessments. Teachers use online break out rooms, chats, polls, quizzes as well as virtual simulations to encourage student interaction and foster engagement and understanding with the topic being discussed.
At Sixth Form, the curriculum continues to be delivered through a combination of Learn “Master Class” Sessions followed by Explore lessons, as students unravel each topic through discussion with teachers, breakout rooms with classmates, and more interactive elements like quizzes and polls. Typically, students studying three online A Levels are only committed to 10 hours of live timetabled classes each week. KIH offers easy access to live and recorded Sixth Form lessons from anywhere in the world, so students can study when and how they want.
The full range of subjects offered at AS and A Level includes Edexcel: Biology, Chemistry, French, German, Physics, and Spanish, Cambridge (CIE): Business, Computer Science, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Maths, Further Maths, Geography, History, Law, Psychology, and Sociology, OCR: Classical Civilisation and Media Studies, and AQA: Politics.
For students studying in the Gulf, options may be somewhat limited compared with those available in the UK. They may choose up to five options at AS Level, with a choice from Physics or Psychology, Biology or Economics, Maths, Chemistry, and Computer Science or English Literature. Students who need to complete their Practical Endorsements for A Level Science subjects typically take these during the Spring break at one of the group’s Inspired schools.
Although much of the focus appears inevitably to be on the academic, KIH says that the flexibility that the on-line programme offers means that students can enjoy a range of clubs, societies, seminars or catch up with friends in the common room or on the school’s own social platforms. The learning platform enables students to watch missed lessons back in full, enabling them to solidify their learning or the flexibility to plan their own timetable and to pursue their own interests, hobbies, pastimes and goals in school hours. Co-curricular activities include subject specialisms and more creative classes for students to participate in.
KIS say that it is a fully inclusive school, and welcomes all students. This is particularly important to KIH as an international school, where students and families arrive from different educational experiences in their local context.
All teachers are actively involved in the provision of learning for students with additional or Special Educational Needs. A dedicated SEN lead teacher provides regular professional development based on the best research available today. The school prides itself on addressing students’ individual needs through informed data tracking early on and a continuation of this process through the year, so that staff are aware of students’ learning capabilities, ensuring extensions and or additional support of tasks in lessons.
Students participate in study skills opportunities so that they can recognise their own learning styles, identify their strengths and challenge themselves with new ways of processing information. The KIH parent portal means parents can keep track of their child’s progress and monitor their participation. Parent communication is thorough and regular ensuring early identification of students’ needs.
King's InterHigh states that 1 in 3 graduates of the school attend Oxbridge, Ivy League and Russell Group universities.
The school publishes its examination results at IGCSE and A Level. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com is always pleased to see schools publish their exam results. Whilst we strongly believe that they are not - and should not be - the be-all and end-all of education, results are inevitably an important factor in parents' school choice.
In 2022, at IGCSE, 11% of exam entries were awarded a Grade 9 (equivalent to the former A*), compared with the UK national average of 6.6%. 41% of results awarded were at Grades 9 to 7 (equivalent to the former A* to A), compared with a UK national average of 23%, and the overall pass rate was 84% of exam entries awarded Grades 9 to 4 (equivalent to the former A* to C), compared with a UK national average of 73%.
At A Level, 30% of all exam entries achieved at A*-A, whilst 70% of all results awarded were at A*-C. 26 students achieved A*-B in every subject entered.
Unfortunately, KIH does not publish full details of the number of students and number of exam entries - data we always like to include to give an idea of the size of cohort involved. However, we do know that King's InterHigh is an inclusive school accepting students with a broad range of abilities and where students achieve above the UK average, this is clear of evidence of them out-performing the majority of entrants by some way.
King's InterHigh prides itself on the support that it offers students in preparation for university applications and life beyond Secondary school. Preparation starts early in Year 12 and includes support in writing personal statements, university research choices, a range of talks and assemblies, and one to one sessions with both form teachers and subject teachers through the year. Being part of the Inspired group of school means KIH is able to access information globally about university application and counselling support.
As an entirely on-line based school, KIH recognises “its legal and moral duty to promote the well-being of children, protect them from harm and respond to safeguarding concerns”. Through their day-to-day contact with students and correspondence with families, the staff at the school have a role to play in noticing safeguarding concerns and working with parents and appropriate agencies.
KIH says it is committed to the care, welfare and safety of the students receiving their service. They are committed to carrying out this duty of care through teaching and learning, extra-curricular activities, pastoral care and extended school activities. In order to achieve this all members of staff, in whatever capacity, “will at all times act proactively in child welfare matters. Where there is a possibility that a child may be at risk of harm we will act immediately”.
There is no question that in terms of experience and student numbers, King's InterHigh is among the most successful online schools globally and has particularly strengthened its presence in the Middle East over the past two years. The investment by Inspired Education means that further resources are available, including access to physical schools where students can complement their online learning experience with exchanges, summer camps, virtual events, and in-person activities.
KIH says that it uses cutting edge technology to deliver the best learning experience. “We have a dedicated team of Learning and Development staff who are always researching the best way to stay on top of Edu-Tech and deliver this to our young people. We have a pastoral system that embeds our choices of support for learners and works with our community to make sure we hear and listen to our parents so that we can make the best possible choices in both our curriculum and pastoral offerings.”
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King's InterHigh offers two options in terms of the way fees are calculated and paid.
The Annual Contract is the most cost effective option and involves a one academic year commitment with the option of one annual payment or 12 monthly payments (September-August). The student's place is secured for the full academic year.
If the fee is paid over 12 monthly payments, an Academic Fee deposit of £1,000 is required. If the fee is paid in one lump sum, there is no deposit required. Additionally, a non-refundable registration fee of £100 per child is applicable.
The Rolling Contract option allows parents the flexibility to sign up and give notice at any point during the half term they have paid for, enabling a Pay-as-you-go option with cancellation at any time.
The following are based on an annual contract and annual fees.
Primary School - Years 3 to 6 (Key Stage 2) - the 7 subject basic package - £2,901, with a fee per additional subject of £275.
Lower Secondary - Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3) - the 8 subject package - £ 4,031, with a fee of £300 per additional subject
GCSE - Years 10 and 11 (Key Stage 4) - the 8 subject package - £4,838, with an additional fee of £570 per additional GCSE subject and £375 per Assured subject.
A Level - Years 12 and 13 (Key Stage 5) - the 3 subject package - £ 5220. Additional/alternative options are charged as follows: 1 A Level subject £2340, 2 A Level subjects £4215, 3 A Level subjects £5,220, 4 A Level subjects £6,120, 5 A Level Subjects £7,035.
IB Diploma - Years 12 and 13 (Key Stage 5) - £ 8,400.
In addition to the tuition fees, exam fees are also payable. Students receive guidance on how to find a centre and enter as a private candidate at the start of the concerned academic year. It is then the responsibility of the individual to register with the centre of choice and pay the exam fees to the centre directly.
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