Online British Education vs International Schools

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Why choose an online British education for your expat child vs International Schools?

If you are moving to France, Germany, the Netherlands, or any other country with your children, you may be wondering what to do about their education. When taking a child abroad to live, your first concern as a parent is making sure that their learning will continue uninterrupted and that your son or daughter can carry on working towards their British qualifications (GCSE, IGCSEs and A Levels) so that they can apply to a great university and later benefit from the very best career opportunities in the future.

Typically, parents either choose to send their children to an international school in their new country or opt for home-schooling with private tutors instead. Although an international school may appear to be the best option this isn’t always the case. More parents than ever before are discovering the benefits of a British education online and are turning to institutions like Cambridge Home School Online for an outstanding learning experience and top grades for their children.

A global education structure

Perhaps the greatest advantage of an online British education is the familiarity of the subject matter and style of teaching. International schools, by their nature, teach young people from all over the world and, therefore, aren’t guaranteed to use a British curriculum or a traditional British style of teaching. Additionally, international schools often struggle to recruit experienced expert teachers from the UK. Most teachers in international schools are either not British teachers or are newly qualified teachers without family commitments and crucially without years of experience. Achieving top grades is essential for pupils and so the importance of experience and expertise of the teacher can not be over-emphasised.

At a well-established online British school like the Cambridge Home School Online, British expat children can experience the same style of learning they would receive at home, but in a format that can be accessed from any location worldwide.

Distraction-free learning

An international school presents children with a traditional classroom environment and classrooms can be very noisy and distracting. However, with children from a variety of countries and backgrounds in a single class, the distractions can be even more pronounced. This can lead to children struggling to complete their work or failing to achieve a high enough standard. Attitudes to acceptable levels of noise in classrooms can vary tremendously.

At Cambridge Home School Online all classes are taught by a highly experienced specialist subject teacher who teaches the pupils remotely in live lessons. Throughout, the pupils can hear and see the teacher. They can ask any questions they may have, make comments and work collaboratively with others in their class, but without any distractions from poor behaviour, unnecessary noise, others’ lack of understanding or other unwanted environmental elements.

Also, in an international school classes can be quite large adding to the noise and potential confusion. This also means that children have limited one-to-one contact time with their teacher. This is especially likely to be the case when other pupils in the class are struggling to access the curriculum due to language problems or behaviour issues. Cambridge Home School Online eliminates this problem. With small class sizes, each child benefits from more personal contact time with their teacher, and this leads to a more individualised and controlled learning environment.

A flexible approach to learning

Unlike international schools which adhere to a standard school year in their country. Cambridge Home School teaches a British term system and so re-integration to British schools is easier upon a return to the UK. Pupils can enrol at any time of the year rather than only at the start of the year. Also, unlike international schools Cambridge Home School Online pupils can choose the subjects they want to study at the level that best suits their individual needs. Pupils are accepted into the school year that is consistent with their ability not their age.

The lessons run on a specific weekly timetable but are also video-recorded and therefore, pupils can watch the recordings if they miss a class to catch up afterwards. This tool also enables pupils to further consolidate what they have learned – something that is especially helpful when revising for and sitting exams. Clearly this is not available in international schools.

Choosing the benefits of a UK education online

If you’ve relocated to Europe or further afield as a family, choosing our online school for your child is your best course of action if you want your son or daughter to experience an outstanding British education from highly experienced and qualified teachers (MA and Phd specialist teachers, many from Oxford and Cambridge) with a flexible and highly individualised approach to learning. Contact Cambridge Home School Online to find out more about how we can give your child the benefit of an online British education.

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  1. Nicole is right about the social side so I would say that online schools do suit kids who have social activities and opportunities outside of school. The trouble is that the social side is pretty much all our children have seen from their last two international schools. I fear that they will not get good grades and I feel so guilty for agreeing to relocate now.

    Lin may be right in her experience of international schools but not in mine. While our children’s teachers have been very polite the only native British teachers we have experienced at two international schools have been very young and inexperienced. I suppose it’s hard for international schools to ask an older experienced teacher, perhaps with kids and a mortgage to leave everything behind for an adventure abroad.

    Grades are not the be all and end all but try getting into a decent university without them and knowing how to twerk on Tik tok isn’t going to work as a career choice for everyone (it’s all my kid’s school friends talk about). I’m seriously considering an online school from the UK. We want to return to the UK in 2 years time and I don’t want my kids to have to catch up on years of schoolwork just because darling hubby wanted to impress his bosses by dragging us all to the middle of nowhere!

    1. I hear you, Tara. I truly do. We’ve had some dreadful experiences with international schools.
      Many people have a very narrow view and it’s incredibly important to recognise that one experience is not mirrored in every other expat family.
      And yes, the social aspect is important, but we haven’t even seen any of that over the past year, have we? 🙁
      Are you in my safe space on Facebook? I think you’ll find it helpful – Join Expatability Chat here

  2. While online learning has been a reality for many children for the last year which they have had to adapt to, the biggest aspect that this article doesn’t cover is the value and impact of developing friendships with classmates and all the social aspects of learning from a multicultural social group.

    Education isn’t only about grades.

    Gaining a first hand experience of how to understand, communicate and collaborate with people who are not the same as you with different perspectives, is one of the most important skills our children are going to need in the future. This is a benefit of learning in a face to face multicultural environment.

    Also what about all the extra curricular activities that develop many other skills like teamwork and opportunities to explore passions and talents in music, sport, drama etc?

    Many international and independent schools have very high achieving students going to top universities around the world. And good grades doesn’t always guarantee success or happiness.

    This article needs more balance. Online learning might be the right choice for some families, but that doesn’t make international/independent/local school the wrong choice for others. Each circumstance is unique.

    1. I think you must understand, Nic, that each article I post simply cannot cover everything! There will always be a ‘what about…?’ gap.
      There are plenty of other articles on that deal with friendships and all other aspects of expat life.
      Not many children, or adults for that matter, are able to meet anyone face to face during this pandemic. I am so glad you recognise each family is unique, though.

  3. Most of these statements about international schools are wildly inaccurate. A small amount of research into international schools in the planned destination will tell you what you need to know about term dates, class sizes and so on. As for international schools mainly having non-British, inexperienced staff, this is nonsense. The standard minimum is 2 years experience in a British school, and competition for posts in most destinations is strong enough that schools will be able to choose more experienced staff.
    By all means, choose online education if this is best for your child, but do your research into international schools first.

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