The IB Diploma is fast becoming one of the world’s most sought-after school qualifications. With 97% of admissions officers agreeing it prepares students well for university, more than 5,000 universities worldwide accept applications from IB students every year.
But as demand for the IB Diploma continues to increase worldwide, so do the length of IB World School waiting lists. International school fees remain notoriously steep. Plus, if you don’t live in a major city, your nearest IB school may be beyond commuting distance.
Enter King’s InterHigh – the world’s first school to offer the IB Diploma Programme fully online. Leveraging over 17 years’ experience in online education and backed by over 40 years of academic excellence delivering the IB as part of the Inspired group of schools, the online IBDP at King’s InterHigh offers young people worldwide an accessible pathway to one of the world’s most prestigious school qualifications.
But aside from being widely accessible, what other advantages are there to studying the IB Diploma online rather than in a mainstream school setting? And how is the curriculum actually delivered?
We spoke with King’s InterHigh, the UK’s leading online school, to learn more.
There are several benefits that come with an online education. For expat families whose next move may be just around the corner, the impact can be very real. At a virtual school like King’s InterHigh, your child takes their education with them wherever they go. Not only does this make the stress of finding the best school in every new location a thing of the past, but it allows your child to continue their studies without disruption.
This continuity becomes even more crucial in those all-important final school years, especially with two-year courses like A Levels or the IB. Studying online gives international families the freedom to travel without having to worry about compromising your child’s academic progress.
Another major benefit of studying the IBDP at King’s InterHigh is the school-life balance it offers students. If you’re at all familiar with the IB, you’ll know that it carries a heavy workload. Unlike many school leaving qualifications, in which students specialise in a few select subjects, IBDP learners study six different subjects across all the major disciplines. On top of that, students take the DP Core which is made up of 3 elements: CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service), Theory of Knowledge (in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge) and the Extended Essay, which involves writing a 4,000 word research paper.
In a bricks and mortar school setting, students with commitments to passions such as acting or athletics, for example, would have a difficult time catching up on classes they missed while out auditioning or training.
With the online IBDP at King’s InterHigh, flexible timetables and 24/7 access to on-demand lesson recordings allow students to fit their studies around their lifestyles. That’s why an increasing number of young athletes, actors, entrepreneurs, activists, and learners with incredible passions are choosing the online IBDP. With an online provision, your education revolves around you – even with a programme as academically rigorous as the IB.
One of the more unique advantages of the online IBDP is the opportunity to collaborate with peers from all corners of the globe. As the IB Diploma is designed with an international outlook at its core, a ‘borderless’ virtual classroom embodies the global ethos of the International Baccalaureate in a way few other mainstream settings can.
For Grace, one of the world’s first ever online IB students, this aspect has been a particular highlight in her journey with King’s InterHigh: “I love working with people based all over the world! […] I am often sitting at home in Geneva in a virtual classroom with students in Australia, as well as Norway, Antigua and many more countries! Everyone comes together to share different cultural backgrounds and experiences, which is fascinating.”
The King’s InterHigh online IBDP offers the same curriculum as traditional bricks and mortar schools. However, with a fully online offering, the school has an advantage in being able to enhance the learning experience in ground-breaking ways.
Founded as the original online British international school in 2005, King’s InterHigh virtual classrooms are a far cry from those experienced by many families during lockdown, instead offering a curated education experience designed for online. On top of the use of microphones and webcams for optimal engagement, teachers get everyone involved in active learning through a suite of digital features including breakout rooms, chat boxes, polls, quizzes and more.
Beyond this, though, what makes the online IBDP at King’s InterHigh so exciting is its use of the latest innovations in education technology, from simulations to augmented reality. Throughout the year, online IB students get to use virtual reality headsets in a variety of ways. In IB Biology, you may use VR to explore the inside of a heart. In IB language lessons, virtual reality can facilitate ‘face to face’ conversations acting out authentic scenes in the target language.
One King’s InterHigh IB student María, who lives in Spain, shares an example of how technology helped her see topics in a different way: “We had an economics lesson in virtual reality (VR), and we were counting cows and chickens! I would never have guessed this was what economics could be about. I was expecting lots of graphs.”
Another important aspect of the IB Diploma is CAS, which stands for Creativity, Activity and Service. It requires students to complete a series of self-directed projects; Creativity encompasses the arts and other creative enterprises; Activity relates to physical pursuits in accordance with a healthy lifestyle and Service covers voluntary work in the student’s community. Through CAS, IB students develop initiative, perseverance, and non-academic skills.
As the aim is to get students out and engaging with the world, you’d be forgiven for wondering how something like CAS works in an online setting. But at King’s InterHigh, things really aren’t very different to how they’d be in a traditional IB school. CAS is just one of the many ways online IBDP students spend time away from their computers, exploring how their learning applies to the world around them. Plus, the unique global nature of the online IB means that students are collaborating on these projects from all over the world – making a difference in their local communities from wherever they’re located.
Although CAS is all about developing independence and initiative, students at King’s InterHigh are supported throughout. From their CAS Handbook to information sessions and one-to-one meetings with the school’s dedicated CAS coordinator, students are set up with everything they need from day one to get the very best out of their CAS experience.
With a world of choice at their fingertips, CAS has seen King’s InterHigh online IB students take part in a diverse range of exciting projects; from figure skating, digital art, and designing a curriculum for girls in STEM, to activism for neurodiversity, volunteering at local animal shelters, and joining the TED Translators programme.
Through the world’s first fully online IB Diploma Programme, King’s InterHigh offers students a flexible, expert-taught pathway to international universities.
Learn more about the online IBDP via the King’s InterHigh website or contact the school’s admissions team today:
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