Interhigh-Pros and Cons

(30 Posts)
lamoseley Mon 07-Jan-13 16:32:19

Hi all...

Has anyone had personal experience with Interhigh??

Love to hear your opinions please...good and not so good! xx

yankeecandle4 Wed 11-Nov-15 17:41:28

Thanks buzz that is really helpful.

buzzwoody Wed 11-Nov-15 08:34:09

My daughter got a's and b's so that information is incorrect. The price of igcses is on the website around £2000 and something for a year. The £400 is if you wish to take separate sciences. So instead of double science which is already included in the fees, you could pay more and study a full biology, chemistry or physics .

yankeecandle4 Sun 08-Nov-15 13:54:39

Can anyone give me a rough idea of how much the IGCSE years cost? According to the website it seems that on top of the fees (approx £2000?) it is an extra £400 per subject. Is that correct?

Also I heard a few years back that they only teach to core levels, meaning a grade C. Is this true? What sort of grade ranges do pupils get?

CrabbyTheCrabster Wed 05-Aug-15 18:13:42

Wrt lesson length... DD (just completed Y7) has found that fine, including Wednesday when it was 2 hours of maths followed by an hour and a half of Spanish. They get a 15 minute break in the middle of the double and another 15 mins between subject changeover. Just 5 mins in the middle of Spanish though, iirc. It was a big adjustment at the start of the year, as she'd gone from home ed to this, but she did adjust quickly and it's been fine.

I can't speak highly enough of Interhigh - it's been the perfect answer for us. It doesn't work for everyone though; DD's best friend started at the same time and dropped out by the first half term. She was autonomously home edded, though, and just didn't enjoy or want that level of structure, concentration and homework. For us, it's the perfect middle ground between home ed and the local secondary - DD enjoys the lessons, loves the class banter and has made friends (they skype each other), and still has time to hang out with her home-ed friends (this was a big factor for me).
She works ten times better, and with more enthusiasm and diligence, for the teachers than she ever did for me, and has come on in leaps and bounds academically. She's been incredibly self-motivated with doing her homework, which I think is all helped by how visual the dashboard is - she can see her attendance, grades, feedback, what homework is outstanding, what it is and when it's due, etc. Everything is there in the lesson library if she needs to remind herself of something, too.

I don't think it necessarily works for all kids, but some children it works very well. I was just reading the thread about the 'Chinese school' programme and the low level disruption in UK classrooms... I am feeling very grateful for Interhigh, where if a child is being disruptive, the teacher can 'mute' them and ban them from the chat box for a while. Show me a teacher who wouldn't love to be able to do that! grin

CrabbyTheCrabster Wed 05-Aug-15 17:58:30

cass and buzz... there are now audio recordings with some lectures in the lesson library, afaik. They aren't the audio from the whole lesson, but a shortened version. I'll just check...

Ok, I've just done a random sampling, and there is audio with some and not others. There's a video for all the Spanish lectures I looked at. I opened one and he is talking through some verbs, with the relevant pages of the lesson powerpoint appearing as he does so. The video was about 15 mins long. The full PPt is always available too.

For one week in English there is a powerpoint, a word document of resources and two video/audio files. Have just looked at another half dozen or so and they've all got at least one video/audio file, often two and a resources file as well as the PPt. Damn she's a good teacher (will miss her next year!). grin

I didn't see any video/audio for the rest of the subjects (maths, science, history or geography). I think it probably varies from teacher to teacher and is more likely with the languages where pronunciation is key.

Schrodingersmum Tue 04-Aug-15 13:17:10

Correct me if Im wrong but I thought Briteschool was primary whereas Interhigh is Secondary school so its not a like for like comparrison

DD who did 18 months if state secondary prefers the lesson set up at Interhigh, as she put it "state school we have to go to a room, unpack, settle down have a lesson, pack up and move to the next lesson" but no time is wasted at the start or end of lessons as youre already in the classroom ready to start so no wasted time

Some lessons are 2 hours, some are 1 hour depending on the subject

cassw29 Mon 03-Aug-15 10:12:47

For Briteschool I was told the recordings are of the actual lesson - I think clean recordings are better especially for children who are not well as they then only have to listen to the essentials they have missed and not watch a lesson they did not participate in.

cassw29 Mon 03-Aug-15 10:10:34

Thanks for the info everyone. That's really helpful.
I was told it was two hours for English, maths and science - one per day. How does your child find the lesson length?

Schrodingersmum Mon 03-Aug-15 09:31:41

DD is an Interhigh student moving to year 8 in September, I can log in anywhere anytime and see instantly what homework is set, waiting completion, marked, results and overall marks from the entire year. You can also see attendance and sickness record for every lesson and teacher feedback on all homework

For us its been a roaring success, DD's confidence has massively improved and she socialises via skype out of school

Weve found it a very supportive community of students and if there is ever a query about homework older students have given help in the common room

DD who was at a very good state school rates the lesson library highly and feels it is better than anything she was given in her previous top 100 state school, classmates also seem to be more supportive sharing their own lesson notes with anyone who has been sick

Happy to answer question by DM oh and they get merits which they can exchange for certificates, badges, school hoodies so yes they do get positive rewards

buzzwoody Fri 31-Jul-15 22:09:50

Its very dependent on the tutor to be honest. Some clearly explain the lesson on the PowerPoint whereas one geography tutor my daughter had did drawings with label and without the audio it wasn't enough to grasp the lesson. The tutors are good though if you email them for extra info.
If you want completely recorded lessons look at briteschool instead. My daughter did primary with briteschool and lessons are totally recorded with playback.

Phaedra11 Mon 27-Jul-15 15:49:59

Cassw, I just noticed your question to Buzzwoody asking whether the powerpoints were enough to compensate for a missed lesson and to complete homework. I suspect they are not really a full substitute as when DS has used them in this way, whilst they appeared to him adequate for the homework, he received lower marks than usual and comments in his feedback that the work didn't have enough detail. I'm glad they are there but hope he won't need to rely on them alone too much next term. He has now made a couple of friends from his class, and they sometimes help each out. I heard DS giving Maths tips to one of them over Skype last term!

Phaedra11 Mon 27-Jul-15 15:30:34

DS2 started at InterHigh in January, in Year 9. It's been a success and we will be carrying onto into the IGCSE years.

He was at a mainstream school but left because of his frequent migraines (often triggered by factors at the school such as the lighting or noise). Since starting at InterHigh he has less migraines and his attendance is a lot better than at his previous school.

There have still been some issues around attendance though. You need to let InterHigh know or absences are recorded as unauthorised and your child will see this when they log on. There is a pie chart after you've logged on recording attendance, authorised absence and unauthorised absence. There is also a pie chart recording home work completed and missed. DS had quite a bit of non-completed homework from the times he had a couple of long migraines towards the end of term and was unable to catch up. This was picked up on in his end-of-school report. I have since found out that it is possible to be exempt from homeworks in this sort of situation, so hopefully that won't be an issue next year.
The kids seem to have a good relationship with the teachers and DS has received feedback on all the work he's done (which is more than he got at the previous school).

Importantly DS is much, much happier at InterHigh!

cassw29 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:41:21

Hi Buzzwoody
That is so helpful to know that the past lessons are only Powerpoints.
I did call and ask for a sample of a past lesson and was told it wasn't possible to see a sample. I think for us the recordings will be needed as fixed sessions will be tricky due to health problems.
Are the Powerpoints enough info and engaging enough to complete the homework? Is a very long presentation?

buzzwoody Sat 25-Jul-15 09:15:28

Hi,I'm mumof4darlings but can't recall my password.
Homework is set each day for each subject studied. Usually only one subject is studied per day so it will be English on morning, maths , unless there is a day where there is an hour of Spanish or an hour of French.
You the parent needs to encourage engagement in the lesson if they aren't motivated themself or find formal study a challenge.
You can log in during the summer and look at past lessons. Lessons aren't recorded with sound at Interhigh, it is just a PowerPoint that you can look through. So you won't have teacher talking or the online chat box visible.

cassw29 Thu 23-Jul-15 17:15:22


Were there incentives to motivate the children such as certificates, rewards, etc as rewards to work towards?
How much homework was there?
What happens now during the normal school holidays - are you still able to access recordings or are you logged out until September?

whynotgoorienteering Fri 17-Jul-15 10:34:58

My DD was at Interhigh for 1 year in a Year 10/11 whilst she was ill. We were very pleased with it and would recommend to others. She has done 2 iGCSEs and is now back at local school and settling back to Scottish curriculum.

Pros - quality teaching, friendly teachers and pupils, highly efficient 2-3h/day of lessons, personable, teacher support, flexibility for going up/down a year anonymously, if timetable works out you can do different years for different subjects, good for self-motivated/reasonably able children who can concentrate and will engage, lots of time for other homework/activities, efficient admin, residential weekend to meet teachers/pupils

Cons - need to have someone around in the house to talk to face to face, even/especially for teenagers as can feel isolated, other local friendship groups would also help. Sometimes quite large classes for online (up to 19 but then she also had some small classes). Need good internet connection. Double science for iGCSE is standard but have to pay extra for separate sciences - though this does give small classes)

mumof4darlings Sun 13-Jan-13 08:46:36

my daughter attends interhigh. She loves it there. She is in year 10 now studying for her igcses. She is a girl that likes to be taught, she likes to know she is learning something, unschooling didnt work for her, whereas my son tried another internet school years ago and he couldnt cope with the structure and opted for unschooling :-)
They offer geography, history, french, spanish, double science, english lit and english language as IGCSES. There are also free afterschool clubs which include science club, creative writing, chess club.
At christmas they put on a play at the end of term and once a year there is a meet up in brecon for a weekend.
You also have the option of briteschool they offer primary, My daughter did primary with them.

firefly11 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:04:42

Thanks for all your comments. I will consider Interhigh for when my DDs are older smile

Alonglongway Wed 09-Jan-13 21:49:34

DD1 (yr10) has done one term at Interhigh and I think we're going to stick with it through to IGCSEs. Agree with the comments above about the good quality of education. She was at school before and is loving the notion of education without a lot of the hassle that goes with school. The only real downside is that she's starting to feel isolated - I always saw this as the biggest risk but was willing to let her find out for herself. So we're making a real effort to get some exciting activities together, and she's up for that now.

DS did English, Maths, French, Geography, History, and Double Science. There wasn't any choice then, I'm not sure whether or not it is still the same or not.

For science there were obviously no practicals, just demos etc, and they had to do an extra exam paper for each science to cover the equivalent that they would do in a practical exam normally.

For DS the advantage was covering the academic subjects in the morning, giving him lots of time for music in the afternoons. But it's really about weighing up your available options, like everything! They do try to provide some social stuff, but it's not the same as actually being with a group of people every day - but for some children, in some settings, that can be an improvement...

chocaholic73 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:35:07

You would have to ask about a month's trial, I don't know. It is "live" so different to Mathletics etc as there is interaction between teacher and student and the students in the class. They also have very successful extra curricular activities - end of term play, concert etc and speakers and activities in the "Common Room". I don't think at GCSE level it would be more difficult than a FE college (although I can't say for definite as DD was there in Year 7) as there is not much actual practical, it is all demonstration I think which can be done via You Tube etc (unlike when I was at school and got my hair singed by a bunsen burner!)

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:26:47

sorry meant to say "I would be deciding between secondary school, Interhigh or the local college".

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:26:17

Thanks AMumInScotland. Without knowing what subjects your DS did in Interhigh, I am wondering if doing Science subjects like Biology or Chemistry would be more difficult on Interhigh compared to say, a local FE college? I know currently as the law stands, FE colleges can only take on 14-16 year olds on vocational courses only and academic subjects would depend on the college. My DDs are not yet 14 yet, in fact a few more years to go, so I'm just asking out of interest. I suppose depending on the situation I would be deciding between college, Interhigh or the local college.

DS was at Interhigh for Yr 10 and 11, a few years ago now. It worked very well for him, and he got a similar set of IGCSE results to what I would have expected.

It is definitely "school" just delivered via conference call etc - the technology may have changed a bit since DSs time, then it was just voice call, IM and whiteboard. But you are tied in to a teacher + class methodology, a set of subjects, a daily/weekly/termly timetable. For us, that worked fine - DS was only out of bricks&mortar school because of practicalities, otherwise the school way of doing things suited him fine.

We found them helpful and profesional to deal with, before and after signing up - that was a major factor in our deciding that they would suit us.

firefly11 Wed 09-Jan-13 11:43:21

Ah okay... thanks choca. Do they give a one month trial sort of thing then? I mean, I wouldn't know if learning in a virtual school would be something my 10 yr old would take to. I have bought her Mathletics, Education City and packages before, all because she said she liked them at first after I introduced them to her. She'd ask me to purchase them because she wanted to continue, but a few weeks on, grew tired of them and didn't touch them anymore. I thought Interhigh would be different from those things because I have the impression it is done via something like video conferencing during lessons? Correct me if I'm wrong. So I'm not sure at all if it's worth spending on it for my daughter but I would take a one month trial and just pay for the month if there was such a thing. Otherwise I don't know if I would be happy spending on it.

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