Briteschool V Interhigh?

(32 Posts)
bochead Fri 02-Nov-12 14:38:17

Has anyone attended either or researched both and come down in favour of one or other? If so why?

A bit of background in case it aids your advice.

DS is ASD so prefers the regular structure, routine etc, etc that comes with the set curriculum offered by formal online schooling.

Huge organisational changes in DS's current setting from 2013 mean we may be better off home edding from Year 5 rather than Year 6 onwards as I'd hoped. Change is a big deal for DS, so I'm trying to work out how best to smooth his path over the next few years.

My orginal plan was Interhigh from Year 7. However Briteschool starts at 9 - I'm just not sure whether what they offer is what we need iyswim.

SarahDiggins Tue 22-Nov-16 18:45:18

sorry didn't finish the last sentence with the Interhigh section: I meant to write 'She did well in her exams despite the poor teaching from many of her teachers, with the 2 notable exceptions of her Maths teacher Roger (a superb teacher who dedicated his time to helping Emily get an A grade for her Maths when she had come into the school a C grade student) and Marianne (a native French woman who taught French and was very good at maintaining discipline.)

SarahDiggins Tue 22-Nov-16 12:58:12

We have tried all 3 of the main online schools in the UK: Briteschool, Interhigh and NetSchool. Here is our experience:

Netschool - very good teaching with some unspiring teachers who drove my children to distraction with their boring monotone voices and unimaginative delivery. Expensive especially for iGSCE. Terrible administration system - they run 2 systems in parallel and all emails to parents to go their own online email server so you cannot integrate with your own emails. That means to communicate with the school you have to log in and have no record of your conversations on your laptop.

Interhigh: Excellent presentation, website, administration system and very well structured so pupils can easily see which homework they have finished, check their grades and monitor performance. However, the teaching is very variable - they have one or two superb teachers, but some absolutely dismal ones. I personally witnessed one of the Maths teachers Alan teaching his pupils that 8 x 5 = 32. He taught maths and science but did not understand the basics of biology (cells) and referred to the microchondria as 'blobs'. He was unable to pronounce 'fluorine'. One of their geography teachers told my 16 year old daughter that the field work part of their iGSCE course was optional and so she did not study it - it turns out this formed 25% of her iGSCE exam. Her Biology teacher (not Alan) missed out a whole crucial section of the structure of cellular life, fundamental to the basic understanding. Their French language slides were covered with basic grammar and spelling errors. These are just a few examples. When I raised these as issues, Interhigh ignored my emails, hoping I would go away. I did not go away and questioned why they employed a maths teacher who did not know his times tables and taught the children incorrect maths. They defended him saying he got 'good results for the lower year groups'. mmm..... Sadly I could go on with many more appalling incidences of dreadful teaching but you get the picture. We took our girls out of Interhigh after my eldest daughter's experience with her Geography Exam and Biology preparation. She did well in her exams despite the

Briteschool - This is an absolute gem of a school whose website belies their brilliant, inspirational teaching. The teachers absolutely love the children and are highly motivated. The children get so much attention and are encouraged to move up to a higher level if they are able to, irrespective of age. My 2 girls are now with Briteschool and are very much enthused to learn. Their administration systems are not as refined as Interhigh and communication can be slow, but the bottom line is that my girls look forward to their lessons now and love learning. I cannot recommend them more highly.

Schrodingersmum Mon 11-Jan-16 13:47:13

Hi,we are not using bright-school but Interhigh, DD was school phobic but loves Interhigh and has just had an excellent report

zephyrcat Fri 08-Jan-16 21:04:57

Can I revive this thread and ask if anyone is currently using Briteschool?

Annathecamel Tue 19-Mar-13 10:46:05

Expat - I hope someone from Briteschool has got back to you.

I taught there for a time a few years back and as a teacher loved it. It's very well structured and organised and in terms of content probably more intense and focused than a real classroom in a brick school. I could certainly see how some students in particularly flourished and thrived in the alternative educational environment it offered.

Expatforever Wed 27-Feb-13 14:16:01

Hi there, urgently in need of advice please. We are trying to make contact with Briteschool via e-mail as well as telephonically. Our e-mails remain unanswered and the phones are not being picked up either. Yesterday the website was not accessible but it is now. Has the school closed down or are they still active? I would appreciate feedback please as we need to enrol our child asap. Thanks!

stilllearnin Tue 20-Nov-12 15:28:43

Oh thanks for that. It is not the most pressing concern - but it is really helpful to have some first-hand experience so that we can be more informed. My son can definitely be comfortable with different types of people, he quite likes that- its more how that and all issues are managed that matters. It sounds like Interhigh is switched on tho.

It now looks like my son will finish this school at Easter and start one of the internet schools in September. He wants to pursue some 'projects' for the summer term. I am not sure what he means but my instinct is he needs to be trusted! I'll be back!

Jamillalliamilli Wed 14-Nov-12 21:25:09

Would also add it's quite international, (always interesting to have children in Spain, Egypt, Singapore or Texas doing the same lesson) and there's quite a few young athletes, musicians, and actors too. Lots of different reasons for being there.

Jamillalliamilli Wed 14-Nov-12 21:16:56

Wanted to say to the concern about higher number of excluded children at Interhigh, most of the LEA excluded and placed children are not in the the mainstream classes. They have their own classes. For obvious reasons they don't make a feature of that fact.

Most of those in mainstream classes being paid for by LEA's are children with educational difficulties like SPLD, (often LSA'd) life threatening illness, or who've been very severely bullied, whose parents have found a good solution and fought to get the fees paid, rather than being LEA placed. Definitely no more of a disruption issue than anywhere else, and handled swiftly and sensibly. (I LSA a child at Interhigh, but not employed by them)

mumof4darlings Mon 12-Nov-12 20:56:58

great news. Hope it make him happier. If he likes the idea of extra curricular classes interhigh offers chess club, science club, book club, fun common room sessions every friday afternoon, they are also looking into providing art classes this year. online end of year play/talent show and a yearly meetup in brecon where they get to stay in a big school and do activities :-)anyway, pm me if you would like anymore info. My daughter is very happy there.

stilllearnin Mon 12-Nov-12 14:48:58

Thank you for all the info and comments. We emailed the school last night just to let them know what we're thinking of doing. So it looks like he'll be out at Christmas or Easter (we have to pay a contribution to his fees and contractually they can hold us to the next term). If he sticks to either Briteschool or Interhigh's term times he will have less school holiday. His sister thinks this is hilarious and says she'll go to a festival while he is in double maths!

mumof4darlings Sat 10-Nov-12 08:02:55

Hi, there was one class when my daughter was in year seven, a new boy had joined who clearly didn't want to be there, he tried to disrupt the lessons. Interhigh were straight on to it, they took away the private chat facility in the entire class, removed him from classroom straight away if any bad language. As he was unable to settle and continued to disrupt the group, he did not continue to be a pupil. The class groups she has been in since have been wonderful. The students have been polite online and all appear to engage well in the lessons. Yesterday's Christmas performance rehearsal showed what a great bunch of children there are at the school, such excitement and chatting. I would have no concerns on placing a child there. They are more able to control a classroom with technology with as little disruption as possible, by removing a child quickly.

Ratso Fri 09-Nov-12 21:45:43

Hadn't heard of either school or even considered online schooling for 7yr old dd but after reading this thread I am very interested indeed.

Thanks OP smile

stilllearnin Fri 09-Nov-12 20:12:34

Thanks that's reassuring - I suppose its a great benefit of internet learning that the teacher can do that. You would not believe the things that go on at a fee paying school! And I am pretty laid back because children either make me laugh or I think they're still learning how to behave (aren't we all). It does seem a bit final for us because we have been all around the system now. But I am almost certain we are going to go for it - we will make the transition slow tho because my daughter cannot have her brother disappear from school suddenly again.

AMumInScotland Fri 09-Nov-12 19:54:30

DSs class had one disruptive pupil for a while, but the teacher could just "silence" him and take him to another "room" to work, so it didn't cause much of a problem. In fact he left after a while, though I don't know if that was the school's choice or his parents'. I doubt they would allow disruption to continue for long - parents will vote with their feet if they are paying for something and don't feel they are getting it.

stilllearnin Fri 09-Nov-12 19:37:33

Hi - sorry, I've been working. It sounds like it may not hurt to try it bochead. Perhaps make the decision without telling him or perhaps anyone else and see how you feel about it for a few days before you make it real. I get into a kind of paralysis with this sort of thing and that tactic sometimes helps.

But the relief when we took my son out of school the first time was MASSIVE! Whatever happened next it was not the the wrong decision. Also you can always change your mind and find a way to help your son deal with more changes if you have to. I know school provides opportunities to experience other things as well as socialise but really sometimes you have to chose something a bit more stripped down.

The main thing now with my son is physical health and the high level of distraction from actual learning (his social side is not nearly as tricky as it was). He isn't easily distracted himself but hates having to miss so much while the others stop.

Mumof4darlings my partner is against interhigh because he says there are a lot of excluded children there (as it gets lots of work from LEAs he says). That's a not a problem in itself because we know kids come out of school for different reasons - but in a small class there one child that can cause quite a lot of disruption and he's worried we'll have the same problems there. Have you noticed anything like this at interhigh (more than your average class room I mean).

mumof4darlings Thu 08-Nov-12 07:29:13

My daughter is in yr 10 of Interhigh. She did all of year 7 with them and then wanted to try school again. The standard of their teaching is excellent, she was exactly where she needed to be for year 8 of regular school. Online teaching works for some and not for others my daughter loves it my son hated it. What we love the most about it is that it feels so friendly and there is a real sense of belonging. This Christmas they are pitting on a online Christmas play previous years there have been talent shows all students can get involved if they like.
If you would like anymore info ask away.

CuttedUpPear Thu 08-Nov-12 00:02:18

Oh that's a relief!

AMumInScotland Wed 07-Nov-12 21:19:18

Ah, I see the problem - their website is www.interhigh.co.uk/ but there are very similar web names for a Christian organisation in California! I'm pretty sure there's no connection.

CuttedUpPear Wed 07-Nov-12 21:10:04

On the first page of the website - in fact it showed up on the google search without even going onto the site. Maybe I got the wrong site.

AMumInScotland Wed 07-Nov-12 20:13:35

CuttedUpPear I certainly didn't notice a christian agenda while DS was there, where did you hear that?

bochead Wed 07-Nov-12 19:29:06

I don't know if this is relevant to you stilllearnin, but I feel strongly that DS currently has to learn 2 curriculi - the social and the academic and that sometimes the stress of both at once is too much.

I'm hoping that by "splitting" them DS will be able to concentrate on doing his best at the academics without being weighed down by having to cope with a double workload caused by the social stuff. Does that resonate with you?

Mainstream is just "too much" for DS (dining hall noise hurts him for a start) but special schools tend to offer VERY limited academic opportunities. Online school sounds as if it could potentially give him the best of both worlds. Thanks for the info on Briteschool Primary - perhaps that would be a good introduction & prep for online secondary while allowing lots of free time to "do our own thing" for a couple of years?

Once you get to sixth form/post 16 education class sizes tend to go down and the disruptive element reduces as everyone is following their own interests. The trick seems to be to get them safely to that stage without them becoming too disaffected by learning from talking to adult Aspies & others who may not "fit" the standard school system, but are bright nonetheless.

CuttedUpPear Tue 06-Nov-12 23:17:37

Interhigh has a christian agenda? Is that correct?
If so, no way for us.

HullaBalloo Tue 06-Nov-12 23:13:37

Will pm you too still learnin

HullaBalloo Tue 06-Nov-12 22:44:26

Will pm you bochead.

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