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King's InterHigh Middle East UAE 7 - 19
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King's InterHigh Middle East
Dubai
5,700 pupils, ages 11-16 | Mixed | Day

Lower Secondary and GCSE

 

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Offering a first-class British education to pupils wherever they are in the world, King’s InterHigh is a pioneer of online learning – and the gold standard of virtual schooling. As part of the Inspired group of schools (which boasts over 100 bricks-and-mortar schools across five continents), it cleverly combines a fully remote education with the resources and expertise of a truly global community, while offering a hugely successful alternative to mainstream school at a fraction of the price.

Where?

Everywhere and anywhere. All pupils need is access to a computer and an internet connection, logging in and joining lessons and activities from absolutely anywhere in the world: their bedroom, the airport or even backstage or on the side of a pitch while juggling a professional career.

In 2021, the school expanded to launch a branch in the Middle East, which runs under exactly the same framework as the UK original, but operates on a different time zone and runs a timetable adapted to suit cultural and religious dates. It’s a fantastic alternative to the region’s international schools, which are often very oversubscribed and come at a high price. Lessons are both live and pre-recorded, so if students are unable to join live lessons, it's a breeze to catch up – and every pupil’s schedule is completely flexible and designed to fit around other commitments, whatever they may be.

Head

Experienced educationalist Tahoora Khalil Urehman heads the Middle East branch of the school, and is responsible for communications with families, pupils and staff within the region. She has heaps of experience in the British education system and is hugely enthusiastic about the online model of teaching, believing it provides so much more flexibility for individual needs than the in-person equivalent.

Tahoora is ably supported by King’s InterHigh’s executive head, Catriona Olsen, who oversees the school as a whole. Her master’s in secondary education and computing means she has an astonishing understanding of the benefits of applying technology to learning. Originally from Ireland, she’s also taught across the world, beginning her career in London before moving to South Africa to take up the role of College Head at Reddam House Durbanville, and then landing at King’s Interhigh.

Admissions

King’s InterHigh prides itself on its brilliantly flexible offering, which also applies to its admissions process, and pupils can join at any point in the academic year (the only exceptions being Year 11 or 13, where direct entry isn’t advised but reviewed on a case-by-case basis). It’s entirely non-selective (until the sixth form), and the only admissions requirement is a decent level of English, as well as proven curiosity and potential. Most pupils join as they are keen to access the full British curriculum, but a handful also join because traditional schooling has failed for one reason or another – from bullying and anxiety to professional commitments.

Numbers here are smaller than at the UK counterpart (which was established in 2005), but over 10,000 pupils have passed through King’s InterHigh in the past 17 years. There are lots of siblings at the school.

Academics and destinations

King's InterHigh's academic ethos is based on totally bespoke learning, with flexible timetables designed to fit around most schedules. Teachers are experts in their subjects (many have PhDs) and are recruited on account of their experience of the Middle East. They are fully equipped to deal with any nuances between educational systems, as well as being highly experienced in the British independent school system. It’s worth knowing that the school has a dedicated SEND team on hand too.   

The school runs a live timetable, but every lesson is recorded so it can be revisited at any time, with subject materials and resources available 24/7. Pupils are expected to actively participate in lessons, with discussion and debate strongly encouraged, and online breakout rooms, chats, polls and quizzes used to bring an interactive element into each virtual classroom. Pupils can even strap on VR headsets (or enjoy the same experience through their computer screens, thanks to clever software) during science, geography and history lessons to help bring learning to life. However, there’s no pressure to turn cameras on, and the school is a wonderfully safe environment for those who might have different requirements or who have previously suffered from anxiety in a more traditional school setting.

Most subjects include both a ‘Lead’ (seminar-style) lesson and an ‘Explore’ (tutorial-style) session to ignite group discussion and collaboration, while ongoing formative and summative assessments keep parents in the loop about their child’s progress. That said, these are very much designed to help consolidate learning, rather than put undue pressure on pupils.

Pupils in Years 7 to 9 study the core subjects of maths, English and sciences. Arabic is also on offer, with about 35 per cent opting in. On top of this, there’s the option to choose up to five additional subjects to study, including art, computer science, film studies, French, history and drama. Pupils work towards iGCSEs, with this list expanding to include psychology and religious studies. Pupils can also complement their studies with additional courses in health and wellbeing, computer games and international relations.  

Following a rigorous application process, the school recently became an accredited Cambridge International School, a testament to its brilliant curriculum and high standard of education.

Co-curricular

While you certainly won’t find acres of manicured playing fields, state-of-the-art theatres or a fully equipped art studio, there are still plenty of opportunities for pupils to get stuck into co-curricular enrichment. For many, music, art, performing arts or sport will already be a huge part of what they do outside of the classroom, and indeed a main motivation for choosing an online school, meaning they can fit their education around their busy lives.

There’s a whole host of online clubs to sign up to, from cookery to chess. Visiting speakers often log on to lead lectures, and pupils can play their part in the school council and write for the student newspaper – and an exciting new partnership with the Royal College of Music and the online platform Forte means pupils can now access music lessons (taught by some of the world’s best music teachers) wherever they are in the world.

As King’s InterHigh is part of Inspired Education, they team up with Inspired schools across the globe to host summer camps, exchanges and activity sessions during the school holidays, allowing pupils to access fun-filled and educational in-person experiences, from fashion and design to sailing and tennis.

School community

Pupil wellbeing and pastoral care are top priorities, with huge importance put on human connection. Each pupil has their own dedicated form and peer tutor, who stays in close contact to keep track of their progress and help identify areas in need of support or challenge. Virtual assemblies led by Catriona Olsen are an opportunity to bring the whole school community together, while a tight-knit house structure helps develop friendships across year groups while fostering a healthy dose of competition through regular inter-house competitions and events.

Online safety is taken seriously, and pupils stay in touch via a secure virtual-hangout facility, as well as King’s InterHigh’s very own social media platform. Catriona believes the school has a greater measure of control if there are any signs of pupils behaving negatively towards others – the online model enables them to be removed from the conversation until they are ready to act positively in their lesson group and towards their peers.

Timetabled ‘Walk Away from the Computer’ sessions are designed to encourage pupils to reflect and appreciate the environment around them, and prevent them from being permanently glued to a screen. And while there is no uniform, pupils can snap up King’s InterHigh hoodies, which are often worn with pride during online lessons.

And finally....

This is a genuinely international, welcoming community for pupils from all walks of life – and a winning alternative to an international school in the Middle East. Online schooling certainly isn’t for everyone, but for the right child, King’s InterHigh hits all the right notes.

Gallery

King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
King's InterHigh Middle East gallery image
  • Academic results

    A-level % grades A*-B: 40%
  • Fees

    Day fees per annum
    From 5,220.00 Pound Sterling to 6,120.00 Pound Sterling







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  • School Updates

    • WATCH: 10 Questions with Executive Head Catriona Olsen

    • 10 Questions with Tahoora Khalil Urehman, head of Middle East at King's InterHigh

    • Superb 2022 A Level results for King’s InterHigh students

      We are delighted to report yet another year of wonderful A Level results and academic achievements for King’s InterHigh’s Sixth Form students. Our Class of 2022 have shown that high-quality, flexible online learning can lead to excellent exam outcomes, a route to higher education, and a pathway towards future dreams and aspirations.

Essentials

Address
Online School, B8 – EX-50, Bldg 08-CO Work, Dubai Media City, Dubai, UAE

Contact
Contact@kingsinterhigh.co.uk
+44 (0)1873 777 444

Website
kingsinterhigh.co.uk/secondary-school-online/

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