Frequently Asked Questions

About IWS

Our British online school revolutionises remote education. With an easy-to-use platform, flexible academic programmes, and adaptable schedules, we provide a learning experience that can often exceed that of traditional schools.

 

Globally, schools are embracing technology to meet evolving educational standards. It is anticipated that within the next few decades, online education will become commonplace. At IWS, we lead by prioritising online teaching.

 

Our teachers are adept at delivering Live Online Lessons with great enthusiasm and proficiency. We also employ sophisticated and reliable technology to ensure our virtual classrooms meet every need of our pupils, including round-the-clock access to recorded lessons to support independent study.

 

In this respect, we are advancing faster than many educational institutions that are just beginning to embark on this digital transition.

 

IWS places great value on the educational experiences that occur beyond the classroom walls. Thus, we offer numerous opportunities for group interaction through a variety of clubs, extracurricular activities, and online social gatherings. This approach allows each student to connect with others across the globe, fostering a sense of belonging to a vibrant community that extends beyond the end of the school day. 

Yes, we offer Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE). We are registered as UK Learner Providers and are in the process of obtaining our membership with the Council of International Schools (CIS).
We are based in the UK, our headquarters are registered at 31 Long Acre Covent Garden, London England WC2E 9LA

Our trained teachers employ a range of teaching aids to support learning, such as high-quality video cameras, interactive whiteboards, screen sharing, live presentations, and lesson recordings. Students at IWS can join classes through a safe online link. Teachers use various methods and activities, including quizzes, presentations, and group work, in their lessons.

 

The use of modern technology makes learning enjoyable for students and enhances their educational journey compared to conventional methods. This also boosts their learning as they study from home.

Many parents worry about whether online learning will allow their child to socialise properly.

 

At IWS, we encourage our international students to interact with one another by holding various clubs, social gatherings, and events throughout the school year. We also offer a summer camp, a student council, and additional activities for students to enjoy in their spare time.

 

Furthermore, students enrolled in the same courses often work together on group tasks and projects. These collaborative efforts help develop communication skills and leadership abilities. All activities in our online classrooms are recorded and supervised to ensure the safety of our students online. We also provide training on how to use social media responsibly to maintain a safe environment for all student interactions.

Every country has different rules about what kinds of education can take the place of traditional classroom learning. So, we suggest that parents check if homeschooling is allowed in the country where they plan to live or work before applying to our school.

 

Please also remember that our lessons follow the standards of the English education system, and our staff are experts only in this system.

Currently, all our subjects are taught in English, in line with a British curriculum. We do, however, teach several foreign languages, including French, German, and Chinese, where teachers and students frequently engage in conversations in the language of study.
Curriculum And Lessons
The academic year starts on the 5th of September. Please visit the IWS Calendar to view our term dates and upcoming events.

Our teachers are all certified with ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ from the UK’s Department for Education. We thoroughly train our staff and perform live demonstrations prior to their official start to guarantee the highest quality education for your child.
They utilise the Cambridge curriculum to guide lesson planning and to devise annual assessments that track educational progress.

IWS offers 18 different subjects for IGCSE students. Kindly browse through our Upper Secondary Program to find relevant courses.

IGCSE students can take as many courses as they want. However, we advise IWS students to select core packages depending on their key stage.

 

These are as follows: 

  • Key Stage 3: 3 Core Subjects 
  • Key Stage 4: 5 Core Subjects 
  • Key Stage 5: 2 Core Subjects 

Our students can take as many subjects as they would like to expand their academic profile.  However, we  advise you to carefully consider the time and energy required for preparation before selecting the number of subjects that you or your child will study. This way, you can avoid  being overwhelmed by end-of-term assignments and tests at a later stage. It is crucial not to overextend oneself when assimilating new information. 

Our core package consists of threesubjects for Lower Secondary and fivefor Upper Secondary classes. The full range of options can be discussed with the Admissions Team prior to enrollment.Book a call today!

Yes, GCSEs are only applicable for UK learners while IGCSEs are designed for international learners. The key differences lie in the relevancy of the topics taught at each key stage. For example, non-native speakers might not read the same English literature texts as students in the UK due to the difference in language proficiency. Likewise, topics discussed in History and Geography may vary due to cultural differences.


You can contact us at admissions@staging1.iwsonlineschool.co.uk for further details.

You can access course materials from your respective student portals. There are no additional charges for these ebooks and additional study packs.

The number of lessons you get each week depends on the package you choose. Here’s what you can usually expect:

For KS3 (core), there are 9 lessons a week.

For KS4 (core), there are 15 lessons a week.

For KS5 (core), there are 8 lessons a week.

Each live class is 40 minutes long.
As a Cambridge International School, we accommodate time zone differences by creating flexible schedules for our students. Live classes are conducted in the morning and evening (UK time). We synchronise timetabled schedules according to the student’s time zones and have pre-recorded self-study lessons to fill up the rest of the timetable.
The maximum number of students that will be in any one class is 17. Students are often divided into groups for presentations and activities so fuller classes are often ideal for the implementation of this interactive format. Some of our class sizes are considerably smaller than this number however; which enables teaching staff to ensure that each learner receives one-to-one attention and guidance during lessons.

Online learning offers great flexibility. Our students can watch recorded lessons at any time if they’re unable to attend a live class.


If your child is going to miss a lesson, please let us know in advance or as it happens by using the Parent Portal. This helps our teachers to catch up with these students in live sessions later, making sure they’re on track with any missed work.

We offer scheduled live lessons that are also recorded. Students can join in using a microphone or the chat feature in our virtual classroom. After the lesson, these recordings are stored in an archive on the student’s panel. This allows students to review their lessons whenever they need to, either for revision or to understand a topic better.
Regular attendance for assemblies and live lessons is recommended as this helps us create a structured learning environment for online students. If the student’s time zone doesn’t allow this, you can register your child as a library learner to access recorded lessons. Library learners can study at an individual pace and use the student portal to ask for assistance from the appointed course coordinator.

Yes, IWS students can correspond with subject teachers and the Senior Leader of Learning (SLOL) request assistance. Our teaching faculty ensure that urgent queries are addressed as soon as possible.


However, teachers overlooking multiple classes might take longer to reply than others. Students are requested to wait patiently and send a follow-up email if they don’t receive a response within seven school days.

Our online learning management system allows teachers to enforce firm boundaries for students who misbehave in class. IWS teachers are able to mute microphones and restrict access to general chat and private chat to prevent students from causing interruptions. If the students continue to misbehave, teachers have the right to stop them from accessing the virtual classroom until they apologise and promise to be on their best behaviour in future lessons.


IWS students understand the consequences and must maintain class decorum at all times.

IWS Community
Yes, you can contact the IWS team to retrieve the recorded session.

Yes, each of our parents is given their own account on our Learning Management System. This enables them to see their child’s progress academically and informs them of the many school related activities that we host each week. In addition to this, parents are able to review teacher feedback and commentary on assigned work to track their child’s performance in class.


Moreover, teachers communicate with parents through term meetings and may work closely with parents to overcome any learning challenges or disciplinary problems encountered during school.

Yes, they can use the Parent Portal to contact designated subject teachers. You can view teacher names on your child’s timetable, then send them a message to ask questions about learner progress, clarification on feedback or inquiries on upcoming assessments.

Yes, our students are assigned to small groups for their weekly classes. This enables them to get to know one another in an engaging classroom setting that often utilises group projects to encourage collaboration.


In addition to this pupils also attend assemblies and can join a wide range of extracurricular clubs which will see them learn, collaborate, compete and enjoy the company of their peers.


Apart from this, parents can allow IWS students that are aged 13 and above to sign up to our social media platform (Yammer). This virtual network allows them to form friendships outside the classroom in an informal, relaxed setting. In addition to this, we have a student council that meets regularly and organises different events during the academic year.

Admissions
To find out how to enroll, please review our Admissions Policy and the “Applying to IWS” section on our website. Should you have any queries, our Admissions Team is available to assist you.

Certainly, parents or guardians are required to upload the following documents for their child’s application to IWS:

 

– The child’s birth certificate or passport.

– Proof of address, which can be a bank statement, driving licence, council tax bill, or a recent utility bill.

 

Please ensure that the utility bill or bank statement is current to verify its validity. We cannot process applications without this. After approval, parents at IWS will need to sign an electronic contract to confirm enrolment. There is no need to scan or print this contract.

Yes, we accept students from around the world. Please be aware that our live lessons take place from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM UK time. We advise parents to check if these timings are suitable for them before enrolling their children in our Cambridge International School Programs.

Our teaching staff consists of UK-qualified, English-speaking teachers. All our online courses, including modern languages, are taught in English.


Consequently, we anticipate that applicants to IWS have a fundamental grasp of English to participate in our classes effectively. International students not fluent in English can enhance their language abilities quickly through regular engagement in our online classrooms. Moreover, we provide English as a Second Language in our curriculum to assist international students.

You can join our Year 11 programme if you were previously studying for the same board exams (e.g., CAIE) at a different school. This is because IGCSE courses span two years, with key foundations laid in Year 10.

 

Students switching from a different board must catch up on Year 10 content. This involves independently reviewing missed lessons using our educational materials, such as PowerPoints and additional resources, while also focusing on Year 11 subjects for upcoming exams.

 

We advise starting our IGCSE programme from Year 10 for comprehensive support from our UK qualified teachers over the two-year course. The IGCSE curriculum is structured for delivery over two years, making it more practical for both students and staff to follow this timeline.

To study A-levels, students who completed their IGCSEs in KS4 must have at least five IGCSEs with grades ranging from A* to C. It’s important that they achieve strong grades in the subjects they wish to pursue at A-level. 

 

Students who are new to the CAIE system must have equivalent qualifications in relevant subjects. Additionally, we advise arranging a meeting with an IWS career advisor.

This helps in selecting A-level subjects that match your academic interests, strengths, and future career aspirations. Choosing appropriate courses can enhance your learning experience at our online British school.

This guidance also ensures that students are well-prepared for their higher education journey.

We adhere to the CAIE curriculum and are affiliated with their board of examinations. Most Commonwealth countries accept and recognise our education system. We request parents to research academic rules and regulations (concerning online schooling and CAIE) in their residential state before enrollment.

Yes, IWS provides inclusive and stimulating education opportunities for students with special needs. In our online environment, if your child misses a class, they can easily catch up by watching recorded lessons on the student portal. Moreover, they can seek additional assistance by reaching out to subject coordinators through a private chat room whenever needed.

 

This approach allows students to get the extra help they need without feeling self-conscious in front of their online classmates.

Yes, students with ADHD or on the autism spectrum can benefit greatly from our online learning. They have access to both live lessons, which help with social interaction, and a library of recorded lessons, which they can watch at their own pace. This flexibility makes learning easier for them.

 

Our UK-trained teachers offer one-to-one support when needed. Also, IWS teachers keep an eye on student interactions to ensure a respectful environment. If any student misbehaves or bullies, especially towards those with special needs, teachers can control private chats and mute microphones to maintain order. They can also set it so that only they can see students’ written responses, which helps every student to participate without feeling anxious.

 

In this way, our students with special needs can enjoy a learning environment that integrates them with other learners, without feeling isolated.

 

We take this part of our teaching very seriously and follow official ‘Statements of Special Educational Needs’ guidelines to support your child effectively.

Parents should consider the workload involved. Over time, managing two different programmes could lead to burnout and fatigue. This may impact the child’s intellectual growth and overall interest in studies. It could also affect their social skills, as they might spend more time on assignments instead of engaging in hobbies or interacting with peers.

Our British online school suggests having an internet speed of at least 4 Mbps for uploading study materials and assignments. For downloading, a higher speed, around 8 Mbps, is recommended.


Families can test their internet speed using FAST or a similar local service that provides this facility.

School Fees and Financing

Parents enrolled in our Mainstream School will be billed for tuition fees at the beginning of each term. These fees can be paid in instalments or as a single total amount. For Supplementary lessons, we usually operate on a monthly subscription basis. For further information, please reach out to the Admissions team.


Payments can be completed through bank transfer.

We request parents and guardians to settle tuition fees at the start of each year, term, or month, as per the instalment schedule arranged with our Admissions Department. For more information, please refer to the school fees section on our website.
No, the tuition fees don’t include examination costs for your external Cambridge exams.

Yes, siblings are eligible for the following discounts:

  •   2 siblings – 5% for each student;
  •   3 siblings – 10% for each student;
  •   4 or more siblings – 15% for each student;
Examination And University Applications
At the beginning of each academic year, we evaluate students using standardised CEM Tests to forecast their performance in IGCSE and A-Levels. We then use progress reports to establish learning goals for each student. Parent-teacher meetings are held to keep parents informed about their child’s progress. These assessments help us support students who may be lagging behind in certain subjects.
Students taking mock exams will be given an exam timetable and a specific time for submission to accurately gauge their academic progress. We utilise the outcomes of these mock exams to assist IGCSE, AS, and A-level students in addressing their weaknesses and preparing for their final board examinations.

Students in Years 11, 12, and 13 may take their examinations at a regional exam centre endorsed by the Cambridge Education Board. Our international students are registered under our school and provided with the necessary information to prepare for and sit their board exams.


The board also provides support to assist learners with special needs.
Please reach out to the Admissions Team for more information.

No, exams can be taken at approved regional exam centres worldwide. These centres ensure that Cambridge qualifications are accessible globally.


Regarding access arrangements for board exams, the specifics depend on the centre where the exams are taken, as each centre has its own procedures.
IWS does not arrange access for CAIE exams. You should contact your local exam centre directly for any necessary support. For more information on this, feel free to get in touch with our Exams Team.

We are officially authorised to offer Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE).

 

CAIE programmes are renowned for providing excellent preparation for university, careers, and life overall.

We follow the Cambridge Assessment International Education curriculum for our A-Level courses.
Generally, students take two board exams for each qualification. This usually involves completing a short answer paper and a more extensive examination paper for assessment. However, some subjects might only require one board exam paper, such as AS Politics.
Yes, IWS students will be awarded “The General Certificate of Education Advanced Level” upon passing their board exams. This certificate is recognised by universities in the UK and internationally.

IWS students in secondary classes are provided with termly school reports. As an institution accredited by the Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) board, our academic results are recognised by the UK government and educational institutions in other countries. Cambridge qualifications are acknowledged by over 1900 institutions in more than 81 countries.

 

Students taking IGCSE and A-level exams will receive a globally recognised certificate from the CAIE, similar to other students who sit for these exams.

Yes, we provide accredited IGCSEs and A-Level courses that are recognised by universities worldwide.

 

However, as various international education boards have different requirements, we highly recommend consulting with individual universities in advance to avoid any issues during the application process.

Yes, we can provide transcripts to IWS students when requested.

If your child leaves IWS before finishing upper secondary classes, they will not receive any official certificates or qualifications.

 

Nevertheless, IWS will issue a letter of registration for the new school your child is moving to. This letter will contain key details such as the Key Stage, grade achieved, and the length of time the child was enrolled at our school. You can view individual progress reports through the Parent Portal.

 

As IWS adheres to the UK national schooling system, your child will be eligible for admission to schools that follow the same or equivalent curriculum.

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