Which Schooling System Helps Students Secure Better Grades: Online or Physical?

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While physical schooling has always been the dominant mode of learning, the landscape has changed drastically since the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, students were ushered into the realm of digital learning. While most students and parents were apprehensive at first, they quickly began to see the benefits of online learning for themselves.

Today, online schooling has gained newfound popularity. Students prefer it for the flexibility, convenience, and growth it offers—and parents are big fans because of the safety it ensures. At CHS Online, our education specialists have created a new resource centre to help parents and students understand the differences between online and physical learning. In this blog, we’ll focus on one of the most critical aspects of education: grades.

Which schooling model helps students secure better grades: online or physical? And why? We’ll dig deeper and help you understand how your children can secure top grades by switching their schooling model.

If you’re an older IGCSE or A Level student, this guide is also appropriate for you. Learn the different ways online and physical schooling models support academic growth. Which model is better for you as a student? If you have your eye on A*s and As, which model can help you secure your dream grades? We’ll cover everything today. Keep reading!

1. In-Class Attentiveness and Focus: The Backbone of Good Grades

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To secure good grades, students must pay optimal attention in class. Attentiveness and focus form the backbone of stellar grades. Before any other approach is employed, institutions must work towards elevating in-class attention and focus levels. Both online and physical schools do this. However, the approach is more effective in online schools. Let’s understand why.

Today, most online schools have a low student-teacher ratio. Each class comprises between 8 and 10 students, no more. This is a far cry from most conventional schools across the globe, which pack 20–30 students in a single classroom. The more students in a classroom, the higher the interactivity levels, right? This is a common misconception.

If there are too many students in a single classroom, they have to fight for the teacher’s attention. Teachers are humans. They simply cannot focus on 20–30 students at once, no matter how capable, experienced, and conscientious they may be. This skill is humanly impossible to develop.

When the student-teacher ratio is lowered and the class is balanced, teachers can provide one-on-one attention to every student. As a result, students develop greater interest in their lessons. They pay more attention in class and do not get easily distracted.

Most online schools keep the classroom size small to increase in-class attentiveness. Conventional schools, on the contrary, seldom boast low student-teacher ratios. For the most part, these institutions pack 20+ students in one classroom.

If you want your child to focus in class, choose an esteemed online school that uses the individualised learning model. This means each student’s individual academic growth is targeted. Teachers track their academic strengths, academic weaknesses, learning patterns and preferences, overall growth, and many other metrics. As a result, students are engaged on an individualised basis. They absorb and retain more knowledge, which consequently helps improve their grades.

Recommended Read: How to Improve Your Grades in Less Than a Month

2. Engaging, Exciting, Attention-Grabbing Lessons

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In the 2020s, the average human attention span has dropped drastically. While adults easily get distracted, children are at greater risk of losing focus time and again. If their lessons aren’t exciting, engaging, and attention-grabbing, children simply won’t stay put. This is true for both schooling models: conventional and online. If students aren’t provided stimulating lessons, they easily get distracted and lose the gist of the lesson.

Online schooling stands out for its use of high-quality technology. Education specialists and online schooling technicians collectively create advanced systems that utilise rich graphics, quality sound, and excellent animations (for younger children). When combined, these elements make online learning a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping experience. Students don’t get bored easily, which is often the case in conventional classrooms. As a result, they learn better and perform exceptionally well in the classroom.

Online schooling should be your first choice if you want your child to attend technologically advanced classes that stimulate greater interest in the lessons. However, prestigious conventional schools also make use of technology. While it’s not as meticulous as online schools, it’s enough to keep students engaged. If you opt for a conventional school, choose the most esteemed and technology-reliant option you can find. You should still ideally prioritise online learning owing to its visually dynamic, engaging, exciting, and student-oriented classes.

Recommended Read: How Does CHS Online Help Prevent Technology Misuse During Their Online Classes?

3. The Curriculum

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You’ll find good and bad options for both physical and online schools. As a parent, you shoulder the responsibility of finding a reputable school with a razor-sharp focus on academic growth. Let’s talk about the curriculum. Many parents overlook this detail. In actuality, it’s a big determining factor when it comes to grades.

Today, the best online and conventional schools use an independent curriculum. At CHS Online, we use an interdisciplinary, well-balanced, and independent Cambridge curriculum to help our students secure top grades. Whichever institution you select, make sure they use an independent curriculum. Compared to the national curriculum, the independent variant covers more ground. Students learn more topics and subtopics, which helps them become proficient in their respective subjects.

The national curriculum is deemed too prescriptive in nature. It lacks comprehensiveness and optimal structure, which renders it insufficient. Today, students want to secure top grades: A*s and As. If they secure Bs, Cs, and beyond, their chances of attending a prestigious university decrease drastically.

Our independent curriculum covers greater academic breadth and depth, enabling students to become well-rounded learners. Their knowledge isn’t limited; instead, it flows freely and far. This is the difference between average students and high performers. The latter learn more aspects of the same topic, which helps them develop a more polished and well-informed perspective.

If you want your child to secure better grades, select an institution with a well-rounded, independent curriculum. As an institution that uses this approach, we’ve watched it work wonders for our students. In June 2021, 86% of our IGCSE students secured A*s and As in their target subjects. 83% of our A Level students secured two As and a B or higher, as requested by top universities. Moreover, all students who applied received offers from some of the best universities across the globe.

By teaching our students a balanced, rigorous, and advanced curriculum, we help them achieve immense academic success. Our students attend some of the most prestigious universities across the globe, including Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Berkeley, John Hopkins, Princeton, MIT, Cornell, Duke, Northwestern, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, and NYU, among others. We couldn’t be more proud of their success.

4. A Healthy School-Life Balance

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Many parents believe that academic growth can only be achieved when educational metrics are targeted. This isn’t necessarily true. Yes, to secure top grades, students must study in a classroom with a low student-teacher ratio, follow an independent curriculum, and so on. However, these are not the only ingredients needed for academic excellence.

A healthy school-life balance is the missing ingredient that greatly affects learning outcomes. In most conventional schools, students are overworked simply because they spend unnecessary time in school. As students commute to/from school, attend protracted lessons, shuffle in and out of classrooms, and aimlessly wander around the campus, they return home feeling tired, worn-out, and fatigued.

Students retain very low energy levels, which makes it difficult for them to enjoy afterschool activities like socialising with friends, developing new skills, exploring new hobbies and interests, doing volunteer work, playing sports, doing a part-time job (for older students), travelling, going on excursions and explorations, and so on.

These activities are imperative for personal and social growth, but that’s not all. They also help students learn and perform better. How? When students attend online school, they don’t get tired easily. The classes are comparatively shorter, well-structured, and focused. They’re not physically demanding.

As a result, students have ample energy by the time their classes end. They utilise this energy to partake in the activities highlighted above. Additionally, they complete their homework on time and revise for the day. These two academic activities are often delayed or completed half-heartedly when students attend conventional school. They’re too tired to do them justice and often even skip them altogether.

Online schooling helps add balance to the mix, enabling students to focus on each aspect of their life: personal, social, and academic. The risk of school burnout is reduced. Students work and play hard, which helps them excel in each facet of life. Select the online learning model if you want your child to reap the benefits of a balanced, flexible schedule.

Recommended Read: How to Create a Sporting Timetable for Children Who Attend Homeschool

5. Qualified, Experienced Teachers

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Students cannot secure good grades if they lack academic guidance and support. As you decide between online and conventional schooling, take some time to figure out which teachers will be taking the reins. Ultimately, you’re handing over your children’s future to their new teachers. If these teachers lack experience, expertise, training, qualifications, and the right skills, your children’s grades will suffer.

Prestigious online and conventional schools boast excellent teachers. However, as an online school, we’ve taken an additional step to help students succeed. Our students are taught by a team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers. No other British institution boasts teachers with the same expertise, experience, skills, and training.

Our education specialists run comprehensive background checks to ensure that shortlisted teachers meet our criteria. Once they join us, teachers undergo rigorous training. This helps them deliver engaging, stimulating, and technologically advanced lessons to our students.

Our teachers also contribute to our online repository of educational resources, including past papers, previous catch-up lessons, PowerPoint presentations, videos, study guides, and more. By providing their expertise, sharing excellent resources, and providing one-on-one attention to every student, our teachers help improve learning outcomes at our institution.

If you want your children to secure excellent grades, choose an online institution that provides ample resources to students and boasts a stellar faculty. Additionally, the school should provide one-on-one success coaching and pastoral support to every student. This helps students address their concerns, if any, and receive additional support and guidance from a team of qualified student counsellors. When their mental health is supported, students perform better in school. We focus on each aspect of grade progression to help our students succeed.

With over 20 years of experience, Cambridge Home School is considered one of the most esteemed online British schools across the globe, including the UK, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

Explore our four homeschooling programs: Primary Prep/Key Stage 2 (ages 7 to 10), Lower School/Key Stage 3 (ages 11 to 13), Upper School/IGCSEs (ages 14 to 16), and Sixth Form/AS & A-Levels (ages 17 to 19).

For more information, take a closer look at the following resources:

Whether you’re interested in high school online learning, school options for working parents, secondary schools in the UK, or primary school programs, CHS Online is the right choice. We provide a quality Cambridge online education to dedicated, hardworking, and motivated students across the globe. If you have any questions, feel free to call/email our team. We’re always happy to help!

At CHS Online, we also provide summer classes to all students, including pupils who do not attend our institution. Our booster sessions help students cover more ground, develop new skills, improve their learning capabilities, and prepare for the upcoming homeschooling stage. Whether you choose summer academic booster classes or year-long online school, your children will benefit from the quintessential CHS approach.

Let’s begin!


What are the advantages of online schooling over physical schooling?

Online schooling offers several benefits over physical schooling. These advantages include greater flexibility and convenience, enhanced safety, and a more personalised learning environment. The individualised learning model and lower student-teacher ratios in online schools lead to better in-class attentiveness and focus, which in turn improves grades.

How do online and physical schools differ in maintaining student attentiveness?

Online schools often maintain a lower student-teacher ratio, usually between 8 and 10 students per class. This allows teachers to provide one-on-one attention to each student, enhancing attentiveness and focus. In contrast, traditional schools often have classrooms filled with 20-30 students, making it challenging for teachers to focus on each individual student’s needs.

Can you tell me about the use of technology in online schooling?

Online schools make extensive use of high-quality technology to deliver engaging and visually stimulating lessons. This includes the use of rich graphics, quality sound, and excellent animations. These technological elements make online learning more captivating for students, helping to keep their attention and improve academic performance.

What should I consider when it comes to the curriculum?

Both online and conventional schools offer various curricula, but it’s crucial to select an institution with an independent, comprehensive curriculum. An independent curriculum covers a broader academic scope, helping students become well-rounded learners and increasing their chances of securing higher grades.

How does online schooling contribute to a healthy school-life balance?

Online schooling allows for a more balanced lifestyle because it eliminates the need for commuting and offers a more structured, focused academic schedule. This extra time and energy can be utilised for personal development activities, such as hobbies, sports, and socialising, which contributes to a student’s overall well-being and academic performance.