Lower School (Key Stage 3) – Ages 11-13 (Year 7, Year 8, Year 9)
Welcome to our Lower School, an online educational experience designed to engage pupils aged 11-14 in a stimulating academic environment. As a hub for online lessons for secondary school students, our Lower School offers more than just foundational knowledge in various subjects. It builds the confidence and skills that equip students for future academic endeavours, laying the groundwork for higher-level study.
Recognising that age doesn’t always equate to academic level, we carefully place students in online classes for secondary school students that align with their capabilities rather than their age, with parental consent. This ensures that no one is rushed through or held back from reaching their full potential.
Convenient Scheduling for Global Families
Based in Cambridge, our Lower School provides daily online lessons via Microsoft Teams tailored to accommodate families across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Our teaching schedule is aligned to optimise alertness and engagement during the working day. With lessons ending at 3pm UK time and a separate timetable for Asian countries, we offer the flexibility that enables parents to balance work commitments while ensuring their children are actively learning.
Beyond the Classroom: Enriching Experiences
Beyond academic subjects, our key stage 3 school online offers an array of over 20 FREE extra-curricular clubs. These activities range from Chess, Baking, and Debating to Acting, Arts, Craft, Music, Languages, and Creative Writing. Here, students can socialise with classmates and develop skills that extend beyond textbook knowledge.
Continual Learning & Growth
Our online lessons for key stage 3 students don’t end with the formal curriculum. We present numerous competitions and challenges that encourage students to gain both online and offline real-world knowledge and skills. Additionally, our visiting lecture series provides an invaluable opportunity for pupils and their parents to hear from world-renowned experts, enriching their worldviews with diverse wisdom, experiences, and insights.
Homework, of course, is part of the educational journey. Understanding that parental time varies, the option to extend the school day is a unique advantage we offer to keep children stimulated and engaged.
Discover a comprehensive, flexible, and enriching academic experience in our online secondary school, tailored to meet the unique needs and potentials of each student.
Key Stage 3 is a stage in a child’s UK education that usually begins at age 11 and ends at age 14, known as Years 7-9. This stage is usually regarded as an opportunity to consolidate primary school education, to learn new topics, and as a preparation for GCSE qualifications that happen in Key Stage 4 in UK schools.
Online schooling allows students to attend classes from the safety, convenience and comfort of their own home. They can simply set up their online classes on their computer or laptop from home or from anywhere that has an internet connection. No more tricky commute and the freedom to travel with the family, while still attending school!
Online schooling has become a popular alternative to conventional schooling since the Covid 19 pandemic, when students were switched to learning in online classrooms, if they were fortunate enough to be at a school that embraced the technology. To their surprise, many parents, children and teachers discovered that students can learn much better online and attain higher grades. There is no doubt that the pandemic certainly created a new opportunity in education by accelerating an inevitable shift to online schools for students and families that are not sufficiently catered for in the conventional school system.
Some parents choose online schooling because their child is motivated to learn but finds it challenging in conventional schools. These common challenges include: noisy classrooms where the teacher is difficult to hear; students unable to see the whiteboard; large class sizes which prevent regular 1-1 feedback; teachers pre-occupied with teaching lower-ability or behaviourally challenged students; a myriad of distractions; intimidation and bullying in and outside of the classroom; social pressure and anxiety. All of these distractions to learning are eliminated in the right online setting, where both teachers and students are accountable to a high standard of teaching and learning.
Online school may also particularly suit higher ability learners, where they can learn at a level and pace to enhance their potential. Our school sets high standards and targets for public exam success and can tailor our provision for individuals with our wider enrichment programme of: Oxbridge mentoring; debating club; our Cambridge Lecture Series; student leadership opportunities; participation in international and national competitions and many more academic enrichment activities.
Some students join online school to fit around their demanding training schedules in the arts or sports. We are proud of our flexible approach that enables these talented students to combine their training commitments with an excellent education, resulting in individuals that excel in all aspects of their lives.
Our online school works in exactly the same way as conventional schools; with assemblies, real classes taught by qualified teachers, timetables, break times, homework, after school clubs, house competitions and we even have our very own online library. Essentially, if you are looking for a bespoke education with a wide range of subjects, excellent teaching staff and a calm but enthusiastic learning ethos, then Cambridge Home School is the best choice for your child.
All families are given a login to MS Teams. Our teaching staff use this app to create Teams meetings for lessons. Within the meetings there is a video conference style event where the teacher can present, hold discussions and receive verbal or written chat messages. Teams is used to store class notebooks, resources, assignments (homework tasks), grades with feedback, general posts and files concerning class activities, past papers and class announcements. It is important that students have:
a good working PC or laptop – not an iPad or tablet.
a good Wi-Fi connection,
a working camera and mic (usually these are built in to the device).
In addition to lessons, we hold all of our wider school activities on Teams; assemblies, clubs, speaker events, etc.
Established in 2002 (3 years before YouTube), Cambridge Home School Online was among the very first online schools in the UK. The school is one of the most trusted selective online schools across the globe. Trust is everything when choosing your child’s school! Please take a look at our Trustpilot reviewsfrom current and past parents.
Cambridge Home School Online boasts:
The only UK online, selective and elite school for high-ability students from 7 to 19 years old.
CHS has the most 5 star reviews of any online school globally.
We have over twenty years’ experience of successfully teaching children online.
A team of MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers.
Potential access to Oxford/Cambridge/top universities through the CHS Oxbridge and Russell Group schemes.
Access to an influential network of future leaders lasting a lifetime (CHS attracts students from influential families).
A small class size (8-10 pupils per group up to GCSE and an average of 5 per group at A Level).
Individualised support and guidance for each student through one-on-one success coach sessions.
A broad curriculum with an excellent choice of subjects for IGCSE and A Level.
Regular assignments, homework, reports and assessments with excellent feedback for pupils and parents.
All educational resources (videos, presentations, study guides, past papers, activities, worksheets, etc.) available for teaching and revision in online class notebooks.
An online library of fiction and non-fiction for both our prep and senior schools.
An extra-curricular programme of activities with over 20 clubs.
An academic enrichment programme including school debates, student talks, a speaker programme, student-led book clubs and teacher led aspirational clubs like our PPE Society.
Advanced and secure online learning software systems that utilise cutting-edge audio-visual technology and allow parents full access to their child’s learning, including all lessons recorded.
Scholarships and bursaries to exceptional students in need of funding.
Although the expected norm is that our students attend all their lessons each week according to their respective timetables, flexi-schooling allows students at CHS time out of lessons (by prior agreement) to pursue sports, medical appointments, travel, or additional study opportunities. Video-recorded lessons allow all students to review lessons at any time so that they need not miss out on vital teaching and learning.
Yes, Cambridge Home School Online is based in Cambridge UK and offers Cambridge international GCSEs and A Level qualifications. The school provides a quality British online education to students living in the UK, Europe (including Western Russia), the USA, Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The time difference between the student’s home and UK time must be conducive to studying a UK timetable of LIVE lessons. The school requires that all students are wide awake and ready for learning!
We follow the UK curriculum from Prep through to Sixth Form. Our IGCSEs and A Levels are predominantly the Cambridge International Exam Board (CAIE). Please go to the subject areas for Upper School and Sixth Form for further details on the exam boards, topics and examination arrangements for each of the public exams we prepare students for.
However, regardless of age, pupils must be motivated to learn and enthused by the online format.
Prep school pupils will need a degree of home supervision to ensure that they can access the technology and keep their focus.
In the same way, senior school students should have parental support on hand, taking a keen interest in how they participate in lessons and the quality of their assignments and assessments. As well as general updates from teachers and termly reports, Parents are encouraged to use the Teams login to review grades, lessons recorded and feedback on assignments to ensure that their children are on task.
Our students will need to be comfortable with our ‘cameras on’ policy and an expectation that they will use their mic to participate in lessons.
We expect students to take part in wider school life whether it be joining a club or taking on a leadership role.
Parents take on the responsibility of registering their child at a local exam centre, usually a school, that offers CAIE exams. Families must be prepared to travel, possibly, at public exam time to ensure that their child can sit the full exam diet.
At CHS we have a calm, friendly and positive learning ethos. Therefore, your child should be able to follow instructions and work collaboratively with others.
We are a UK school that follows the UK curriculum from Prep through to Sixth Form. Our IGCSE and A Levels follow predominantly the Cambridge International Exam Board (CAIE). However, please go to the subject areas for Upper School and Sixth Form for further details on the exam boards, topics and examination arrangements for each of the public exams we prepare students for.
We are fortunate to be able to offer a breadth of subjects often not available to students in conventional schools including: Business at KS3; Psychology, Greek, Latin and Sociology at GCSE; and in the Sixth Form, A Level Classical Studies, Law and Latin. Please see our school pages for more details: Our Schools
CHS is unique in that we offer students the ability to be taught at their ability level as opposed to their age, which would be the norm in the UK education system. This means that your child can make excellent progress to suit their ability and take them to, quite literally, the next level!
When you indicate that you would like to proceed with an application, our senior leadership team will meet with you and your child, look at previous progress, discuss your current needs and register your child for the best Level. Sometimes, for example, we might have a hybrid situation where a child is completing an A Level at age 13 in Maths, but is working at Level 2 for the rest of their subjects.
In Prep we have Prep 3-6 and in our Senior Schools we have Levels 1-6:
KS1, KS2 (Prep)
KS3 (Level 1 and Level 2 in Lower School corresponds to UK Years 7-9)
KS4 IGCSEs (Level 3 and Level 4 in Upper School corresponds to UK Years 10-11)
KS5 A Levels (Level 5 and Level 6 in Sixth Form corresponds to UK Years 12-13)
CHS is an online school which prepares our students for public exams, IGCSEs and A Levels, but we are not an exam centre. Our parents are assisted in registering their children at local exam centres, schools which accept private candidates or at an independent exam centre, such as those provided by Tutors and Exams.
Yes, online school helps academically able students perform better in class and in their examinations. We can do this by keeping the student-teacher ratio low with less than 10 students in the average class. CHS students receive more one-on-one attention from their teachers, which helps them absorb and retain more knowledge. Recorded lessons, online resources, internal assessments and feedback are all geared towards our students gaining the confidence, knowledge and skills necessary to perform at their own personal best come the public exams.
CHS uses a set of unique strategies to help students of different ages pay attention in class. The school understands that younger students have a lower attention span. CHS teachers hold and retain their attention by using cutting-edge audio-visual elements, planning fun in-class activities, scheduling group presentations, and playing skills-building games. Common distractions that are rife in conventional classrooms; poor behaviour, bullying, classroom clowns and unwanted noise are non-existent in CHS online classes.
For older students, CHS makes the classes more interactive, stimulating, and participatory. Students are immersed in their lessons and their attention is consistently and carefully sustained. The school’s MA/MSc/PhD qualified subject specialist teachers are provided with extensive training in mastering this skill. If students get distracted at any point, they’re promptly brought to attention and you are kept informed as to participation and progress.
The school’s focused approach helps ensure that each student remains engrossed in their lessons at all times. This significantly improves the learning experience and learning outcomes.
CHS is considerably more affordable than conventional independent and private school at around half the price for a day pupil. CHS annual school fees are just £9,450 GBP for Lower School (Key Stage 3), Upper School (IGCSEs), and Sixth Form (A Levels).
Primary Prep School annual fees are £5,000 GBP. For more information, please take a closer look at the school’s annual school fees structure.
Yes absolutely! Most CHS parents are highly qualified working professionals who choose the school both for its academic rigor and the flexibility it offers for those with busy lifestyles. As a parent, you will not be required to intervene during your child’s classes or support their learning if your child is beyond Prep age (7-10 years). Online learning teaches children from an early age to become independent learners who are able to organise themselves and overcome issues with minimal supervision or instruction. Independent learners are what top universities and top employers are seeking. CHS teachers deliver engaging, stimulating, and focused lessons that are easy to follow. As a result, students pay close attention to their lessons, stay on track, grow in confidence and succeed.
That being said, you know your own child. Some of our Lower School and Upper School students do benefit from greater adult supervision and you may wish to organise your own working life from home so that you might keep a closer eye on them.
Once your child’s online classes end for the day, they can join their school friends in over 20 FREE extra-curricular clubs, allowing busy parents the time to continue working should the need arise. Our students also take part in various enterprises, house competitions, presentations, study groups and peer mentoring. There are multiple ways in which our students form strong friendships with one another, including meeting up in the holidays with parental consent. In fact, the opportunity to make friends in international locations is a wonderful advantage for CHS students.
Yes, they do. And they will need to be able to speak, read and write in English (appropriate to their age) fluently. It’s very important to us that your child can access the curriculum and take part in their lessons with no language issues holding them back from effective teaching and learning. If your child does not have English as a first language, but you consider them to be fluent, we will arrange to have an informal chat and will assess their language skills as part of the admissions process.
If you’re considering making the transition from conventional schooling to online schooling for your child, please take a closer look at the school’s admissions process. Do please also view our term dates.
Should you wish to register your child or children, do complete the school’s application form.
Cambridge Home School Online is widely considered the best selective online school in the UK. Consequently there are very limited school places available each year. It is wise for parents to plan ahead and join the school’s waiting list at their earliest convenience. Should a school place be required more urgently, then parents are advised to complete an enhanced application – more information.
Come and meet our Senior Leadership Team at one of our free events – click here to book the next upcoming event. You will have the opportunity to hear about the founding and ethos of the school, and details on our curriculum,in addition to the day to day running of our schools (Prep, Lower School, Upper School and Sixth Form). You will alsohave the opportunity to ask questions.