Frequently Asked Questions
Please take the time to read our FAQs by clicking on a relevant title to see the answer to a question.
Please take the time to read our FAQs by clicking on a relevant title to see the answer to a question.
Homeschooling is a method of educating a child within their home environment, either as the sole source of education or as a supplement to other schooling. It is has become increasingly popular with parents over recent years for a variety of reasons.
Parents in over sixty countries now use Wolsey Hall Oxford to educate their children.
Because of its flexibility, homeschooling can be an excellent option for many children. However, it’s a big step to take, and it has both advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the most common:
The Wolsey Hall system of learning has been developed over many years, and carefully balances independent study with guidance and feedback from tutors.
Wolsey Hall supports students who are learning at home by providing a mix of course textbooks, online resources, assignments, and tutor assessment and feedback.
Nearly all of what we do happens online via our state-of-the-art learning platform. This contains a range of resources which complement the course books and serves as the primary means of communication between students and tutors. Students submit assignments and receive feedback on these assignments via the learning platform. We also invite parents to become online observers of their child’s course. This means that parents are linked to their child’s course via the online system and have full access to the resources there, as well as to their child's feedback from his or her tutors.
We can think of at least five key reasons to choose Wolsey Hall to support your child’s education:
We know that educating at home can be daunting, and it’s important to us that our students and their families never feel that they’re “going it alone”. Our team is committed to helping our students successfully complete their courses. Our experienced Directors of Studies, Support Managers, and Tutors all play a role in each of our students’ education. They are available to respond to any queries that you or your child might have. We also recognise the importance of learner support, and we can advise and help students with dyslexia, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.
You can enrol your child on a Wolsey Hall course any day in the year – we don’t have cut-off dates or enrolment periods. This is because most of our courses lead to exams which are held in either the summer or winter sittings. The flexibility of homeschooling combined with our system of rapid feedback, means that your child can prepare for their exams more quickly than in a mainstream school. Course books and online resources are carefully tailored to the curriculum/exam syllabus, so your child will be able to focus on exactly what they need to know. As a result, many of our students sit their exams one year or more ahead of their peers.
We’ve been supporting students on home study courses since 1894, so we know a lot about effective home study. We use this experience to enable your child to complete their course successfully, become an effective independent learner, achieve the best grades possible if an exam is to be taken, and develop valuable life skills along the way.
Exam results are important, but we also strive to instil our students with skills for life – skills that will equip them to continue their education and thrive in their chosen career. Our experience has also taught us to be adaptable, to embrace changes in technology, and to stay at the cutting edge.
(In 1894 our students received course materials via the “penny post”; these days they have instant access to a cloud-based learning management system and the best online support available!)
Wolsey Hall is a not-for-profit organisation with any surplus reinvested to improve our courses and our service to our students.
Wolsey Hall offers courses for families wanting their children to complete IGCSE or A level qualifications in a range of subjects. We offer one of the broadest range of IGCSE courses of any home study college. We also offer Key Stage 2 courses for children aged 7 - 10 and Key Stage 3 courses for children aged 11 – 14.
For IGCSE or A level your child will receive a certificate from the examination board (either Cambridge (CIE) or Edexcel depending on the subject. This will indicate the grade that your child has obtained.
For Key Stage 3 we provide an end-of-course report based on your child’s performance on the course in the key areas of English, Maths and Science.
Yes, absolutely! Your child can study with Wolsey Hall from outside the UK as easily as if your family were resident here. We have students from across the globe and as long as you have an Internet connection your child should be able to keep up with their studies wherever they are. As in the UK, you will need to make arrangement for your child to sit the examination as a private candidate if they are enrolled on an IGCSE or A level course.
If you live abroad, your child can usually sit their exam(s) at your local British Council office or at an International School. However, we do recommend that you contact the British Council or local schools before your child begins their course to make absolutely certain that you know where they will be able to sit the exam from day one. We can advise you on this if you have any questions.
As soon as you enrol your child on a course:
Our online learning environment contains all of your child’s course resources and is easy to use. You will be able to access it separately from your child, as an “Observer”, which means that you can see the feedback your child gets from their tutors and see all the available resources.
Among the resources contained on the learning environment are:
How long a course will take depends largely on your child’s prior knowledge of a subject, and how quickly they learn. But we estimate, on average, that your child should allow up to 150 hours of study for an IGCSE subject and 500 hours for an A level subject (250 hours for AS and 250 hours for A2). Put another way, students generally take IGCSE courses over 6-12 months (for up to 4 subjects) or 12-24 months (for 5 - 8 subjects). Students normally take A levels over the course of two years.
We offer Key Stage 3 courses over two years and your child should comfortably be able to take five or more subjects during that time, or in less time if they have already covered some of the syllabus. We've specially designed these courses to be taken over two years rather than three as we believe this suits the capabilities of most young people and enables them to start their IGCSEs a year earlier than their peers – providing them with a head start in their education.
For KS3 courses, students have regular assignments to complete which will be marked by their tutor. For IGCSE and A level courses, assignments are designed to prepare students fully for their exam. These assignments do not count towards the exam grade, but they are assessed, and your child’s tutor will provide extensive feedback. In many cases the assignments are based on previous exam papers, so they are an excellent opportunity for your child to practise answering the kinds of questions they’ll face in the exam.
The Internet is a powerful tool: it enables people of all ages to work, study, learn and socialise. There are risks in using the internet, however, and at Wolsey Hall we want our students to feel safe while enjoying the benefits of being online.
So what are the risks?
What websites does your child like to visit?
Do you know what to do if you or they see inappropriate content on them?
Does your child keep personal information safe and do they know what personal information not to give out online?
Does your child know what is illegal online? Try the quiz at: www.accidentaloutlaw.knowthenet.org.uk
How does your child know their friends online are their real friends?
If they were to meet with someone they met first online what would they need to do first?
How to keep your child safe online
Useful links for further information.
UK Safer Internet Centre has information, advice and resources on all online matters www.saferinternet.org.uk
Parentport helps you report unsuitable online content including advertisements and games www.parentport.org.uk
Know the Net for advice, quizzes, tests, online etiquette, password advice and more www.knowthenet.org.uk
CEOP is where adults and children can report actual or attempted abuse online www.ceop.police.uk
You will need to apply to an exam centre for your child to take their exams for IGCSE and A level (there are no exams for Key Stage 3). We regret that we can’t do this for you, but your Student Support Manager will be able to help and advise you about examination arrangements.
In the UK the Cambridge and Edexcel exam boards have centres throughout the country. See our map here to find your nearest centre. Outside the UK, the British Council will usually be the exam centre of choice, though there may also be a nearby school which will accept private candidates. And see the Cambridge and Edexcel websites for lists of centres outside the UK.
It’s very important to us that your child feels supported throughout their course. This support should come from three sources:
It’s vital for parents to be involved with and be supportive of their child when educating at home. Exactly how much involvement varies – students at Key Stage 3 level, for instance, will probably need more guidance than those studying for A levels – but there are a number of important ways that you can help:
If you feel your child is falling behind on their work, you can contact your Student Support Manager to rearrange your child’s study schedule. If there are further complications please do let us know as soon as you can so we can work with you to find a suitable solution.
Course fees vary depending on the course and payment schedule. Current fees are as follows:
(if paid by Instalments)
Fee in full
with 5% discount
|Key Stage 2 each subject (per year)||£395||£91||8||£38||£375|
|Key Stage 3 each subject (full course over 2 years)||£625||£145||8||£60||£593|
|Key Stage 3 each subject (Year one or Year two)||£395||£91||8||£38||£375|
|IGCSE each subject||£425||£97||8||£41||£403|
|IGCSE French/German/Latin/Spanish each subject||£525||£109||8||£52||£498|
|A Level each subject||£725||£165||8||£70||£688|
|AS or A2 each subject||£425||£97||8||£41||£403|
Course fees include:
You can enrol your child at any time of the year – we don’t have cut-off dates or enrolment periods because exams for most of our courses are set at either the summer or winter sittings. We can therefore support your child for whatever sitting you agree with us is the most appropriate at the time your child is enrolled.