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Homeschooling with Wolsey Hall

Wolsey Hall offers courses for families wanting their children to complete IGCSE or A level qualifications in a range of subjects. We also offer Lower Secondary courses for children aged 11 – 14 and Primary courses for children aged 7 – 10. For more information on how the education system in the UK works click here.
For IGCSE or A level your child will receive a certificate from the examination board (either Cambridge (CAIE) or Edexcel depending on the subject. This will indicate the grade that your child has obtained. For Lower Secondary students, 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! We have students in 104 countries and if you have a decent Internet connection your child will be able to keep up with their studies wherever they are.
  1. You and your child will receive profiles of your child’s tutors who will email to arrange a welcome call.
  2. Your child’s course books will be despatched. Within the UK, course books normally arrive within 3 working days. Outside the UK we arrange for courier service where possible, which normally takes between 3 – 6 days, depending on the country in which you live.
  3. Your child will get access to our online learning environment and its resources as soon as they’re enrolled. So they can begin studying right away.
  4. Your child’s Support Manager will develop an individual study schedule for your child based on the time they have available for study. Your child will have a clear structure within which to work.
Canvas contains your child’s course resources and is easy to use. You will be able to access it separately from your child, as an “observer”. This means that you can see the feedback your child gets from their tutors and all the available resources. Among the resources on Canvas are:
  1. The syllabus for the subject(s) being studied. Here you will both be able to see the topics covered in the course and, for IGCSE or A level courses, how your child will be assessed.
  2. The Programme of Study for each subject, which shows your child the topics covered before each assignment and the reading required.
  3. The assignments. Your child submits these to their tutors online via Canvas and will receive grades, together with helpful feedback, within 3 – 5 working days of submission. This rapid turnaround helps to keep your child feeling supported and motivated throughout the course.
  4. A wide range of online resources and links, such as interactive websites, videos, and tutor-prepared materials, all of which complement the course books.
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 AL). 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 Lower Secondary courses over one year and your child should comfortably be able to take up to six subjects during that time.
For Lower Secondary 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 practice answering the kinds of questions they’ll face in the exam.

Exams and centres

You will need to apply to an exam center for your child to take their exams for IGCSE and A level (there are no exams for Lower Secondary courses). 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 your child can usually sit their exam(s) at your local British Council office or at an International School. Please ask for a list of centres in your region. We recommend that you contact your chosen centre before your child begins their course to make 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.

Support

It’s very important to us that your child feels supported throughout their course. This support will come from three sources:
  1. Tutors. Your child will have a tutor for each subject. Tutors will assess and grade their assignments. We also invite you and your child to arrange a Skype call with their tutors before starting the course. This is a “get to know you” call and will give you and your child the opportunity to ask tutors any questions they might have about the course itself. Your child can then contact their tutors via Canvas throughout the course. It’s important to note that tutors do not give “online tutorials”, and their primary role is to provide feedback on assignments.
  2. Student Progress Managers. Your child’s Progress Manager will be their – and your – key link with Wolsey Hall Oxford, dealing with any administrative issues such as changing your child’s study schedule, helping you to find an exam centre, or anything else on which you or your child need advice.
  3. You! Parents have a critical role to play in homeschooling their child. When parents are involved in their child’s education and work with their children on a regular basis, the homeschooling experience will be much more successful.
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 Lower Secondary, for instance, will probably need more guidance than those studying for  IGCSE and A levels – but there are a number of important ways that you can help:
  1. There are certain to be times, however good the course and however bright the child, when the going gets tough. At these times you can offer your child encouragement and discuss the issues that they are finding difficult – there may be tangible actions you and your child can take to improve the situation.
  2. You can encourage your child to contact their tutors or Support Manager. Sometimes students are reluctant to do this, but it’s what our team is there for!
  3. You can ensure that your child has a daily and weekly timetable for studying each subject. Children find having a structure within which to work helpful when they’re learning at home. A timetable agreed between you and your child will provide that much-needed structure to the day and can prevent you both from feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand.
  4. You can review progress with your child, relative both to their study timetable and their Wolsey Hall assignment schedule, at the end of each day and week. This will ensure that any potential problems are spotted early and allow you to gauge how well your child is doing and if there are any aspects of the course that are proving difficult. Don’t forget, too, that you have access to Canvas as an “observer”, so you can monitor progress this way.
If you feel your child is falling behind with their work, you can contact your Student Support Manager to rearrange your child’s assignment schedule. If there are further complications please do let the Support Manager know as soon as you can so we can work with you to find a suitable solution
We’re proud of our team of fully-qualified and experienced tutors. They come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: a love for their subject and a passion for passing it on to their students. You can meet them here.
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