My eldest son has studied with Wolsey Hall Oxford since 2012, first taking IGCSE's and now he is on to his A Levels. He has achieved A* and A grades for all subjects so far.
I had been looking for a UK home school syllabus for quite some time as I knew my son would come to the end of his distance learning USA syllabus, but I could not find anything that I felt comfortable with. When I looked deeper into the subject I liked the idea of him taking IGCSE's rather than GCSE's as the good schools in the UK were starting to move over to IGCSE's.
I also looked at a few different subjects and exam papers and found that Cambridge exams were far more rigorous than Edexcel (this is only my opinion please note), so I asked my son what he would prefer to do - and he was very clear that he would prefer to take exams set by Cambridge University than those set by Edexcel who are part of the Pearson group, a publishing company. So I was specifically looking for homeschooling for Cambridge IGCSE when I discovered the website of Wolsey Hall.
I liked the clear explanations given in the website and when I contacted them felt they gave a personal service and were interested in my son's development. In fact they gave me excellent advice regarding my son's education that has helped him get to the position where he is completing his A'Levels at the age of 17, rather than the usual 18 years. In fact we were so inspired by their approach that our 10 year old son, who had a clear ability in maths, was encouraged to try for his IGCSE maths just after his 11th birthday, and he achieved an A too!
He is now studying for his A Level this summer when he will have just turned 14. Not that we are in any hurry, but it has been wonderful to give them this head start and it would not have happened if we had not contacted Wolsey Hall. Once we expressed an interest they sent us a Maths and English test paper for each of them to do which we scanned back to them and was marked. This gave WH an indication of their ability at that point in time and was also our first experience of received feedback on our children, as they had both been home schooled since birth.
We were then given suggestions of the grade of our children so that we could start them off with Wolsey Hall at the correct stage - WH look for your child's ABILITY, this is far more important, I came to realise, than age as if a child is ready to forge ahead, then why hold them back, only for them to get bored and frustrated? When the courses are ordered WH order all the books needed for the subject and they are quickly delivered by Amazon - this is all included in the price and they do not skimp on the books needed, all good quality new books just right for the subject. The price also includes access to their software called Canvas which details your childs work schedule, the Units to study and the Assignments that will need to be completed at the end of every Unit.
The completed assignments are then scanned onto Canvas and transmitted online for the tutors to mark. They take a few days to mark and they return the Assignment via Canvas so that the student can see the feedback from their tutor. The feedback is always very informative and clear. If the student is uncertain about anything they can mail their tutor, or speak to them on Skype if they prefer, either regarding the Assignment or anything during their course of study. We have found all the tutors we have been in contact with to be first class at WH and we are not the easiest to please!
Before your child starts their studies, they are invited to meet their tutors online via Skype and it is an excellent welcome to the start of the course. You can also download the course material from Canvas so that if you are away/travelling it is still possible for your child to continue their education without a reliable or constant internet connection. Last year we had a gap in which we wanted two months in USA, and WH were flexible enough to reschedule my son's studies so that he could take that gap, then continue on with his studies and take his three AS level's in October rather than earlier in the summer. I did not intend to write such a long review, but ever since my eldest was a toddler I was concerned that our alternative lifestyle might jeopardise his studies, but in fact it has actually enhanced them.
I am confident he is receiving a first class education. You might like to also know, that for those who do not use a formal syllabus/external assistance for their homeschool past age 16 years, that your child may no longer qualify for the usual free prescriptions/glasses/sight tests/dentist treatment etc. I only discovered this as the NHS Primary Trust in my area recently rejected my opticians claim for new glasses sent in for my son and the Opticians contacted us to confirm that they would no longer be able to treat him for free. I was confused as I know that NHS do cover homeschool children. I therefore contacted NHS Primary Trust and learnt that I had only written "Home Schooled" on their form. Once I informed them of Wolsey Hall involvement in my sons' studies, they immediately reversed their decision and confirmed to us that they would be able to cover them in future.