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King’s Interhigh, Dubai – The Review 2022
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“I searched the internet for a good British school for my daughter. That is how I found King’s Interhigh.

I am a teacher in the UAE, and there is a shortage of what we, expats, would call a good school.”

UAE Parent

 

Background.

Founded in 2005, King’s InterHigh is an established independent, UK-founded, international online school offering an all-through British education from Primary through to Secondary and Sixth Form children between the ages of 7 and 18 years of age. The King’s InterHigh Sixth Form offers a choice of pathways between traditional gold standard British A Levels and (from September 2022) the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (the world’s first and only school to offer the IB Diploma Programme entirely online) whilst secondary school provision focuses on International GCSE. To date (2022), the school has an alumni network stretching to over 10,000 students worldwide.

Admissions are open for students from Year 3 Primary phases (from 7 years of age onwards) through to Year 12 Sixth Form. Year 13 admissions for 2022 (A Level or IB DP) are now closed. Admissions enquiries can be directed here.

King’s InterHigh is part of Inspired Education, which has a dedicated Dubai hub based in Media City:

Map showing the location of King's Interhigh Dubai at the corporate offices of Inspired Education

Inspired Education operates an international network of 80 schools, across 23 countries on 5 continents, educating more than 60,000 students worldwide each year. King’s InterHigh is the Group’s dedicated online schooling division, leveraging more than 50 years of proven experience from the King’s College Group and 15 plus of InterHigh’s delivery of online education. King’s InterHigh is widely considered the world’s founding on-line school. Its London Headquarters is based in Burlington Gardens, opposite the Royal Academy of Arts. Today King’s InterHigh educates more than 1,500 students worldwide each year, of which one third are drawn from the global community outside the UK. Alumni of Inspired schools include Hollywood actor Glenn Close, Game of Thrones star Toby Sebastian, and fashion model Lady Kitty Spencer.

 

Lesson Timings

Lesson times are fully adjusted for UAE students and operate Monday – Friday from 9:30am GST. The curriculum offers significant flexibility for students to explore enrichment activities should they be scheduled at any time during the school day.

Kings_Interhigh_MPU5

 

Curriculum, Qualifications and Subject Breadth

We rate subject breadth at both GCSE and A Level outstanding. Broader subject options including Governments and Politics, Law, Classical Civilization and Religious Studies are very rarely available in the UAE and the full spectrum of key Social Science subjects including Psychology, Sociology and Media Studies are all options. Timetabling is excellent – and we could find no obvious examples of where obviously linked subjects cannot be studied together. Language options are strong and include Arabic. We also particularly like the extended options available to study for City and Guilds Assured qualifications – again, a group of qualifications rarely available in the UAE and option choices we rank well thought through and valuable. If there are gaps, they are in the Performing Arts and Sports areas – but this is understandable from an on-line school – and Dubai offers countless alternative ways to study in these areas to a professional level.

GCSE/IGCSE

GCSE/IGCSE Core Subjects:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics

GCSE/IGCSE Core Options:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History

GCSE/IGCSE Additional Options:

  • Arabic
  • Business Studies
  • Computer Science
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • Further Mathematics
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies

An extended curriculum of City and Guilds Assured qualifications are available in Art and Design, Game Development, Drama and Performance, International Relations, Music, Photography and Health. More on City and Guilds Assured qualifications can be found here.

A Level

  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Classical Civilization
  • Economics
  • Computer Science
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Arabic
  • Mathematics
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Law
  • Media Studies
  • Government and Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The King’s InterHigh International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is being delivered in partnership with Inspired’s IB World School, International School of Monza.

The IB Diploma Programme at King's Interhigh is being run in partnership with The International School of Monza (Pictured)

One in three Inspired students continues their education at world-renowned Russell Group or Ivy League schools.

 

Fees and ROI

We rank ROI for parents for fees at King’s InterHigh outstanding, particularly given the breadth of GCSE and A level options and the benefits of proven established international on-line schooling. The UAE and Dubai based options are fully adjusted for GST time – adjustments not available to families in many other countries or regions. UAE students and families are very well supported. Worth noting that IB Diploma fees are significantly higher than those of British A Level at Sixth Form – but this reflects the greater complexity of delivering the Diploma Programme. Given the number of individual components, compared with just three subjects at A Level, the fee differential we think is justified.

YEAR Primary – GCSE – A’ Level* Primary – GCSE – IB Diploma*
Year 3 AED 13,000 (£2750) AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 4 AED 13,000 (£2750) AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 5 AED 13,000 (£2750) AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 6 AED 13,000 (£2750) AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 7 AED 17,500 (£3750) AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 8 AED 17,500 (£3750) AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 9 AED 17,500 (£3750) AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 10 AED 21,000 (£4500) AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 11 AED 21,000 (£4500) AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 12 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) AED 39,000 (£8,400)
Year 13 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) AED 39,000 (£8,400)
 

*AED figures subject to sterling exchange rate changes

 

 

ECAs and Whole Child Development

One of the strengths of a King’s InterHigh education is the investment in the extended curriculum. Above and beyond City and Guilds Assured, the spectrum of clubs and societies are in perpetual development, driven in no small part by the community of students. These include a Book Club, Medical Society, Masterclasses, Talk Programmes, Dedicated Social Media Areas, in-person meets, away-days, activity weekend and international events.

 

School Leadership

Chief Executive officer and Executive Principal of King’s InterHigh, Mark O’Donoghue, draws on significant experience in online and international education, as well as the digital technologies underpinning on-line learning. A Geographer by original training and Oxbridge educated (Oxford University 1989- 1992), Mr O’Donghue went on to study at INSEAD for his MBA. Key experience prior to taking over the role of Executive Principal and CEO of King’s InterHigh was his leading Avado Learning for five years, a UK-based leader in education with specialism in business and industry. For over a decade, Mr O’Donoghue led Hotcourses, now IDP Connect.  The organisation is the world’s leader in securing top tier university places for students across more than 50 territories. He has worked with major blue-chips in education including BT, Yahoo!, Google, Tableau and the CIPD.

www.vimeo.com/686677810

Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher of King’s InterHigh, is an Historian by original training. Educated at UCL, Mr Harrold studied for his PGCE and NPQH at UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society before achieving his NPQEL in Educational Leadership and Administration at the Harris Federation in London. His early career saw him teaching and leading History in schools across London, before a posting for almost 10 years at Blatchington Mill School in Brighton, latterly as HeadTeacher.

 

Bottom Line? the SchoolsCompared.com Verdict 2022

There are many drivers for choosing to educate children on-line. Covid-19 clearly drove interest and awareness, but the the long term drivers are simply that for many children, an on-line education simply works better. The reasons are as diverse as individuals and families. Many children simply thrive without the distractions of school hubbub, or indeed the strict timetabling that crushes interest in a subject by the need to endlessly change lessons. At King’s InterHigh, the aim is that no more than two subjects are studied in an individual school day – this allowing a depth and clarity of study lost in schools that often fit in five subjects in a single day. Whilst the school day too is structured, there is also freedom for students to adjust their academic lives to their passions outside school – something not possible in traditional bricks and mortar schools which cannot help but operate to some degree as factories pushing students through the limitations of a necessarily highly managed system.

A Dubai-based parent who educates two of her four children through Kings InterHigh told SchoolsCompared that she loves every aspect of the experience, especially the flexibility – which enables her children to fit their studies around their passions such as Parkour lessons during the day. She also loves the breadth of subjects that are available to study:

“My friends have been amazed at how knowledgeable my children are about things like geography and cultures around the world, and it’s because they get to study Geography and Religious Studies, which is very rare to find in a UAE school.”

“One friend even said to me, ‘How on earth does your daughter know that but I don’t?!'”

“I told her: ‘Because you’re not studying at Kings InterHigh!'”

A simple video capturing the experience follows:

For the right children, the experience is a very happy and productive one:

 

Success comes with this territory. 44% of King’s InterHigh students secure a Grade 7 – 9 pass at IGCSE, 43% achieve an A*A qualification at A level – and around half of all graduating students go on to study at Russell Group universities including Oxbridge.

The school does also offer scholarships for gifted students. Applicants must apply (or reapply) each year to be considered. To apply, send a letter (email [email protected]) addressed to Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher of King’s InterHigh, and include the following:

  • Name, year of proposed study and the programme applied for if at Sixth Form (A Level or IB Diploma)
  • Clarification on whether you are seeking a full or partial scholarship
  • Reasons why you deserve a scholarship
  • A description of how you will contribute and enhance the school community in Dubai and the UAE specifically.

For some children, being lost in the crowd of a bricks and mortar school provides the rationale for choosing King’s InterHigh, for others escaping peer pressure, or bullying. Many athletes or talented children in the Performing Arts choose King’s InterHigh because the curriculum can be adjusted around extra-curricular activities very simply – and in ways impossible in bricks and mortar schools. Some parents, equally, may choose the school because of the ROI – fees undercut the premium Tier 1s very significantly. At a time of growing inflation and the ongoing impacts/financial fall-out from Covid-19, King’s InterHigh offers a lifeline. Equally, many parents take the view that King’s InterHigh takes care of the Tier 1 education – with the results to prove its efficacy, and income can then be better invested in a whole child education and experiences outside school.

Could there be improvements? Yes. We would like to see technical streams in BTEC qualifications – not all require Labs and practical work. However, that would also require significant investment in industry partnerships – perhaps too tall an ask from an on-line school. We would also like to see the IB’s Career-related Programme being offered – but, again, technical stream education provides challenges for online education providers – however good they are. For technical stream students, bricks and mortar schools are impossible to match.

An on-line education will never be perfect for all children. But nor will all bricks and mortar schools. The best school for any child will always be individual. For the right child, a King’s InterHigh education is arguably today the best you can secure online for the British curriculum. The school is established and proven, backed by Inspired’s own bricks and mortar schools and teachers – and the subject breadth on offer equals or betters that available in any other UAE school for academic subjects and the Social Sciences. Perceived trade-offs in Sport and the Performing Arts can be very simply resolved – Dubai and the broader UAE is teeming with opportunities in both areas.

For the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, there is the opportunity, this September, to be part of an historic moment in which the Diploma, for the first time in the world, is delivered through pure-play online learning. It has the backing of a phenomenal bricks and mortar school and its teachers, the IB and Pamoja Education. It does not get better or more promising.

King’s InterHigh is playing an instrumental, pioneering role in bringing a serious, highly effective Tier 1 premium online education right through to British A Level and the IB Diploma to the UAE for the first time. It is credible, proven, offers very strong ROI, is adjusted for GST and its investment in subject opportunities for children takes the breath away.

Highly recommended.

© SchoolsCompared.com. 2022. All rights reserved.

 

Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

NA

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

Note - first figures to A Level, second figures to IB Diploma
Year 3 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 4 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 5 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 6 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 7 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 8 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 9 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 10 AED 21,000 (£4500) / AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 11 AED 21,000 (£4500) / AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 12 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) / AED 39,000 (£8,400)
Year 13 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) /AED 39,000 (£8,400)

Curriculum

British, English National Curriculum:
Secondary:
I GCSE
Sixth Form:
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (est. September 2022)
OR
A Levels

External Exam Boards

Pearson Edexcel
International Baccalaureate

IB DipM Pass Rate

Phased opening September 2022

IB DipM Average Grade

Phased opening September 2022

Number of A Levels offered

22+

A Levels offered

Business
Chemistry
Physics
Biology
Classical Civilization
Economics
Computer Science
English Language
English Literature
French
Spanish
German
Arabic
Mathematics
Further Mathematics
Geography
History
Law
Media Studies
Government and Politics
Psychology
Sociology

Number of I/GCSEs Offered

18+

I/GCSEs offered

GCSE/IGCSE Core Subjects:

English Language
English Literature
Mathematics

GCSE/IGCSE Core Options:

Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Geography
History

GCSE/IGCSE Additional Options:

Arabic
Business Studies
Computer Science
Film Studies
French
Further Mathematics
German
Spanish
Psychology
Religious Studies
PLUS 6 City and Guilds ASSURED options

Selective

Fully and unambiguously inclusive

Waiting list

NA

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

Uncapped

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:20 maximum class size

Largest nationality teachers

British

Teacher turnover

Not published

Year opened

2005
(1) King's-Interhigh merger 2021.

Location

Dubai Media City, Dubai

Student composition

International

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

NA

Owner

Inspired Education:
Mark O’Donoghue, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal, King's InterHigh.
Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher, King's InterHigh
Nadim M. Nsouli, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Inspired Education.

Admissions Telephone

+971 (4) 5644163
+44 (0)1873 777 444 between 09.00 - 17.00 GMT Monday to Friday
[email protected]
[email protected]

Web Address
Strengths

• Tier 1 on-line British education to gold standard A Levels or the IB Diploma
• First pureplay online IB Diploma school in the world
• Scholarship provision
• Massively reduced fees compared with bricks and mortar counterparts
• Proven results
• Backing of major bricks and mortar global school group
• GST adjusted timings

Weaknesses

• Technical education, both BTEC and the IB Career-related Programme, cannot be provided for
• Pay attention to contract terms and what you are agreeing to. Lower fees are available for longer-term commitment – but you will pay the price if you seek to leave early.

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Scl Community
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Opportunities

King's InterHigh delivers phenomenal opportunities for the right students. Subject breadth, fee levels, scholarship provision and adaptability of the curriculum put bricks and mortar counterparts in the shade. Very high quality learning, backed by proven, Russell Group graduating students is the icing on the cake.
For families who have been waiting for a pureplay online IB school, King's InterHigh delivers the first in the world this September (2022)
Highly recommended.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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