Home Schooling|Insights|Primary|Secondary

Home schooling is the latest in elite education. Once a royal tradition, home schooling has returned – reinvigorated and reimagined – for parents who want a flexible, more personalised education for their child.

We work closely with home school families to fully understand their child – their needs, interests, hobbies, and aspirations – and create bespoke education programmes which enable them to achieve their goals. It’s always a pleasure to get to know new home school families and to watch as our students, many who have struggled in a school environment, grow, and thrive.

We pride ourselves on academic excellence and supporting children to become confident, independent learners who are ready to re-enter competitive mainstream schools. Our GCSE and A Level students take their exams as private candidates and achieve excellent results each year.

Below, we look at an ordinary day in the extraordinary education of one of our home school students. We’ve also included some tips and advice if you’re considering home schooling for your child.

A typical home school day

Golden Circle home schooling is like a “decentralised school”. Children are assigned a team of 5-10 qualified teachers. Lessons take place at home in London or online. Most students start lessons at 9 or 9.30am. Some chose to start later (e.g. 11am or 1pm) to accommodate extracurricular commitments or to ensure that they are awake and ready to engage in lessons.

The average home school timetable is 15 hours of lessons per week. This is usually a 1.5 hour lesson in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Lessons often take place in the family home, but can also be in a library, gallery, museum, or other quiet public space. There are a wide range of subjects available to home school students – from Ancient History to Arabic, Chinese to Computer Science, and Physics to Photography.

There are so many fantastic public spaces to take advantage of in London. Recent trips with secondary students include a Geography trip to the River Thames to evaluate river features, an art lesson at the V&A exhibition “Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto.”, and a Science lesson at the Wellcome Trust in Euston.

One-to-one home school lessons deliver the National Curriculum in an efficient and tailored way, enable students to learn at their own pace, and aim to make learning more fun and engaging. At The Golden Circle, we celebrate students’ strengths and use positive reinforcement to motivate children in lessons.

Timetable examples can be found here.

Frequently asked questions

Why do parents choose to home school?

There are many reasons why families choose to home school. We work with junior athletes, including skiers, tennis players, and equestrians, who need school to fit around their training schedules and competitions.

The ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t meet the needs of every child. Several of our families said that school wasn’t working for their child. They felt that the pace of lessons was too fast or slow, that their children weren’t getting enough support from teachers, and that they were disengaged. Children with SEND were not always receiving the specialist support that they needed in the classroom. Ninety five percent of Golden Circle teachers qualified through the Teach First programme and have extensive experience teaching children of a range of needs and abilities, including ASD, dyslexia, and ADHD.

Sadly, the pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues, particularly among teenagers. Our home school programme supports a significant number of children who have anxiety or depression and are refusing to go back to school. For some children, home schooling is an effective short term solution which enables them to continue their education while focusing on their mental health.

What are the benefits of home schooling?

Since founding The Golden Circle, we’ve had the pleasure of teaching over 100 home school students. It’s been incredibly rewarding to help children to re-build their confidence, recognise their strengths, and challenge themselves. Academic success almost always follows.

In conversations with parents, the main benefits cited are:

  • Personalised learning – subjects, lesson times, teachers, and the pace of lessons are all tailored to the needs of individual students
  • Efficiency – students progress faster in one-to-one lessons, leaving more time for extracurricular activities and interests
  • Role models – students form strong rapports with their Golden Circle teachers and teachers go above and beyond to act as positive role models and mentors
  • Academic success – students who have struggled at school are better supported to achieve their academic potential. Higher ability students are stretched and challenged, with the option of taking their GCSE or A Level exams early

What are the challenges of home schooling?

Home schooling requires parents to also be committed and involved. Day-to-day, families can expect to have two or three teachers visiting their house. It is helpful if there is a parent or other responsible adult present to let teachers in and out.

We coordinate home school timetables, outline term dates, and organise assessments, however, any one-off weekly changes (e.g. a teacher is unable to teach due to illness), will be communicated directly from teacher to parent. Families should therefore be prepared to respond to this communication and manage any one-off changes.

What are the costs of home schooling?

There is a one off registration fee of £500 and tutor time is £85/ hour. There is an average of 33 weeks in the school year. There are no additional costs for lesson planning, weekly progress reports, coordinating assessment weeks or termly parent meetings.

Home school fees are paid privately by families or by the Local Authority if pre-agreed. If a child has an EHCP, they may be eligible for home school funding. Parents may receive the funding through a personal budget, or a supplier agreement may be arranged between The Golden Circle and Local Authority.

Do I need to register my child as home educated?

Guidance from the Department for Education for parents considering home education can be found here. We support new Golden Circle families to register their child with the Local Authority as ‘electively home educated.’

How do you track progress?

Parents receive a weekly progress report detailing what was covered in each lesson, their child’s strengths and areas for development, and the homework that was set. Students sit assessments under exam conditions in the penultimate week of the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms. Parents receive termly reports including test scores, predicted grades, and teacher feedback. We offer parents termly Zoom meetings to discuss their child’s wellbeing and academic progress.

How will my child take their exams?

Our UK home school students take their exams as private candidates at Tutors and Exams and Campbell Harris exam centres. We recommend the exam boards/ codes to follow to ensure they are available to private candidates. A Level Science students take the ‘Required Practicals’ (CPACs) at Tutors and Exams’ partner centres and Golden Circle Art teachers mark, moderate GCSE/ A Level portfolios and invigilate the assessment.

Do you support families with school admissions?

The Golden Circle provides summary reports, academic transcripts, and references for students applying to school. We successfully prepare students for school admissions tests, such as 11+ and 13+ exams, interviews, and group tasks at competitive day and boarding schools.

How will my child meet other children their age?

A common concern for new home school parents is socialisation – how will my child meet other children? We support parents to connect with other home school families, offer some paired lessons (with two children of the same age), and help to organise small group trips.

We also recommend home school children get involved in lots of extracurricular activities. We encourage children to follow their interests and, in doing so, meet other like-minded children. From rugby, to hockey, to drama classes, there are lots of great ways to make friends!

What our parents say:

“School doesn’t work for everyone. Schools haven’t got the time to nurture and teach children in a personal way. Home schooling has achieved this and so much more.” – Mother of a Year 9 student

“Professional, organised, and experienced, Annie has been a brilliant addition to our home school team. Her interest in sport is infectious and she has shown my daughter that sports like football, cricket and golf are for girls as well as boys. Thank you for all your help this term!” – Parent of a Year 8 student

“The Golden Circle provided a team of qualified teachers who are personable and inspiring in the classroom. Since the start of Year 10, Oliver has made significant academic progress and engaged in subjects beyond the curriculum.” – Year 11 parent

For more information, please visit https://goldencircletutors.co.uk/academic-learning/home-schooling/ or get in touch for more information using the contact form on our website.