Guest Post • Pre-College Planning Guide

Charterhouse Online: Is it Right for You?

POSTED ON 01/10/2023 BY Karen Davies, Principal of Charterhouse Online

Charterhouse Online: Is it Right for You? | The Red Pen

Charterhouse Online lets you study three specific A Level subjects in one year. While most of the learning is online, it offers you a one-week residency (in October and April), where you will stay and study on the school’s historic campus in Surrey, UK. During your residency, you will interact with your teachers (beaks) and meet the other students in your cohort in person. Moreover, science students will conduct their practicals in our laboratories.

Find out if Charterhouse Online is right for you:

Should I pursue the Charterhouse Online A Level Programme?

Studying a rigorous curriculum online within a year is not for everyone. We’ve designed our one-year A Level programme for particular types of students.

Here are four situations when Charterhouse Online is a good choice for you:

1) You are in grade 11 and do not have the right subjects for your university course

If you are studying another curriculum and have chosen the wrong subjects, you should consider Charterhouse Online. For example, let’s assume that you are an ISC commerce student who hasn’t selected mathematics but wishes to pursue an economics degree at a UK university. You will not be able to apply because mathematics is a prerequisite for admission to most undergraduate economics courses in the country. However, you can study mathematics and two other A Level subjects through Charterhouse Online and become a competitive applicant to UK universities.

2) You realise that despite completing your secondary education, you wish to change academic direction for university

Halfway through grade 11 or after you finish grade 12, you realise that you want to pursue something different at university. For example, you’ve decided to pursue medicine, where it is crucial to study chemistry and biology in the sixth form (the two final years of secondary school in the UK for students aged 16 to 18). Charterhouse Online allows you to study this and change your academic journey.

3) You’ve faced personal challenges

The last three years have been particularly challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have dealt with illness, travel restrictions or have faced any personal obstacles, which require you to redo the last year of high school, Charterhouse Online is an excellent option for you.

4) You enjoy online learning and want to use your free time to pursue broader interests and activities

As a Charterhouse Online student, you can simultaneously plan your time and receive a world-class education. Suppose you are a competitive sportsman or wish to pursue a passion project, or want to work at an NGO; this online programme allows you to manage study time and extracurricular activities perfectly. Moreover, as a Charterhouse Online student, you will develop independent study skills that will stand you in good stead for your university and lifelong learning journey.

How can I succeed with the Charterhouse Online A Level Programme?

The answer to this question is simple. You must have an aptitude for the subjects you select. Charterhouse Online uses accelerated learning methods to help you reach your goals. You will learn how to make the most of this learning method in the programme’s first week.

Here are a few tips from Benedict Carey’s book How We Learn:

1) Mix it up: Engage more than one part of your brain when learning. Contrary to popular belief, listening to music while studying is beneficial! We at Charterhouse Online will build this variety into our teaching materials and study skills guidance.
2) Break it down: Small, bite-sized chunks of information are easy to consume and remember. Little and often is usually the best way to learn. Charterhouse Online will help you structure your course into daily, lesson-by-lesson, subject-by-subject tasks.
3) Teach and Test: Testing your knowledge is perhaps the best way to know if you’ve learnt something. So, when you complete a section of self-study with Charterhouse Online, you will immediately test yourself with interactive activities, and then in the live sessions, the teachers will put you through more tests. This method of self-evaluation improves your ability to retain what you have learnt for longer.
4) Pause for Thought: Do not expect to find the solution to all problems or the answer to all questions immediately. Return to a subject after stepping away and allow your subconscious mind to mull things over. Repeated visits to topics built into the Charterhouse Online structure will allow this to happen. It is also important to permit yourself to ‘fail’. Getting things right the second (or third) time is just as good.
5) Layer it on: Learning is often most effective when not linear. If Concept D helps us understand Concept A, we should look at both simultaneously. One great advantage of Charterhouse Online is that it doesn’t artificially separate content but allows you to study it all for a better understanding.
6) Sleep on it: Believe it or not, you need sufficient sleep to focus and concentrate. Studies show that sleep improves your analytical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. It also helps the mind to absorb new information and lay down memory. So, don’t stay up all night to study and catch your forty winks!

I’ve written two more posts to give you a better idea about Charterhouse Online. While one post gives you an overview of the programme, the other a day in the life of a Charterhouse Online student. But if you require assistance applying to Charterhouse Online, get in touch with the Undergraduate Admissions team at The Red Pen.

Reading List:
Carey, B. (2014) How We Learn. London: Macmillan.