Frequently Asked Questions
Can my child get a South African matric?
The material we use is geared toward students writing international exams. However, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognises these exams as an equivalent of a South African matric - click here for detail. We recommend students write these exams from age 15 upward. It is also the responsibility of the guardian (or student when over age 18) to contact their higher education facility of choice to find out their exact requirements. There might be certain subject/symbols required for entrance. Private higher education facilities in South Africa readily welcome students with International Qualifications.
Can my child mainstream in South Africa again if we choose?
All public schools in South Africa are obligated to take students until the age of 15 so these students can mainstream any time. The material we use is different to South African curriculum but if the material has been used correctly at home, students will be able to do everything and in some cases more as required by the South African curriculum especially in the areas of English, Maths and Science.
How old must my child be before using the Learning.Support system
Any parent can use the Learning Management System. Students 15 and older can use the Learning.Support management system directly. Students younger than 15 require a guardian or tutor to assist.
Does Learning.Support offer payment terms?
Learning Support now offers terms. This will require a deposit in advance and monthly payments spread over 6 months. If the client defaults on monthly payments, access to the online system, assignments and assignment marking will be denied for student, parent and tutors until payment is received. Please contact email@example.com for a payment plan quotation or current statement. Please note that the payments in advance will receive a 15% discount on prices listed on the website. This does not apply to subjects with a practical fee.
Who teaches my child?
The parent is responsible for teaching the child. However, a parent can enlist the help of family members or an au-pair. Our system makes it easy for anyone to teach your child. Older children usually use our online system to teach themselves. There are no specific lesson times - just use the online work plan and videos when it suits you, mark the activity, tick it off as completed and continue. Weekly reports are sent to the parent to monitor children that are working independently. If your child needs support book a tutor through the app. Booking a tutor will result in additional costs.
What is the Annual Cambridge Fee?
The annual Cambridge fee is paid to a school to be used as part of their annual licence to Cambridge. It allows the student to use material on the Learning Support platform that is only available to Cambridge students. As part of this fee, the student is also registered with the Cambridge School. Currently our agreement is with Poplar Academy (ZA282). This fee is not negotiable for students wanting to use the Learning Support platform.
Is Learning Support a school?
Learning Support is not a school but a registered business that provides learning material and support services to any person wanting to prepare for British school level exams. As from 1 May 2021 all students registering with Learning Support will be registered as a student with a registered Cambridge School in South Africa. We currently have an agreement with Poplar Academy. See FAQ on Poplar Academy for more information.
Who is Poplar Academy?
Poplar Academy is a registered Cambridge School in Midrand, Gauteng South Africa. From 1 May 2021 each student registering on Learning Support will be required to pay an annual registration fee that allows the student to access material and facilities that is only reserved for students at a school that pays the Cambridge licence.
Registration will also allow the learner to enrol in subjects which are not otherwise available to private candidates. Learners registered will have access to Learning Support assignments (that are based on licenced Cambridge material). Learners who are registered with Poplar Academy will also enjoy preferential options on examination bookings as well as any examination preparation or practical sessions offered at Poplar Academy.
Is Learning Support an exam venue?
Learning Support is not a an exam venue. Learning Support has partnered with Poplar Academy which is a Cambridge exam centre. However, if the location of Poplar Academy is not convenient to the student, an alternative exam venue can be used. Please contact Learning Support if you would like additional information regarding exam venues. Parents will need to liase with exam venues directly. Please note exam fees are not included in our prices so that students can write at their exam venue of choice.
What is the International Material?
We try to source the best material from around the world to help you to educate your child. Material is used from the recommended material list of the Cambridge exam board.
Who marks my child's work?
Mark schemes are available on the online work planner. These can be set up so your child can self mark OR hidden so that only the parent or tutor can mark and update the task as completed. We will also send you an assignment when the student has covered every 4-6 weeks of learning material. These can be completed and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org for marking. Assignment marking is included in the subject fee that you pay upfront.
When are the exams?
Most exams are offered in May-June and/or October-November but are only available to students 14 and older. These can be booked and written in South Africa through any Cambridge exam venue. Please note Learning Support does not administer exams but can provide infomation to help with the booking process. Exam prices vary from venue to venue but start from R1800 per subject. As prices are based on GBP fluctuations are expected.
Does Learning Support issue reports?
As Learning Support is not a school, we do not issue reports. Students that write the International Exams will receive a report directly from Cambridge exam body in the UK.
Can I see a sample of the app?
Please see the following link for an example of the app - click here.
When are my child's lessons?
There are no fixed lessons. All our material, including explanation videos, is available 24/7 and can be accessed on demand. It is up to the guardian to arrange a study schedule and supervison for the child to ensure that they watch the videos and go through the material. Our partner study centres can help you facilitate the supervision and scheduling if you need that service. If you require extra help you can book an online tutor through the student portal. These lessons are scheduled and will result in an additional fee that is paid to the tutor. These are entirely optional.
What kind of student is best suited to our learning management system?
- It is assumed that all students that use our learning management system have guardian support at home. The amount of time the guardian needs to spend with the student differs from student to student.
- Students who struggle with the timetable restrictions of normal school. This could be due to health, sport, cultural activities or travel. The students on our system choose their optimal time to study.
- The students that perform best are self-starters. However, as each student is linked to a virtual/physical study centre, parents can request assistance in the form of tutoring, advice, study buddy or mentoring from the study centre. The study centre will charge a fee for these services.
- Our learning management system is suitable for mainstream children, gifted children and has also been used successfully by students with ADD, ADHD, high-functioning autism and partial dyslexia. This is because the student sets the pace of learning. Those that learn easily progress quickly through the material and those that struggle can take as long as they need. In the latter case, parents sometimes enlist the help of tutors or facilitiators through their study centre. Tutoring and mentoring is charged for a fee by the study centre.
Student and parent testimonials
Parent message – Nicole (parent of Dominque (16 years))
Hi Sue. Hope you guys are all doing great over this lockdown... Dominique is finishing her 12 week work. So she needs to start her second tests next week. She is so glad that we made this homeschooling decision. She is on track and at ease, compared to her other Joburg friends. Once again thank you for all that you are doing.
Stay strong and stay safe.
Student Testimonial - Micaela (18 years)
As a student who was registered with Learning Support, I was able to matriculate a year earlier than my time. Before making the life changing decision to move to a home schooling system (which was very frightening at the time), I suffered with very bad depression and anxiety. I refused to go to school and with that being said, I was failing majority of my classes.
After convincing my parents, I was finally able to go the way of Learning Support. Not only has Learning Support opened doors of countless opportunities for me, it has also allowed me to pursue all my goals. Given the flexibility within the system I was able to create and design my own online swimwear brand, whilst still getting an education.
Through Learning Support I was able to pursue my goal by studying a BA in fashion design at the University of Cyprus. One of my family’s main concerns with the home schooling system was the lack of motivation I might have when working alone, however, that is why Learning Support is implemented in Study centers and offers online tutoring so that supervised studying is always an option.
After the major change in my school marks as well as my personality, my parents are more than willing to recommend Learning Support to any other parents wanting a safe and convenient environment for their children to receive an education in. I would also just like to thank Learning Support for changing my life for the better because I have become a focused and content young entrepreneur.
Student Testimonial - Ethan (16 years)
My name is Ethan, I am 16, and I am a student registered with Learning.Support. I am studying A-level Business and A-level Accounting and I am striving to write my final exams in October 2020.
Three years ago, my body had a breakdown from stress, and I was diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion, which caused me to drop out of school for most of the school year. By falling out of school for many months I fell behind in school and was way behind my peers, so my family and I chose to go the way of Learning.Support. Learning.Support allowed me to catch up to my peers at my own rate and helped to reduce all the stress that was being caused by the school environment.
Learning.Support is very ideal for me in many ways, for example; I am able to study at my own pace and allow myself to take a break from school when I am overwhelmed, I have more time to pursue my interests and hobbies. I am able to get a different level of education than most schools in South Africa and I am able to specialize my subjects earlier and easier because there is no restrictions on what subjects I can take. I am planning on studying a BSc Accounting and Finance online through the University of London and was able to focus on their requirements from an early age.
All though there are a lot of positives to Learning.Support, there are also many struggles with the whole home schooling process, for example; motivation is always a struggle when working alone and that is why Learning.Support is implemented in Study Centres or with online mentors where us children can have supervised studying, Some students are like me and love sport, but because I am home-schooled I can’t play for my school but as a result of working at my own pace I can adjust my schedule to adapt to allow me to go to club/private practices.
I am very happy with my current situation and I am no longer struggling with stress thanks to Learning.Support.