FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents or Guardians:

What does the Application Fee include?

The $50 covers the entire application process, including an advanced and detailed admissions test where necessary, the results of which will be shared with you whether or not your child attends Valenture Institute.

Is there an application deadline?

Applications are always open, but to be included in a certain semester we need to have received your completed Application Form, with payment, by no later than 2 weeks before the semester start date.

When and how do I pay tuition fees?

We have a number of payment plans and options – click here for full details. 

Is there an admission deposit?

Yes – applicants are only confirmed and admitted as students once the placement fee has been paid.

Do you offer a sibling discount?

Yes – when two or more siblings are concurrently learning at Valenture, the younger siblings receive a 5% discount.

How can I check in on academic progress?

You can log in to the Valenture Institute Online Campus at any time to see the current academic performance. In addition, you and your child will have a video call with your child’s Mentor every 2 weeks to discuss progress.

Are there additional costs on top of the fees per subject?

Fees are inclusive of all tuition, mentorship, digital content, exam fees, and remediation where applicable. The fees cover the core requirements for a given year. Any resources or activities over and above this are not covered by the fees – by way of example, this would include voluntary field trips, memberships for sports clubs etc.

Is it legal for my child to complete homeschooling?

Homeschooling is legal in most countries around the world, including South Africa.   

Parents with children under the age of 15 completing homeschooling in South Africa are required to apply to the Provincial Education Department (PED) for registration of a home education learner and comply with any reasonable conditions set by the department.

How long do qualifications take?

iLS, IGCSEs and AS-Levels take 18 months, A-Levels take 12 months. All qualification subjects have intakes in January and July.

What is the appropriate age to start each of the courses?

Students who have completed Grade 7 are eligible to apply for iLS, which is the equivalent of Grade 8.

We recommend that students apply for IGCSE only after they’ve completed the equivalent of Grade 9 / Year 9 in their formal local school curriculum. 

AS-Level would generally be for those who have completed Grade 11, and A-Levels for those who have completed Grade 12.

Are there any prerequisites for my child to get into each subject level?

Yes, although we prize flexibility and personalisation, there are prerequisites for some subjects - please contact an Admissions Counsellor for more information.

What are the office hours and working week?

Valenture Institute is a global online high school. For the 2020 academic year, standard office hours are 08h00 – 17H00 SAST, Monday to Friday.

Our offices will be closed and live sessions will not take place on the following annual public holidays: 1 January, 21 March, 27 April, 1 May, 16 June, 9 August, 24 September, 16 December, 25 December, 26 December. 

Valenture Institute students will always have access to their Online Campus and associated learning content irrespective of whether it is a public holiday or weekend.

Can my child spread the various qualifications out over a longer period?

Absolutely! Flexibility is one of the benefits of online education. A student can take as many courses as they want every semester, subject to a recommended maximum of 7 IGCSEs, 4 AS-Levels and 3 A-Levels.

Are textbooks included?

All learning materials are included. We integrate digital textbooks into a multifaceted learning environment, which includes readings, live sessions, group work, videos, podcasts and interactive multimedia content.

What is the school calendar?

The school year is split into 2 semesters, from mid-January to the end of June, and from mid-July to the end of November. 11 weeks into each semester, there is a 2-week mid-term break before the final 9 weeks.

Where does my child write exams?

Formative assessments and preparatory-examinations are taken online, although the examinations required to complete the qualification, as set by the examining / awarding body, are taken at a physical centre.

What support do I need to provide my child?

Valenture Institute holds that parents/guardians play a vital role as the ultimate custodians of their children’s education. As students progress through their pre-tertiary education they incrementally develop holistic skills such as responsibility, self-discipline and independence. 

Valenture Institute believes in individuality, and that no one student or family is the same. Values differ from person to person and family to family. It is up to each individual to determine the exact nature of and degree of support they provide. 

We believe that providing support to your teen is about being involved in, and encouraging their holistic development. Valenture Institute enables a variety of options to support parent/guardian involvement such as: 

  • Monthly calls that include the student, their parent/guardian and the student’s dedicated Mentor
  • Regular access to academic progression
  • Opportunities to attend meet-ups between students and institutional ceremonies
  • Receiving School newsletters
  • Access to speak with their child’s dedicated Mentor

How does Valenture mitigate cyberbullying?

Valenture Institute has a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of bullying. We know that students learn best in a safe and calm environment that is free from disruption. We take the following steps to address this matter:

  1. Students, staff and parents are required to accept the rules of engagement set out by the institution. These rules set clear responsibility, boundaries and expectations for all parties. These rules outline the procedures that are followed where instances of bullying are reported as well as the sanctions imposed if the rules are found to have been breached.
  2. Key staff members that engage with students during the learning journey complete intensive training that ensures they are fully equipped to offer support in so far as is appropriate. 
  3. Dialogue regarding the issue of bullying is an ongoing part of the learning community in an effort to further educate each member, and strengthen their will to be an advocate for inclusion.
  4. Engagements between individuals on the Online Campus are all held by the system and are monitored. 
  5. Where members of the learning community encounter engagement which is not appropriate, they are able to report the exact piece of engagement immediately.
  6. Valenture Institute is committed to working with a wider community of social services and local authorities where it is necessitated.

Is Valenture a safe and inclusive environment?

Valenture Institute is strongly committed to offering an inclusive learning experience. We celebrate the uniqueness of individuality, and our policies and rules support the need to uphold these principles.  

Why choose Valenture Institute?

Valenture prepares students for the real world – a student-centric, problem-based approach to learning using the very best that technology has to offer; and integrating all your studies into a modern, constantly updated curriculum that has sustainability and real-world skills at its heart.

A traditional school is inherently bound to a physical location and various established structures, while Valenture offers incredible flexibility. 

How do I engage teachers and management?

We encourage students and their parents to direct any questions directly to their dedicated Mentor. Students will also have access to their Tutors regarding academic queries, as well as, live tutor-led sessions every week. If the matter requires escalation then the Mentor may refer the parent or student to contact either the Chief Academic Officer or the Registrar. 

Do you have financing options?

We currently don’t offer any financing options. We expect financing options to be available in Mid-2020.

Frequently Asked Questions by Students:

What is the school calendar?

The school year is split into 2 semesters, from mid-January to the end of June, and from mid-July to the end of November. 11 weeks into each semester, there is a 2-week mid-term break before the final 9 weeks.

What equipment will I need?

You need to have a computer or laptop and stable internet access. The minimum line speed required is 5MB, however, for optimal performance in live sessions, it is highly recommended that you use a 10MB line. A smartphone will help as you can access the Valenture Institute App.

How long does each live session last?

This varies by qualification level and subject, anything from 30 minutes to 90 minutes – which may include breakout sessions.

What curriculum do you use?

We follow the international curriculum prescribed by Pearson EdExcel so that students receive the internationally-recognised Pearson EdExcel A-Levels, AS-Levels, IGCSEs and iLS at the end of their studies.

In addition to your core curriculum, you will gain an introduction to sustainability themes, tools and concepts, and you will work in practical SDG-focussed labs over the course of 8-week blocks in each semester. In these labs, you will work with other students to solve real-world, action-oriented projects, overseen by facilitators who are experts in their areas of sustainability.

How do I apply?

Simply click Apply, complete the application form with your parents, and submit it along with a couple of documents and the application fee.

Will I be interviewed?

You will speak to one of our Admissions Counsellors, either before or soon after the formal application process has begun. We want to know a bit about you and why you want to study with Valenture!

Will I have to sit a written assessment or submit a personal essay as part of the application?

There’s no essay needed, but you may be required to write a placement test so that we make sure you are placed at the correct academic level.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

Absolutely – you will, however, need to pay the application fee and sit the placement test again. Valenture Institute cannot guarantee that re-applying will yield a different outcome.

How long do the qualifications take? Can I take them slower or faster?

The standard (minimum) duration for iLS, IGCSE and AS-Level courses is 18 months, and 12 months for A-Level courses. 

You can take a number of subjects at any given time, with a recommended maximum of 7 IGCSEs, 4 AS-Levels and 3 A-Levels. iLS comprises of 5 mandatory subjects.

It is also possible to take various subjects at different levels simultaneously under certain circumstances, which your Admissions Counsellor can advise on.

If needed, you can sit your exam at a later examination date. This is something that can be explored with your academic support team if necessary.

Where can I find information about the curriculum?

Click here for more detailed information. An Info Pack is also available, which you can request.  

How do I write tests and exams?

You take your formative assessments and exam preparation activities online, although the examinations required to complete the qualification, as set by the examining/awarding body, are taken at a physical centre.

What are the costs of studying at Valenture?

$1 500 for each IGCSE course (18 months), 

$1 875 for each AS-Level course (18 months), and 

$1 250 for each A-Level course (12 months). 

For more information please see our fees page here.

What are the entry requirements?

A complete application must be submitted with the application fee. Valenture Institute reviews all completed applications holistically. The primary requirement is based on your school report, and potentially the results of an online placement test.

Is there an open day so I experience the school?

Yes, we will be hosting a number of open days in the future. Please contact us should you wish to attend an open day.

What about sports and cultural activities?

We have connected with various clubs who you can contact. They know all about Valenture and will welcome you into their clubs with open arms!

In addition, we offer a number of online clubs and associations - more info soon – watch this space!

Do we go on school tours?

Valenture Institute has field trips every year, some local and some international, with different focus areas. These are optional and not included in course fees.

Who are my teachers?

You’ll have teachers, tutors and mentors that you interact with every week.

What if I miss a live web-class?

Online means flexible, but we’re also here to hold you accountable. Live sessions form part of the core requirements of your course and they are a source of rich social engagement. Your attendance at live sessions will be counted. We know that life happens, so we will allow you to miss a defined percentage of sessions in extenuating circumstances. All classes are recorded, so you can catch up at any time or revise key concepts from the class. 

What are the UN Sustainable Development Goals and why do the curricula include this?

In 2015, 193 countries agreed to a set of development goals, which the UN calls a “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.” There are 17 goals, and you can read about them here

Our students are changemakers, and they care about their individual and collective futures. Read more about the SDG curriculum here.

What will my social life be like?

Valenture Institute provides you with the platform and opportunities to have a rich and diverse social life. Not only will you become familiar with the students in your regular subject classes, but you’ll also have the opportunity to join online clubs and societies, plug into a network of local sporting clubs, organise social meetups with students in your area, and join annual field trips. You’ll be entering a community of like-minded students, and we aim to help you make lifelong friends along the way.   

How will Valenture prepare me for the real world?

Lots of schools talk about “21st Century Skills” and teaching for the “4th Industrial Revolution” – but very few do this in any noticeable way. At Valenture, everything we do is about preparing you for our modern, ever-changing society: group-work, excellent communication, the ability to use knowledge effectively and efficiently, and creative problem solving – all these are vital to succeeding in the 21st Century. 

What is online schooling?

Online schooling should not be confused with regular homeschooling. 

Valenture Institute seeks to truly augment and enhance all of the best elements of schooling – tradition, the pursuit of new knowledge and skills, learning from fantastic teachers, and the opportunity to build relationships, some of which can last a lifetime. 

We do this through a high-touch, fully supported online schooling experience. You are supported throughout your schooling by Mentors, Tutors and Deans, who form your academic support team. You progress through your subjects in weekly increments, attending live sessions, participating in group projects and doing some self-directed learning as you work through a tailored weekly learning path. In addition to completing a leading academic curriculum, you’ll also attend assemblies online, sign up for online clubs and societies, plug into a network of local sporting clubs, and easily arrange local meetups with other students. 

For more information on our approach, click here. 

How does online schooling compare with brick and mortar schools?

We seek to turn physical limitations into digital opportunities. In many respects, online schooling removes much of the inefficiency and rigidity that is inherent in traditional brick and mortar schools. No time wasted in the physical coordination of large groups, no paper-based administration, no early morning lift clubs, no limitations on following a student’s progress in a big class, no passive learning, no school uniform and no one-size-fits-all approach. 

At Valenture Institute, you can’t hide in the back row. Every student is seen and heard, and no one is left behind. Learning time is precious, and learning analytics help us keep track of a student’s cognitive and behavioural development. The same discipline that exists at a brick and mortar school is valued online, and your academic support team will help you stay on track every step of the way. 

Additionally, Valenture Institute values your development in a social capacity, so even though we don’t have physical sports grounds, we are able to plug you into a network of sports clubs, sync you up with students in your area for meetups and study groups, and truly augment some clubs and societies – like debating and chess – to be delivered online. 

How do I access my academic results?

During each semester within the academic year, assessments will be undertaken through the Online Campus. Results and feedback, where necessitated, for these formative assessments, will be made available directly on the Online Campus. 

For each subject, students are typically required to undertake externally set and marked assessments, unless stated otherwise, and these are typically in the form of in-person written exams. These assessments are administered and graded by the relevant examining/awarding body. Timelines and instructions on how to access these results will be provided closer to the time of the assessment.

What's the most important part of my application?

Every aspect of your application is important. Valenture Institute considers each and every application holistically, however, we do review historical academic results carefully as a key part of the process.

How will I know if my application has been received?

Once the application has been successfully submitted, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided. If you have not received confirmation, contact one of our Admissions Counsellors.

How will I know if my application was successful?

Once an application has been reviewed and an outcome determined, you will receive an email that includes the outcome of the application. 

What are my responsibilities as a student?

As a high school student, you are responsible for your own learning. You’re responsible for adhering to the rules, policies and instructions of Valenture Institute. 

You will benefit most from Valenture if you actively participate in classes, and make the most of the time you get to spend with your Mentor and Tutor. 

We encourage students to pursue the subjects they’re most passionate about and to really “sink their teeth” into the SDG Labs, as these will prepare you well for the world of work – and university life if you choose to go that route.

What is Conscious Engagement?

Conscious engagement describes one of Valenture Institute’s key thrusts – a focus on developing conscious and engaged citizens who are invested in solving some of the world’s biggest problems.

Every semester, our students put their skills to (good) use in themed Labs aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Students have the opportunity to work in facilitated groups collaboratively with peers from around the world, ensuring a meaningful and participatory high school experience.

What is High-Touch learning?

High-touch means a high degree of human engagement and support. Students are supported throughout their academic experience by expert Teachers, Tutors and Mentors. Weekly live classes per subject are taught by expert teachers. Students also work in smaller tutorial groups of no more than 15 students, facilitated by a dedicated Tutor. Mentors provide 1:1 support to help students keep their learning and holistic development on track through bi-weekly calls. Here, students review their progress ahead of a monthly three-way check-in with their Mentor and their parents. 

What is Holistic Development?

We believe that a student’s development shouldn’t be viewed in isolation, favouring cognitive development over everything else. At Valenture Institute, we focus on the development of students within the cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural domains. This is why many of the learning outcomes centre on skills like communication and empathy in addition to the ability to understand, evaluate and create. 

Do I ever go to a classroom?

You’ll never need to go to a physical classroom at Valenture Institute, but you’ll come to feel right at home in your digital classroom where you’ll see familiar faces daily – your fellow students and your teachers.

Will I ever meet my classmates?

Absolutely! In addition to your online classroom where your lessons are delivered and where you’ll see your classmates, Valenture Institute will give you the tools and support to sync up with students in your area for meetups and study groups. If you join a sport’s club in your area, you are also likely to meet other students studying at Valenture, as well as if you choose to join a field trip during your study year. 

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