Apricot

a winning team

  • Amy Smith
    Amy Smith
    Managing Director
    Amy Says: "Interactive technologies bring magic into the classroom."
  • Jodie Butler
    Jodie Butler
    Operations Director
    Jodie Says: "A fantastic opportunity for learners who otherwise would be without."
  • Lisa Fellows
    Lisa Fellows
    Office Administrator
    Lisa Says: "The way students interact with their teachers and the progress they make with online learning is a huge advantage our students enjoy."
  • John Rees
    John Rees
    Sr. Leadership Consultant
    John Says: "I am committed to reducing inequalities & supporting the development of educational professionals working with, and for, children & young people."
Meet the team here

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FAQs

1. How does it work?

Our online platform and virtual classrooms provide an all-inclusive means of communication for education and progress tracking to take place. Teacher and student meet online at scheduled times and share a virtual classroom. All teaching is live and interactive, making use of a variety of tools and stimulating resources to promote engagement. We don’t use webcams but teacher and student can hear one another, speak to one another, or type messages in the hat box to communicate. Client and parent logins create a sense of community around each student’s learning.

2. What does the student need?

The student needs access to a computer with broadband and a headset with mic.

    • Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9 on Windows
    • Firefox 6 and 7 on Windows and Mac
    • Google Chrome 14 and 15 on Windows
    • Safari 3 and 4 on Mac

3. Where do lessons take place?

Our lessons can be accessed from anywhere there is a computer or mobile device with a good broadband connection.

4. Who uses this way of learning?

Anyone with basic computer skills is eligible to learn online. We work predominantly with those who should be accessing mainstream school, but for a great variety of reasons, are not able to. Physical or mental health issues, BESD, challenging life circumstances, refusal, and exclusion or risk of exclusion from school are all common themes among our learners – but those in need of a leg-up from a D to C grade or some additional catch-up time can also benefit.

5. How long do I have to book for?

A minimum commitment of one academic term is required, but this is offered on a roll-on/roll-off basis to allow a changeover of students. Annual bookings receive a 10% discount.

6. Should I book a programme or One2One?

Frequently our students are already isolated by their circumstances. For this reason, we encourage enrolment in a group programme to enable a sense of awareness of learning alongside others and to promote the ability to interact with peers. Privately commissioned groups are open only to those referred by the client. Nationwide groups receive individual referrals from throughout the UK. Our One2One teaching service is available for those unable to access group learning.

7. What if a student I book in refuses or doesn't attend?

Once a student is booked on one of our group programmes, the place is interchangeable with another student. One2One tuition can be cancelled within 48 hours.

8. What about safeguarding?

Safeguarding is intrinsic to all that we do. Recruitment of teachers, referral of students, the security of our platform, and our daily routines are all founded on best safeguarding practice. All of our lessons are recorded for safeguarding purposes and two appropriately trained designated persons for child protection are available at all times.

9. What tracking and monitoring is done?

The client’s area of our platform allows access to attendance data and weekly and half-termly reporting. It is the client’s decision whether to measure attainment and define criteria for progress via NC levels, Progress 8 Levels, GCSE grades. In recognition of the needs of our potentially vulnerable young people, soft skills are also assessed, including punctuality, motivation, and so on. A Client dashboard, allowing for deeper performance tracking is under construction!

10. Who are the teachers?

All teachers are qualified and experienced in delivering their specialist subject areas. The diversity of character, expertise, and teaching styles within our team enables compatibility matching between teachers and student, creating positive working relationships that lead to successful learning.

11. What about Ofsted?

As an alternative education provider, Apricot is not subject to direct scrutiny by Ofsted. However, we recognise that our clients generally are and, therefore, seek to uphold Ofsted’s expectations on their behalf. Taking a best fit approach, we observe Ofsted’s section 5 inspection criteria along with the statutory guidance for alternative provision issued to local authorities by the DfE. We do all we can to safely justify your decision to work with us and will participate in your inspection on request.