Coming together for the good of the whole child

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Features of Apricot Education

English, Maths, and SMSC are embedded in all lessons. Interactive and engaging lessons designed for the ability and age of the child.

Who to refer and why

Who is Apricot Education for?

  • Students who have disengaged from the learning process
  • Students who are excluded or are in danger of exclusion
  • Students who are not accessing mainstream education
  • Students at risk of becoming NEET
  • Students with special education needs (SEND) and those that have been impacted by trauma
  • Students with medical needs
  • Students with social, emotional, or mental health needs
  • Students with gaps in their education
  • Students who need their education tailored to their particular interests and needs
  • Students seeking GCSEs, Further Education, or seeking to qualify for higher education
  • Students lacking the necessary skills for employability
Refer a student
online learning

Online learning might be just right for your students

Online learning affords a degree of control to students with difficulty in facing direct learning or those who have classroom anxieties.
Interactive Learning

We listen to our students

Our teachers continually listen to their students and are constantly adjusting their lesson content and pacing to meet student needs. Student age or year group doesn’t have to dictate lesson content and approach.

Why it works

Interactive teaching: We engage our students and keep them engaged by actively clicking, drawing, writing, and more

We teach the whole child: Beyond academics we raise resilience, confidence, and learning behaviours.

Responsibility: Using co-construction to understand the curriculum, students experience their responsibility and can accomplish the objectives they have helped to set.

Flexibility: We teach to our students' capabilities; not to their age. We are a dynamic provision; not a static way of teaching.

Safe environment: Many students with high anxiety cannot contemplate entering a school, travelling on public transport, or mingling with a classful of their peers. By studying in their own safe environment, we remove a major inhibitor to learning.

Councils we work with

Approved provider for:

A list of recognised institutes / governing bodies

Interventions to meet needs and gain skills

Whether gaps in learning, high anxiety, self-regulation, or any other issue that has brought your young person to Apricot, our teachers are able and willing to help them overcome their barriers to learning.

English interventions

  • Booster sessions and exam prep
  • Catch-up – Gap-filling based on units/topics missed or are weak (foundation and higher)
  • Text-based focussing on understanding and interpreting a range of texts
  • Writing for both creative and factual writing
  • Skills-based focussing on spelling, punctuation, and grammar

Maths interventions

  • Booster sessions and exam prep
  • Catch-up – Gap-filling based on units/topics missed or are weak (foundation and higher)
  • Answering exam questions for full marks

Science interventions

  • Booster sessions and exam prep
  • Catch-up – Gap-filling based on units/topics missed or are weak
  • Skills-based focussing on experimental method, terminology/scientific language
  • Answering exam questions for full marks

Groups and 1:1s

Groups v 1:1 lessons – now that’s a debate. There are certainly pros and cons to each method of learning. It’s really down to individual students and how they learn best at any given time. 

Our experience has highlighted the following benefits and drawbacks of each.
At all times, it is our teachers who must work through the benefits and constraints of these two classroom environments. Groups demand differentiation, so teachers need to be aware of prior knowledge and the processing speed of each student. Pacing may have to be averaged, as you can only mitigate this with differentiation up to a point – otherwise you can end up teaching two lessons at the same time. It can be disruptive when group students come into the classroom late. Mixed ability groups may be difficult to cater for and may lead some to feel less able. And some students may actually be more reluctant to engage in front of their peers than with their teacher.

And…, all of this can change in an instant. The important choice about group or 1:1 lessons is a dynamic one and needs to be revisited termly. 
Interactive games and activities are a big part of teaching and engaging our students. In a group, they can all join in and the work becomes even more interactive and alive. In a 1:1 lesson, the same activity might be less energetic. But, this could mean that more content can be covered in the same period of time.
Encouragement on controversial topics is often best student-led. One of our students told a reluctant classmate that their opinion was important – controversial or not. Hearing this from a peer had more impact that if it had come from a teacher and he felt empowered to express himself.
There’s little doubt that debates and discussions are enhanced by group participation. It’s so beneficial for students to run ideas by each other and “magpie” or try out new ideas with peers. Even if some say they don’t know or can’t think of an idea, the group can help encourage and develop their thinking. The same reluctant students must rely on their teacher alone to encourage them in a 1:1 lesson. They’ll stay on-track better, but students are often the best resource for extra ideas.
Building self-esteem through peer relationships can only happen in groups. As students are entering, there is often positive interaction between peers in the chat box – asking how each other are, discussing how their weekends were, etc. This reflects similar interactions in a physical school environment and is essential in developing interpersonal skills. While peer relationships cannot develop in 1:1 lessons, there is certainly no end to the ways teachers can help build a student’s self-esteem and confidence. This is one of the hallmarks of learning with Apricot.
Sometimes momentum and pace are enhanced by having more than one student in a classroom. But that can be tempered by the diversity of mixed ability within a group. With 1:1 lessons, everything is based on the individual student – content, pacing, resourcing, etc. While all our teaching is differentiated, with 1:1s it is truly personalised.
For anxious students, a group can relieve some pressure. If there are others to answer questions that they may know but are nervous about answering or that they don’t know, they don’t have to put themselves on the line. Sometimes it makes them more willing to give-it-a-go. On the other hand, most of our 1:1 students are too anxious to go into a group and enjoy the familiarity and relaxed relationships of their teacher.
Motivation is a slippery concept. Many students can learn good behaviours from more motivated students. But for others, that’s intimidating and they need the security of a singular relationship with their teacher to get motivated.

Engaging students at their level

All of our students come to us with issues affecting their learning (mental, social, emotional, or physical health issues, learning difficulties (including Autism and Asperger’s), challenging life circumstances, refusal to attend school, and/or excluded or at risk of exclusion). Each student has their own needs. Some may be able to join your own small group (10 max), while others may benefit from 1:1 lessons. Our programmes are designed to maximise engagement for unwilling, wary, or challenged students.

We provide a re-engagement service of education provision from KS2-KS5, where learners are introduced to highly participatory lessons online. These interactive lessons cultivate relationships quickly, enhance student motivation, and build confidence through a variety of rich-media applications and assessment for learning (AFL).

Engagement from the start

  • Our lessons take place in an environment that is personal, safe, and comfortable.
  • Teaching staff support and listen to their students at every point in their journey.
  • Students stay curious. Lessons have little surprises, a hint of intrigue, and some mysterious unknowns. Students love being detectives.
  • Variety of activities within lessons is standard.
  • Student autonomy is encouraged.
  • Students feel that what they are learning is relevant to their lives.
  • Students see results from their hard work.

Keeping students engaged

The anonymity of the online environment provides opportunities for participation that are safe and this has been a significant contributing factor to our successful work with anxious students and those who lack confidence in their abilities. It enables us to improve educational outcomes for those otherwise reluctant to learn – affording them rapid progress.

I wasn’t afraid to answer questions and risk getting them wrong because I knew no one could see me.

Learning programmes are broken down into small chunks, allowing students to achieve quickly and regularly. And the ability to recognise their achievements regularly is highly motivating for them.

Our teachers are accustomed to addressing complex needs and challenging behaviours. Our work with PRUs, BESDs, hospital services, inclusion services, and schools and academies has exposed our teachers to a diverse scope of reasons for non-attendance and lack of achievement. They are experienced in engaging reluctant learners and in compensating for the gaps left by long periods of absence from education. Consequently, rapid catch-up and progress keeps student engagement at its highest.

Activity is the key

Apricot’s provision has been developed specifically to re-engage reluctant learners – those who have been permanently excluded from school, those at risk of exclusion, or in danger of becoming NEET. Some of our students are on the edge of society, either already engaged in offending or likely to be. Our programmes are designed to be totally interactive, meaning that unwilling learners are more likely to engage with their own learning. The visually stimulating and highly participatory nature of our lessons also helps those with learning difficulties. Courses are broken into small chunks, allowing learners to achieve quickly and regularly. The regularity of their achievements is highly motivating for them.

Giving students a choice of task/activity/text also allows them to enjoy some control over their own learning and cultivates a sense of responsibility. Being in 1:1 or small groups mean that teachers can give them their undivided attention, which can take away the desire to misbehave for attention. As teachers can’t actually see their “behaviour,” acting out quickly loses its effect. And, of course, immediate feedback on their work and regular praise keeps students motivated and gives them a real sense of achievement.

Exam Boards

We teach to all exam boards and have an extensive KS2, KS3, GCSE, and A-Level curriculum that goes well beyond core courses – Psychology, Computing, and Business Studies are among the most popular options. We also offer Functional Skills English, Maths, ICT and Entry Level Certificates in English, Maths, and Science.


Apricot has developed a variety of targeted programmes to meet the needs of learners at all levels and to enhance both the number of subjects and the number of hours your students can be provided with education. We offer a flexible provision designed to suit a range of requirements from small Groups to 1:1.

  • Choice of Subjects (most academic subjects covered at KS2-KS5)
  • Recorded Lessons (for Safeguarding, Catch-Up, Revision, and QA)
  • Interactive Activities (award-winning rich-media applications used within lessons and beyond)
  • Small Class Sizes (up to 10 maximum)
  • Bookable termly (allows for flexibility and ease of payment)

We teach to our student’s capabilities; not to their age. If older students need KS3 catch-up before starting their GCSEs, then our teachers will guide them into their GCSEs gently. As students progress, they can move up from KS3 to GCSE or from foundation to higher courses. Likewise, if they are having real difficulty, we can move them into a lower level course. We run an academically dynamic provision that allows for vertical movement based on students’ needs,abilities, and best outcomes.

Apricot delivers all the academic content of any exam specification, but is not a registered exam centre. Our students typically take their exams at their registered school or even in their homes/other safe environment.

In the programmes below, please contact us if there is a course your students need that is not on our current course lists. We are continually writing courses and welcome your input.


Programmes include A Levels, as well as accommodating students continuing their studies of English and Maths at GCSE level. We ensure highly focused teaching input to cover course content in depth. Subjects include:

  • Business Studies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • English Literature and Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Media Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sociology


Programmes offer an array of subjects and levels. Whether a student intends to continue onto further education, gain an apprenticeship, or move into the world of work,Apricot can prepare them. Subjects include:
  • Business Studies
  • Child Development
  • Citizenship
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Maths (Foundation and Higher)
  • Media Studies
  • PE Theory
  • PSHE
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Science (Foundation and Higher)
  • Sociology


Programmes ensure robust academic input, embedding a focus on English and Maths skills in each course. For many students this approach, and the close tracking,nurturing, and skills training, facilitates reintegration to mainstream school. Subjects include:
  • Computing
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • PSHE
  • Religious Studies
  • Science

KS2 (Y5/Y6)

Programmes concentrate on building student success and confidence by embedding English and Maths into each lesson. Beyond the core subjects, Apricot’s primary teachers also deliver Computing, giving these young students their best chance to reintegrate successfully into mainstream school. Subjects include:

  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Maths
  • Religious Studies
  • Science

Functional Skills

Programmes focus on the essential skills that young people need to participate in everyday life, learning, and work. They are taught as stand-alone qualifications at all levels. Subjects include:
  • English
  • Maths
  • ICT

Entry Level Certificate

ELCs at all levels are offered to students who are not anticipated to achieve GCSEs. KS3 students can also gain a certificate as a means of preparing to enter a GCSE course, as we often fulfill the ELC criteria while teaching KS3 courses. Subjects include:
  • English
  • Maths

Get in touch

We believe that every child deserves a quality education, regardless of their challenges. We're here to help make that happen.
“Pupils are enjoying sessions, which is a good indicator. We got Outstanding in our recent Ofsted across the board and were praised for the diversity, flexibility, and personalisation of our curriculum, including the use of electronic learning."
Local Authority
Virtual School Headteacher