Why it works
We teach interactively
For all of our clients, our approach to personalised online learning means we have been able to deliver impacts that significantly contribute to the latest DfE initiatives on the design and delivery of quality assurance for online education providers. This is a new venture for the DfE and Apricot is at the forefront of their working partners for the establishment of a suitable inspection framework.
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. Our students’ capabilities, interests, levels of engagement, and potential, all contribute to the tailoring of their lessons. This approach to personalised online learning has afforded our students rapid and continual growth in their learning. Students also have a voice at Apricot. Each department has created their own Student Satisfaction surveys, which are given termly, and the results are reviewed by department heads and the SLT to assess our implementation of learning.
We love student questions
Safe learning environment
Many students with high anxiety cannot contemplate even entering a school, let alone travelling on public transport or mingling with a classful of their peers. By allowing them to study in their own safe environment, we remove a major inhibitor to learning. All lessons are recorded for both safeguarding and revision.
Equally, some students might be aggressive or even hostile. The opportunity to act out is mitigated by the distance inherent in online lessons.
Live and comprehensive reporting
Our reports are second-to-none. We provide real-time attendance, current progress, and lesson feedback through easy to access Report Cards. Progress is reported for each Assessment Object measured in every subject, 21st c. Skills acquisition, Learning Behaviours, and grade attainment. Each full term teachers add ILPs with student targets and in-depth comments.
We give our students second chances – and more
Apricot has a Fresh Start policy. No matter how a student behaves in the moment or on the day, they know that each moment is new and each day starts afresh. Of course there are restorative conversations, when needed, but our students never have to feel as though they have sabotaged themselves or their relationships with their teachers. The impact this has had on their continuing commitment to engage with learning has been invaluable.
We help our students take responsibility
Online lessons allow students to take control of their participation level. This autonomy helps them take ownership of their learning. They know their learning behaviours are assessed, which keeps them focused on their own responsibilities in the learning process.
Our students engage with various curriculum co-construction. This allows students a greater understanding of ‘what,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how,’ parts of the curriculum are taught. Taking part in that process helps learners not only understand their responsibility in the learning process, but further motivates them to engage positively. Altogether, students have a better chance of accomplishing the objectives they have helped to set.
Reintegration of students
Successful reintegration to mainstream or special schools is one of our goals. Sometimes students need only a short time with us, while others need to continue with Apricot until time for their exams. However long students are with us, we help to re-establish structure in their lives.
Apricot’s provision has been developed specifically to re-engage reluctant learners and to facilitate early reintegration. Our programmes are designed to maximise engagement for unwilling, wary, or challenged students.
During our students’ tenure, we are in communication with their school or unit teachers to make sure that they are keeping up with their peers. They need to know that when they return to school they will not be left behind academically. Our Report Cards give their school teachers the information they need to help students reintegrate. We are also proactive in preparing our students to have productive relationships with their teachers on reintegration.
Credible alternative to exclusion
With students that have been excluded or suspended for aggressive or disruptive behaviour, we remove the audience that can negatively reward and reinforces this behaviour. We find that these students thrive under our ethos of high expectations, friendliness, and student autonomy. We have the freedom and resources to tease out their interests and a learning approach that quickly engages them.
Apricot’s internal QA cycle revolves around the structure of the academic year and utilises Ofsted/DfE quality standards as benchmarks to ensure we achieve the highest standards. We have robust mechanisms in place to monitor, evaluate, and continuously improve our implementation and outcomes. These include skills specific to teaching effectively in the online environment and the personalisation of lessons for our vulnerable cohorts. Our quality management systems have been recognised in clients’ Ofsted reports for their excellence and innovation.