|Founder||Bill Mills, CEO|
Explore Learning is a British company founded in 2001 to provide private learning centres located across the UK. The centres are located in places easy for families to attend on a regular basis, such as Sainsbury's supermarkets, shopping centres and local high streets. Its first centre was opened in Chelmsford in October 2001, and since then Explore Learning has expanded to over 124 centres across the UK as of February 2017.
In March 2014, Explore Learning launched its American sister company, called Explore Horizons, in Colleyville, Texas. They have a rapidly expanding membership across their five centers in Alliance, Colleyville, Garland, Frisco and Plano.
Method of learning
Explore Learning centres provide Maths and English tuition, with tutors working in a low ratio with children to meet their individual needs. The sessions are designed to be a complement to children’s school experience, and they feed back into the classroom environment. The maximum ratio is 1 tutor to 6 children. The tuition sessions aim to boost confidence, enthusiasm and independence into a child’s development. In addition to the core maths and English tuition, Explore also offers a bespoke course to support children preparing for the 11 Plus and entrance exams.
The teaching materials are mapped to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish National Curriculum and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. The tutors develop relationships with local schools and are involved in school life by running regular maths and English workshops for pupils. They are also involved in running local community activities such as providing story-based workshops in local libraries.
Children are assessed in their level of learning and so that the curriculum can be tailored to each child. This allows Explore to support children of all abilities, whether gifted and talented, looking for a confidence boost or those with special educational needs. The centres use SuccessMaker and Digitexts software in addition to written materials to provide hour-long sessions, and children can earn prizes.
Typically, children become members and attend sessions once or twice a week, with each session lasting approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The monthly membership fee is subject to some regional variations, which entitles each child to a maximum of two visits a week. Feedback is provided on progress at the end of each session and each child receives a chart summarising the lesson. These charts give examples of the activities completed, and comments from the tutors. Parent Conferences are also available to discuss each child’s progress and review their goals in more detail.
Explore Learning centres
Explore Learning opened its first centre in Chelmsford in October 2001, and has now expanded to over 120 centres nationwide as of April 2016. The centres are vibrant and energetic environments for children to learn and feel at home.
The centres are usually open seven days a week both in term time and during school holidays. The membership is flexible and children are not required to book their places in advance. All of the Explore Learning centres are Ofsted/Care Commission registered and inspected. This means that Explore membership qualifies for a number of government initiatives including the Childcare Vouchers scheme, Accor, Allsave, Busy Bees, Care4, Faircare, Imagine, Leapfrog and Sodexho Pass. Members are also eligible for claims up to 70% of the costs if they are within the ‘child care element’ of the Working Tax Credit. Explore Learning also offer scholarship places to support lower income families who qualify for either Income Support or Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance.
Explore Learning was named Supplementary Education Provider of the Year in 2011 and 2012 in the Education Investor Awards, and won the Private Tuition Centre Operator award in 2016, 2015 and 2014. Explore Learning was also named in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For in 2016, and was the fourth time the company has been given this prestigious award.
Explore Learning tutors
Explore managers and tutors are trained to become experts in the curriculum and are knowledgeable about current teaching methods. Unlike many other tutoring companies, Explore does not operate a franchise model and directly recruits and trains all staff.
Explore tutors work with children in a low ratio (a maximum of 1:6), ensuring the right balance between individual support and independent learning. As children practise and acquire new skills throughout the learning session, the tutors are on hand to encourage, explain or suggest a new approach.
- Corley, Michael (2008-07-14). "Kids learn at Leamington Sainsburys". The Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
- "Reading, writing and a dog in the library". Information on Loughborough. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "Education Investor Award Winners 2016".
- "The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For in 2016".
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