• ‘The free-expression of art stimulates the imagination that lies within each child.’

  • ‘There is something for everyone in our diverse physical education programme.’

  • ‘The best thing about Acorn: the people and the trips.’

    William (Class 12)

The Vision of Acorn

Creating freethinking young people of insight and integrity who are ready to take their place in the world.

The Acorn School is a co-educational independent school in Gloucestershire known for its unique approach in providing an outstanding holistic education for children aged 6 to 18. Established by Graeme Whiting in 1991, the education in the Lower School encompasses the main elements of Graeme Whiting’s life work in education, while Upper School students receive a stimulating and highly academic programme, supported by our own internal examination and assessment system. Every student who has applied to university direct from The Acorn School has achieved a place, without state examinations. Furthermore, we have received ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted reports in 2005, 2009, and 2012, concluding that: ‘Students leave the school as well educated, intelligently-opinionated, free-thinking adults’ (Ofsted, 2012). Life at Acorn in pictures.


The broad range of academic subjects is designed to engage and cultivate the intellectual ability of each and every child. The school’s decision not to participate in state examinations means that pupils can continue to enjoy a diverse range of subjects throughout their time at school, and can discover their potential at their own pace without the pressures of state exams. In this way, the school ensures that learning remains a valuable, enjoyable, and open-ended process.


The physical and outdoor education programme at The Acorn School is designed to instil confidence, physical ability, team-building, and decision-making in its students. Integrated into the students’ daily lives, the physical education sessions and outward-bound trips balance out the academic lessons, and include a variety of sports, gymnastics, and activities such as mountain-walking, surfing, sailing, and annual summer and winter camps.


The Acorn School has enjoyed a strong tradition of art and creativity, and the school continues to place a great emphasis on subjects that help to develop students’ creativity and self-expression. Through activities such as art, crafts, and clay-modelling, students can engage in a hands-on learning experience, while subjects such as music and drama offer them the chance to freely express themselves, build on relationships with other students, and discover an emboldening sense of self.

Experience the Uniqueness of The ACORN School

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