The Acorn School sees a number of students leave the school each year and take up places at a number of different universities to read a variety of subjects. Not only do these students gain entry to their chosen universities direct from the school without any state examinations, but they go on to achieve outstanding results in their chosen subjects. In the last three years, approximately eleven Acorn School Alumni have graduated from University, with seven achieving first class degrees and three achieving upper division, second-class degrees. Several students have received academic awards, and many have continued their academic study, in the form of Postgraduate Diplomas, Master’s degrees, and PhDs. Students graduate in a number of different subjects including medicine, sciences, and the humanities. This excellent record shows that the education offered at The Acorn School is highly compatible with what is offered at university level.

Many students leave The Acorn School and decide not to go to university. These students have an excellent record of achieving great things in their chosen careers. We have alumni who have taken up careers in professional cycling, outdoor education, the Armed Forces, the non-profit sector, and many other vocational occupations.

Students who graduated from The Acorn School in July 2013:

Seven students completed their education at The Acorn School in July 2013, and have chosen a diverse range of career paths, including university education, professional sport, training with a professional chef, outdoor education, and photography. Students were offered places to study in several degree programmes, and have accepted offers to commence study this year or next year in Sports Coaching at University of West of England; Astrophysics at University of Exeter; Environmental Science at University of Manchester; and Social Anthropology at School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). One student is playing semi-professional Rugby for a National 1 team while undertaking his undergraduate degree, and those students choosing not to enter university education are taking courses in cooking, surf coaching, and lifesaving.

Below, there is a selection of short profiles of a number of former Acorn students.

The Acorn School Alumni Profiles

Peter May:

Peter-MayPeter graduated from The Acorn School in July 2009 after 7 years of education. Before taking up his place at university, Peter spent a year working in the sports industry. He then took up his place to study for a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiotherapy at Liverpool University, graduating this year with a First Class degree. Peter was awarded the Armour Johnstone Clinical Award, for obtaining the highest overall mark for his Physiotherapy placements carried out over the three years of his degree. He is now a registered Physiotherapist embarking on his professional career.

Nile Pilcher:

Nile PilcherNile left The Acorn School in 2008 and moved to London to take up his place to study for an LLB (Hons) in Law at the University of East London. Achieving great results, Nile gained himself a place on an Erasmus programme, enabling him to go and study at Utrecht University in Holland for a semester, before returning to the UK to complete his degree, achieving a high 2:1. Nile’s career has led him into the corporate world, and he currently works as a Sales Executive for an international carpet firm.

Emily Lowsley-Williams:

EmilyEmily attended The Acorn School for 12 years, graduating in July 2008. Having achieved a place to study Early Years Education at Canterbury University, Emily took a gap year, during which she rekindled her love of fashion. Subsequently, Emily reapplied to study for a Bachelor of Art (Hons) degree in Fashion Design at De Montfort University, Leicester. Emily graduated with a First Class degree in July 2009, and was the winner of the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters bursary award for her impressive final year collection of contemporary knitted garments. Emily is currently working as a production assistant for the international clothing brand Superdry.

Amelia Seifert:

Amelia SeifertAmelia graduated from The Acorn School in 2007 to take up a place at Queen’s University Belfast, where she achieved a First Class degree majoring in Social Anthropology, with a minor in Ethnomusicology. She continued her studies at Queen’s, where she traveled to India on a government grant and wrote a comparative thesis on Yoga and gentrification in Belfast and Hyderabad. She has also completed grant-based research on Eco-therapy provisions in Northern Ireland, and has been employed, among other things, as a sociology fieldworker. She also ran a not-for-profit music event for four years. Amelia is currently in the American Northwest conducting fieldwork with Native American horse people for her Social Anthropology PhD, for which she holds a full scholarship at Queen’s University.

She has published one book chapter on Cascadian Black Metal, an Alcohol Research UK Report, and exhibited a short film at the Tate Modern.

Natasha Whiting:

Natasha WhitingNatasha Whiting attended The Acorn School from the age of 6 until 17, when she left to volunteer in Thailand at an orphanage. During her time volunteering, in the winter of 2004, the Tsunami hit Southern Thailand and neighbouring countries, and Natasha was deployed to help with the relief work in the South of Thailand. She lived in a refugee camp, helping to restore communities and rebuild the lives ruined by this disaster. The Acorn School had a huge input in fund-raising for the projects Natasha helped with.

Since then, Natasha has set up her own charity called Acorn Overseas Charity for Children, which has strong ties with The Acorn School, and supports a childrens’ home in Thailand. She is still deeply involved with this home and the childrens’ welfare.

Since returning to the UK, Natasha has landed a job as brand manager for an international clothing company.