The Lower School offers a child-centred and high quality education, and the Upper School (ages 15-18) curriculum consists of a dynamic syllabus developed by the Headmaster, Graeme Whiting, to meet the needs of older students so that they can enter the world and achieve in line with their true potential.
Both the Upper and Lower School curricula feature a unique lesson structure called ‘main lessons’. These thematic lesson blocks allow pupils to explore an unparalleled range of subjects for 3-4 weeks at a time, in an intensive study approach that enables them to attain lasting knowledge. Taking place each morning in two-hour sessions, main lessons follow a ‘three-day rhythm’ where new material is presented on the first day, recalled on the second and written up in the students’ own words on the third day, in a book which they beautifully illustrate. In this way, pupils are inspired to be inquisitive and to actively participate in class, and so develop their confidence in communicating their thoughts and ideas with others and creating high quality work that they can be proud of both academically and artistically.
It is important to note that The Acorn School does not participate in the Government’s state examination system as it creates unnecessary pressures that can detract from true academic, personal and spiritual growth. Instead, the school has its own internal assessment system that is tailored to fit the school’s particular curriculum, which encourages students to learn for the joy of learning, and helps to turn them into high-achieving young people. This system allows pupils to be challenged in a way that motivates them and raises awareness of their individual strengths, whilst enabling them to continue experiencing a wide breadth of subjects without the undue pressure of external examinations. Students apply to university straight from the school, using the internal examination system to achieve their places, with great success.
Here at Acorn, it is our belief that education is about imparting knowledge, not just information, and that learning is a means and an end in itself; that it is something to be appreciated, understood and enjoyed.