At the Acorn, the child is at the centre of every decision that is made, and it is a pleasure to see the happiness of each pupil as they navigate their way through their school life. With small class sizes (maximum 16 children), strong parent-teacher relationships and a balanced male/female teacher ratio, we are able to ensure that each pupil’s individual needs are nurtured, inspiring them to follow their dreams and be who they want to be.

We would love to welcome you to come and see what makes The Acorn School so special, so please do contact us to arrange a visit, where you will have the opportunity to meet our students, teachers and parents, and to see our school in action.

Christine Cook - Headteacher

The Headmasters

The Acorn Story

Located in the Cotswolds, The Acorn School was founded by Graeme and Sarah Whiting in 1991 and moved to its current location on Church Street in Nailsworth in 1993. Drawing on experienced teaching from a variety of different educational systems, Acorn was created to provide its students with a forward-thinking, holistic education enabling them to realise their true potential in a supportive environment.

Today, we pride ourselves on offering an exciting and fulfilling educational experience that, through our unique curriculum and excellent teaching, sees our young people become confident and conscientious achievers.

Everyday learning at The Acorn School is an adventure and our students are able to explore the array of subjects. Our progressive upper school programme offers alternative internationally recognised GCSE/A‘Levels equivalent qualifications, the New Zealand Certificate of Steiner Education (NZCSE). All our students who have wished to apply to university have been offered places, and those who have opted to pursue a vocational route have thrived.

Who we inspire

Children and Young People aged 6-18

Lower School

Where developing literacy and numeracy is balanced with the cultivation of the imagination and practical skills, using a child-centred and experiential educational approach.

Middle School

Students explore exciting topics, from science and mathematics, to art and drama, together with a progressive outdoor education curriculum.

Upper School

An expansive and academically thorough programme, supported by a multitude of experiential educational activities from European culture trips to rock climbing.

Life at The Acorn School

Every school day is carefully planned to offer a wide range of subjects and a rich variety of life experiences. Our unique curriculum is designed to engage the ability and interest of every child at each stage of his or her development.

Each week begins with a whole school assembly; coming together as a community is an important feature of school life, and is as valuable to the parents as to the students.

A Typical day at the Acorn

8.30 amStudents arrive, registration takes place and morning movement commences.
8.45 amMain lesson where a single subject is studied daily in 3-4 week blocks.
10.30 amBreak time
11.00 amSubject lessons where the focus is on academic subjects such as mathematics, English, sciences, languages etc.
1.00 pmBreak time
1.30 pm Subject lessons where the focus is art, craft and physical education.
3:00 pmSchool end for Lower/Middle school
3:30 pmSchool end for Upper school
3.00 pmAfter school clubs (optional)


The Acorn Curriculum

Throughout the school, our inspiring and adaptable curriculum has been developed to provide our students with the opportunity to explore a broad range of subjects and partake in regular educational experiences that are carefully implemented to help shape them to be confident, academically-prepared, creative-thinkers who are ready to take their place in tomorrow’s world.

Drama & Media

Teacher Spotlight

Elijah Hughes - Maths and Physics Teacher

An engineer by training, Elijah recieved a BSc Mechanical Engineering from the Grove City College (USA) and a MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bristol.

Elijah spent six years at two mechanical engineering firms, creating designs, drawings, making calculations and analysing data before working as a teacher in India (teaching the International Cambridge GCSE and A-Level qualification), and in a mainstream school in the UK.

Elijah is very pleased to be a member of the Acorn teaching team, bringing his experience from industry into the classroom where he teaches maths and physics.

When he’s not teaching, Elijah likes to follow politics and geopolitics, as well as making homemade furniture.

Prospective Parents

The Acorn School attracts progressive parents who are highly invested in their children’s schooling and who believe there is more to education than working towards narrow results. Our unique style of education doesn’t include SATs, GCSEs and A ’Levels. We provide an enriching ambitious curriculum for children aged 6 to 18 years, which is balanced with a strong personal development program, in addition, we offer alternative internationally recognised GCSE/A ‘Levels equivalent qualifications.

Prospective parents are warmly invited to visit. If you are interested in finding out more, please don’t hesitate to telephone or email to attend an open morning or to arrange a personal tour.

The Headmasters

ACADEMIC YEAR 2023 - 2024

  • Term Starts Monday 11th September
  • Half Term Saturday 28th October – Sunday 5th November
  • End of Term Friday 15th December
  • Term Starts Monday 8th January
  • Half Term Saturday 10th February – Sunday 18th February
  • End of Term Friday 22nd March
  • Term Starts Monday 15th April
  • Half Term Saturday 25th May – Sunday 2nd June
  • End of Term Friday 12th July

My Acorn

Ex-Parents - Julie (Gilded Frame Restorer) and Simon (Master Picture Framer)

"The Acorn School has inspired our son to care enormously about the quality and content of his learning and work.  His artistic abilities have been nurtured throughout and he has developed a great interest in outdoor pursuits and sports.

The early years at school have supported his imagination and the broad ranging upper school curriculum has produced a ‘well-rounded’ individual, comfortable and at ease with everyone he meets."