Acorn School receives top praise for high aspirations and growth

Acorn School has been lauded by Ofsted for its exceptional standards. Based at Seckington Cross in Winkleigh, the independent school caters to 37 pupils aged eight to 16, with annual fees reaching up to £86,897.79.

Ofsted’s report highlights the school’s Good quality of education, while its Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, and Leadership and Management have been deemed Outstanding. Overall, the school proudly holds a Good rating.

“Pupils are at the heart of Acorn School,” Ofsted notes, commending the school’s ambition for its students’ success and growth. The report continues: “Pupils overcome many significant challenges because the school enables them to be resilient and persistent when faced with difficulties.” This resilience is echoed in the pupils’ own reflections, which brim with pride and positivity about the school’s impact on their lives and aspirations.

The school’s ethos of high expectations is not just academic but extends to social and emotional development. The report said: “Pupils are inspired by the staff that role model these expectations to them. The trusted and highly nurturing relationships between staff and pupils enable pupils to manage the increasing demands placed on them. Pupils feel safe. Many describe how much they value the ability to be themselves and not feel shamed or judged for this. There is a culture of openness and sharing around concerns and worries. As a result, pupils are very well prepared to lead a fulfilling and active life in modern society.”

The report also sheds light on the school’s strengths and areas for improvement. Acorn School offers a highly individualised curriculum, demanding precise knowledge from staff about each pupil, especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The collaborative and reflective approach among staff leverages their collective expertise effectively.

Students enjoy a broad range of subjects and enrichment opportunities, fostering engagement and achievement. The curriculum’s design has led some pupils to pursue aspirational qualifications, preparing them for the next stage of their education.

The report adds: “Pupils can focus on their learning and development because they are calm and regulated. Consequently, pupils want to be in school. Leaders take highly effective action to support pupils, and their families, so that they can be in school and not let external pressures and challenges have a detrimental impact. It is this which leads parents and carers to say that the school goes above and beyond. “