Acorn School supports children and young people between the ages of
8 and 16 who have difficulties with their emotional, social and mental health, as well as other complex needs often associated with autistic spectrum conditions, trauma and attachment disorders

At Acorn School we aim to provide a caring learning environment where students can experience positive learning opportunities that will enable them to develop their full potential socially, emotionally, academically and physically. We aim for our students to develop their feelings of self -worth, grow intellectually, build positive relationships and develop their life and social skills in order that they will become happy, confident and valued members of society.

We Aim to:


  • Have high expectations of our pupils.
  • Create a safe and positive learning environment in which students can learn effectively.
  • Provide all students with a broad range of subjects and qualifications, including GCSEs.
  • Provide opportunities for students to develop their interests and skills through a range of extra-curricular activities and experiences.
  • Ensure good home-school relationships in order to enable parents and carers to play their part in the education of their children.

What makes us special?


  • We are a specialist provision and we create bespoke packages for students with complex SEMH difficulties.
  • We tailor our curriculum to ensure that it meets the need of students with SEMH difficulties.
  • We are a truly therapeutic school and we have an in house therapy team who can support the special educational needs of our pupils.
  • Offer a range of interventions to support pupil progress in all areas.
  • We develop strong  relationships with a variety of stakeholders and  outside agencies in order to support students throughout their time at school and  through periods of transition.
  • We foster values- based curriculum which helps students grow in confidence, creativity and self-control.
  • We are an attachment aware school and successfully address barriers to learning so that academic attainment, health and well-being are improved.
  • We believe that all behaviour is communication and aim to understand the out student’s needs in order that we can meet them effectively.
  • We use restorative approaches in order to help students understand their place in the world and help them to develop  the skills and mental agility they need in order be forge positive relationships, cope with conflict and rebuild friendships if problems arise.


Student intake to Acorn school is determined through an assessment process. Parents and Social Workers are welcome to contact the school for more information once you have read our prospectus. We take applications at all points of the year.





We are an independent co-educational school which provides learning and supportive learning environment for students from Key Stage 2-4 with Social, Emotional, Mental Health difficulties, Autism Spectrum Condition and/or Specific Learning Difficulties.

I am privileged to be the Head teacher of this nurturing school, where the individual child is at the heart of what we do. We recognise that every student is different, yet equal, and all staff are committed to treating each individual with inclusion, compassion and understanding. We understand that every student will have different needs and offer a safe and encouraging learning environment where, students can feel supported and encouraged to reach their full potential.

At Acorn School we aim to help our students to overcome their individual challenges by supporting them with underlying difficulties that may be leading to displays of frustration.  A carefully planned and bespoke curriculum, which includes social development as well as academic and vocational learning allows our students to achieve the best possible outcomes.


Abbie Heard,

BA (QTS) Education

Head Teacher

What we offer:


  • Small group teaching:  Maximum of 4 students per class with LSA support.
  • 1:1 and small group intervention work, transitional support and exam preparation for up to 2 hours per week.
  • Rigorous Academic Progress Tracking and Assessment through the use of B squared tracking software.
  • Baseline Developmental Assessments and Progress Tracking, including initial Thrive or Boxall Profiling.
  • Thrive and attachment based interventions and approaches embedded throughout the curriculum.
  • Personalised Reward Scheme linked to the school token economy.
  • Targeted Literacy and Numeracy interventions.
  • Specialist Differentiated Teaching.
  • Termly reports and meetings to agree targets and discuss progress.
  • Weekly Enrichment and Self Esteem building activities.
  • Weekly Outdoor learning opportunities.
  • Examinations and accreditation. - GCSE, ASDAN. AQA units, Functional Skills, ECDL.
  • Restorative Approaches.
  • Individual Education plans and self -regulation plans.
  • Bespoke education packages to meet individual needs and aspirations.
  • Robust Safeguarding systems and close liaison with external agencies and relevant stakeholders.
  • Weekly success reports to parents and carers.
  • Specific learning interventions/ IT/ equipment etc.
  • Bespoke PSHE and SRE learning opportunities which support student's individual needs.
  • Calm and consistent learning environment.
  • Specialist teaching and support staff with ASC and attachment training.
  • Weekly 1:1 mentoring sessions with key adult and daily tutor group support.
  • Autism and SEMH progress tracking - communication, social interaction, emotional regulation and flexibility.

If you would like to find out more about

Acorn School then please fill in the form below or contact


Head Teacher. Abbie Heard

t. 0330 135 8 201









At Acorn School, the individual needs of our students are at the heart of all that we do.

We work closely with our children/young people, their families and professionals to create bespoke programmes of learning for students, which are tailored to their educational and social and emotional needs, supporting them to achieve their full potential. This means that we deliver a personalised curriculum, which, where possible, acknowledges the national curriculum and meets the individual needs of our students, whilst also supporting them to meet the outcomes identified in their EHCPs.

To achieve this, every student has an individual education plan which identifies their areas of need and how we can best address them, both in terms of staff approach and the curriculum that they are provided.  Our goal is to provide access to the best academic outcomes possible as well as preparing our students for adulthood and the next stage of their education by equipping them with the skills required to achieve personal success.



  • Clear transition plan created.
  • Student starts at Acorn School.
  • Baseline assessments commence.


  • Admission Pack sent out to parents/ carers  to be completed and signed.
  • Individual risk assessment and positive behavioural support plan created.
  • All information added to School Information Systems.
  • Transport arranged.


  • Home visit or school visit arranged.
  • Parents/Carers and  Student invited for admissions interview.
  • Final decision made by Senior leadership team.
  • Local Authority informed of decision and education package agreed.


  • Local authority consults Acorn School.
  • Senior leadership team assesses whether student needs can be met.
  • Further information may be required at this stage.


  • Parents/ Carers/ Social Worker/ Placements team contact school for information.
  • Parents/ Carers inform Local Authority of their school preferences.





Part of the Phoenix Learning and Care Group




Acorn School

Seckington Cross



EX19 8EY



Tel: 0330 135 8 201




Phoenix Learning and Care Holdings Ltd, Registered in England No: 07899184

Phoenix Childcare Ltd,  Registered in England No: 05506172

URN: 135773

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