Great Students, Great Staff = Great Results!

Well done to all Acorn students and staff on an amazing set of qualifications achieved this year

This summer saw a return to the first external exams since 2019. The students who have received their results in any formal qualification or award this year have had their education over the past two years disrupted by the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and repeated lockdowns. Despite this, they have shown great resiliency in their commitment to learning and therefore have achieved some exceptional outcomes:

  • Acorn students achieved 417 GCSEs in a variety of different subjects and passed 100% of BTECs taken.
  • 91% of students gained both English and Mathematics qualifications.
  • Over 400 other qualifications achieved, including BTECs, NVQs, Functional Skills, City and Guilds, ASDAN and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  • Over 90% of Acorn Year 11 students have achieved 7 or more formal qualifications, ensuring that they are very well-equipped for their next steps, either with us, or at college. 80% have achieved 10 or more.
  • 100% of Year 11 leavers have a positive destination for the next academic year.

Many of our students start at an Acorn school having been out of education for some time, or having huge gaps in their learning journeys. Often they have very negative views of schooling and low self-confidence about their ability to learn and achieve. Our job is to help build back up their confidence in all areas of their life and development, whilst delivering the formal education they deserve. With that in mind, results days always create a great chance to pause and celebrate the hard work of everyone involved: our students, our staff, parents and carers. However, it is also a chance to celebrate not only the formal qualifications, but also all the other ways that young people have developed during their time with us and the huge progress they have made towards their next steps.

Redmoor School in mid-Cornwall had their first Year 11 cohort this year and although it was small (2 students), these students achieved great outcomes. They are pictured here celebrating with Laura Horne, Headteacher, on results day.

Laura commented: Neither of the boys, or their families, believed they would be able to attend the school full tine when they started just under 2 years ago. Both had been school refusers prior to entry, and the thought of either of them sitting any qualifications, let alone GCSEs, was beyond their, or their parents’ hopes. We are incredibly proud of both boys and are absolutely delighted with their results. As the first year 11 leavers the school has had, to get a 100% pass rate at GCSE across all the core subjects, and for the boys to exceed their predicted grades for all subjects, is absolutely outstanding.” One of the students said, “I’m really pleased with my results and I’m excited to go to college in September to do music, art and catering. I am definitely coming back to visit!”

The Deputy Headteacher at Shifnal School in Telford, Laura Smith, wanted to highlighted the achievement of one of their Year 11 students. Prior to attending Shifnal School, Dillan (name changed for legal reasons) had been a school refuser with significant periods of absence and an attendance rate hovering around 50%. Dillan had experienced early childhood developmental trauma and had been taken into the care of his local authority. He would often present with an emotionally avoidant style, which made it difficult for him to accept help or support from others, especially in an education setting. However, by designing a bespoke curriculum, and working with Dillan to gradually develop trusted relationships, the staff at Shifnal have seen him flourish and close the academic and social gaps he arrived with. He leaves Shifnal to start college with 6 GCSEs, all at Grade 4 and above, 3 BTECs, 5 other qualifications at Level 1 and 2, Functional Skills qualifications and a Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. “Dillan has worked with us to achieve these outcomes, all the while becoming more mature and flexible in his thought process regarding how best to achieve things. We will miss him, but we know he will continue to achieve great things.”

We are so proud of our students, and we wish all our leavers a fond farewell and best wishes for their future endeavours.

We will be sharing more success stories with you throughout the course of the year, but in the meantime, here are some more headlines from individual Acorn schools:

  • 100% GCSE pass rate achieved at Greater Horseshoe School (Devon), Snifnall School (Telford), Belmont School (Lancs), Smallbrook School (Shrewsbury), New Barn School (Newbury), Glebedale School (Stoke-on-Trent), Red Moor School (mid Cornwall), Parkside House School (Newcastle), Jubilee School (Portsmouth), Park School (Oxfordshire) and Wenlock School (Dudley).
  • Crookhey Hall School in Lancaster celebrated their students achieving Distinctions in BTEC Sport and BTEC Personal Growth and Wellbeing, new qualifications for this year.
  • Students in Year 10 at Heath Farm School in Kent made an early start on their GCSEs, with one student achieving a grade 5 in Maths, and another gaining a grade 6 in Fine Art.
  • Red Moor School in Cornwall celebrated 100% of GCSEs achieved for their first cohort of Year 11 students.
  • For two years in a row, the students at Belmont School in Lancashire, New Barn School and Park School in Oxfordshire, and Snifnal School in Telford, have achieved GCSEs in 100% of those taken.