ADMISSION & FEES
At Frensham, we aim to educate the whole child and so when it comes to our admissions and assessment processes, we are committed to looking beyond just test results. We make offers based on who we believe will truly benefit from our unique curriculum and who will in turn be kind, passionate and active members of the school community. We try to make our admissions process as informal as possible – in keeping with the nature of the school – so we can get to know one another more openly. Our unique ethos is the heart of the school so we ask each child, family and staff member to respect this and be sure that Frensham is the right place for them.
OUR ADMISSIONS PROCESS
Frensham is a selective school, but not in the same sense as others may be. We aim to educate the whole child and so when it comes to our admissions and assessment processes, we are committed to looking beyond test results. We make offers based on who we believe will thrive and benefit from our broad curriculum and who will in turn be kind, passionate and active members of the school community. We try to make our admissions process as informal as possible – in keeping with the nature of the school – so we can get to know one another more openly. Our unique ethos is the heart of the school so we ask each child, family and staff member to respect this and be sure that Frensham is the right place for them.
If you haven’t already, please read our general prospectus “Who We Are” and our range of information booklets. Along with our website, they should give you a really good sense of what makes Frensham different and what a Progressive Education and a broad curriculum can offer your child and your family.
Please come and visit! This is by far the best way to really see what makes Frensham different. You can come in for a private tour during the school day to see things in action or join us for one of our Open Mornings where you’ll have the chance to see all our facilities, meet staff and students and listen to a few words from our Head.
OUR ASSESSMENT PROCESS
Our assessment process is slightly different for each area of the school. You’ll find more details below of what normally happens in our different year groups.
NURSERY & RECEPTION
Once you have registered, we’ll invite you to bring your child in for a short informal visit to meet Honesty, our Teacher in Charge of Early Years, and to explore our wonderful Early Years facilities. Children need to be three years old at the time of entry or in the first half term they join and they must be fully toilet trained.
YEARS 1 TO 6
Children looking to join the Junior School will be invited to spend a morning or afternoon with us. During their time here, they will join their year group in all their usual activities and experience a little of what is so special about Frensham. They will also spend a short time one to one with a teacher working through some core numeracy and literacy activities designed to help us ensure your child will happily access the curriculum at Frensham.
We will also ask for a written reference from your child’s current school and for you to share their two most recent school reports. We always aim to give feedback to families within a few days.
MIDDLE & SENIOR SCHOOL (YEARS 7 - 11)
Our Year 7-9 assessments for entry in September 2022 will take place on Saturday 15th January 2022 when we will invite your child into school to take some short tests in Maths, Spelling, English Reading Comprehension, Non-Verbal and Verbal Reasoning and also Creative Writing. Those applying for Years 9 or 10 will also complete an assessment in Science.
Rick, our Head and the Head of the Middle or Senior School, will also meet the children for an informal small group interview.
It is our aim to assess the whole child. Academic tests help us determine if your child will be able to access the curriculum but places go to those who we feel will contribute to and thrive at Frensham. To help us do this, we will request references from your child’s current school and also their two most recent school reports.
Once the children have completed their entrance assessments they are invited join us for lunch in our lovely dining room before enjoying a range of activities across the afternoon. We then hope that parents will be able to join us for tea at the end of the day.
Deferred Entry and Pre-testing
Pre-testing offers an opportunity for children to be assessed in the Spring Term of Year 6 for a place in Year 9. By completing assessment at this stage, families can be offered peace of mind and security with regards to their children’s education and the children themselves are free to enjoy their last years at prep school. Note that we still welcome applications from families of children in Year 8 who would prefer to leave assessment until this stage.
We aim to have all papers marked and offers made within one-two weeks of the assessment weekend.
If you are interested in a place in Year 10 please contact the Admissions team to find out more.
Offers are normally sent out within one-two weeks and you would normally receive one of four potential responses.
Guaranteed offer: successful candidates will be offered a guaranteed place to start the following September (or the start of Year 9 for pre-test candidates). Places must be accepted by the first Monday in March.
Waiting list offer: these candidates will be offered a guaranteed place as soon as a place becomes available
Offer to re-test (pre-test candidates only): if we feel your child has not quite reached the level required in the pre-test, but we think they would really benefit from a Frensham education, we may invite them to come back for assessments in Year 8.
Regret: if we, unfortunately, feel that Frensham is not quite the right fit for your child.
If you wish to accept an offer of a place at Frensham for your child, we will ask you to pay a deposit as follows:
Junior, Middle & Senior School: £500 (day) or £1,000 (boarders)
Parents of overseas boarders are asked to pay a full term’s boarding fees in advance to secure a place for your child.
Should you accept a deferred place at Frensham, we would request a deposit of £1,000 per child for day places and £1,500 per child for a boarding place.
We ask those looking to join us in Year 12 to complete a 45-minute general paper as part of a taster day in mid-November here at Frensham. Students looking to study Maths or Science at A Level may be asked to complete an assessment in either Maths or Science as well. There will also be an interview with Rick, our Head and we will ask for a reference from their current school as well as a copy of their most recent school report.
Students must have achieved, or be likely to achieve, at least six GCSE passes at grades 9 – 4, of which a minimum of a 4 is required in both English Language and Mathematics. In most cases, a grade 6 is required in the subjects they want to study at A Level but please refer to the A Level Options booklet for specific entry requirements for each subject. Students who want to study Mathematics at A Level should preferably have achieved or be likely to achieve a grade 7 in Mathematics GCSE. Students who want to pursue Mathematics at A Level with a grade 6 will still be considered but may have a short interview with the Head of Mathematics to determine their suitability for the course.
Frensham Heights is proud to welcome students with Individual Needs, but with a small Support for Learning team, we can only support a limited number of children with mild learning difficulties in each year. We expect most students to take the full complement of subjects. The School can provide limited support in English, Maths and with Study Skills if necessary. We can provide reasonable adjustments to accommodate students with mild learning needs.
If your child has Individual Needs we will ask you for additional information about any known or suspected difficulties or diagnoses relating to your child’s health, wellbeing or learning abilities – such as a formal Educational Psychologist, Medical or Specialist Teacher’s report and an informal conversation with your child’s current school. This information will help us see if we could reasonably meet your child’s needs. Importantly, it will also help us see if your child could thrive and benefit from everything the school has to offer and be able to contribute in full to the life of the school.
As with most things, we do scholarships a bit differently. Our scholarships are non-monetary and are not applied for in a traditional manner. Scholars are expected to contribute and participate fully in the life of the school and beyond, involving themselves in all activities related to their scholarship as well as supporting other students. As such, scholarships are awarded on the basis of aptitude, attitude, participation and leadership potential.
We feel it isn’t possible to fairly judge for a scholarship when a student first enters the Middle School. We wait until the end of Years 7 and 9, when students have had a chance to settle and find their real passions, before awarding scholarships. Scholarships are awarded by Heads of Departments for Academic, Performing Arts, Creative Arts and Sport and confirmed by the Head.
Sixth Form Scholarship Students
Further information about our Sixth Form Scholarship Programme will be provided on the entrance assessment day in November.
Prospective scholars will be invited back into school towards the end of the Autumn Term to discuss their scholarship potential with Heads of Department and demonstrate their potential in their chosen area either through auditions, portfolios or further written papers.
We welcome international students, but only about 7% of our students come from overseas. This means our international students get to really integrate into the British culture while they’re here. Our less formal environment also lends itself to making lifelong friends so many international students will go home knowing that their Frensham experience will continue well into the future.
Assessments can be sent to a child’s current school in their home country and interviews conducted remotely.
ENGLISH AS AN ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
An annual fee of £3,100 (2021/22) is payable for those international students for whom English is not their primary language and who, in the school’s opinion, require additional support in this area. This fee covers a maximum of two lessons per week for the year. Parents will be advised if further lessons are required at an additional cost.
All international students must have a guardian who is over 25 years old and resident within the UK. This guardian is responsible for the student’s travel and accommodation at half terms and holidays and Bank Holiday weekends. Should a child become ill at school, it is our policy to ask parents to take them home. If this is not an option for international students, parents should liaise with the child’s guardian who will have responsibility for collecting the student and providing accommodation and care until they are well enough to return to school.
Frensham Heights is a Highly Trusted Sponsor under the UK Visas & Immigration’s Tier 4 system. This means that we are able to issue Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) numbers to students who are offered and accept a place at Frensham. In order to do this, we will need a copy of the student’s passport and details of their UK-based guardian. Note that children 16 or over may be required to have an interview with a member of UKVI staff as part of their visa application process and may be required to register with the local police station on arrival.
Do you have a space for my child?
We fill up quickly from Year 2 upwards so it is worth registering interest as soon as possible. All students who want to be included in the entrance process for entry into all year groups must be registered in advance. Please get in touch at email@example.com or call 01252 792 561 before registering to see if we have space. The majority of students join for Nursery, Reception, Years 4, 5, 7, 9 and 12, but we welcome interest in other year groups if there is space
How big are your classes?
Do you offer scholarships or bursaries?
What proportion of students board?
We offer flexi-boarding from Year 7 and weekly boarding from Year 9 upwards - roughly 25% of the students board. During the school week there is no differentiation between day and boarding students.
Do you specialise in supporting children with learning difficulties?
Unfortunately, we are only able to provide support for children with mild learning difficulties as we only have a small Support for Learning team.
Do you follow a curriculum? A timetable?
We do follow curriculums and class timetables throughout the school. The difference at Frensham is that we can breakaway from the lesson plan if the students aren't truly absorbed, if a different approach is needed - or head outdoors if it will enrich the lesson. Our classrooms are set up for discussions and group work rather than in a linear, face-the-front arrangement and we don’t have a traditional hierarchical system among teachers or students, but there is a strong underlying structure to all aspects of the school.
How do you handle discipline?
Our disciplinary measures are based on mutual respect and self-discipline. We use discussion rather than detention and set targets for changes in behaviour. Depending on the nature of the situation, discussions will occur between the student/s and their teacher or with the Head of School, Deputy Head or Head and if the situation escalates disciplinary sanctions may be used. Aggressive language, shouting and detentions are not used by any staff at Frensham.
Can my child take part in competitive sports?
We have over 450 sporting fixtures each year for students who love competitive games. If you want your children to love sport, love going to matches and know how to win or lose well, then that’s what they’ll get here. As well as the main sports, we also offer mountain biking, high ropes, surfing trips, hill walking, rock climbing. At the end of the day, our goal is for students to be fit and healthy.
Would your school be suitable for a very academic child?
We have a lot of very academic children. We offer a balanced curriculum where students are exposed to traditional academic subjects alongside the creative and performing arts and physical and outdoor education. We encourage students to learn for themselves, to think independently rather than simply study for results. If your child is very academic, open-minded and self-motivated, they will thrive here.
Why don't you have uniforms?
Young people need an opportunity to express themselves and to become who they want to become. Don’t be frightened by the non-uniform policy, we haven’t had a school uniform for over 40 years and our students don’t feel the pressure to show off, they simply want to be comfortable. We do have standards and importantly we do have expectations, but it allows students to express themselves and also prepares them for the real world, whether it be university or professional life. In essence, wearing their own clothes helps children feel more at ease and therefore in a better frame of mind to learn.
Why do teachers use their first names?
We have a very different style of relationship between teachers and students. The teachers are still authority figures, but they aren’t frightening or distant. Using first names breaks down a barrier and creates a relationship based on mutual respect rather than reverence. It helps to create a culture of open and honest communication which flows both ways and puts the students in good stead for the real world. Students are treated as equals here at Frensham and leave with the confidence to speak with adults and people in positions of authority.