Answers to frequently asked questions about Frensham Heights.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to find out answers is to come along to an Open Morning and see the school in action.
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. Most recruitment to the school takes place at the following points (students wanting to join other year groups will be invited in for assessment only if places are available): Nursery, Reception, Years 5, 6, 7, 9 and 12.
How big are your classes?
We have one class per year group from Nursery up to Year 4 with small numbers to ensure individual attention. This splits into two classes per year group in Years 5 and 6, with up to 16 per class.
In Years 7 and 8, there are usually three tutor groups per year with 16 or 18 students in each. In Year 9, there are four tutor groups. The GCSE and A Level class sizes vary depending on the popularity of student subject choices.
Do you offer scholarships or bursaries?
We offer Honorary Scholarships in Academic, Music, Art, Dance, Drama and Sport. These do not have monetary value but they recognise and celebrate excellence. Scholars have access to a bespoke enrichment programme, with events and trips organised throughout the school year.
Means-tested bursaries are available. For more information, please contact [email protected]
What proportion of students board?
We offer boarding from Year 7 upwards and 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. We strongly encourage parents to send a copy of any professional educational report into the school for feedback from our Director of Support of Learning before completing our official Registration Form. If Frensham is not the right place for your child to thrive, we can certainly advise you on where might be more suitable.
Do you follow a curriculum? A timetable?
We do follow curriculums and class timetables throughout the school. The difference at Frensham is that we aren’t afraid to break the lesson plan if the students are truly absorbed in a certain activity or to head outdoors if it will enrich the lesson. Although our classrooms are not set up in a Victorian linear manner and we don’t have a traditional hierarchical system among teachers or students, 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 Deputy Head or Head and if the situation escalates disciplinary sanctions may be used. Aggressive language and shouting are not used by any teachers at Frensham.
Can my child take part in competitive sports?
We have over 100 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 drama, dance, music 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.