A look at how students progress within the school and beyond
Frensham’s Junior School covers a child’s first experience of education from the age of three in our Nursery through to the age of 10 or 11 in Year 6. With very few exceptions, all students who are at Frensham at the beginning of Year 6 move on to our Middle School. Although we use different names for the progression up the school it is integrally one big school making the transition between Junior, Middle and Sixth Form very smooth as the children are already so familiar with the teachers, other students, the buildings and the grounds.
All students from the Nursery to the Sixth Form share use of our facilities such as the Performing Arts Centre, the Ballroom and the sports field – and all eat in the dining room.
As they grow older, our youngest students are increasingly integrated with the older students and, from Year 4 onwards, have their lessons in a discrete part of Flottage, the main school teaching area. This means the wider school is not daunting to them, they know their way around the campus and they recognise familiar names and faces.
At the beginning of their second term in Year 6, our students are invited to sit our exams and be interviewed for entry into the Middle School. They will also have the chance to meet the external candidates on an equal basis and, like them, have the opportunity to apply for one of our Scholarships or Exhibitions.
Frensham’s Middle School covers perhaps the most formative years of a young person’s education from the age of 11 through to the end of the GCSE years. After GCSEs, we encourage and support as many students as possible to remain at Frensham, move to Roberts House and take the next steps to adulthood.
Of course we know that, inevitably and for many different reasons, some of our students will leave after GCSEs. In most cases, we will have had long discussions with the student and the parents and agree that such a move is actually in the student’s best interests.
For the main part, however, we would expect and encourage our students to remain into the Sixth Form, where Frensham’s unique and empowering ethos will provide the best possible starting point for moving to higher education, planning a really worthwhile gap year or starting out on the career ladder.
All Year 11 students are invited to an AS information evening in October, where specialist teachers are on hand to discuss subject options and give honest and open advice to guide the students in their choices.
In November, they are all invited to consider applying for one of our Sixth Form Scholarships or Exhibitions and those who do will be asked to join our external Sixth Form candidates in the Scholarship entry process.
Whether applying for a Scholarship or Exhibition or not, any Year 11 wanting to remain at Frensham into the Sixth Form is automatically offered a place subject to achieving at least six GCSE passes (A* – C grade), ideally with B grades in the subjects they wish to study at AS level.
Frensham’s Sixth Form is a lively and vibrant part of the school where students are guided and supported through their AS and A Level exams – and in choosing the right path to the wider world, whether that be higher education, a really worthwhile gap year or starting out on the career ladder.
We are justifiably proud of what our Sixth Formers achieve, both academically and in so many other areas. Those who leave us at 18 after anything from two to 15 years are perhaps the best advertisement for the school. They embody so much of what we aim to achieve: rounded, tolerant, creative, resourceful, curious and respectful individuals.
In August 2012, our A2 students achieved an excellent set of results, so much so that all those who had applied realised their first or second choice of university. The sheer breadth of courses is a testament to the flexibility of Frensham and reflects the wonderful kaleidoscope of talents among our Sixth Formers. Unlike so many Sixth Forms that tend to specialise in one specific area, ours is one where scientists mix with artists, linguists mix with actors and sports stars mix with dancers – what better preparation for higher education can there be?
In the last two years, our students have gone on to many different higher education colleges and universities. The wide range of courses, from Art to Medicine, Drama to Mathematics, English to Physics and Dance to Marine Biology, clearly reflects the wonderful diversity of life at Frensham.