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Emotionally and socially, these can be tricky years for all teenagers to navigate and this is where the strong relationships and outstanding pastoral care at Frensham can really give them the chance to enjoy what can be very stressful years. Our focus has never been exam results. Our focus is the children - their individuality, their happiness and their unique potential - and the importance of retaining all this as they grow up through their educational journey. If we can help them all achieve more than they believed they could, then we have succeeded. If we can do that while keeping them emotionally happy and strong, then we have more than won.


Listen to Jo, one of our Assistant Heads, and Beverley, our Director of Support for Learning talk about life in the Senior School.

students in science lab


With a more informal setting and smaller classes, the teachers and students really get to know each other. Literally on a first-name basis. This is important because we ask our students to step up and be more responsible and self-motivated than they may need to be elsewhere. We don’t micro-manage, we do support, but ultimately it’s down to each child to take control of their learning. Teachers learn each child’s strengths and weaknesses. They reinforce where needed and push where they can, but most importantly, they are a friendly face. They genuinely want to help, not to intimidate or belittle.

As long as you do your best, take a few risks, step out of your comfort zone now and then, Frensham can support you with whatever your dreams may be.



Years 9 to 11 are formative years for all students not only academically, but emotionally and socially. As with most mainstream schools, we follow the GCSE curriculum and assessment processes. This does mean that during these years our teaching and learning is closely curriculum-led, but we do our best to continuously support our students’ personal passions and interests. Rather than focusing only on the exam results, our aim is to give our students the knowledge and the thinking skills - creativity, problem-solving, flexibility, resilience - to take on whatever may turn up on the exams, but also in life beyond. 


Students are split into tutor groups with their tutor taking a pastoral role, gently supporting and getting to know each of the students in their care. Tutor groups will normally stay the same through Years 9 to 11 with four tutor groups per year. Year 9 is a common entry point, particularly for boarders, with a handful of spaces sometimes available in Year 10.

student in DT workshop
PE coach with students for hockey practice


At Frensham, we treat academic and creative subjects equally and within the younger years particularly, our aim is to offer a very broad curriculum allowing each child to find their own strengths and passions and ultimately helping them determine a strong sense of where they might like to focus going forward. Year 9 is a transition year finishing off Key Stage 3 and heading into the GCSE years. Maths, MFL and Science GCSE curriculums begin in Year 9 to allow for adequate time to study all elements unrushed.



Most students study fifteen compulsory subjects, including one language that they would like to specialise in. They remain in their tutor groups for everything except PE, languages, English, Science and Maths. Students in Year 9 attend one PSHE lesson per week.

Students have 30 lessons a week. Year 9 has five 55 minute lessons and one 45 minute lesson daily. The number of lessons listed below is per week:

English: 3 lessons

Maths: 4 lessons

Science: 3 lessons

Geography: 2 lessons

History: 2 lessons

Personal, Social, Health Education: 1 lesson

Philosophy, Religion, Ethics: 1 lesson

IT: 1 lesson

Modern Languages: 3 lessons

PE/Games: 3 lessons

Creative Arts: 3 lessons

Music: 1 lesson

Dance: 1 lesson

Drama: 1 lesson

Tutor Time/Morning Talk: 1 lesson

students in classroom
teacher in classroom


Most students take 10 GCSEs or alternative qualifications. English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Science: Trilogy (three strands leading to two GCSEs) or Separate Science (leading to three GCSEs) – are compulsory. In addition, it is expected that all students choose at least one Creative or Performing Arts subject and it is recommended that students choose one Humanity and one Modern Language to create their own broad curriculum.

Students have 30 lessons a week. Years 10 and 11 have six 55 minute lessons. The number of lessons listed below is per week:

English Language: 2 lessons

English Literature: 2 lessons

Maths: 4 lessons

Science: 6 lessons

PE/Games: 3 lessons

Options: 3 lessons 

Tutor Time/Morning Talk: 1 lesson

PE, Games, Outdoor Education, PRE and PSHE will continue to be an integral part of your curriculum at Frensham. PSHE will take the format of a series of short courses throughout Years 10 and 11.



We pride ourselves on offering a wide range of subjects to ensure that you can create your own unique broad curriculum. Our option blocks are built each year based on student choices - therefore, they differ every year. This gives us a much greater flexibility to make sure that you can create your own curriculum. We are always looking for ways to ensure that we are offering our students a wide range of subject choice for our Year 10 students. With eighteen GCSE subjects on offer, we are confident that we are doing this. However, it is important that we regularly review our offering to ensure that we are meeting the needs of each new cohort of students.


students in the Wizard of Oz
Year 11 Revision
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