At Frensham, we leave as we come – as individuals – but in our time here, we become more. We become stronger. Kinder. As the school approaches its centenary, it is clear that Frensham is bigger than any one of us, from our founders to our newest family; it is all of us. We are Frensham.

Main House of Frensham Heights


OUR VISION: we are empowering tomorrow’s changemakers to find their inspiration today through a transformative education.


OUR MISSION. We continue to pioneer a better education, one which:

celebrates the individual as part of a nurturing and supportive community;

amplifies the voices of our community, encouraging self-expression and sharing of ideas;

brims with inspiration from strong relationships with outstanding educators in a stimulating environment.

OUR AIMS. We will:

provide a nurturing and supportive community that allows all individuals to flourish, with equity, mutual respect and generosity of spirit at its heart;

inspire our students’ creativity, intellectual curiosity and passion for learning with a rich progressive curriculum that develops resilient and self-reliant learners, prepared for the modern world;

promote education in its widest sense, with stimulating and unique enrichment opportunities;

instil and support collaboration, ethical responsibility and community engagement, encouraging our community to make a positive and lasting contribution to the world around them;

thrive by securing the future of our school and its communities.




We encourage everyone to foster their boldness and innovation, seeking opportunities locally and globally to discover and bring fresh thinking to our community.



Relationships are the foundation of our school and our success, built on genuine mutual respect, compassion and kindness. We embrace freedom with a firm understanding of our responsibility towards our community.

Junior school children play outside
students sit inside a den made of sticks



This is a place where you can be the ‘true you’; we pride ourselves on that. We support all to have the confidence to stand for something and be the person you truly want to be.



We aspire to be the very best we can be, fully committing to our learning, proactively seeking improvement and working collaboratively for the benefit of the whole community.

students work on an electronics project with a teacher
Frensham Heights Main House


Frensham Heights was founded in 1925 by educationalists Beatrice Ensor and Isabel King with the aid of a generous benefactor, Edith Douglas-Hamilton. They were passionate about offering an alternative style of education with the child at its heart. A school and a community based on mutual respect, tolerance and generosity of spirit which would educate the whole child – mind, body and spirit.


And so it has been ever since.

Our founders were not alone in this aspiration. Many other schools were founded around the world during this period as part of the Progressive Education Movement which sought to offer something truly different to the formal, instructional-style of teaching found in most traditional state and private schools.

Schools were founded as compassionate communities not only under the strong belief that educating the whole child was essential, but also as democracies with children taking an active part in their education – championing independent thought, exploration and student voice.

Even through a war and more recently through a pandemic, Frensham has sought to lead with compassion and with a belief in each child and the good of humanity at its heart.


Although relatively rare in this country, Progressive Schools are thriving around the globe. We are very proud to be a member of the international Progressive Education Network. This is important to us not only because we truly believe this style of education offers children a better chance of happiness and success, but also because it holds us to account as a school, as educators. By promising to uphold not only our school’s founding ethos, but also the PEN principles, we have a better chance of continuing to offer the best possible opportunities for our students.

As many more conventional schools catch on to the importance of the ‘soft skills’ and creativity, that have been intrinsic to schools like Frensham from the beginning, we must continue to set an example and pioneer education. We must keep moving forward to provide the most dynamic, inspirational Progressive curriculum that we can.

a student uses a slinky in a physics experiment