Q&A fact file: Frensham Heights School



Do all the students have to attend religious services?

We are a non-affiliated institution and as such none of our children are required to attend religious services and we do not hold any on site. We have families from many different faiths, but there are no religious services or observances here at school. Philosophy Religion and Ethics is part of the curriculum from Year 1 upwards. Junior School students attend assembly at least a two week - one full Junior School assembly and one or two smaller assemblies for different year groups. These are used to share about what might be going on in the world to open their eyes to the global aspect. They share stories and PSHE focuses together. Students in Yrs 7 - 13 attend full school notices and year group notices each week. These sessions are used to talk about common issues such as social media or about issues happening within the school. Every other week there is a Morning Talk where external speakers or school staff present an inspiring or informative subject. Morning Talk has occurred since Frensham Heights first opened in 1925.

My child is gifted, what additional support will they get?

From Year 7 upwards, students are automatically part of our enrichment programme which gives them a chance to shine. Scholarships are awarded at the end of Year 8 and Year 9 to students who have excelled in effort and dedication. Scholarships range from Academic to Creative subjects (music, dance, drama, art) to Sport. Maths, English and Science are set by ability in stages from Year 7 upwards. Junior School pupils have small classes to enable a bespoke experience to the curriculum to allow all children to receive the right level of challenge. Children are given opportunities to develop their curiosity and think about things in a different way through solving problems in and out of the classroom. An extra programme of MII (Multiple intelligences) is run through the year to help children enhance their own nature strengths.

Do you have girl’s rugby or football?

Although traditionally, Frensham hasn’t offered organised rugby to either boys or girls, in the last couple of years students have expressed an interest so it has become part of our PE curriculum and extracurricular clubs. For girls, touch rugby and football are both part of the curriculum. They can also choose to be involved in extracurricular clubs, fixtures and festivals in both sports. Further up the schools, girls have the opportunity to play some contact rugby if they are keen. Rugby has been particularly popular this year and our year 10's girls were very successful. Girls football has been strong at Frensham for several years with competitive fixtures arranged for girls from 10yrs+. Girls also play cricket and basketball along with netball and hockey. We also offer mixed competitive hockey.

Do boys and girls have separate boarding houses?

Our boarding houses are all co-educational with separate wings or floors for boys and girls. Hamilton House is our boarding house for Years 7-9, girls are on one floor with boys on another with communal living and kitchen areas. Main House offers boarding for Years 10-11, girls are in one wing with boys in another. They have communal living areas as well as separate ones. Roberts House is our sixth form hub and offers boarding and day studies. Again, girls are on one wing and boys on another with large communal areas in the middle. We believe it is important to have co-educational boarding houses as, like most of life at Frensham, it is closer to real life and in particular for boarders, it more closely resembles family life. It is an important opportunity for both girls and boys to learn to respect and understand one another.

How many of your students go to university?

In terms of universities, our students got to a huge range of universities and colleges. Over a quarter of our students (sometimes up to 40%) go to the Russell Group Universities in the UK; recently Exeter university has been popular as has Surrey University in Guildford. A small number study overseas and we have also sent students to Oxbridge. Many go onto creative colleges including London College of Creative Media, Manchester Met, Falmouth University, Norwich University of Arts, University of Creative Arts Farnham and Central St Martins College of Art.

What makes your school special?

There are many things that make Frensham Heights special. It is probably summarised well by Sir Claus Moser who came to Frensham in 1936 from Nazi Germany: “But such was the warmth, and the friendliness and acceptance from all sides, that I soon felt totally at home… So began four of the happiest years of my life.” Frensham is built on a solid ground of mutual respect which allows each student to be themselves and follow their own individual passions. The relationship between teachers and students is particularly unique - calling each other by first name is the start of what becomes a relationship built on respect not deference or authority. Students are also given more freedom than at most schools, but with this comes more responsibility. Together, this creates a real magic about the school, fondly called the Frensham Spirit, it comes from an increased sense of self within a safe community. A soft self-confidence that allows even the coolest teenager to reach out and help a fellow student - to have the courage to stand up for who they are and what they believe.

Questions answered by Joanne Van Campen, Marketing & Admissions