Is Farnborough Hill school any good?(30 Posts)
I am going to an open morning there next week and was wondering if anyone has any first hand experience of the school. Any advice on what questions I should be asking? DD is in state junior so I have no experience of the private sector and am a bit unsure what to expect.
I have had the privilege of sending both my daughters to Farnborough Hill. I also do not comment on forums, but Jeraysha must have been at school with my eldest. She describes a completely different school! We are Baptist and I did fear that they would be uncomfortable. On the contrary I have come to respect and appreciate the Catholic ethos which does influence the school but only in that it underlines the family feel. Indeed the deputy head is absolutely great and she is not Catholic! As for pregnancies, I have had daughters there since 2004 and I have never heard of one..I am sure they happen but the school's middle name is discretion.
My daughter stayed for the sixth form and loves it - the grades speak for themselves. However, I honestly believe that what you see is what you get. The school is not perfect but I do not regret a penny of what I have paid in fees and the school are not as money orientated as most of the others (my daughters both went to private junior school too so I hear stories from the parents of their friends who went on to other private schools).
Visit the school, it is glorious. If you love it your daughter will do just fine...if there is just something you cannot define but you are not happy, then carry on looking at other schools....
One thing no one has mentioned - it is chilly during the winter due to the age of the building...but how many other children get to sledge down that hill when it snows!
I went to Farnborough Hill many years ago. Looking back now I would say that the academic environment was very impressive and really, really motivated me. I went on to get a first class degree, MA and PhD. I'm now a university lecturer and thoroughly enjoy every second of my job.
Thought I might as well offer my opinion for what it's worth! Our daughter started at Farnborough Hill last year and despite our initial misgivings we feel we definitely made the right choice. Myself and my husband looked at several options within reasonable travelling distance for us and looking at the list of potential contenders Farnborugh Hill seemed to be ahead of the rest. The only snag we could see was that we are both atheists and were a bit put off a first by the fact that it's a catholic school, worrying that our daughter would be feel under pressure in such an environment. Fortunately we have friends who also send their daughters there - one family like us who don't have a religion, and one family who are Muslim - and were reassured that there was no forcing of religion on pupils if they have a differing or indeed no particular belief. So we took the plunge and are so glad for our daughter's sake that we did. There's no pressure at all over religion with a refreshingly liberal live and let live attitude pervading the issue, and the education provided is proving to be second to none. Daughter had a tendency to coast along at her previous school, being bright enough to have worked out the minimum amount of work she could get away with doing(!), but Farnborough Hill has succeeded in engaging her interest so that she has a chance of achieving her potential whilst also encouraging her to enjoy her time there, so no danger of 'hot housing' thank goodness. She's also made some good friends and is involved in the many extra-curricular activities there, such as the various sports and dance clubs.
That's our take on it anyway. Hope that it's of assistance to anybody else who's trying to pick their way through the thorny issue of secondary schools :-)
Does anyone know how many questions there are on Farnborough Hill's Verbal Reasoning entrance exam? I have heard that the questions on all the papers are 'easier' than those on the GL Assessment Papers. Could anyone shed any light on this?
Not sure I'm afraid, asked DD about the number of questions on the verbal reasoning but got an inconclusive reply - I guess a year ago is an eternity to somebody her age! As for how 'easy' the papers are I can't judge - sorry. Open days are good for an informal chat with the teachers if that's any use, the staff at Farnborough are very approachable.
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