State secondary schools in farnham ....is frensham heights worth the fees?(13 Posts)
I live in Cornwall. DH is in Surrey working. DS has been offered music scholarship in Somerset. We love Farnham town. I don't want DS boarding he is year 9. I think I have decided to put him in a school in Farnham and apply for junior conservatoire rcm or ram, to keep up his musicianship. We are thinking about Frensham heights but not sure we could afford fees even with scholarship as it looks as though it's only partly funded with a scholarship. We will find out more at open morning.
If we could afford it is it worth it? What are the other secondary schools in farnham like for academic and musicianship as we need good in both?
My DS has been at Frensham since Year 9. You're right, the scholarship hardly makes a dent in the fees - it's just a token really (and something that will look good on future university applications). I believe there is also a means tested bursary scheme which you could ask about at the open day.
From our own experience, Frensham is an excellent school. DS was welcomed into the school, had absolutely no problems settling in and has thoroughly enjoyed his time there so far. He has achieved well academically - though I sometimes think he could do even better if pushed a bit more. The school is renowned for its performing arts and has excellent facilities, including the newly extended music block.
The only alternative in the area really is the rather stuffy Charterhouse - all boys and even higher fees.
It is a bit alternative though I think . What about Cranleigh , know several musical children there, or RGS in Guildford although may be too late to register for either of those unless a later place comes up.
Frensham is Bedales lite.it is a real marmite school.We know someone who it really was the wrong choice for.he left but if it suits both you and your child it would be a good choice
The thread title is state secondary schools in Farnham. There are very good state schools, where your DS could do well academically. As you suggest in your post, there are other options for music.
What's a 'Marmite' school?
My former Head of Dept (I'm a teacher) went on to become Head of Dept at Frensham . He retired not long ago but had nothing but praise for the school and he had very exacting standards in his subject ( key subject) so I 'd recommend it on that basis alone!
Large numbers of nice middle class kids in the state schools in Farnham. Lots go onto Oxbridge and the red bricks. I'm a little out of date with the current music scene, but myself went to one of the states, got straight As and sang in National Youth Choirs. I mixed with fh kids a lot, amazing opportunities but quite a lot of arrogance, entitlement and drugs. I wouldn't be worried by the states, especially as you are clearly planning a good programme of extra curricular music. Farnham is lovely, the countryside is gorgeous. fun place to be a teen too. Good luck!
We live in Farnahm but my DC go to day schools in Guildford and my DD is at a JD in London.
State secondaries in the town are good, but only go to GCSEs - but there are lots of good 6th form colleges within distance. If you lived over the border into Hampshire, literally 100 yards down the road in Rowledge from Frensham, the schools in Alton become available to you.
There are other local independent schools apart from Frensham which all have different characters - there are bus collection services all over town for Churchers (mixed, relatively academic), lord Wandsworth (day and boarding - fabulous performing and sports facilities), Salesian college ( again, good music there) and I think the rest of the buses are for the girls schools. The boys at RGS take the train from Farnham - a well trodden path and brilliant for all kinds of performing.
Conservatories on a Saturday are a regular part of life for the kids at the independent schools, so definitely an option to consider - but not the those schools which have Saturday classes ( eg Lord W).
For Frensham, you need to think carefully about what sort of boy your DS is - is he self motivated, will he push himself, does he like informality? Same as you would have to think about whether a formal academic school which expected high achievement would suit him. I say this because Frensham is very different from any other school we looked at for our DC ( and as its walking distance from here I wish it had suited us!)
Heard great things but only if it suits your DC and if he is quite self-motivated. It is quite alternative (no uniform, first names for teachers, lots of creative arts) but does it well. Very unstuffy which I like.
My DC went to the Guildford day schools but I did look round Frensham and thought is was brilliant- grounds are spectacular and their attitude to education a breath of fresh air (but very much only for the right child- and not right for my DC).
Definitely need to go and see it for yourself. Also find out what % are day just encase your DS would be one of few day pupils.
Beck mentions other independents in the area and the option of commuting to Guildford for more academic day schools.
State- I have a friend with DC at Heath End and Weydon, both she found very good. There are then Alton, Farnborough or Godalming colleges which are all very good for sixth form.
If you are Frensham side of Farnham you might look at the Haslemere schools too.
But I would also suggest if you are living in Surrey investigating Surrey County Arts Music groups (Orchestras, Choirs, Show Band etc.). They are open to both State and Private pupils and lots of musical children I know are part of them. As both Hampshire and that part of Surrey have Secondary to 16 followed by sixth form college, there are some excellent Sixth form colleges around.
Frensham is a great school, and I have sent at least one pupil their way, but it isn't your traditional school, and you need to see if it suits your family and your son. My son didn't like it which is why we didn't pursue a place for him there in the end.
mummytime is so right to mention the Surrey county music opportunities - I don't know how I overlooked them as they've been such a big part of our lives!
If you didn't want your DS to commit a whole day to a London JD, there are county and sub- county music groups for every intstruments I can think of. A lot based in Woking, but that's really doable and everyone lift shares from Farnham.
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