Farnborough Hill under the new head(9 Posts)
We are starting to think about senior schools for our DD (starting in 2019). We have heard (and read) excellent reviews about Farnboro' Hill, but these reviews are all older than 2 years (when the previous head was in charge). The new head (Alex Neil) seems good, but how has the school changed under her leadership? Is it better, worse or unchanged.. and why?
Reason is ask is that we have always been led to believe it is a selective school. However one of our friend's daughters has just got in who is far from intelligent (her Mum's words!), so we wonder how selective they really are? My DD is bright, so will she be streamed?
This sounds snobby, but we just want the best for DD and this is a big decision to make with no real honest facts to go on.
Please tell me your honest opinions.
Thanks so much
This school continues to be well run. I have found the Head to be warm and approachable. I am impressed with the level of teaching in most subjects, especially science.
If you want your daughter to have a well rounded education and develop a caring attitude, I would recommend this school.
Standards are high academically, there is also an emphasis on sport, music, drama and moral and social responsibilities.
It is pretty easy to get into but attracts a decently academic bunch. The most academic around there tend to go off to GHS or St Cats but those who want a smaller, catholic education tend to opt for Farnborough Hill. It is a middly school. It isn't as known for SEN and supporting weaker girls like Prior's Field and Manor House but it equally is far from super selective.
Depends on your comparison. If you compare it to London where an 11+ place at a school regarded as academic is a real tricky achievement, it is not at all academic or hard to get into. If you weigh it up against the other Surrey girls' schools it is decent. Not the highest flying, but not the lowest. Very traditional, rigorous education in a very supportive catholic community.
We went to Rydes Hill Catholic Prep school. There were always a couple of very Catholic families who would only apply there, as they wanted to continue a Catholic education, but in general, most of girls tended to apply as a "just in case I don't get into GHS, Tormead or St Cats". I don't know anyone who didn't get a place. Having said that, those that went, for whatever reason, have been very happy there. I would caution, however, that it is quite traditional, and still retains quite a high level of Catholic focused teaching and events.
Thanks to all who have replied - I really appreciate it. Having looked at a few of the other schools and done the open day thing, FH is looking the favourite. I realise no school is going to be perfect, but all the girls we have met in FH seem to be well balanced, intelligent and pleasant which, in my eyes, is more important than having straight A's yet being a fruit cake.
I am still interested in anyone else who has an opinion on FH under the new head and I hope these (and more) comments help others in this situation in the years to come
Thanks once again...
To add to the chorus, my DD is joining the school 2019 intake (believing she’ll pass the exams but you never ever know 11 year olds). While she’s very academic and intelligent, we opted for FH as she has an acting career and they were willing to support her dreams on top of her rounded education. I found the existing student very down to earth and lovely. We prefer this to the more local private schools. (We live in Ascot)
I would be really interested in more information about the high focused Catholic teaching mentioned. How Catholic -orientated is it. We are non Catholic and pretty agnostic so I’m wondering if it’s right for us...
Thank you in advance for any thoughts
You have to look at what it achieves for the individual child, given that it is less selective than, for instance, the Guildford schools. It takes a relatively wide range of abilities; but does its best for each of those girls. Some will be academically high fliers, others will not; but everything will have been done to help each girl achieve her potential. The new head is delightful; but also shrewd and not to be under-estimated. As far as the "Catholic thing" is concerned, it informs the ethos insofar as they aim for a kind, inclusive and morally sensitive environment where religion is taken seriously; but in no sense is it hardcore. All points or view are respected, so as long as you are not actively hostile to Catholicism, you and your daughter will feel comfortable. It's rather a special place
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