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Farringtons, chislehurst

(22 Posts)
ChildOfThe70s Sun 14-Mar-10 09:17:35

Does anyone have any info about or experience of Farringtons? We are moving from Central London to Bromley area in the summer, and I went to the open day last week. Seems a lovely, caring school and I like the fact that my two boys would be able to continue through to 18 at the same school (they are 6 and 8), after the upheaval of moving area and school once already. It's the first time we have been able to consider independent schools, since the fees in central London are too high. My boys are not highly academic, and although they are still young I don't know if they'd pass the 11+ to get into the selective Bromley/Bexley schools.

I just have a nagging doubt though - Farringtons results aren't great, in fact the nearest comps are Ofsted rated outstanding and have better results! I know results aren't everything and I did really like the school so I'd love anyone's input please - good and bad!

OP’s posts: |
Caoimhe Sun 14-Mar-10 11:30:58

I'm not an expert by any means but I've also heard that it isn't very academic. They seem to bulk the curriculum up with stuff like ceramics. hmm

They are only just about to start taking boys in the senior school so it will be a few years before the sexes balance out - but your boys are young so it may be okay by then.

Bromley has several very good comps - I'm not sure I would choose Farringtons if you are in the catchment for one of the better state schools as you will get a greater choice of subjects at the comps.

ChildOfThe70s Sun 14-Mar-10 19:11:53

Thanks, you are right, there were huge displays of ceramics and textiles grin. It seemed the sort of school that people might send their kids to if they didn't pass the 11+ ... and yet the local comps seem good so I'm not really sure what I'd be forking out the fees for!

Any one else sent their DCs there or know much about it please??

OP’s posts: |
Sushiqueen Mon 15-Mar-10 10:06:03

My dd went there for 2 years in primary and loved her time there. We were very impressed with the education and care she was given and were sorry that she had to leave ( we moved and journey was taking too long).

I always thought that we would have kept her there for primary and then hopefully got her into grammar for secondary - which is the aim of a lot of parents there. That was after looking at their exam results.

In fact though once she was there and we saw how the school operated we would have been happy for her to stay until she was 18 as some of our friends have done with their children.

One of our friends daughters left there last July after having gone all the way through the school. She wasn't very academicly minded but in the end did way better than her parents had expected as she had a lot of support from the school.

There are a lot more boys there now and they are improving the sports facilities etc for them as time goes on.

I must admit in your situation I would put them in for junior school and then see how you think it will go when they get to senior. Also judge how the co-ed is going in senior. It may be that the numbers aren't very even when you come to senior and your boys would prefer another school at that time.

Be prepared for a fair bit of homework and long holidays And you will always see Mrs James the head wondering around.

My dd goes back their for Barracudas in the holidays and loves going back and catching up with her friends. And always comments on how she misses the school and her teachers.

ChildOfThe70s Mon 15-Mar-10 10:38:05

Thanks Sushiqueen! I did like the feel of the school, it seemed very caring and both of my boys are quite quiet types who don't respond well to the sort of competitiveness I've seen at some of the boys only preps. I think they'd suit a mixed school better. Secondary is still a while away so I am thinking, as you said, to consider it for juniors and then by the time they are ready for secondary we'll all have more idea of how the school really is. Good to know your DD had such a lovely time there.

OP’s posts: |
Sushiqueen Mon 15-Mar-10 11:36:14

Another thing that swayed it for us was that Dh has always been totally against private/public schools unlike me who went to one.
When we had problems getting dd into the state schools we wanted her to go to, we had to consider other schools due to our circumstances.
We looked at couple of other schools and dh hated them. As soon as we looked at Farringtons he loved the place and the way the school operated. He was impressed by the pupil who showed us around and her honest enthusiasm for the school. We had also taken dd with us to the open day and he loved the fact that everyone there took an interest in all the children who had gone along. Dd had a long chat with Mrs James and made herself known before she even started (blush.
We found everyone to be very friendly and far less clichy than the school dd now goes to. The small classes were a real bonus as well as all the children were encouraged to join in with everything in a positive way and they all supported each other.
I am not saying there are never any issues there but we always found them to be handled very well.
I drive past the school every day and I still have a look everytime.

Biringk Sat 30-Sep-17 08:34:18

I've just had to take my son out of this school as they do not teach at a very high standard. His marks were gradually declining as they made him feel inadequate, and do not take respondibility and help the chil.
Although the classes are small you would expect them to have more time to spend with the pupil and help in areas they need. The feedback I got was the teachers let the children talk in class and gave little control so this is reflective of the academic level of the school.

beautifulgirls Sat 30-Sep-17 20:37:32

I disagree Biringk, I find them very supportive both academically and with their pastoral care and have experience of the Junior and Senior school currently. I have two DD there who are both thriving and doing well academically, one of whom gets some additional support for dyslexia. We love the school and moving there was the best thing we could have done for our two DD who are there.

LLS1 Sat 20-Jan-18 09:50:12

Beautifulgirls and biringk, I am interested in hearing more about the school from an insider’s point of view.
Our daughter got accepted there and Babi grin house and we are just not sure which to choose. We want her to be happy and have good friendships and reach her academic potential too, I would love to hear your opinions!

LLS1 Sat 20-Jan-18 09:51:10

That should have read Babington House

mge Fri 02-Feb-18 10:33:21

Farringtons is a really lovely school. It does have an excellent focus on sport and art as there are plenty of local schools both state and private that attract the really academic so the most academic are perhaps not who Farringtons sets out to cater for. I have a really bright DD who spent her primary years there. She could not have been happier. Extra support was laid on for the gifted and talented children but all children are supported. The ethos is very family orientated, caring and pastoral care is excellent as are the lovely grounds and facilities. My DD moved on in year seven into a more academic (and non fee paying) school but we both hanker a bit for Farringtons. There's more to life than being pushed to achieve all the time. If you want a child who will be well rounded, with strong MH but whose potential will be recognised in both academic and non academic ways then I cannot recommend the school highly enough.

LLS1 Fri 02-Feb-18 11:10:34

That’s so good to hear mge! Our daughter will be starting there soon!

ejp27 Thu 14-Nov-19 17:21:19

I am currently looking for my DD transfer in year 1 from abroad. I have visited Babington House Merton Court and Farringtons School and I must admit Farringtons is my favourite so far. The other two seemed to be very pushy in terms of tests and achievements . I don’t know what to do. I want her to enjoy school and learning but also to be academically challenged. We would like her to go to grammar for the rest of her education.
I would be grateful for your opinion on recent experiences .

PettsWoodParadise Thu 14-Nov-19 21:15:10

Farringtons is not the right environment for an academically very able child. DD attended for four years from pre-recep (3 and a half) and it is a great environment for Pre-reception to Y2, then there is a massive brain drain after that when the academically able children leave for the likes of Eltham, Dulwich, Bromley High etc. Or even bail out for better state schools. It is one of the prettier schools and has a nice feel.

However once the bright children left at the end of Y2 the attainment gap between DD and the next most able child was massive. DD was miserable as she was learning nothing in class and their solution was to give her harder homework than the others. The teachers could not cope with the vast range of ability. Some children had major educational needs. DD was used as a classroom assistant. A parent thanked me for how much DD had done to help, first I knew of it. They suggested moving her up but we didn’t want that for her emotionally so the best thing was to move on to another school. I don’t regret DD being there for the first few years but bear in mind from Y3 onwards the change in cohort.

ejp27 Thu 14-Nov-19 23:25:16

Thank you. Very helpful.

chalkyc2 Sat 16-Nov-19 07:07:33

I would actually disagree with the above view - maybe it is a little outdated? I have a child in year 6 and in his all ability class he is fully supported - they set for English and maths and he is pushed and high achieving. A good number of his year have taken and passed the local 11+ exams, although this is not coached for in school. None of his year group left at yr 2. The sports opportunities are great - he runs and swims twice a week and attends a number of training session/clubs in addition to regular timetabled games. They just did the primary maths challenge. There are regular plays and speech and drama exams.

There are loads of opportunities, small classes, good after school care and extra curricular clubs. It's been great for my DS!

ejp27 Sat 16-Nov-19 09:39:05

Thank you very much. We have now booked a taster day for my DD in early January.

Also, the GCSE results for Farringtons School and Babington House for 2019 are comparable and quite similar . I was led the believe from their open day that Babington House is head and shoulders above the rest on results.

MirenaManiac Sat 16-Nov-19 23:49:27

Given your children's ages OP, I'd cast the net a bit wider. There are some lovely prep schools and great state primary schools near Chislehurst, so you could put them in primary and take your time to make a decision about secondary school. The advantage of a prep school is that they will do 11+ Prep and give you a lot of guidance on applying for secondaries, whereas all-through schools usually just want you to stay there! I do know children who are currently at Farringdons and their parents are very pleased with the school, but I agree with @PettsWoodParadise - the more academically able children don't tend to go there for secondary. It may well have got more challenging in upper primary but there are plenty of "pushy" schools in the area and Farringdons has a different USP. You're right about it being a school people tend to go for if children don't pass the 11+. On the other hand, it also explains why the GCSE results aren't great, and why that shouldn't necessarily be a problem. In this area, the more academic children can apply to Bromley, Bexley and Kent grammar schools, then for more academic indies you have Eltham College plus the Dulwich schools, or Sevenoaks / Tonbridge. Colfe's is less academic than those but more than Farringdons. It really depends what you want. The school has a reputation for being very nurturing and especially supportive for those who need additional help. Babington House has a similar focus so I'd expect their GCSE results to be similar.

MirenaManiac Sat 16-Nov-19 23:52:48

@ejp27 If you're hoping that your DD will go to a grammar school for secondary, you'd do better to send her to a prep school now, rather than an all-through school. You wouldn't have the benefit of them being there all-through anyway. Some of the prep schools are cheaper and don't have quite as many facilities but are still really lovely schools which can be more impartial about secondary school applications and helping you find the right school to move on to.

ToriB91 Fri 03-Jan-20 14:19:28

Hi, My son has gone through the testing and interview at Farringtons and I just wondered if anyone knew when the offer letters are sent out?

chalkyc2 Sat 04-Jan-20 14:51:22

For internal children it says offers sent on Jan 17th and acceptance deadline of 2nd March (same day as state offers out!!). Presume same for all.

FleabagJohnson Wed 17-Jun-20 13:41:00

I’ve recently heard via the grapevine of worrying attitudes of staff which suggest the duty to treat all equally and value all is not always supported, seemingly quite the contrary. Makes me concerned in the current BLM context. Do your own due diligence.

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