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Secondary education

Sevenoaks Radnor House or Farringtons

40 replies

Sallyssss · 17/10/2022 19:46

Hi, does anyone have a clue how difficult the entrance test is for either Farringtons or Radnor House (Sevenoaks)? My son is low average, and needs a supportive environment - however, I don't want him to do tests that he is likely to fail. Any information would be greatly received?

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Unseelie · 05/11/2022 23:16

Don’t know Farringtons. In Sevenoaks, Radnor House has a good reputation and a beautiful site, but it is known as the school where the children of wealthy families go who can’t get into grammar school, or Sevenoaks School, or Caterham etc. Radnor is usually the ‘back up’ option despite being really lovely (and getting very good exam results given the intake). So although I haven’t seen the entrance test I do not think you should fear it.

For a low average child who would benefit from small classes, nurturing environment and good support, you may also wish to look at Sackville School, or Beechwood in Tunbridge Wells, or Rochester Independent College.

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PettsWoodParadise · 08/11/2022 16:31

DD went to Farringtons a long time ago pre-reception to Y2. She left to join a more academic school as she was no longer fitting in but they were very nurturing for the time she was there. They had no entrance test when DD applied, they just observed her for a trial half day. I think it has got more popular so don’t know academic it is now.

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cumguzzler3000 · 15/01/2023 18:47

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Lizy1234 · 30/01/2023 09:51

Hi, sadly I cannot recommend Farringtons, it must have been a long time ago that this school was nurturing. We had an awful experience that I don’t wish it to anyone. Radnor is quite the opposite, fantastic pastoral, great support for all children. Each child is seen as an individual. Children who left Farringtons and joined Radnor are thriving.
I know both schools quite well and happy to answer any of your questions if you want to private message me.

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leegreengirl · 13/02/2023 13:12

@Lizy1234
I am considering Farringtons for my child, I would be interested in knowing more about your experience. I'll message you.

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Fern1965 · 11/05/2023 15:50

I also couldn't in good faith recommend Farringtons. The introduction of two new heads in the last couple of years has been a bit of a death sentence for the school. Juniors are leaving in droves and the school's financial situation means that they're having to take anyone into the school. You really would be wasting your money paying for Farringtons. The local state schools are better.

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Dreams23 · 06/06/2023 17:00

Hi, I just want to add a different perspective on this as everyone has different experiences of schools. I have had a very positive experience at Farrington’s and I find the environment to be nurturing and inclusive. I have a very academic child and I feel he is appropriately challenged. The new headteacher has also made changes to diversify the curriculum, and my child really enjoys the breath of learning. Based on my personal experience, I would recommend the school.

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RolosGalore · 06/06/2023 17:10

Farrington’s now has increasing numbers of SEN pupils, which has changed the dynamic in the classrooms. I wouldn’t recommend it either. I think this is linked to finances & just needing to admit anyone who is willing to pay.

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Lizy1234 · 06/06/2023 22:11

I am delighted to hear that there are children happy at Farringtons School.
Sadly, after my posts here I have been contacted by parents whose children have suffered tremendously at this school. It is actually very sad to know the numbers of the children who were so happy before joining this school and are now having counselling, suffer of low self esteem and even depression.
For us every single day is a struggle, my son could have been left with permanent scars on his body due to staff negligence, he was made to feel like is not good enough, excluded and we will have to continue with the therapy sessions for many more months to come. Our lives have changed and we will all need a lot of healing and time to get back to how we were before joining Farringtons. No support whatever was offered to my son, in fact everything was ignored. Apart from offering to make him house captain as an apology.
Our children have the right to feel happy and safe in school, something that my son didn’t have in this school.
All our friends have refused their places at this school when they learned about our experience and they would never consider Farringtons as they are not prepared to pay and risk having our problems. I hope the school will understand that every child unhappy, every parent ignored will result in loosing the reputation = many sets of lost fees.

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Lizy1234 · 07/06/2023 06:44

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LactoseTheIntolerant · 07/06/2023 09:02

Radnor is very very nurturing, would probably be a good fit for you. I occasionally worry about the lack of homework and the fact that they do not seem to push academically, however my ds is happy on the whole, and prior to this had always struggled socially.

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rover2 · 09/06/2023 07:39

I read your review about Farringtons School and that made me very sorry. I had two children at school a couple of years ago and they enjoyed the school very much. Now, after a period abroad we are considering to come back and enroll the children to Farringtons again. Do you think I would find the school so changed from how I remember it? 

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Dollydaydreams13 · 09/06/2023 12:05

I think Farringtons has changed immeasurably in the last few years. The Juniors and Seniors are very different anyway so you need to be careful asking general opinions.

Covid provided an excuse for the school to become complacent and lazy and it has lost the warmth and nurturing style that it was known for. I think some members of senior management embraced the hands-off approach that Covid provided and have been happy for that to continue.

Complaints aren't taken particularly seriously (including quite a major safeguarding issue) and you are made to feel like the issue is with your child as opposed to a failing on the part of the school.

Academically there are huge failings with them being unable to retain teachers in the senior school and the teaching quality being poor. As a decent teacher I don't think you'd choose Farringtons as a school.

It is all a great shame. The school could be so much better if it chose to be one thing or another. It is lacking direction and management and I don't know how long it can continue in its current guise. If I were looking now I wouldn't be choosing this school.

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Lizy1234 · 10/06/2023 11:04

Our experience is very recent and it was in Junior school. Some great teachers who worked in Farringtons for 10-15 years have left last year and more from Senior school are leaving now at the end of this term. The school have very serious problems in not being able to follow basic policies like safeguarding, inclusion and this is something unacceptable from a school like Farringtons.
I believe this is probably connected to the new leadership. Both Headteachers have started 2-3 years ago.
Despite the fact they knew my child is going through such a hard time they made things even worse for us. They dared to threaten, intimidate and bully me that if I don’t force my child to attend an out of school hours event I will have to have a meeting with the Head. It is beyond belief that a teacher can treat a parent with such lack of respect and suggest I could be summoned to school for a thing like that.
And these are teachers who think they are worthy of teaching our children.
And yes I have also been called and interrogated by the school secretary trying to put the blame on my child, trying to find other reason for my child’s unhappiness.
How dare they call me to say my child doesn’t look unhappy. This is exactly like looking at a disabled person saying that is not disable because is not in a wheelchair.
During one of the sessions my son said that the Head “ hates him”. He was never told off but this is what a 11 year old boy was feeling.
Personally, I don’t know of any parents that are completely happy with the school, all I know is that more children will be leaving very soon.

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beautifulgirls · 06/07/2023 22:12

My experience of Farringtons is only positive. Had two children there, one still there since infants, now in seniors. Despite head changes it is a wonderful school, supported both my children and us when we have had a very difficult family situation. My youngest daughter still there is very happy, academically able but well supported for ADHD issues such that academic progress has been significantly improved since the SEN dept were involved for her. I’m sad to read negatives in this thread, our experience has been good, but I guess not every school suits every child.

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Jo3333 · 13/07/2023 17:42

My oldest son was there for a few years and we have had a terrible experience in the senior school. The school has no values to follow. In my opinion this is not a school where your child will be encouraged to become a decent person but more of a spoiled child who doesn’t appreciate anything and anyone in life. 
My son made really awful friendships in this school. Academically it’s wasn’t great either, we found that we have to have our son tutored so he can do well academically. I feel the teachers are not 
Apart from paying the school fees we ended up paying thousands into tutoring because of lack of direction from the teachers. I don’t feel they have a great teaching team in this school like other private schools. 

I moved my boy and it was the best thing we have done. He is now thriving in a different school has great friends and he has forbidden to meet any former friends from Farringtons. 

Had endless problems at this school and my complaints were ignored so based on our experience I don’t recommend Farringtons. 

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Cattamer · 12/09/2023 14:25

Sorry to hear the negative reviews about Farringtons. My daughter is a bright girl, passed 11plus. We find the school nurturing and the new head is developing the school. They push brighter kids and provide required support for the less able. Just to provide some balance.

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Annazd · 15/09/2023 13:00

I have sensitive 10 year old girl. Does anyone have girl in Farringtons senior school please? I'm reading such negative reviews about this school. Although this is our closest school I won't be sending here there now....

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Paulam1234 · 15/09/2023 14:55

Goodness me, we were going to visit this school as is closest school for us too. We are not going to take any chances so it is definitely off our list now! I think it’s the only school in the area with so many negative reviews.

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Cattamer · 15/09/2023 16:44

I have a senior girl, also sensitive and v bright. She is enjoying the school and has made friends Annazd. I would visit the school and see what you think before making any decisions based on what you read here. All the best for your decision.

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Jo3333 · 15/09/2023 22:10

I didn’t have a daughter there but my son was there and the school was a great disappointment. You can’t have a true fell of how the school is just from one visit because they are desperately trying to fill all the places there. We thought it was a nice school when we visited and then my son changed so much I didn’t recognise him. This is not a good school it just looks nice from outside.

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Fern1965 · 18/09/2023 07:58

I have had a daughter and a son there and wouldn't recommend for either.

It takes a certain amount of confidence to stick your head above the parapet and comment on posts like this. I know plenty of parents who are unhappy with the school and looking to leave, people who have left already and people who have now discounted the school. There are many in the juniors who won't be staying for seniors which is a shame as they are generally really nice people and a good cohort. Which is what the senior school needs.

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Annazd · 18/09/2023 09:52

Thank you for your comments. I am now 100% convinced I won't be sending her there. I really appreciate you taking time to respond x

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Artmum50 · 18/09/2023 12:52

In short, a recent and very sad experience of the Senior school. Thankfully, my YP is thriving since leaving.

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Annazd · 18/09/2023 13:17

Thank you very much for sharing.
It just makes me wonder with so many unhappy parents why there are no changes happening. Is the headmasters' attitude: 'we are doing great- it's the parents who are moaning for no reason '. Surely, they can't be this delusional....

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