Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about boarding school life for your child? Farringtons School offers a vibrant and nurturing 21st-century boarding programme designed to support students beyond the classroom. We understand the demands placed on students today, and our programme provides a perfect balance of escape and engagement. From exciting on-campus activities and dedicated study time to action-packed weekend trips near London, Farringtons fosters a well-rounded education that caters to the academic, social, and physical wellbeing of your child. Read on to discover how Farringtons boarding can help your child thrive.

Where do boarders come from?

Our local boarders primarily hail from South East London, while other UK boarders may have families residing and working overseas. Our international boarders represent a diverse array of countries, including Spain, France, China, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Nigeria, Poland and Sierra Leone.

What will I do at the weekend?

Weekends at Farringtons are a time for unwinding, connecting with friends, and staying on top of academic commitments with dedicated prep sessions. Our calendar brims with an array of activities and excursions each term, ranging from sporting events to cultural outings, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Nestled in the heart of London, we make the most of our prime location, offering unparalleled access to the city’s countless attractions and cultural treasures.

Our school boasts extensive sporting and leisure facilities, both on-campus and in the surrounding areas of South East London and Kent. From tennis courts and a swimming pool to thrilling activities like go-karting, ice skating, and rock climbing, there’s no shortage of opportunities for active pursuits. For those seeking a more relaxed weekend, our cinema nights and trips to nearby shopping centres provide ample entertainment options.

Throughout the weekend, all meals are provided, ensuring our boarders are well-fed and energised for their activities and studies. With a comprehensive range of amenities and activities, weekends at Farringtons are not just a break from the week but an opportunity for students to recharge, explore, and create lasting memories.

Will I have to do homework?

Certainly! Weekdays at Farringtons are structured to prioritise academic excellence. From 4.00pm until 5.00pm, students engage in dedicated study sessions, and additional study time after dinner is available as needed. Prep sessions are conducted in designated study areas, fostering a quiet and focused atmosphere conducive to concentration. While individual work is encouraged, students may seek permission to collaborate with classmates on shared projects, providing an opportunity for cooperative learning and support.

What happens if I feel ill during the night?

If you feel ill during the night, it’s essential to notify a member of the house staff immediately, just as you would wake your parents at home. Rest assured, there will always be someone available to provide care and assistance whenever you need it. Your wellbeing is our top priority, and we are here to ensure you receive the support and attention you require.

Can boarders make suggestions to improve boarding life?

You can always approach the staff member on duty at any time if you have a concern or suggestion. However, if you wish to share your thoughts with multiple people simultaneously, you can request to discuss it at a house meeting. While there may be valid reasons for maintaining certain practices, student suggestions often provide valuable insights for improving the boarding experience. These suggestions are reviewed daily, and any issues raised are promptly addressed. Additionally, several committees, comprising representatives from all year groups in the house, convene regularly to discuss various matters relevant to boarders. Furthermore, termly surveys offer another avenue for students to suggest ideas and contribute to enhancing the boarding environment.

Who will look after me?

South House and West House are managed by dedicated teams of boarding staff who collaboratively oversee the welfare, discipline, and overall ambiance of the boarding houses. They prioritise building strong relationships with every boarder, ensuring they receive ample support, guidance, and care throughout their stay. Regular communication with parents is also a key aspect of their responsibilities, providing updates on their child’s well-being and academic progress. By fostering a nurturing and supportive environment, the boarding staff strive to create a home away from home where students feel valued, safe, and supported in their personal and academic growth.

During the day Form Tutors are available to offer guidance on personal, academic and pastoral matters, with each student specifically assigned to a Form Tutor for administrative purposes.

The Chaplain makes regular visits to the boarding houses, providing a confidential space for students to discuss private matters.

Boarding staff serve as vital liaisons between the School and parents, addressing matters related to health, academics, discipline, and moral and social development. They collaborate with form tutors and teachers, ensuring students strike a balance between academic pursuits and extra-curricular activities. Together, the boarding community at Farringtons fosters a nurturing, multicultural environment where students are encouraged to participate fully and flourish to their fullest potential.

Can parents and guardians visit?

When boarders are being picked up from or returned to school, our boarding staff are always on hand to assist. Parents and/or guardians are warmly encouraged to attend all school functions, including informal parents’ receptions and more formal parents’ evenings, which can be held either in person at the school or remotely via School Cloud. These events provide excellent opportunities to meet teachers and discuss your child’s progress.

Visits during the term are welcome providing advance notice is given. Additionally, formal appointments to see the Head or individual members of staff can be arranged by contacting Mr Sam Palacios, the Head of Boarding. Your involvement and communication are valued, and we strive to accommodate your needs and preferences to the best of our ability.

Can I see family and friends at the weekend?

Boarders are also permitted to spend weekends or part of the weekend away, provided that the school has received an invitation from the hosting party, along with consent from the parent/guardian, and approval from the Housemistress/ Housemaster. This ensures that proper arrangements are made for the student’s safety and wellbeing while off-site.

Can I have a mobile phone and other devices?

Boarders are permitted to have mobile phones; however, they must refrain from using them during the school day. Additionally, if you own a laptop, you are welcome to bring it for use at school. We offer wireless internet connection throughout the boarding houses. In the event of any issues with your personal laptop, desktop computers are available in the boarding houses and the main school IT room for your convenience.

Letters and parcels are collected daily, and the boarding staff are more than happy to assist in posting letters on your behalf. We aim to provide the necessary resources and support to ensure that your communication needs are met effectively while maintaining a conducive learning environment during school hours.

What do I do if a have a problem or need help?

At Farringtons, there is a supportive network of individuals ready to assist you whenever needed. Fellow boarders often serve as excellent problem-solvers and may offer valuable insights or assistance with issues you may not feel comfortable discussing with an adult. Additionally, you can approach any member of the boarding staff, your Form Tutor, or any staff member you trust for advice and support.

In certain situations, it may be necessary to seek assistance from individuals who are better qualified to address specific concerns. For example, you can reach out to the School Nurse for health-related matters, or seek guidance from the Head of Boarding, Head or Deputy Head for more complex issues. The School Counsellor and Chaplain are also available for confidential consultations, providing a safe and supportive environment for you to discuss personal concerns or challenges. Rest assured, there is always someone available to lend a helping hand and ensure your well-being at Farringtons.

No matter the nature of the problem, boarders can feel comfortable talking to any member of the Farringtons staff or any of the Sixth Form prefects. A supportive environment is cultivated to ensure that boarders receive the assistance and guidance they need to navigate challenges and thrive during their time at Farringtons.

Is there support for boarders with English as a second language?

Yes, at Farringtons, we provide dedicated support for overseas boarders who have English as a second language. Our specialised department, known as the EAL (English as an Additional Language) department, is specifically tailored to assist pupils whose first language is not English.

The EAL department offers support in various formats, including small group sessions and one-to-one tutoring if necessary. This personalised approach ensures that each student receives the specific assistance they require to improve their English language skills and excel academically. Our goal is to empower international boarders to thrive in a supportive and inclusive learning environment, regardless of their language background.

How safe is Farringtons?

Despite being only 10 miles from central London, Farringtons prioritises providing a safe environment for all our students. Their safety and wellbeing are our utmost concern, and we maintain excellent security measures to ensure their protection.

Our staff undergo advanced child protection training, fire safety training, first aid training, and health and safety training, all of which are updated annually. This ensures that our team is well-prepared to respond to any situation that may arise.

To control access to the school premises, our school gates are code entry only. Additionally, each boarding house is equipped with electronic security measures, including a proximity card system for entry. Each student is provided with a unique code granting access to the pupil entrance of the house during designated hours. These measures help to maintain a secure environment, providing peace of mind to both students and parents alike.

Does Farringtons have Exeats?

At Farringtons, we do not have exeats, which means that boarders from overseas do not need to leave the school to stay with guardians except during main holidays and half-terms. This policy ensures that international boarders have continuity and stability in their living arrangements throughout the academic term, providing a sense of security and belonging within the school community. It also minimises disruptions to their studies and allows them to fully immerse themselves in the boarding experience without unnecessary interruptions.

How do I apply for a boarding place?

If you are enquiring or applying for a boarding place, please contact Mrs Fiona Vail on 020 8467 0256 or

Children in my care have always flourished, gaining self-reliance, self-discipline, and enjoying a valuable and memorable boarding experience. Mrs Arnold – Head of West House

Saturday 5th October 2024

For all families who are interested in finding out more about our Early Years, Prep School and Senior School. During the morning you will have the opportunity to explore our superb facilities (guided by one of our current pupils), hear from the Head, listen to a pupil Q&A (Senior School sessions only), talk to our dedicated team of teachers and view the inspiring educational and co-curricular activities available to your child.