Below are frequently asked questions about boarding at Farringtons, the responses to which will hopefully answer many queries. If there is anything you would still like to discuss please get in touch.
To hear what our boarders have to say about life at Farringtons read Conversations with Boarders.
Boarding at Farringtons creates a fantastic opportunity for young people of different ages and from different backgrounds and cultures to live, work and have fun together as part of a large, but friendly family group, where everyone knows everyone else. The boarders help and support each other and form lifelong friendships. The School's excellent facilities are always there for your use and, if you have any problems or difficulties, then there is always someone on hand to offer help and support.
We welcome students from many countries and cultures and enjoy celebrating their national days and traditions with activities and themed meals throughout the year. The boarding staff encourage pupils to share their differing life experiences and cultural knowledge with their friends
Our local boarders tend to come from SE and Central London, whilst other UK boarders may have families living and working overseas. Our international boarders currently come from Spain, France, China, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Nigeria, Poland and Sierra Leone.
Weekends are for relaxing, socialising and catching up on Prep (homework). There are a range of activities and trips on offer throughout each term, including sporting and cultural activities. We take full advantage of our London location.
There are extensive sporting and leisure facilities available both in school and within South East London and Kent, including: tennis courts, swimming pool, go-karting, ice skating, climbing wall, cinema, football matches and shopping malls.
All meals are provided throughout the weekend.
Yes! You can call home whenever you want, as long as it is not during lessons, prep, mealtimes, or after lights-out. Mobile phones are allowed, but should be used without disturbing others and may not be used during the school day or after lights out.
Definitely. There is Study every weekday from 5pm until 6pm and after Dinner if necessary Prep is done in studies under quiet conditions with no talking allowed, although you can ask permission to work with a classmate on shared projects.
Please tell your Housemistress/Housemaster or one of the Tutors if you feel ill in the night. At home you'd wake mum or dad - here you wake your Housemistress/Housemaster or one of the Tutors. There will always be somebody to look after you.
You can do that at any time to the staff member on duty, but if you want to make it to lots of people at the same time, ask if it can be discussed at a House meeting. Sometimes there is a good reason for not changing things, but sometimes suggestions from pupils are very useful in helping to improve the way boarding runs. These are checked daily and issues raised in them dealt with promptly. There are also several committees, representing all year groups in the house, which meet regularly to discuss various matters of significance to boarders. There are termly surveys where you can suggest ideas too.
South House and West House are run by a team of boarding staff who share responsibility for the care, discipline and general atmosphere of the boarding houses, getting to know everyone well, ensuring that they are there to give plenty of support and guidance and being in regular contact with parents.
The pastoral care of pupils is the responsibility of the Housemistress/Housemaster. There is also a resident House Tutor and a Day Matron to help with the care of the pupils. Form Tutors are on hand during the day to give advice on personal and pastoral matters as required. For administrative reasons pupils are specifically assigned to Form Tutor.
The Tutors follow the pastoral and academic progress of their boarders and give advice about good use of prep time and good work practices. Tutors are also on hand to give advice, guidance and help at critical times such as option choices and University entrance, when positive help is given with the selection of Universities, form filling and personal statements. They also offer support for pupils with personal concerns/issues. Tutees meet their tutors at the start of every day and all the time around the School, but formal interviews can be arranged to discuss specific issues at any time.
The Chaplain visits both Houses regularly to meet boarders informally. Pupils may discreetly make arrangements with her to discuss private matters confidentially, when she pops into the boarding house. Other teachers are encouraged to visit the Houses during prep time so that they may assist any pupils who need help with their school work. A designated Governor, who is responsible for Boarding, takes an active interest in the House and meets a group of representative pupils to assess the quality of life enjoyed by boarders.
In addition to the tutorial team, each House has a dedicated domestic staff to maintain, clean and look after the boarders’ needs, including their laundry. All rooms are cleaned daily, but every boarder is expected to keep his or her room generally neat and tidy as they would at home.
The Boarding Staff are an important channel of communication between the School and parents on all matters relating to the pupils in their charge, including health, academic concerns, discipline, moral and social development. They liaise with form tutors and teachers and take a keen interest in pupils' achievements, whilst also ensuring an appropriate balance between their work and their extra-curricular activities and interests. We all work together to nurture the good spirit of this happy, vibrant, multicultural boarding community and to encourage the boarders to take part in all that the school has to offer, so that they can flourish and develop to their full potential.
When boarders are collected from or returned to school, the Boarding Staff are always available. Parents and/or guardians are encouraged to attend all school functions, and the informal Parents' Receptions and more formal Parents' Evenings (either in School or remotely via School Cloud) are a good opportunity to meet the teachers. Once COVID restrictions are eased if you happen to be in the area, you are welcome to turn up at any time, but please let us know in advance to avoid disappointment! Formal appointments to see the Head or individual members of staff can also be made by contacting Mr Smith the Head of Boarding.
They can come to see you any time after school and at weekends and you can go out with them by arrangement with the boarding staff. Boarders may go away for weekends or part of the weekend, provided the school has received an invitation from the host concerned and the consent of your parent/guardian together with the permission of your Housemistress/Housemaster.
Boarders are allowed to have mobile phones, but they must not be seen during the school day. If you have your own laptop, you may bring it to use at school; there is wireless internet connection throughout the boarding houses and if there is a problem with your own laptop, you can use one of the desktop computers in the boarding houses, or one of the computers in the main school IT room. There is a postal system; letters and parcels are collected daily; boarding staff will be more than happy to post letters for you.
There are many people who can help. Fellow boarders may well prove to be excellent problem-solvers and help with any problems which you do not want to discuss with an adult. You may also approach any member of the boarding staff, your Form Tutor or any member of staff you trust for advice. In some cases it may be necessary to contact someone who is better qualified to deal with the problem, such as the School Nurse, the Head, or Deputy Head, or the School Counsellor and Chaplain, whom you can consult confidentially.
Boarding staff can be contacted 24 hours a day 7 days a week during term time.
We pride ourselves on the excellent levels of communication between boarding staff, parents and guardians.
Boarding staff are all experienced in how to listen and deal with specific pastoral issues related to boarders and are always readily available to them. Supporting the work done by the boarding staff, the school nurses regularly welcome boarders who chat to them about a variety of issues. The School also has a qualified School Counsellor, whose services are offered free to any boarder who may wish to talk to her and boarders also have free access to various national helplines. School prefects are always available too.
No matter what the problem, Boarders can talk to any member of Farringtons staff or any of the Sixth Form prefects.
Most boarding staff also teach here at Farringtons and most have had teaching experience in other schools too at some stage during their career. They will assist with any homework problems and check that homework is completed. Boarding staff have direct, quick and immediate access to subject and form staff and gain regular feedback on the boarders' academic progress, so boarders really do benefit.
We have a specialised department to help pupils whose first language is not English. Our EAL (English as an Additional Language) department offers support both to small groups and on a one-to-one basis if needed.
Farringtons has a dedicated Learning Support Department which helps pupils who have certain learning difficulties. This usually takes the form of one-to-one lessons with a trained professional.
Although Farringtons is situated just 10 miles from Central London we pride ourselves on providing a very safe environment for all our pupils - their safety and well-being are our top priority and our security is excellent. Farringtons staff have advanced child protection training, fire safety training, first aid training and health and safety training which is updated annually.
The School Gates are code entry only. In addition, each Boarding House is protected electronically and entry is by a proximity card system. Each pupil is given the code which will give access to the pupil entrance to the House between certain hours.
Our boarding fees include all tuition, all books, full accommodation, and all meals 7 days a week, all laundry and also participation in many of the exciting activities we arrange for boarders.
Farringtons does not have exeats so boarders from overseas do not have to leave School to stay with guardians apart from during main holidays and half-terms.