Any international student joining a new boarding school far from home will understandably experience mixed emotions. Richard from Nigeria had to deal with an extra challenge: quarantine.
Fortunately, Farringtons School, guided by their Christian values of service, honesty, kindness and respect, ensured Richard was well fed and looked after.
“When I eventually got to start school, I sat next to Chris who took me on a tour of the school. Everyone was so welcoming so it wasn’t hard to settle in and get to know everyone,” Richard recalls. The 12 year-old is now happily pursuing the National Curriculum there.
For many international students, having a warm reception at their school makes a big difference, especially when they will be boarding there for several years. In Richard’s case, he is grateful to be part of the very diverse and cosmopolitan yet family-like community at Farringtons.
“There are always staff available to talk to and ask for help if needed. We meet our Form Tutor every day and there are always staff on duty when we are in the Boarding House. And of course I have lots of friends who offer support if needed,” Richard explains.
That is why Farringtons prides itself on creating an unparalleled experience within small classes in a safe village community campus for all their students. Take their outstanding pastoral care for example.
By closely partnering with parents and teachers, students here are supported to become independent, curious and creative thinkers. In fact, every boarder and day learner at Farringtons has a Form Tutor – assisted by the Pastoral Team Leader – to guide their academic and social development.
At the same time, the Head and Assistant Heads organise assemblies and Chapel worship sessions as well as meet with pupils often. Parents get updates on their children’s progress during regular Year Group meetings too.
Boarding is another aspect that Farringtons excels at. Having over 100 years of experience means Farringtons knows how to provide a second home where boarders stay happy, healthy and motivated.
Expert House staff manage its boutique-style family-run boarding houses – West House for girls and South House for boys. There, international students develop critical life skills of self-sufficiency and confidence while they intermingle within a “family” of various ages, nationalities and personalities.
“I have definitely become more independent. I can look after myself and even clean my room. I am far more confident in talking to people now and asking questions,” Richard notes.
Besides full-time boarding, students can choose the flexi option which allows them to catch up with friends, prepare for exams, and take a break from the daily commute for one or two nights. For students who do not wish to leave home yet but want to learn how to live on their own before going to university, this is an increasingly popular choice.
After completing supervised prep, boarders can enjoy a wide range of interesting activities in the evenings on campus – where they can explore Scadbury Nature Reserve – or off-site. They can choose to hone their baking skills, participate in outdoor and indoor sports, or indulge in their favourite movies on a large screen in Ferens Hall – there is no shortage of ways for students here to stay in good mental and physical health.
Richard adds that he has participated in many boarding activities like swimming and fashion night. On weekends, he joins fellow boarders on planned excursions such as Go Karting, wall climbing and visiting local castles.
Farringtons superb Chislehurst location – a mere 19 minutes by bus to London Bridge – lets boarders drop by the world-famous capital city and explore the famous sights there with ease. Visits to southern coastal resorts, Chinatown and museums are part of weekend activities here too.
Non-boarders are not left out either. Farringtons believes that learning should take place outside the classroom too; hence their vibrant extra-curricular activities include Drama Club, Subject clinics (English and Maths), football, and Ultimate Frisbee – which happens to be Richard’s favourite.
Aspiring artists can access individual instrumental or singing tuition with talented visiting music teachers from Bromley Youth Music Trust. Whether brass or guitar, strings or woodwind, various lessons can be arranged with these musical instruments.
Farringtons students love learning too. A curriculum that views education as a valuable end in itself, not merely the acquisition of qualifications, ensures this. In years 7-11, pupils do not just explore core subjects such as Mathematics, English Language and Literature, Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and Religious Education. They are led by inspirational teaching in small classes, building their confidence for life and developing the knowledge, skills and experience they need to perform in their GCSE and A Level exams (which, by the way, many do), and beyond.
The best is reserved for the last: Farringtons’ exciting Floreat curriculum, which is designed for students in years 7-12. From archery to mindfulness, podcasting to Japanese culture, Floreat activities help students discover new passions, become more confident, and evolve into leaders.
“I am currently learning ballet and touch typing and last term I enjoyed Maths challenges and STEM classes. They are the best lessons of the week!” Richard enthuses.
Altogether, Farringtons – with dedicated teachers, excellent boarding culture and commitment to student welfare – allows students to thrive and transform into well-rounded graduates.