Farlington has long welcomed international students, who bring with them a different perspective and contribute to the school's global outlook. Friendships are quickly built, and life-long international connections made. We have a lot of experience in looking after international students and our staff understand how difficult it can be if you are living away from home for the first time, and will make sure you have all the information and help you need before coming to the UK. Once at Farlington, we continue to help and advise students and their parents during their time here.
All international students at Farlington live in the boarding houses with British students, so they have the opportunity to improve their English outside the classroom. They can also join in with British students in the fantastic range of sports and activities that take place outside of lessons, including art, music, drama, extra-curricular activities, social events, and day and residential trips.
Applications from international pupils should be made via the Admissions Office in the first instance. Whether you are applying directly or through an education agent, we will guide you carefully through the process.
When making an initial enquiry, please provide as much information as possible about your child's academic achievements, interests and future aspirations, as well as his or her date of birth, first language and current school. We will need to see copies of your child's two most recent reports, together with a scan of his or her passport. International pupils are welcomed at Farlington for anything from half a term (subject to place availability). Please see below for specific requirements for international admissions
If you have any questions at all, we would be happy to answer them; please contact our Head of Admissions, Louise Mursell, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (+44 (0) 1403 254967).
THE ENGLISH EDUCATION SYSTEM
If you have not previously been educated in the UK, our education system can seem confusing! To help our international applicants, please find below some basic information about the UK school system. Of course, if you have any further questions, please do just ask us; we will be very happy to help you!
All children in England attend compulsory full time education between the ages of 4 and 18. Our system is divided into the following stages:
Early Years: Pre-School (ages 3 to 4)
Lower School: Ages 4 to 7 (Reception, Years 1 to 4)
Middle School: Ages 7 to 13 (Years 5 to 8)
Senior School: Ages 13 to 18 (Years 7 to 13)
Sixth Form (within Senior School): Ages 16 to 18 (Years 12 and 13, also called Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth)
THE SCHOOL YEAR IN ENGLAND
The school year in the UK begins in September and finishes the following July, and is split into three terms. Each term is around 12 weeks long.
- Autumn Term - September to December
- Spring Term - January to March or April (depending on date of Easter)
- Summer Term - March or April to July
Each term is divided in half, with a 'Half Term' holiday occurring in the middle. In October this is two weeks long, and in February and May this is one week.
PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS IN ENGLAND
All students in England follow the 'General Certificate of Secondary Education' (commonly known as 'GCSE') curriculum or its equivalent, which is normally taught over two academic years (Year 10 and 11), with students choosing their options in Year 9.
Students in the UK take between 5 and 12 subjects, and most students at Farlington take 9 or 10; some students may take more, some less, as our curriculum is flexible and can be tailored to the individual needs of the students. Students who are talented in a particular subject may also take their examinations early.
ALL students must take GCSEs in English Language (or English as an Additional Language (EAL) for learners whose first language is not English); English Literature; Mathematics; and Science (this may be either dual or triple award). All other subjects are optional for UK students. Since 2018, GCSEs have been graded from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest, and equivalent to an A* in the old system.
A-Levels are taught across two years (Lower and Upper Sixth). At Farlington we offer 23 different subjects in the Sixth Form. There are no compulsory subjects, and students choose 3 or 4 that they excel at and enjoy. A-Levels are graded A* to E grades, with A* being the top grade.
At Farlington we offer our international students the opportunity to follow a Pre A-Level course to prepare them for starting their two-year A-Level course. This is ideal for those who wish to improve their English language skills. Please ask our Head of Admissions for more information.
GUARDIANS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
All students at Farlington whose parents either live abroad or spend long periods of time outside the UK MUST appoint an official guardian resident in this country for their child, who will take full responsibility for them if their parents are not available. Guardians act 'in 'loco parentis' and therefore should attend Parent Consultation events, and must be prepared to accommodate boarding pupils at Exeat Weekends and at Half Terms if they are not returning home.
ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Farlington welcomes international students and provides for the educational and cultural needs of students from all over the world. They participate fully in academic and extra-curricular activities while improving their English and gaining high grades in the English education system.
For students for whom English is a second (or sometimes third) language, specialist EAL teachers provide additional support appropriate to their needs and, where possible, one-to-one support is offered, particularly in the Sixth Form. This ensures that all students have access to the whole curriculum. In addition, we offer an English language programme tailored to suit the individual, enabling every student to achieve success in all subject areas.
We prepare pupils for both the IGCSE examination in English as a second language and for the academic module of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination. Pupils may also take the Cambridge FCE (First Certificate in English), PET (Preliminary English Test) and KET (Key English Test) examinations in December or June.
We aim to ensure that every student's language needs are fully catered for from the outset, so that they are well equipped to meet the challenges they will face when working in a second language.
Some EAL students are only at Farlington for a short time. The EAL teachers work to ensure that they benefit from their time with us by encouraging spoken English through discussion of news events, pronunciation work and paired reading. All overseas students are provided with a buddy, who meets with them regularly and helps them to integrate into the life of the school.
Farlington School is licenced as a Student Route Sponsor by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for entry to school, and offers child student visas.
International students from both outside and within the European Union, and Switzerland, must apply for permission to study in the UK.
Visas that have been issued through the Tier 4 route are still valid and those eligible will still be able to apply for the Graduate Route when it opens in summer 2021.
Please contact UKVI to help you choose the correct route for you.
WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL AGENTS
International students join us at Farlington from a range of countries every year; some come to us via other families who already have experience of the school; some have found out about us independently; and some come to us via our network of partner educational agents.
The school has many longstanding agreements with exisiting agents, but we are always keen to expand our network to include new agents, particularly in geographic regions from which we would like to recruit more students. Please contact our Head of Admissions for more information.