Sign up now for FREE to read our insider reviews in full Sign Up Now
Farlington School – Senior School & Sixth Form
Farlington School – Senior School & Sixth Form Horsham, West Sussex Visit
Farlington School – Senior School & Sixth Form
116 pupils, ages 13-18
Day and Boarding

Farlington School – Senior School & Sixth Form

Open all

Our View

There’s quite a buzz about this pocket-rocket, all-through Sussex school, which is currently celebrating its 125-year milestone. Formerly all-girls, it began welcoming boys in 2018, and started taking them into each year group last September – making it the only all-through (ages four to 18) co-ed day and boarding school in the Horsham area. Crucially, it is also small, with a caring, family-like atmosphere, which means that teachers know pupils very well and everyone has room to thrive.


On the Sussex/Surrey border just outside Horsham, Farlington School boasts 33 acres of rural parkland, woodland and lakes. The site is made up of a nursery, Little Barn Owls, the lower school (Reception-Year 4), the middle school (Years 5-8) and the senior school (Years 9-13).

The buildings are a mix of the modern and the more characterful – the Jacobean mansion house, which comprises the boarding wing, head’s office and library, has a cobbled courtyard and clock tower, while drama takes place in the former chapel. The whole school shares one dining room, with different sittings for different age groups.

There’s a real sense of one, cohesive, close-knit community, with pupils of all ages rubbing shoulders as they move around the campus throughout the day. The senior school’s modern, well-equipped classrooms, music rooms and science labs are set around a pretty courtyard on one side of the Mansion House, with the lower school classrooms and play areas on the other. Senior school pupils make full use of the South Lawn and full-size Astro at break times.  

The sixth form is slightly set aside from the senior school, in its own self-contained, purpose-built block, with small tutor rooms, great communal spaces, its own library and a balcony overlooking the grounds. 

There are good connections to Gatwick (25 minutes) and London (under an hour), plus an escorted local bus service to ferry pupils to and from school each day.


New head James Passam arrived in September 2021, taking over from Louise Higson, whose legacy will be Farlington’s decision to switch from single-sex education to co-ed. Mr Passam joined from Seaford College where he was deputy head for eight years; before that, he was head of English and a housemaster at St John’s School, Leatherhead, so he has extensive knowledge of the independent schools in the south east. Mr Passam has also worked in the City and has an MBA from Henley Business School under his belt.

While Mr Passam is in charge of the school as a whole, the senior school is overseen by Penny Hart, who was previously head of Years 10 and 11 and wellbeing coordinator. 


Farlington has always attracted relocating London families – and thanks to its brilliant online learning provision during lockdown, applications are at an all-time high.

All pupils in the middle school have automatic entry into the senior school – meaning no need to prepare for the 11+. It is the expectation that every child will stay on all the way through – and the majority do indeed choose to do so, transitioning seamlessly.

For those joining Farlington in the senior school, prospective parents and pupils are invited to take a tour and meet with the head. Pupils also spend a taster day and/or night (for possible boarders) to check whether this is the place for them. Although Farlington is selective – entrance exams are held in the January before entry –it has a broad intake and is looking for students with the potential to work hard and do well. Academic, art, drama, music and sport scholarships are up for grabs for pupils with standout talents.

For current Year 11s looking to enter the sixth form, a preview evening is held in the September prior to entry, followed by an experience day.

Academics and destinations

Academics are impressive and inclusive: not only does the school produce consistently high exam results (which leads to pupils whizzing off to Russell Group universities and top art colleges), but it’s ranked as one of the top UK schools for value-added. Class sizes hover around 15 (and never go over 20) and during our visit, we got a real sense that learning here is made as enjoyable as possible. 

Life-skills lessons run alongside core subjects. More unusual options include psychology and sociology at GCSE and art history at A-level, and there is specialist EAL provision for those who need it. The sixth form in particular stands out for the individual attention it gives students, and the sheer scope of subject combinations, which certainly rival those you would expect to find in a larger school.


Music and drama are very strong, with at least half of pupils choosing drama at GCSE. LAMDA classes and Trinity music exams are on offer; concerts range from the informal ‘Open Platforms’ to full-blown, super-quality all-school productions (check out past highlights on Farlington’s YouTube channel), with the annual carol concert at St Mary’s Horsham church a long-established tradition.

Over in the art department, we were blown away by the quality of the students’ work – and chatted to several who were off to study art, graphic design and illustration at undergraduate level. In July, five wonderfully talented senior school artists were named winners, runners-up or highly commended in the Independent Schools Association's London South Art Competition. 

Sports facilities are ace – there’s an outdoor swimming pool, floodlit Astro, fitness centre and plenty of tennis courts. At the moment, boys play across all age groups to make up teams, but that’s all set to change as numbers of male students grow over the next few years.

Pupils represent the county in hockey and swimming, and riding is popular for both novices and the elite squad, which regularly excels in national championships. That said, the sports ethos here is all about having a go – and there’s everything from trampolining to judo and table tennis for older students to try out.


Most are day pupils here, but there is capacity for 42 boarders on a full, weekly or flexi basis (a mix of international full boarders and a handful from the UK taking advantage of the odd midweek sleepover). Short-term boarding is also a possibility, and increasingly popular with (mostly) Spanish pupils, who stay on for a term or more.  

There’s one boarding house (Mansion House), and all boarders of all ages sleep under the same roof. Boys and girls sleep in separate wings, with co-ed communal areas including a kitchen and TV room. Older pupils have their own room (depending on availability), while younger pupils sleep in either twin rooms or cosy dorms. There are lots of weekend activities, from kayaking and abseiling to cinema trips and theme-park outings – plus, of course, the chance to make the most of the school facilities, such as the Astro and pool.

School community

It’s not just in the UK where this school’s reputation is growing: it is also making a name for itself on the international scene and is becoming particularly popular with families relocating from the likes of Hong Kong, Middle East and South Africa. 

Pastoral care includes wellbeing representatives in each form and the Penn Resilience Programme, which aims to equip children with the skills needed to bounce back from personal and academic knocks. There’s also a strong buddy system in place for new students.

This is most definitely a school with a big, down-to-earth heart, and pupils are really treated as individuals to help bring out the best in them (we’re big fans of the school motto, Vive ut Vivas – live life to the full). The students we met had a lovely sense of humour – and their support for one another really shone through when we spoke to them.

Many parents of Farlington pupils are dipping their toe into the independent sector for the first time, and the school makes much of its smaller size and family-friendly community. This is a school that’s very well geared up towards working parents, too, and wraparound care is excellent; there’s a daily breakfast club and the option for pupils to stay on as late as 7pm (for a very small charge), relaxing with boarders in the boarding house. Best of all, the fees are very competitive.

And finally....

This inclusive, nurturing school is a true success story; all-through in the truest sense of the word – and a real breath of fresh air when pitched against some of the more hothouse schools.


  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered


    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
    Philosophy and Ethics
    Fine Art

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Classical Civilisation
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    History of Art
    Media Studies
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £6,350
    Year 10£6,350
    Year 11£6,350
    Year 12£6,350
    Year 13£6,350
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £11,300
    Year 10 £11,300
    Year 11£11,300
    Year 12£11,300
    Year 13£11,300

    Bursary contact:
    Director of Finance & Operations Mrs Jo Robinson
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Dyslexia, mild ADHD, sight/hearing impairment, mild speech issues, diabetes, epilepsy

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    In-class TA support is available if needed, as well as one-to-one SEN sessions.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    Pastoral care at Farlington is very strong, and excellent relationships exist between home and school. Every student is known and valued, and class teachers are highly aware of individual needs in small classes.
    They offer a Life Skills programme to students from Year 7 upwards, as well as the Penn Resilience programme. Their on-site medical centre is staffed by fully qualified nurses.

  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest London tube station: Victoria
    Nearest mainline train station: Horsham
    Nearest London Overground station: London Victoria
    Journey time to London by train: 50 minutes
    Nearest international airport: London Gatwick Airport (15 miles)


Strood Park , Horsham, West Sussex RH12 3PN

01403 254967


ISI Report


Term Dates

Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Click for a larger version of map

Need help?

Don’t panic! We have more than ten years’ experience of visiting schools and advising parents, and we are all parents ourselves – we can make this easier for you.

Talk to our team