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Frewen College
Brickwall, Northiam, TN31 6NL, UK Rye
+44 (0)1797 252494

Welcome to Frewen College ....

.... a truly unique school for children with Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, and other associated speech and language problems.

Our specially trained staff create an environment in which children want to learn and believe they can succeed. We provide a happy and caring environment, in which children are encouraged to develop their individual strengths, while learning to deal with their difficulties. The school is particularly “successful in promoting pupils’ self-confidence and enhancing their self-esteem”. (Ofsted, 2005).

Frewen provides day places for boys and girls aged from 5 to 17. We also offer weekly and full boarding places for boys on site, and can arrange for girls to board with host families. We now have the widest age range of any Specialist Provision school in the UK. About half our pupils are privately funded, and half funded by their LEA. We are happy to accept new pupils at any stage of the year.

Frewen College is....

  • Registered by CReSTeD, The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils, as offering ‘Specialist Provision’ for dyslexics. It is the ONLY such UK school offering such a wide age range. (See:
  • Approved by the Department for Education and Skills under Section 347 of the Education Act:
  • A supporting corporate member of the British Dyslexia Association:
  • Accredited by the Independent Schools Association:
  • A member of the Boarding Schools Association:
  • A member of the Dyspraxia Foundation:  
  • Inspected by Ofsted according to both Section 162A of the Education Act 2002 (as amended by the Education Act 2005), and the National Minimum Boarding Standards:

Why you should choose Frewen  

Our location....

The school is based in tranquil surroundings in the Wealden countryside, on the borders of Kent and Sussex in the South East of England. Our pupils benefit from 60 acres of playing fields, gardens, and grounds, and we have access to another 100 acres of ancient parkland for cross-country runs, nature rambles and building camps.

Our history....

Although its predecessor school Brickwall House had welcomed dyslexics since the 1940s, Admiral Sir John Frewen KCB re-established Frewen College in 1972 as the first school specifically concentrating on helping children with dyslexia. Subsequently we have extended our welcome to dyspraxic and dyscalculaic chidren, together with a small number with Asperger Syndrome.  

We are an independent charity....

Frewen College is a charity run by an independent educational trust. This means that unlike some other specialist independent schools, every penny of fee income is invested in the childrens' education or in maintaining and improving the facilities available to our pupils. It also means that the school's Governors have no personal financial interest, and are concerned only with providing the best educational environment possible for your children. 

Key information....

Our website is regularly updated, and detailed information can be found on a number of dedicated pages. Here is some of the key information:

  • We welcome pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, and speech and language difficulties. We also welcome a small number of children with Asperger Syndrome, if we are satisfied that we are the right school for them, and that they will make a positive contribution to the school.
  • Our full time staff includes a Speech and Language Therapist and a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, with postgraduate training in sensory integration. 
  • We offer the full National Curriculum to GCSE level. Over the last five years our pupils have averaged between six and seven GCSE passes, and all have secured places in further education, job training schemes, or employment.
  • We have a separate junior school, ‘The Oaks’, which now takes children aged 5 to 11 (Years 1 to 6), and is located adjacent to the senior school.
  • We now offer support to the widest age range of any Specialist Provision school.
  • Our average teacher/ pupil ratio is maintained below 1 to 6, and individual tuition is available where appropriate.
  • Almost all our classroom staff, including Teaching Assistants, have specialist Dyslexia qualifications.
  • Every school day starts with an intensive Literacy session, involving all classroom staff and every pupil, in groups of 2, 3 or 4. Similar Numeracy sessions have been introduced for 2007/08.
  • About half our pupils are funded by their Local Education Authority and half privately funded. Currently 18 LEAs entrust us with their pupils.
  • A means tested bursary scheme is available, together with special bursary arrangements for armed forces families.
  • Whilst originally a school for boys only, we are now delighted to welcome girls in both the senior and junior schools. Our girls have increased in number every year and are now well into double figures.
  • Boarding arrangements are very flexible, with full boarding available at no extra cost. Currently boarding is available for boys only, but please contact us if you wish to discuss boarding arrangements for girls via host families. Senior boys are in one or two bedded rooms, and junior bedrooms have three or four sharing. Almost all bedrooms are en suite, and we encourage boys to personalise their rooms.
  • Our staff includes a careers and work experience advisor with a lifetime's  specialist expertise.


The central aim of our team is to enable each pupil within the school to fulfil his or her potential. All pupils who enter the school are diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties and associated educational needs. They have all encountered difficulties during their previous school experiences. Our objective is that pupils should be helped to overcome their problems in the way that best suits each of them. Every pupil is seen as equal and individual with unique talents and abilities. Developing these talents is central to the education we provide.

We are a community, in which respect for the individual is at the core of our philosophy. Each member of the community, whether pupil or adult, has an important role to play within the school family. It is an understanding of these responsibilities and privileges which allows each of us to contribute fully to the community of the school.

By providing a unique combination of curricular and pastoral strategies, Frewen College strives to provide the best possible education for every pupil. The education we provide allows each pupil to believe in themselves, and to move on to become an included and contributory member of society.


The Oaks ....

... is the Junior School of Frewen College, for children aged 5 to 11. It has its own buildings and grounds adjacent to the main Frewen site, but has full access to specialist facilities within the senior school.


Children are taught in very small groups, by specially trained staff.  Our aim is to ensure that each child enjoys a full, happy and varied school life, both in and out of the classroom. 

Lessons are structured and differentiated so that Individual Education Plans can be implemented while pupils still experience the stimulation of learning together.  Pupils acquire sound literacy, numeracy and learning skills, and we extend learning through a wide range of visits, outings, and community-building activities. For some subjects such as Music and Games we use the facilities available on the senior school site, and we enjoy joining with Year 7 for singing.

… Playtime…

Playtime is just as important as class-time, in developing our community life and teaching a wide range of social skills. We have our own extensive play area, including a popular adventure playground, and make full use of the sports facilities at the senior school. We also have a very enthusiastic Gardening Club, and have just started a bird spotting club to learn about the many different birds in our garden.

Our staff work hard to ensure that each child feels included and valued. Rewards and sanctions are carefully designed to build responsibility and self-esteem, alongside mutual care and respect.

…and Hometime

As we provide tailored education for each child and ensure that every pupil works as hard as they are able to at school, we believe that when they come home they should be allowed to relax and enjoy themselves. Accordingly, unless we have agreed with parents that a particular child needs extra help in Year 6, we do not normally set homework. We prefer to ensure that pupils are able to come in each day fully refreshed and able to enjoy and concentrate on their work.

Theatre Arts

We are proud of our reputation for Theatre Arts, performing at least two specially written productions every year. Parts are written with specific children in mind, and this enables each pupil to enjoy starring in front of an invited audience of parents and friends, who are consistently amazed to see the confidence and skill displayed.

Moving on

We support children as they move on, whether into mainstream schools, or to our own senior school Frewen College, to continue building on the sound foundations laid at The Oaks. During Year 6 we give pupils opportunities to visit the senior school and start to build a relationship with some of the teachers who will be teaching them. We also have good relationships with a number of mainstream schools in the area for those able to cope with the transition to a non-specialist environment. 

Early Intervention

Techniques for early identification of dyslexia continue to improve, indeed a new 'home test' has been launched in January 2007 by University College London that claims to identify dyslexia as early as three and a half (see There is general agreement between educational experts that the earlier children can access specialist support, the better the outcome.

With this in mind, we have recently obtained DfES approval to accept day pupils down to age 5/ Key Stage 1. We would be very happy to meet with parents of any children showing early signs of dyslexia, to discuss how we may be able to help.


We try to make Boarding at Frewen as homely as possible.  Boys are accommodated in rooms rather than dormitories with the largest number in any room being four in the junior house, and two in senior house.  All rooms are en suite and the boys are encouraged to personalise their rooms. At present boarding for girls cannot be offered on site, but is available using host families.

A Boarder's Day

All boys are woken by a member of staff at seven thirty ready for breakfast which is served at eight.  They return to their rooms to tidy up and clean their teeth and after a brief room inspection they go off to school.  Rooms are cleaned every day and laundry is also done on a daily basis.

At five o'clock the boys return to the house.  A roll call is taken and the evening activities outlined.  The boys then collect their clean clothing and change out of school uniform.  Boys choose which activity they would like to do at tea time at 5.45 p.m.

Activities are very varied including football, art and craft, table tennis, pool, table football, swimming, laser quest, ten pin bowling, cinema and theatre trips, camp fires, card games, banger racing, computers and many more.  Each boarder is expected to take part in an activity for an hour each evening as we believe this helps develop their social skills.

After activities boys are free to relax.  When the nights are light they make good use of our extensive parkland and swimming pool and in the winter they enjoy using the playstations that are in the house as well as board and card games.

Most younger boarders say they enjoy boarding because there is always someone to play with!


We offer full boarding at Frewen for those boys who live too far away to travel home at weekends but several of the weekly boarders also choose to stay for the weekend.  Weekends are less structured with a balance of time to relax with trips out.  Boys in at the weekends cook their own breakfast and we always go out for our main meal on a Saturday.  Sunday lunch is always a traditional roast with a delicious pudding!

Our Boarding Team

The house is run by Richard and Jane Sage who have many years experience of running boarding houses as well as bringing up their own children.  Richard and Jane are also teachers and they teach for part of the school day so providing a link between the academic and the pastoral side of Frewen College. Richard is also an avid 'Pompey' fan, but chose not to disclose this at interview!

We also have an assistant Colin Webster who has responsibility for the organisation of activities and acts as a Keyworker for the Senior boys.  Two gap tutors join us each year and prove excellent role models for the boys especially with regard to sport.  This year we are pleased to welcome Damien Moffat from Queensland, Australia, and Daniel Cruden from South Island, New Zealand. We may review our opinion of them in the light of Cricket World Cup performances!

Matron Mandy Percival completes our pastoral team but is currently on maternity leave, having given birth to Charlie in January.  We are delighted to welcome Lizanne Brown to our team, to provide maternity cover.


Our boarding provision is regularly inspected by CSCI, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, and their reports are available on

Parents' latest comments to the CSCI inspectors about boarding include:

'Wonderful, on the ball.'

'I'm happy he's safe and being looked after well.'

'He's blossomed and settled.'

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