I have mixed feelings about Farringdon School, or better known as “Farringdon Community Academy“. It has received a damning Ofsted report for the third year in a row, which has led to a tidal wave of criticism against the school on social media. It seems parents have little confidence in how it is run, and believe the state of affairs at the school is disastrous. All kinds of rumours and stories abound.
With this author having attended from 2004-2009, the Ofsted assessment definitely gives the impression of “better times” in the past, and thus the impression it has “gone downhill”. But might that be idealism? Was Farringdon School once better, or has it always been somewhat bad? It’s hard to decipher the truth, and might all come to down to perception and experience.
On one hand, Farringdon School brings feelings of nostalgia and “home”. It becomes a symbol of your childhood growing up having attended it for five years, and memories of the teachers stick with you forever. Who can ever forget legends such as Mr. Bishop, Mr. Earley or Mrs. Lackenby? You wonder how these people are getting on in their retirement, and wish them well.
On the other hand, however, this author’s personal experience at Farringdon was a difficult time. Endless disruptive classes, an inability of most students to see the “bigger picture” and a constant inability of many teachers to establish authority over the students made it a difficult, if not unpleasant learning environment. It would be a lie if someone ever said Farringdon was a bulwark of educational achievement and success, because it isn’t, and it never was.
After I went to St. Aidans for Sixth Form, it was like entering a different world and it is little surprise my educational attainment increased 1000x fold, as if Farringdon was in many ways “keeping me down”. Then comes the question, would I send my own children to a school like that? Not in a billion years. I love Farringdon, it is a homeland for me, but I’ve never been naïve as to its difficulties, and the impact those experiences had on me.
It is of course, for this reasons, why I feel it is important to commit to make a better future for Farringdon, and why in turn this website now exists. You do not despise Farringdon school and the surrounding area as a whole for their failures, or resent them, but you look upon it as a struggling family member that you know will one day redeem themselves and do better. You hope that one day, they will understand who they are, what they can achieve, and clean up their act.
It all comes down to loving and supporting the people.
Sunderland will rise again, and as will Farringdon.