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There are lots of options available for schools in Northern Ireland, but the Friends’ School Lisburn is one of the best. Through its Quaker ethos and excellent student provision, the school delivers interesting and engaging education to students who go on to have successful, enriching lives.

When the school began in 1774 it had boarding provision for up to 30 students. The school has since transformed that space into new accommodation for their geography department and additional ICT facilities and as such does not offer boarding for their students.

Academic Life

Key Stage 3

Key stage 3 takes place over years 8, 9 and 10 at the Friends’ School Lisburn. Classes in year 8 and 9 are not streamed by ability and are instead divided alphabetically allowing students to support each other. In year 10, students are divided by ability for maths and language lessons.

As well as lessons based on the National Curriculum, students study additional subjects, including learning for life and work, employability, drugs education, and study skills.

About key stage 3 education

Key Stage 4

At key stage 4, students start on the two years of study for their GCSEs. At the Friends’ School Lisburn, students typically study for 10 qualifications in a broad range of subjects. English language, English literature, maths, science, a modern foreign language and religious studies are mandatory and students can choose which other courses they are interested in. All students are also timetabled for physical education.

During years 11 and 12, students take part in fieldwork, gaining valuable links with industries and learning from guest speakers in subject-specific workshops. They also benefit from careers advice in their lessons.

About key stage 4 education

Sixth Form

Years 13 and 14 at the Friends’ School Lisburn allow students to study 3 or 4 subjects they’re really interested in at a higher level. They gain AS and A-Level qualifications in a wide range of subjects and are encouraged to take part in lots of extra-curricular and enriching activities alongside their study.

In year 14, students are also invited to become prefects for the school and to play a vital leadership role to younger students and to gain experience in welcoming visitors at functions and events.

About sixth form study

Hear from students at Friends’ School Lisburn

Take a look at what the students of Friends’ School Lisburn have to say about their first year at the school.

“It’s been full of excitement, trying new things.”

“I love the sports. My main sports are rugby and cricket, but this year I’ve tried hockey and basketball.”

“Friends’ is a fantastic school, with welcoming pupils, helpful teachers and a wide range of extra-curricular activities.”

“All the teachers are really friendly and want to help you learn and be happy.”

Watch more Friends’ School Lisburn videos

Extra-curricular Activities

sports team celebrating their victory for the Friends’ School Lisburn

Sport

There is excellent onsite facility for sports, including 3 rugby pitches, 5 tennis courts, 2 floodlit 3-G hockey pitches, a purpose built gym, sports hall and fitness suite. Saturdays are full of sports for their students and parents get involved and watch their rugby and hockey fixtures.

School teams compete and take part in all kinds of sporting activities, including: athletics, badminton, cross country, golf, hockey, rugby, show jumping, swimming, tennis, netball, dance, and gymnastics.

Friends’ School Lisburn students performing in a violin concert

Music

Music is an incredibly important part of life at the Friends’ School Lisburn. The recently renovated department is now able to enjoy a Mac suite, modern recording studio, new practice and ensemble rooms, and a large rehearsal space.

The school hosts regular performances that parents are invited to watch and students get the chance to develop their skills in a range of different instruments and musical genres.

students in an art lesson at the Friends' School Lisburn

Art

The Art department is very popular with students. The school regularly brings local artists, designers, writers, craftspeople and filmmakers into the school to run specialist workshops for the students. They have excellent provision to allow students to express themselves creatively and engage with the arts professionally and for fun.

Competitions

As well as sporting competitions, students are encouraged to put their skills to the test in maths team challenges, the Chemistry Olympiad, creative writing competitions, the Poetry Aloud award, and young translators’ events.

Clubs & Societies

There are lots of clubs and societies running at the Friends’ School Lisburn to give students the opportunity to develop their academic skills alongside their interests and social skills. Clubs and societies cover a range of topics, including: maths, science, debating, drama, and the environment.

Students are also able to join in with the Model United Nations, Scripture Union, Young Enterprise, and the Charity Committee.

Trips & Visits

The school takes students on lots of trips and visits to enhance the learning and experiences of all students. They have a partner school in Germany for exchange trips as well as connections with language schools in France and Spain. History students have travelled to Berlin, the geography department has been to Iceland, and the physics department have been to see the CERN collider in Geneva. Skiing and water sports trips have also been around the world to places like Italy and Spain.

Learning support

To support students who have special educational needs, the school creates Individual Educational Plans for them and classroom assistants work closely with students and teachers to deliver the right support.

All students in the school have access to the full curriculum and learning support programmes ensure that all students are able to achieve their full potential.

Entry Criteria

Year 8 Admission

Students will be admitted into year 8 study at the Friends’ School Lisburn if they have a satisfactory score in their entrance exam. All scores will be taken into consideration, but those scoring most highly will be privileged over other students in their scoring band.

Years 9 to 12 Admission

If there are places available in the school, students can be admitted into years 9, 10, 11 and 12. The student will need to have a recent school report and will be asked to take a test set by the school before being admitted. The test will include maths and English and will be determined by their age.

If students are wishing to enter the school in years 11 or 12, they must have compatible choices for study at GCSE as the ones offered by the school.

Sixth Form Entry

To study at Friends’ School Lisburn for A-Levels, students must have a minimum of 14 points scored at GCSE. Grades are scored as follows: 4 points for A*, 3 points for A, 2 points for B, 1 point for C.

Students must show that they have the minimum requirements for study which are detailed in the sixth form curriculum booklet, and need to have had a good record of conduct, punctuality and attendance, and accept the ethos of the school.

External applicants will be considered provided there is enough space for them within the school’s approved enrolment number.

Friends’ School Lisburn fees

As a voluntary grammar school, there is a capital fee charged annually of £140 for each student. This money will be used to cover the costs of maintaining the school site and for beneficial renovations and updates. 50% remission of this fee can be applied for if certain criteria are met.

The school also asks for a voluntary contribution of £228.00 per student each year to allow them to continue to provide top quality extra-curricular opportunities for its students. There is a small charge requested to cover the costs of materials used in home economics, technology and art lessons and for music tuition.

More information about fees

Arrange a visit

One of the best ways to understand whether the Friends’ School Lisburn is right for your family is to visit and experience school life. The school hosts regular open sessions that you can go along to, or you can arrange an individual appointment if the dates aren’t suitable for you. Tours are usually conducted by current students at the school.

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