In the heart of Brentwood town, Essex, boys and girls aged three to 18 are attending one of the best International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the world: Brentwood School. Since its foundation in 1557, students here have reaped the rewards of joining this esteemed institution. This year, IB results averaged around 39.5 points. In 2021, the average was a whopping 40 points.
For the past two years, the independent day and boarding school has been ranked among the Top 10 IB Schools in the UK. Amongst them, only one other is co-ed and within close proximity to London. The perks of such a strategic location? Access to a multicultural metropolis that houses world-renowned museums, art galleries, theatres, and sports facilities — all an hour’s drive away.
Though stats prove its impact, those who join Brentwood School do so knowing what they are signing up for. Here, students achieve success because they work hard for it. Half of the class of 2022 for example, received 40 points or more out of 45 for IB, which places them in the top 10% worldwide. Five students joined the ranks of the top 4% when they achieved 42 points or more. Many IB top scorers are set to join top universities — one of them, Chloe O’Connor, will be studying English Language and Literature at Balliol College.
“It’s wonderful to see our IB students receive such an excellent set of results after all the effort that they have put in over the last two years,” says Hollie Carter, Director of IB. “39.5 is a superb points average and demonstrates the school’s commitment to this more rigorous qualification, which is highly valued by academic institutions the world over. I’d like to pay tribute to our talented team of teachers who have guided them through so admirably.”
A Level students do just as well. Class of 2022 graduate Rosie Parrish is one of five top scorers headed to the University of Cambridge. She’s set to read History at Clare College, Cambridge with three A* grades in History, English Literature and Drama. Her schoolmate Joanna Burgess will pursue Classics at St John’s College, Cambridge after receiving an A* in Classical Civilisation, A* in Latin, and A in English Literature. “I have received so much support from every single teacher in and outside of lessons,” she says.
Brentwood School’s academic excellence stems from students motivated to do the best that they can. Out of a group of 18 students, three pupils took up the challenge of doing four higher level subjects compared to the usual three, and two students received prestigious bilingual diplomas. House Captain and HMC Scholar Pavle Glisic, who hails from Serbia, received an impressive 44 points and raked in offers from Imperial College London and other top institutions.
What’s behind such outstanding outcomes? It is the combination of supportive staff members, state-of-the-art facilities, 75 acres of expansive green space, and a conducive learning environment which results in natural leaders who are forward-thinking, independent, and confident in their abilities. At Brentwood School, students are given the chance to explore their passions, which is why Tatum Sadler and Haneefah Abdul created the school’s first-ever female football team.
Learning at this world-class IB school is purposeful — students can choose from a range of subjects that fall under the umbrellas of art, food and technology, English, humanities, mathematics and computer science, foreign languages and classics, performing arts, sciences, and sports as well as physical education. Pupils are encouraged to tailor their own learning journey and no restrictions are placed in terms of subject combinations. This teaches them that studying can be pleasurable, and not something you do just for good grades. This holistic and unique take on education is why many Brentwood School graduates leave with a trail of As and A*s in their wake.
Another important aspect of Brentwood School’s approach to education is how it prepares students for life beyond the four walls of the classroom. In the Sixth Form, classes are mixed to prepare young men and women for an increasingly globalised world. Teachers bring subjects to life in exceptional facilities and through trips to places like the battlefields of Ypres and the volcanic splendour of Iceland.
It is not all work and no play at Brentwood School. Boarders are free on Saturdays in Year 12, where no lessons will be taught for the entirety of that day. For joiners in Years 9 and 10, rigorous academics take a halt to allow them to flourish before they enter a demanding IB Diploma programme in Sixth Form.
Diverse and challenging A Level subjects are offered as well, alongside the BTEC National Extended Diploma, a specialist pathway in Sport or Business with an emphasis on vocational skills and ongoing assessment.