Academic excellence and preparation for the ‘real’ world
Aspiring, as we do at Brockwood, to learn shoulder-to-shoulder with students means we all share the responsibility, challenges and growth that comes from deep, authentic learning. Classes become dynamic tutorials where students and teachers alike cultivate a deep passion for the subject and its place within the wider context of the school’s intentions. With students taking up equal responsibility to cover content, small class sizes, and time and space to learn throughout the day, we can regularly go way beyond the curricula we study. This also allows students to cultivate powerful collaborative and communication skills, which serve them throughout life. Our carefully supported, independent project programme allows more senior students to extend their learning in an unlimited way, delving deep into subjects or bringing together areas of research in a creative and unique way. Students get to blend academic with physical or practical study, investigating dance, design or gardening, to name just a few. The options are limitless.
Brockwood students cultivate an independence that comes from being given real agency in their own learning. Being treated as equals in the learning process means support for cultivating these skills can be targeted before leaving school. The strength of the community at Brockwood, developed through living and working together in a small school, means that students become effective listeners and cultivate a tolerance and maturity that will serve them throughout life. Our multicultural selection of students and regular inquiry into what separates us and causes division and conflict, cultivates a real tolerance of views and opinions other than our own.
Discover your passions
A number of our students in their time here discover that going directly into higher education is not the right step to take immediately after leaving. Brockwood is a place where this choice can be made as a positive affirmation of our students’ talents that challenges the narrow view of success being confined to academic attainment. Some choose to travel, making the most of our extensive and charismatic alumni network; for others, the world of employment and financial independence calls to them. In all cases, their time here allows students to find something authentically true for them. All our students are encouraged to discover their passion while at Brockwood.
A Levels and access to higher education
For some students, A Levels are a great choice to explore their talents and discover excellence in life and learning. At Brockwood, we offer a wide variety of subjects that can be studied at A Level, covering the whole range of sciences, arts, music, humanities and languages. Furthermore, our academic advising programme allows for flexibility with some other subjects that are not formally covered but which students might wish to study. Rather than insisting on a single route to higher education, we facilitate both the choice and the responsibility for students to create their own timetables and course selections. With advice and support, Brockwood students engage in a dynamic and meaningful process of choosing which path to follow. At Brockwood, we offer a range of courses alongside A Levels, from portfolio preparation classes, topics courses and independent projects — all of which can support an application to higher education in combination with, or instead of, A Levels.
Universities are waking up to the fact that a huge range of applicants will have three good A Levels but that these qualifications alone give very little indication of students’ deeper resilience, motivation or passions. So-called ‘standard’ applications (three A Levels, for example) are now used alongside a more personalised approach, either through progression agreements, presentations of portfolios, or through close working relationships that the Life After Brockwood team have with institutions and our network of alumni. Our small size and academic advisory programme mean that we know our students holistically, and can both advise them and connect them with institutions that will be a great fit. Again and again, we hear how valuable it was for our students to be allowed to find their own way with support and care. This cultivates an appreciation for the importance of, and love for, lifelong learning: an essential quality in the modern world.
Brockwood has a dedicated Life After Brockwood Coordinator who can provide advice and practical support to students as they prepare to leave the school. From personal introductions to an exciting range of institutions and experts, to writing transcripts and references, students can arrange one-to-one meetings each week of the school year and discuss their progress or explore their options and motivations. We also arrange and facilitate a wide variety of visits to universities, open days, higher education fairs and other events as needed. In addition, Academic Advisors work through a customised programme for preparing students for their transition beyond school, and students can arrange to access the wealth of experience and opportunities offered by our ever-expanding alumni network.
How many students go on to higher education from Brockwood?
There is no typical Brockwood graduate, but a common story we hear from alumni is that their time at the school stoked the fires of lifelong-learning in them. This is often expressed in alumni studying at a number of different institutions over the course of their careers. Over the past five years, an average of 53% of leaving students have gone straight on to university, in the same year they finished Brockwood. Within 12 months, the number of university enrolled students was, on average, 68%. Many take Gap Years and spend time travelling, sometimes making good use of the wide and welcoming extended community within the different Krishnamurti foundations across the world where others pick up the questions that drive them and see where they go.
What sort of institutions do they go to?
As the world of universities opens up in the face of the unique challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, the legacy that Brockwood students have forged (attending many of the early examples of radical and forward-thinking institutions) is being revealed as an essential part of the solutions to the problems of the world.
Recent graduates have attended university in ten different countries, from alternative institutions that are pioneering radically new ways of learning, to more mainstream and prestigious universities with a long history of academic excellence and significant investment in modern research methods.
What kind of things do they study?
Learning at Brockwood awakens a passion for inquiry. Unsurprisingly, students go on to study an enormous range of different courses, from Music to Ethical Banking, Mathematics to Philosophy, International Relations to the growing number of liberal arts programmes now being offered across the world. In an age where careers are becoming more and more fluid, the flame of learning that is cultivated at Brockwood facilitates the adaptability necessary to be part of the changes that are needed across the planet.
Don’t take our word for it, hear directly from former students what the school meant to them. There are also accounts from parents who chose to send their children to Brockwood and what they feel happened as a consequence.
As alumni of Brockwood, you are part of an international family which while quite small (around 1,800 students to-date), is widespread, diverse and resourceful. When people ask if Brockwood is a ‘good school’ or a ‘successful school’ all we can do is point to many alumni who are leading fulfilling lives for proof that it has an effect — sometimes in ways that are not obvious or measurable…
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