Becoming a student at Brockwood means transitioning to a new place, often far away from home, family and friends. This brings new responsibilities and challenges to a young person’s life and fosters increased levels of self-reliance. With the stimulating and supportive environment offered by the school and its atmosphere of care, affection and informality, students quickly come to regard Brockwood as their second home. Students and staff address each other on a first name basis, there are no uniforms and the dress code is ‘tidy casual’.
Students quickly come to regard Brockwood as their second home.
Many students have their own bedrooms, although usually a first year or young student will share with one or two others to encourage social interaction and foster friendship. Girls and boys live in accommodation on separate wings: girls on the upstairs floor of the Main House and in the Girls’ Pavilions; boys in the Cloisters and in the Boys’ Pavilions. Male and female staff members also live on the respective wings and can always be approached when students need help or support.
To assist and support our living together as a community (which often feels like a large, international family), a list of guidelines and agreements have been developed, which every new student must read and agree to before joining the school. These are presented in the Open Letter and should be considered carefully before a student comes to the school.
The school day is busy but in the evenings and on the weekends there are plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the company of others: students can join clubs and activities which include dance, yoga, drama, band-rehearsals, sports and indoor games, or simply read, chat, catch up on homework or go for a walk in the beautiful surrounding countryside. There is a small gym available, as well as a football pitch and an outdoor tennis/basketball court. Students can visit the computer room to go online, head for the garden, bake a cake, or make use of the Music Studio or Art Barn. Twice a week, in the evenings, a quiet Study Hall space is provided to catch up on homework or reading. The school also provides opportunities for contacting family and friends via telephones and Skype computers.
On the weekends, students can enjoy a less structured timetable, although trips, workshops or sports activities are regularly offered on Saturdays or Sundays. Students are also able to visit the local towns and villages on the weekend – Winchester and Petersfield are within 30 minutes by bus — but to travel further away, or stay out overnight, requires the permission of a parent and the student adviser.
Our pastoral approach encourages self-reflection and learning together.
Every student has a student adviser who serves as their first point of contact and who oversees their overall educational progress and well-being. Usually, an advising group consists of between five and seven students. The group meets once a week, first as a group and afterwards in individual meetings. In addition, informal meetings and outings are organised regularly, so that the group gets to know one another and to create a familial atmosphere. Through regular contact with the student, the adviser discusses not only academic matters, but also the overall progress and well-being of the student; advisers can assist in any matters where the student expresses a need. This can include making sure that students are fully aware of house rules regarding safety, housekeeping, etc. If advisers become aware of more complicated behavioural or mental health issues, they will inform the Pastoral Coordinators and work with them to address the issue.
The Pastoral Coordinators oversee the pastoral care of students at Brockwood. They work closely with the Principal, the student advisers, and other residential staff to ensure that students receive the care and affection they deserve. This way, problems and difficulties are noticed and addressed quickly. The Pastoral Coordinators are the first point of contact for staff who notice the difficulties or needs of a student. They also represent the first point of contact for students going through difficulties, needing additional support, either in-house or from external providers. The Pastoral Coordinators also act as the school’s Mental Health Leads. They also oversee the PSHE and RSE programme at the school, together with one other appointed staff member. For more information on the school’s PSHE and RSE provision, please read the PSHE/RSE Policy.
Computers and Phones
Brockwood recognises the incredible opportunities new technologies such as smartphones and applications available on personal computers provide for learning and education. As such, PCs and iMacs are provided in the Computer Room, Library and different learning spaces, to facilitate research and documentation as well as specialised skills, such as photography or graphic design.
Brockwood recognises the incredible opportunities new technologies provide.
The school also aims to provide activities and spaces to explore and discuss the opportunities and downsides of modern technology, and to educate ourselves in practical skills of technology and internet use: e.g. how to browse the internet safely or how to change the settings on one’s mobile phone to reduce distractions and interference with sleep.
In order to maintain Brockwood’s special atmosphere and create a space for all students that is free from the strong temptation and pull by smartphones and similar screen devices (and their associated apps and social media platforms and messaging services), Brockwood restricts the access to devices in several ways:
- Screen devices are not allowed in any public area of the school (indoors and outdoors). Exceptions to that rule are pointed out in the Acceptable Use guidelines for laptops/tablets and mobile phones;
- All smartphones and smartwatches will be collected on arrival day. Unlimited access to these devices has a potential to interfere with studies and social life, adversely affecting the quality of sleep and mental health, as well as the ability to pay attention to and assimilate information.
Ample access to school computers is provided during the school day to fulfil educational and communicational needs.
Additionally, every Saturday, students will get access to their smartphones for a large part of the day in order to facilitate communication with family and friends, with the help of Wi-Fi slots provided by the school at different times of the day. For the rest of the week, students will have access to school facilities (phones and computers with zoom and skype access) should they wish to make calls at other times.
As a general rule, students are allowed to bring one smartphone and (in exceptional circumstances) one laptop or tablet.
Health & Wellbeing
To reach one’s full potential and highest capacity to learn and to be sensitive to the world, a sustained feeling of health and wellbeing is paramount. One of Brockwood’s intentions is to learn about the proper care, use and exercise of the body, and the school supports this in many different ways.
Prepared in our bright, spacious kitchen (often regarded as the heart of the school), the food at Brockwood is fully vegetarian. Our international kitchen team takes great care to provide varied and delicious meals every day, always offering vegan and gluten free options. The majority of the food at Brockwood is organic, with much of it coming from our own walled vegetable garden, which also serves as a large outdoor classroom for our students. Those interested in learning about preparing and growing food have the opportunity to help in the garden or kitchen as part of their timetable.
To reach one’s full potential and be sensitive to the world, a sustained feeling of health and wellbeing is paramount.
Our weekly ATWAM slot is often used for staff or external professionals to present to the school topics and questions of health and wellbeing, such as nutrition, sex education, sleep, stress and anxiety, and other mental health issues .
To further support students in their mental health, the school provides strong pastoral engagement via student advisers and pastoral coordinators. If needed, the school can also organise counselling sessions with professionals to assist the students’ wellbeing and development.
Furthermore, all first-year under 16 year old students participate in the Core Health & Movement course, which provides ample theoretical and practical learning opportunities on issues of health and physical education, including lessons about sexual health, drug awareness, sleep, stress and nutrition. This ensures young students have a basic understanding of what they need to know and do to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Twice a week, the whole school participates in a sports programme with many different activities on offer. These include: football and girls football (on our football pitch); basketball and tennis (on our basketball/tennis court); dance (in the Assembly Hall); frisbee (on the South Lawn) and movement/fitness (in the gym); hiking and yoga. We also use local sports facilities to give students a greater choice of activities, and specialist staff are available to devise individual fitness plans with students. Additional yoga, fitness and dance sessions are offered at other times during the week and, regularly throughout the year, movement and yoga teachers visit the school to give intensive workshops.
In the event of injury, or illness, school staff are trained to make initial assessments and provide first-aid treatment and common, non-prescription medications. All students are registered with the local medical centre, while hospital services are located just 20 minutes away.
With the aim of developing a movement culture at Brockwood, additional physical activities are provided throughout the week (movement breaks and challenges, clubs, informal games, sport related trips) and at weekends.
Clubs and Activities>
In the late afternoons and evenings and on weekends, students can participate in clubs and activities, often led and organised by the students themselves. These range from movement activities such as dance, yoga or parkour, to drama and music rehearsals, and they change every year. Furthermore, the school regularly organises day trips to events, museums or exhibitions.
The acronym ATWAM stands for ‘Another Time We All Meet’. It is an open learning space in which the whole school is exposed weekly, and in depth, to a wide range of topics which might include environmental issues, current affairs, neuroscience, nutrition, technology, health, etc. We invite speakers specialised in some of these areas to give a talk and engage with students and staff about the topics, or we do in-house presentations from staff and students. It is a refreshing and vital part of our curriculum that helps students and staff to develop a global outlook.
A Typical Day
The whole school sits quietly for 10 minutes
Wholesome vegetarian breakfast
Courses or Sports
Click here to learn more about our timetable
What is the Morning Assembly?
Each School day begins with the Morning Assembly in the Assembly Hall where the whole School sits quietly for 10 minutes. The intention is to begin the day with an awareness of our environment (involving all our senses) and ourselves (including our bodies and the movement of thoughts and feelings). Occasionally we share some music, a reading or some poetry.
What is the food like at Brockwood?
We take a great deal of care preparing meals, which are all vegetarian with organic ingredients wherever possible. We have our own large organic vegetable garden that we use during the whole year. Students assist in the care of the garden, helping with the planting and harvesting and the food is made for taste, health and balance.
Where will I be living?
In general, the girls live on the upstairs floors of the main house or in the right wing of the Pavilions and the boys live in separate building called the Cloisters or in the left wing of the Pavilions. Teachers and other staff members live side by side and look after the students living in that area.
When does the weekend happen?
Brockwood has a conventional weekend of Saturday and Sunday. We provide cheap transport on Sundays to enable students to get to and from Petersfield and Winchester. Some sports and activities such as yoga and football are offered during the weekend. And some of the clubs take place over the weekend such as book club.
Can I go out on the weekend?
Students may leave the grounds on the weekends to visit the nearby cities of Winchester and Petersfield. If they are under 16 and wish to go further afield for the day, they must have the written permission of their parents. If they wish to stay away overnight they must have permission both from their parents and the Pastoral Coordinators.
What is the Tutor System?
This is a well-established system of pastoral care in which each student is given personal attention and assistance by a staff member. The tutor is responsible for the overall well-being of the student, and it is often through this relationship that students are encouraged to explore the deeper intentions of Brockwood and the bearing these have on their lives.
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