Coming to the UK from Serbia on a scholarship, Sixth Former Pavle Glisic has never experienced boarding school life before. Thankfully, the warm and welcoming community of Hough House helped him ease into Brentwood School.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the feeling of inclusivity and pride that comes with wearing a Hough House tie,” enthuses Glisic, sharing that none of his previous schools came with a set uniform.
Carlotta Foiani, an Upper Sixth student, agrees: “As soon as I stepped in Mill Hill, I could see all the framed pictures of the girls on the wall and immediately I felt like I could be part of their community.”
Brentwood is one of the UK’s leading independent day and boarding schools for boys and girls aged three to 18, based in Essex. The values of “Virtue, Learning, Manners” are paramount here, acting as a compass and guiding students in the right direction.
Boarding here is an experience full of care, support and diversity. With full and weekly options for those aged 13 to 18, Brentwood’s comfortable Houses offer a mix of immediate cosiness, well-supervised care from husband and wife (houseparents) teams, and a wide range of activities.
Weekend trips span near and far — to the opera, ballet, paintball fields, escape rooms, the cinema, local restaurants and many London attractions (that are less than half an hour away by train).
“Being so close to London is such an advantage when we want to go to musicals or theatre shows or just enjoy the spirit of the city,” says Foiani. “However, other weekends we prefer just going to the cinema and relaxing together.”
Glisic has joined other boys for day trips to London. “I have taken the opportunity to explore this beautiful city by visiting its museums and going shopping,” he says.
Whatever activity it is, Brentwood students and staff do it as a family. Students often invite friends over for spa nights, quiz nights and karaoke — creating bonds that last a lifetime.
“Living with different nationalities made me appreciate even more the variety of stories and traditions of each girl in the house, which is fascinating as it brings us closer, making us feel like a family rather than just a boarding community,” says Foiani.
Where casual and serious sportspersons thrive
Sports is big at Brentwood. Campus is home to vast areas of playing fields, as well as a Sports Centre that houses a 25-metre swimming pool, a fitness suite, a gymnasium, a dance studio, glass-backed squash courts, a fencing salle and an enormous sports hall.
Athletes get to join organised overseas tours for teams to compete and increase their expertise. They can compete with local schools and within school too — there are Inter-House competitions available in most sports.
Brentwood’s Fencing Club is well-known for their sterling performances – they finished second in the 2022 Public Schools’ Fencing Championships overall combined trophy. An even more impressive feat? Brentwood has won the Public Schools Fencing Team Trophy 26 times over the past 34 years.
Such success comes from targeted support. The Brentwood School Elite Player Pathway identifies and trains gifted athletes – from Year 11 and Sixth Form – to develop their talents with no disruptions to their academics.
Those keener on the academic side of sports can critically evaluate data, solve problems and develop into a reflective thinker, capable of initiative and decision-making through Academic PE. Whereas those seeking knowledge, understanding and skills that allow them to gain experience in Anatomy and Physiology, Fitness Training and Programming, Sports Leadership, Coaching, Sports Performance, Sports Psychology, Rules and Officiating, can pursue the BTEC National Extended Diploma.
Where young artists find their spark
Brentwood’s performing arts programme is second to none. With 11 new Steinway pianos, Brentwood students can perform on the very best instruments, as well as access a range of other opportunities for masterclasses and performance.
Secondly, the fully-funded endangered instrument scheme was launched to give more students an opportunity to experiment with new instruments. Finally, in partnering with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – one of the world’s finest musical institutions — Brentwood’s musically-inclined students can be supported with further pathways to success.
As for young dancers, they can compete in choreographic competitions, perform in dance shows designed by professionals and study the Dance curriculum in one of three large and fully sprung studios. They can perform in Informal Showcases, Dance Shows and Musicals, and take part in Dance Academy classes as well. These opportunities are open to students at every level.
Brentwood students may have full schedules filled with weekend trips, sports and the performing arts but these are always balanced with academic excellence. Many pupils do not only leave a trail of As and A*s in their wake, but become lifelong learners ready
to make a positive contribution in whatever path they take.
The school offers a Pre-IB pathway for high-achieving ambitious students, who would like to join the school in Year 11. It is part of a three-year educational programme, rather than a stand-alone entity.
Glisic sums up Brentwood best: “I am very grateful for all of the great times and adventures I have had, and all of the people I have met here. I feel truly prepared to delve into the next chapter of my life.”
Apply to Brentwood today.