Brentwood School
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Enhance your boarding experience at Brentwood School

As a child, Portuguese-Argentinian student Catarina had always found community important. Growing up in Portugal, she had close friends and family. Moving to Shanghai with her parents for two years made them tighter still.

This was challenged when she was set to leave for boarding school. “Although I had been very independent for as long as I can remember, I was always surrounded by people I knew and an environment I was familiar with,” she explains. 

Brentwood School was the best choice for helping her adjust to her new surroundings. Located in Essex, UK, Brentwood is an independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged three to 18. Students here are encouraged to discover and develop their talents with an all-rounded curriculum that has grown over the course of almost 500 years

Boarding at Brentwood is as exciting as it’s supportive. Here, 13- to 18-year-old students from all over the world come together in homely houses designed to offer comfort and security. They live on a green and spacious 75-acre plot, with easy access to world-class facilities including extensive playing fields, cutting-edge music and drama studios, science labs and plenty of well-equipped learning centres.

At the same time, they’re situated right in the heart of Brentwood — a quaint centre of cobbled streets and quiet afternoons. When looking for a more connected atmosphere, students can travel to London — which is only a 25-minute train journey away. 

For international students, it’s the best of both worlds. Lombardi, who aspires to become an actress, finds Brentwood especially special — particularly for the various opportunities its location has offered her. As a capital for arts and culture, there’s plenty to do and see in London, filling her weekends with exposure to its dynamic acting scene. 

Brentwood School

At Brentwood, every student is given the space to chase their own interests. Source: Brentwood School

Countless opportunities in a tight-knit community

Unlike most other boarding schools, students at Brentwood are granted autonomy and freedom in their pursuits. The school’s sports facilities are open to students seven days a week, allowing them to refine their skills without limits. Boarders have full access to these as soon as day students leave — giving them ample space to enjoy a large school with a wealth of offerings.

Catarina takes full advantage of this. “When I lived in Portugal I used to do swimming, Jiu-Jitsu, surfing and dancing,” she shares. “When moving abroad, I knew I wanted to carry on with some of these sports. Brentwood’s Sports Centre has all the facilities I need to continue my activities, and although the school itself doesn’t have Jiu-Jitsu, my teachers have been incredibly helpful in connecting me with academies nearby.”

That’s not to say that time is entirely left in a young student’s hands. At Brentwood, inter-house tournaments are organised regularly, allowing a form of healthy competition among students. Co-curricular activities drive everyone to chase after their interests, whether it’s in competitive or recreational sports, musical activities, drama groups and productions, public speaking and Model United Nations, STEAM and many others. 

Then there are the many social activities arranged by housemasters and housemistresses, keeping students happy and engaged after classes. From trips to the local cinema and bowling alleys to weekend retreats in the Peak District, there’s always something to do. 

“In school, my fellow boarders and I usually meet up with members of the boys’ boarding house and talk, play different games, watch movies and eat,” shares 16-year-old Daniella.

Brentwood School

Boarders have the flexibility of using school facilities at their own time and need. Source: Brentwood School

An all-inclusive experience for every student

At Brentwood, a large emphasis is placed on giving every student the chance to thrive in whatever they do. Part of this is by creating opportunities for them — whether it be through activities and trips or special activities such as horseriding. 

Take Daniella. As an aspiring engineer, the Nigerian student finds plenty of fulfilment in her design and technology classes. However, her pursuits don’t end once the school day does. “I take part in different STEM clubs within the school to enhance my personal statement when applying to university,” she explains. “I also volunteer outside of school with a foundation that works in a sector I am really passionate about.”

Students like Daniella and Catarina are also treated to the occasional overseas trip, which is included in Brentwood’s fee structure. Being part of a small boarding community, they are encouraged to share their own ideas for trips and activities. It’s a rare offering that opens up more occasions to develop their intercultural awareness and international exposure. 

Seasonal events are celebrated in full, as well. In the summer term, all boarders and staff take part in the annual barbeque, working together to cook and prepare. During Christmas, boarders go on shopping trips and prepare for a formal dinner — creating enough camaraderie and memories that last long after they’ve left their alma mater.

“It’s amazing to be part of the tight-knit boarding community, which feels more like a family and not a bunch of strangers living together,” shares Daniella. “The friends you make here last a lifetime.”

Click here to discover more about Boarding at Brentwood.

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