Studying English at Brentwood will take you on a unique voyage that you will never forget. When you open a book, you open your mind stepping into a world of poetry, drama and prose. English creates confident, freethinkers. It is a subject that challenges our views and questions our morals and belief systems.
Often, the perception of studying English is this: groups of people sitting around, reading tattered, ancient books written hundreds of years ago in a language that no one understands. Not true. English is the iceberg of all subjects: on the surface, it is about reading books - but take a look just below the surface and you will see that English offers a great deal more.
English is a subject that helps us make sense of ourselves and our lives. Through reading we share the experiences of others, enriching our understanding of the human condition. By delving into a wealth of literary and non-literary texts, we also gain insight into the myriad ways writers craft language to shape our impressions of different people and different worlds.
English teaching at Brentwood encourages the individuality of personal response to studied texts. Through a combination of close focus on aspects of individual works and classroom discussion of wider themes and ideas, English lessons develop insight and perception into texts and lead towards personal written responses. Emphasis is placed on quality feedback on written work which always aims to guide and enable students to progress in their personal communication skills.
"I love getting the chance to be creative in English language. Writing both fiction and nonfiction is genuinely exciting!"
Close encounters with the writing of others and putting our own thoughts and ideas into words is an essential skill, not only relating to the writing of the past but also for all aspects of communication today.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
We also offer English as an Additional Language (EAL), a course for students whose native language is not English. This encompasses students who are fully bilingual and all those at different stages of learning English. We enhance their language and cultural development and they gain the confidence to succeed academically in an English educational environment.
We structure our teaching based on individual needs and interests, and have a strong focus on aspects of British culture, drawing knowledge from the multicultural backgrounds of the students themselves. We work closely with the boarding houses, providing the department with a key pastoral role within the School, and our EAL teachers have lived and worked abroad, so understand many of the issues that students will encounter when studying in a foreign country.
"Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom."
At Brentwood, we believe that EAL students make the best progress within a whole school context, where students are educated with their peers. We help EAL students to become confident and fluent in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English in order to be able to fulfil their potential.