Brentwood School (Essex)
Virtue, Learning and MannersLatin: Incipe
"Make a Good Start"
|Type||Independent day and boarding|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Founder||Antony Browne, granted by Queen Mary|
|Staff||114 full time, 23 part time|
Mill Hill (Female Boarders)
Hough (Male Boarders)
|Publication||The Brentwoodian and The 'Brentwood' Chronicle|
|Campus size||72 acre|
|School Years||Pre-School - Sixth Form|
|Contact No||01277 243 243|
Founded in 1557 and established in 1558, the school has a Tudor schoolroom, a Victorian chapel and several Grade II listed buildings. Sited in Ingrave Road and behind the greens on Shenfield Road, the school is set in over 72 acres of land in the centre of Brentwood.
The licence to found the school, as "The Grammar School of Antony Browne, Serjeant at the Law, in Brentwood" was granted by Queen Mary to Sir Antony Browne on 5 July 1558, and the first Schoolmaster, George Otway, was appointed on 28 July 1558.
In 1568 the school moved to a purpose built school room, which still remains, the commemoration stone of which was laid by Browne's stepdaughter Dorothy Huddleston, and her husband Edward, Browne having died in 1567.
The school room was next to the site where nineteen-year-old William Hunter was burned to death for refusing to accept the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The Martyr's Elm grew on the spot of his incineration.
Browne had sentenced Hunter when Justice of the Peace for the area under Queen Mary and, although she also issued the licence, some mistakenly believe the school was founded as penance for Hunter's martyrdom when Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne.
In the 1960s and early 1970s the school was a direct grant grammar school, until the abolition of the scheme in the mid-1970s.
The FoBS (Friends of Brentwood School) was founded in 1982 to help raise funds within the school, mainly via large events and excursions for pupils.
In 2009 it was reported that only 22 students out of 37 taking the International Baccalaureate at the school gained a place at university. However, the headmaster confirmed at the Annual General Meeting of the Society of Old Brentwoods held on 19 September 2009 that ultimately only one of the pupils had failed to get a university place. Accusations were made against the headmaster for attending a Wimbledon final rather than results day, however, this was an irrelevant and "unpleasant dig" and he spent the entire next week in meetings with pupils. It was later proven that Brentwood School came placed 23rd in the UK and was the top school in Essex for its IB results in 2009. Brentwood School are now placed at 21st in the UK and remain the top school in Essex to teach the IB.
The school is separated into three main sections: Senior School (ages 11 to 18), Brentwood Preparatory School (ages 7 to 11) and Pre-Preparatory School (ages 3 to 7). Originally a boys' school, in 1974, the Governors made the decision to allow a small number of girls to enter the Sixth form. Initially in Newnum House, the Girls' School opened in 1988, admitting girls from ages 11 to 18, with the Preparatory School following suit in 1998. Brentwood now operates in a diamond school format where the preparatory school and sixth form are co-educational while the secondary school remains segregated.
The school has two mottos, Virtue, Learning and Manners and Incipe, the latter being a Latin motto (roughly meaning "to begin" or "to start") added in the 19th century. However, nowadays the school promotes "Incipe" as "Make a good start" especially to First Year pupils.
In 2007 Brentwood School celebrated its 450th anniversary in St Paul's Cathedral.
The school is notable for its sporting achievements, particularly in football, cricket and fencing. The school has consistently performed well as part of the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA), winning the national ISFA cup in 2002 and 2010. In 2013 the then U15 team won the Essex Schools FA Cup for the third time in four seasons since U12 level to set a new school record. On that basis, this team is the best school team of their age group in the county. The school has also been historically successful in the prestigious Public Schools Fencing Championships, winning the overall title 34 times since 1962, with the last team victory coming in 2008.
Brentwood School are have been netball, cricket and senior girls' tennis champions. A number of improvements in sporting facilities have been made in recent years. These include a 25-metre indoor swimming-pool and learner pool, a fitness suite, 4 additional glass-backed squash courts and an indoor rifle range. The school is set in 72 acres (280,000 m2) of grounds and has two playing-fields, one is situated directly on the school site and another, the Heseltines, adjacent to the school. These contain football, rugby, cricket and hockey pitches, an all-weather Astroturf pitch, tennis and netball courts and an athletics track and field as well as woods used for cross-country runs.
In recent years, the school has led the field in cricket in the south east. In 2006, they were runners-up in the Bunbury National Cup. This was the first time an Essex team had made it past the quarter finals, and the school won the same competition the following year. The U15s won the national 20/20 competition in 2006, and in 2008 reached the national semi finals. In 2010 the U15s have reached the national 20/20 finals, which are to be played at Arundel. The school currently has former Essex cricketer Brian Hardie as a PE teacher.
Many former pupils have gone on to represent Great Britain or a home nation at international tournaments and competitions. Its sporting alumni include Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard, former Millwall and Southend United striker Neil Harris pundit Stewart Robson, fencer Alex O'Connell, former Essex cricketer and International Cricket coach Ian Pont, former Essex cricketer David Acfield and squash players Peter Barker and Daryl Selby.
Drama and Music
The school hosts various theatrical performances and shows. In one academic year the theatrical line-up usually consists of a winter/spring play/musical, a sixth-form comedy charity show, a dance show alongside various other acts. In 2008 the school featured two Winter theatrical shows; My Fair Lady and Habeas Corpus. Winter Theatricals occur every two years, the most recent being Les Misérables. Every year the school hosts House Music and House Drama competitions, often featuring revered guest adjudicators.
Commensurately, the school boast a rich tradition of notable alumni in the dramatic arts, including comedian Griff Rhys Jones, actor Hal Ozsan, playwright David Eldridge Another former alumnus, Chris Hatt, is currently the Musical Director of the popular English Elton John Musical "Billy Elliot" on the West End.
Brentwood often hosts concerts such as the orchestral concerts and chamber concerts by the school's big band, orchestra, and choir. The school has a strong musical reputation and a close association with the Brentwood (Catholic) and Chelmsford (Church of England) Cathedrals having a number of pupils and staff singing in their choirs. The Brentwood School Music Department has four full-time teaching staff and 20 visiting teachers. Between 2006 and 2008, Brentwood School also featured the largest A-Level Music set in the country. Brentwood was the first school in the country to use Sibelius software in 1996 and ever since has been an integral part of the Music departments GCSE, A-level and IB music courses. A Sibelius suite is available in the schools music department for student and staff use.
The school offers a range of musical opportunities with a Symphony Orchestra, Brass and String Ensembles, a Junior Choir, a Choral Society (known in the school as Christmas Choir) and a Barbershop. Recent choral performances have included: 'Belshazzar's Feast' by Walton, Requiems by Mozart, Verdi and Fauré and 'Gloria' by Poulenc. Brentwood Schools biggest musical achievement has been the Brentwood School Big Band which is now in its 30th year. It often performs concerts for charity outside of school and European tours occur every 1 or 2 years, the most recent being to Salzburg, Austria in the Summer of 2013.  The Big Band has released a number of Albums the most recent in 2013 called "Music to Drive By". In 2008, the year of Brentwood School's 450th Anniversary, the school took part in a service in St Paul's Cathedral, in which the Choir performed various English Choral works. In the same year, a cantata "The Old Red Wall" composed by the Director of Music, David Pickthall, was premiered at the Brentwood School 450th Anniversary Festival at the Brentwood Centre. The cantata was based on the School Song "The Old Red Wall" and featured new text by David Dunn.
The Director of Music at Brentwood School is David Pickthall, a conductor, organist, pianist and composer. One of his proudest accomplishments was his involvement in Wallace & Gromit's The Wrong Trousers. He also provided additional music for the 1995 James Bond film: GoldenEye and has recently conducted the London Symphony Orchestra for the recording of an album of orchestral arrangements of INXS songs. He was the original founder of Brentwood School Big Band and has taken it abroad to Siena, Italy, Salzburg, Austria and Bavaria, Germany. Pickthall was an Organ scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and is a member of the Royal College of Organists.
The Sir Anthony Browne Society is a society which focuses on furthering the education of Sixth Form students (Junior SABS is also available for the younger years). Regular meetings are held at which there is either a speaker present to give a lecture on societal issues or interesting topics to do with science, the arts and sport or a members debate. Old Brentwoodians such as Jack Straw and Griff Rhys Jones are frequent speakers.
- Age range: 11–18
- Day pupils: 652 male, 442 female
- Full boarding: 45 male, 27 female
- Total Pupils: 697 male, 469 female
- Including 6th form/FE: 179 male, 116 female
- Staff numbers: 114 full-time, 23 part-time
- Method of entry: School exam.
- Professional affiliations: HMC, IAPS, ISC, AGBIS (formerly GBA and GBGSA)
- Religious affiliation: Church of England
Entrance into the school at Year 7 is by an Entrance Examination, testing students' skills in Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning. Scholarships can be offered to entrants based on six aspects:
- Academic Merit in the Entrance Examination
Bursaries are also offered to entrants under special conditions.
There are five day houses and two boarding houses. The day houses are named North Town, South Town, East Town, West Town and Weald, together with the two boarding houses, Mill Hill for girls and Hough House for boys; the latter two making up a sixth house, School house. Prior to the mid-1940s the school was entirely boarding, however, as Brentwood grew into the large commuter town that it is today, demand for day education increased and accordingly the number of boarding houses was reduced. It remains one of only a select few schools in the country in which boarding students have their own rooms rather than shared dormitories. The boarding house consists of mainly academic individuals from other countries, namely China, Russia, India and predominantly Germany, who must pass an internal exam to gain entrance.
Competitions in sport, music, drama, debating and various other activities are held on a regular basis between the houses. Each house has its own styled tie, for North the defining colour is yellow, for South it is red, East's is light blue, West's is dark blue, Weald is represented by claret and the male and female boarders of the school have separate ties of maroon with two bordering white stripes and green ties respectively.
Royal Visits and connections
The license to found the school, as "The Grammar School of Antony Browne, Serjeant at the Law, in Brentwood" was granted by Queen Mary to Sir Antony Browne on 5 July 1558,.
Brentwood school continues to play host to Royal visitors. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited the School in 1957 to open the new Science department, now named, The Queens Building. On the first Saturday of Trinity Term, 1957 the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Col. Sir Francis Whitmore, laid the foundation stone of this new Science department.
Notable Old Brentwoods
Also see the school's own list of Old Brentwoods at 
- David Acfield (born 1947), cricketer and Olympic fencer
- Douglas Adams (1952–2001), author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Keith Allen (born 1953), comedian, actor, singer and writer (father of the singer Lily Allen)
- Peter Allen (born 1946), BBC broadcaster and journalist, 
- Sir Hardy Amies (1909–2003), Couturier and Dressmaker by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen
- Peter Barker (born 1983), squash player and influential member of winning English team in European Team Championships 2006
- Charles Bean (1879–1963), historian of Australian Forces in World War I.
- Charlie Bean (born 1953), Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England
- Lord Black of Brentwood, (Guy Black) (born 1964), former Press Secretary to Michael Howard, and Director of PCC
- George Cansdale (1909-1993), zoologist and broadcaster
- Patrick Carter, Baron Carter of Coles (born 1946), politician and life peer
- Colonel Sir Neville Chamberlain (1856–1944), army officer, Inspector-General of the Royal Irish Constabulary and inventor of snooker
- Philip Arthur William Collins (1923–2007), Dickensian scholar and emeritus professor of English, Leicester University
- Roger Cowley (born 1939), professor of experimental philosophy at the University of Oxford
- Sir Robin Day (1923–2000), broadcaster (attended the school 1934 - 1938)
- Ralph Dellor, (born 1952), cricket broadcaster, journalist and first chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board Coaches Association 
- Sir David Eady (born 1943), High Court Judge
- David Eldridge (born 1973), playwright
- Noel Edmonds (born 1948), disc jockey and broadcaster
- Stephen Fleet (1936–2006), Master of Downing College, Cambridge
- Howard Flight (born 1948), Conservative politician
- Sir Roderick Floud (born 1942), academic, Vice-President of the European Universities Association
- Fabian Hamilton (born 1955), Labour politician
- Neil Harris (born 1977), footballer
- Keith Hopkins (1934–2004), Influential historian and sociologist, professor of Ancient History at the University of Cambridge
- David Irving (born 1938), writer and Holocaust denier
- Chris Jarvis (born 1969), television presenter
- Paul Neil Milne Johnstone (1952–2004) poet and butt of Douglas Adams' jokes in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Nic Jones (born 1947), musician
- Frank Lampard (born 1978), footballer
- Andrew Lansley (born 1956), Conservative politician, Leader of the House of Commons 2012–present, former Secretary of State for Health
- Elliot Lee (born 1994), footballer
- Frank Godbould Lee (1903–1971), civil servant and Master of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
- Sir Ralph Murray, (1908–1983), diplomat
- Jodie Marsh (born 1978), glamour model
- Ian Martin (born 1948), Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN & Secretary-General of Amnesty International
- Jake Maskall (born 1971), actor
- Alexander O'Connell (born 1988), Sabre Fencing Individual World and Commonwealth Champion
- Robert Andrew Muter Macindoe Ogilvie (1853–1938), England international footballer
- Hal Ozsan (born 1976), actor
- Michael Peppiatt (born 1941), Writer and Art Historian
- Eric Peters (born 1969), rugby player
- Ian Pont (born 1961), Professional cricketer, international coach and author
- David Pickthall (born 1958), conductor and composer
- Penny Rimbaud (born Jeremy Ratter 1943), drummer, poet and founder of punk band Crass
- Griff Rhys Jones (born 1953), comedian and actor
- Stewart Robson (born 1964), footballer
- Sir John Rogers (1928), Air Chief Marshall in the Royal Air Force and member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council
- Vivian Rosewarne (1917 - May 1940) Wellington bomber pilot memorialised in the 1941 film An Airman's Letter to His Mother,
- Sir Nick Scheele (born 1943), former President of the Ford Motor Company
- Daryl Selby (born 1982), Professional Squash player
- Asad Shan model and actor
- Bob Simpson, (1944–2006), BBC journalist
- Sir Peter Stothard (born 1951), Former editor of The Times
- Jack Straw (born 1946), Labour politician & Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain 2007-2010
- Charles Thomson (born 1953), founder of the Stuckists art movement
- Michael Francis Tompsett (born 1939), inventor of CCD imagers
- Paul Wickens (born 1956) musician, usually known as "Wix"
- Teerathep Winothai (born 1985), Thai footballer
- Sir Denis Wright (born 1911, died 2005) ambassador and author 
- Stephen Yardley (born 1942), actor
Sexual abuse allegations
In 1997 Gareth Stafford-Bull, who taught fencing at the school (and was also an under-20s coach for the England fencing team), went missing and was sacked by the school in his absence following allegations that he had indecently assaulted pupils. The 41-year-old was later found dead in his car at Brighton.
- "Historical Notes" from "Brentwood School, School Lists" (AKA The Blue Book)
- Swaine, Jon (2009-08-01). "Parents furious as new diploma leaves private school pupils floundering". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Dunlop PSA World Rankings
- Dodd, Philip (12 May 2007). "Obituary of Philip Collins". The Independent (London). Retrieved 12 February 2011.
-  Brentwood School Records
- "Brentwood School Sports Centre News 11 October 2010". Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Alexander O'Connell". Essex Legacy.Org. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Betts, Graham (2006). England: Player by player. Green Umbrella Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-905009-63-1.
- "Brentwood School - Music". Brentwood School. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "F1 World Council". Grand Prix.com. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Air Museum copy of letter retrieved 4 February 2009
- Peter Ruff (31 July 2006). "Obituary : Bob Simpson". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Obituary of Sir Denis Wright". The Telegraph (London). 21 May 2005. Retrieved 13 February 2011.