As an academic institution we are judged by the quality of our teaching and results - our reputation depends on these.
Brooke House allows pupils to develop their potential to the full. For the most able student this will mean top grades and a place at one of the country’s best universities, but over its 50 year history Brooke House has taken equal pride in drawing the best out of less able students.
Academic qualifications and expertise, teaching experience and an ability to relate to young people from different cultural backgrounds are the criteria by which Brooke House teachers are selected. Many of our staff are or have been A Level and GCSE examiners, which allows our pupils to benefit from the very latest criteria being adopted by our examination boards. Regularly, current students, and former students at reunion events, describe teaching at Brooke House as the best they have ever encountered, and often those at university comment on how well Brooke House has prepared them for further academic life.
The mean average class size at Brooke House is eight. Such a staff-pupil ratio promotes a highly personal style of teaching. Teachers can quickly perceive areas of weakness in students and react to them effectively and sensitively. Specific learning difficulties are dealt with directly under the leadership of our SENCo. In small, relatively informal classes pupils feel confident to voice opinions, contributing to group discussions, as well as to admit if they have not understood.
Pupils’ progress is monitored constantly by a personal tutor, Head of Faculty and Vice-Principal. With a system of baseline testing also in place, tutor meetings monitor current progress and set targets for future progress. Each half-term, every pupil has an assessment week, which is also used as part of our tracking and performance structure. After each assessment week, parents receive a report, which is accessed through our password-protected, secure Parent Portal. If there are ever any parental concerns, the college will always be happy to discuss a son’s or daughter’s progress via e-mail, by telephone or using Skype.
Regular practice examinations are seen as an invaluable part of the Brooke House learning process. Ultimately and obviously, pupils must have a deep understanding of the syllabus content to be successful in examinations, but in addition to knowledge they must have the ability, determination and confidence to express this understanding in writing in a prescribed period of time in a precise and concise way. In examination review and study skills sessions teachers concentrate on personal organisation, and instruction in techniques of examination preparation and question interpretation.
Brooke House has a number of dedicated science laboratories in which to conduct practical work. We have specialised computer rooms for academic courses as well as enrichment activities. Art and Design is becoming an increasingly popular subject option and at Brooke House we have a fully equipped Art Studio catering for fine art, graphics and textiles. The University and College Admission Service (UCAS) office houses university brochures and other Higher Education information materials; pupils also benefit from our annual University fair, where university admissions departments come to the college to deliver workshops and outline degree courses to our pupils. The Paul Kitchener (PK) Building acts as our activity centre during the timetabled co-curricular programme, whilst the workroom offers a quiet environment for independent study, Monday to Friday. The PK Building, all boarding accommodation, and all academic buildings have unlimited WiFi available.