Founded by J. Krishnamurti



The Courses

The nature of the Brockwood curriculum means that students are able to work in many and varied ways through our unique course structure. The content and nature of all of our courses (except the externally determined A-Levels) are continually developing as we seek to reflect the ever-changing world of which we are a part, the needs and interests of our students, and the skills and interests of our teachers. The following outlines the different forms of courses, how they work, and who might take them.

Common Courses

There are two courses which are required for all students, where the school works together either as one, or in smaller groups. These courses are Inquiry Time and Human Ecology.

Inquiry Time is our opportunity to look at issues relating to living together. Issues can be very specific and tangible, for example: Do we feel at home at Brockwood and do we care for the place in concrete ways? They can also be broader, for example: What is freedom in relation to responsibility to others and the world at large? Inquiry time is at the heart of the school and is a forum for us to explore any issues relating to our lives.

The Human Ecology programme is the exploration of our place in the wider world. Eco is the ancient Greek for house/home and logy is the ancient Greek for study of/knowing. Human Ecology is therefore the study of our home in the broadest sense. This includes our connection with the natural world, our engagement with our wider community and global issues. At the heart of the programme is the understanding that the natural world is the teacher and so being outdoors and in direct contact with nature at least once a week is part of the programme.

Core Courses

In order to ensure that younger students explore a broad range of issues and develop a variety of skills whilst at Brockwood we have three core courses: Art & Craft, Humanities, and Science & Mathematics. These courses are required for all students who are under 16 years of age at the start of the academic year, and may be attended by older students if they wish. They operate consecutively such that a student will spend seven weeks in the Humanities course and then move to the Science & Mathematics course, and then finish with the Art & Craft course. Different students will have a different order of courses. Each course runs for the entire morning on two days. The reason for this dynamic is to allow a group to work closely together in a focussed way, offering large periods of time if they are needed.

All of the three core courses are designed for exploration to be at the heart of the study. For example, in the Science & Mathematics core course, the focus is on actually doing science and learning from these experiences rather than just learning facts stated by a textbook or by other people.

Alongside the three core courses, younger students will also attend the Human Development course which explores our own physical and emotional development and relationships. Similarly, those students who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) receive regular support for the development of their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through two dedicated classes.

Topic Courses

Where the core courses are designed to enable students to explore a breadth of issues and aspects within a particular field, the topic courses are designed to break completely out of conventional fields of study and enable the exploration of issues in much greater depth than is usually possible.

As is also the case for the core courses, topic courses run for seven weeks, for two whole mornings each week. Teachers will take a topic (for example ‘Patterns and Puzzles’, ‘India’ or ‘Movement of Humans’) and introduce this to the students through a variety of activities, looking at things from a variety of perspectives. After the first few weeks, students will determine their own specific focus of exploration and, on their own or in a group, develop a piece of work that explores this in depth. In this work students will be encouraged to make links between different ways of looking at things (for example they may look at the Syrian refugee crisis from a historical perspective, and then bring in elements of economics and art depending on their interest).

Most younger students will start by taking topic courses alongside their core course. Topic courses are available to all students, though they often clash with A-Level courses.

A-Level Courses

These are available to students aged 16 or older on 1st September in the current academic year. Please see the Assessments and Exams section for a discussion of this policy. The offering of A-Level courses changes from year to year depending on teacher availability, student interest, available resources and overall curriculum priorities. In a usual year we may offer up to eight taught A-Level courses, and these will usually include English Literature, Mathematics, at least two of the sciences, History and Art. We focus on courses such as these which facilitate entry into almost all university courses. Where students wish to propose other A-Levels to study we will try and offer support where we have teaching availability, but this will vary from year to year.

In general, A-Level courses tend to be taught in a more conventional structure of 90 minute sessions two or three times a week. Students may also arrange to take an exam course for self-study with some facilitation by a teacher.

Pre-A-Level Courses

Towards the end of the academic year there is a three week period after the topic courses finish that is available for students who are eligible to sit the A-Levels in the following years to attend intensive pre-A courses.
The pre-A courses are primarily designed to ensure that students intending to take specific A-Levels have sufficient knowledge, skills and familiarity with the syllabus to commence the course. They may also, if ready, commence the A-Level course. Following the three weeks there is additional work given to students to complete in advance of the following academic year.

Projects

Another element of our course offering is supporting students to develop their own projects. Students may propose their own project(s) which they will follow through the year (or part thereof) and form a significant part of their learning. Many projects are proposed in the first two weeks of term, and are considered by the Teachers’ Group, which determine whether the student will benefit from the proposed project. We take into account the student’s dedication to pursue such a project, their other planned activities, and the likelihood of their bringing it to fruition. If a project is agreed to, an appropriate academic adviser may be chosen to support the project throughout the year. Students may also propose their own projects at any other point during the year, when they will again be assessed as to their suitability.

Projects can be of two broad forms:

  • Focal Project: A single project which demands at least 50% of the students’ time. These are often undertaken by senior students, and include art portfolios. A number of these projects could be undertaken consecutively; and

  • General project: A project where a variety of things are directed by the students themselves, but none dominates their studies. For example a student may wish to work on their creative writing, pottery work, computer programming and prepare for an IELTS assessment.

Projects are open to all students at the school, except younger students who have just arrived at the school for whom we feel at least 7 weeks working on our topic courses gives a sound foundation in working more independently, but with close oversight from teachers. Students taking their own projects will be expected to present their progress in February/March, and then give a final presentation in June, which will form an element of their assessment.

Books are important but what is far more important is to learn the book, the story of yourself, because you are all mankind. To read that book is the art of learning.

J. Krishnamurti
Brockwood Park School
Brockwood Park, Bramdean
SO24 0LQ Hampshire, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1962 771744
Fax: + 44 (0) 1962 771875
Email: admin@brockwood.org.uk
Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Limited — Company registration no. 1055588 — Registered Charity no. 312865