Brentwood School record-breakers

Posted on 9th Jul 2024 in School News, Exams, International Baccalaureate

Students at Brentwood School are celebrating a record set of International Baccalaureate Diploma results.

Established in 1968 to foster open and enlightened minds, the IB Diploma is now taught in almost 5,000 schools across 153 countries and is one of the most respected educational programmes worldwide. The maximum number of points an individual student can achieve in the IB Diploma is 45, and the worldwide average in 2023 was around 32.

The class of 2024 at Brentwood have returned an average of 38.2 points, which - based on the 2023 rankings - would have placed Brentwood School 7th in the UK. No fewer than 12 of the 30 Diploma students scored 40 points or more, with two securing the maximum total of 45.

All five students holding medical/veterinary degree course offers gained the points required by their first choice universities with a further two securing places to study Law.

Twins Adnan and Salman Yaqub also reflected on their combined 30 years at the school, finishing in style with remarkable scores of 44 and 45 points respectively. Both students recently won prestigious prizes at Speech Day and are looking forward to studying Medicine at the University of East Anglia. Mum Dr Yaqub thanked Head of MDV Mrs O’Connell for all her help and support during the boys’ application process, saying they “couldn’t have done it without her.”

Jonathan Barfield-Moore, Deputy Head Academic, said: “While the IB Diploma is known to be a great choice for all-rounders, I am proud we have such exceptional success with students applying for the most demanding university courses, such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and at the most selective universities. It proves that our IB Diploma Programme prepares students for elite academic success and it provides the specialist understanding needed to excel at the highest level.”

Director of IB Hollie Carter added: “The students have worked incredibly hard and I am so proud of them. The results reflect the hard work that they have put in. They are our best achieving year group ever with students going off to study medicine, law, veterinary medicine, engineering, and maths at top universities. The IB at Brentwood School is a lovely smaller community, within the wider sixth form and the students have lasting bonds and friendships that will last a lifetime. The combined grade output as well as these lasting relationships will set the students up for life. I wish them all the best.”

Reflecting the international outlook of the International Baccalaureate, six students are heading overseas for the next stage of their education, including Europe (Amsterdam, Freiburg, the Balkans), North America (Tulane, New Orleans; Emerson College, Boston, and Toronto); and Asia (Beijing)

One of them, Ore Fashesin-Souza has certainly taken advantage of every opportunity at Brentwood, and is now one step closer to a career in film, after achieving 38 points and a place to study filmmaking at Emerson College, a Liberal Arts university in Boston, USA. Ore has also served as one of our Deputy Heads of School this academic year and his mother, Mrs Fashesin-Souza said she was “so proud of everything he has achieved at Brentwood.”

Tim Sellers, Director of Sixth Form, commented on the diverse range of universities to which the students will now be heading: “I am delighted to see the fantastic set of results the students have achieved, we are incredibly proud of their attainment as well as all that they have contributed to the Sixth Form and school community over the past two years. I have been so impressed with how they have acted as role models and leaders in so many different areas of the school, embodying the values of Brentwood School. We look forward to hearing of their future successes in the UK and across the world!”

Even more impressive is the volume and quality of the cohort’s co-curricular achievements alongside these academic outcomes. Some of our most prolific and outstanding performing arts students were part of this year’s IB cohort and included a member of the National Youth Theatre, a recipient of the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship at Bristol University, and the Essex Young Musician of the Year. Others have made significant contributions to our sports programme and the school’s cadet force (CCF).

Renowned music scholar (and Senior Prefect) Alex Lockyer “couldn’t quite believe” his 39 points which see him take up a place at Bristol University to study Medicine. Alex is also in receipt of the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s scholarship for students with exceptional Artistic and Creative talent at Bristol. This is the second consecutive year a Brentwood student has received this award and Alex is excited to ‘follow in the footsteps’ of Old Brentwood Sammy Li.

Sophia Assitzoglou, another stalwart of the School’s Performing Arts Department, was brought to happy tears with her outstanding score of the maximum 45 points. Sophia, who is also a Bursary Ambassador said she was “shocked” with her results and is excited to pursue her studies in Liberal Arts, either at Durham or Freiburg University, Germany.

Meanwhile, National Youth Theatre member (and one of the stars of this year’s musical West Side Story) Devon Adams is looking forward to following his dream of performing in the West End as he takes up a place at E15 Drama School.

For six of the cohort, 2024 brings to a close a 15-year association with Brentwood School, beginning when they were just three years old in our Early Years programme.

One of their number, Sophia Jones, wanted to “thank all of the amazing teachers” as she collected her 40 points, which saw her secure a place to study Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool.

Seven of the IB students were also Bursary Award holders, including a student from Ukraine who joined Brentwood on a full bursary having fled the country due to the Russian invasion. Three of our bursary award holders also served as Ambassadors for our Foundation, the sole purpose of which is to raise funds for deserving and talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Perhaps most important of all, however, is the strong sense of community service our students have shown during their time at Brentwood. Two of the IB students have served as Deputy Heads of School this year; two as House Captains; and one was the recipient of our Pillar of the Community Prize for exceptional service to the local community, truly personifying the school’s values (established in 1622) of Virtue, Learning and Manners.

Alexandra Roberts, proud Head of Year for our outgoing Upper Sixth, commented: “What a deserving year group to attain our most successful IB results to date! The closeness within the cohort and the high standards they have achieved are testament to their focus, determination and support of one another. Having the opportunity, both to teach Standard Level English Language and Literature and support all students as their Head of Year, has been an absolute privilege and I wish them all the best for their next chapter.”

Headmaster Michael Bond summarised: “These results are just reward for the sustained effort, ambition and commitment shown by our students and their teachers. They also illustrate our firm belief that the busiest people are usually the most successful and that a supportive community where students, teachers, and parents work in close partnership always adds up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Above all, however, our IB students are also thoroughly decent people who want to do good in the world, not just well in their exams, and I know they will fulfil this promise in the years to come.”