Friday, March 01, 2013 - By: Clayton Johnston

Mindfulness is a seemingly simple term yet it is highly complex in its ultimate meaning. It denotes attentiveness to the present along with respect for the past and the future. To be mindful means having regard for, and paying attention to, your surroundings.

In many ways there is no better way to describe the sum of values nurtured at Brentwood.  We are currently in the midst of a Strategic Plan and one of the core tasks is to articulate our core mission and values. It has been a tremendous exercise and we are all really excited about it as it allows all of our constituencies to play a role in determining the direction the school will take over the next decade.

Apart from what will evolve from surveys and discussions of our Strategic Plan, one only has to walk onto our campus and spend time with our staff and students to realize what a special school we have. In stark contrast to many boarding schools where parents have sent their children away to ‘build character’, Brentwood is a school that only accepts students who choose to be here. Full stop. No student is sent to Brentwood; usually students are begging their parents for the opportunity.

So what happens when you only accept students who want to be here? You create a school with one of the lowest attrition rates in North America and a ‘happiness’ factor that is palpable. Walk around our campus and you see the respect, passion and … mindfulness of our community.

At Brentwood we care for one another. We nurture one another. We support and challenge one another. We are proud of our diversity and yet we constantly seek common links to each other. Inclusivity is part of our culture. We create community by sharing and living together. Mindfulness is what happens when all of these things come together.

Visitors to Brentwood College School find it inspiring to see so many young people happily engaged in their education. You really have to see it to believe it.

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