Students at Seaford College are, for a second week in a row, celebrating achieving an 11% increase in top grades A*-B, leading to a record number of pupils heading into the sixth form. Headmaster, John Green, who took up the post last September said: “I’m very pleased with the progress and academic strategy we have put in place this year enabling all our students to achieve excellent results. Alex Hodson, from Yapton, has achieved 9A*s and 2 As, Emma Brown from Pulborough, has achieved 8A*s and 2 As, Finn Clancy from Pulborough, has achieved 7A*s and 2 As and Ellie Hitchcock from Liss has achieved 5A*s and 5 As. We look forward to welcoming back a large number of Seaford students in September, into the Sixth Form and wish them every success as they continue their studies at Seaford.”
The A*-C pass rate has increased by 6% year on year. The A* pass rate has increased 4% and is the highest it’s been since 2008. These both buck the National trend which shows an increase of less than 1%.
John Green said: ”in a current environment of an undoubted toughening up of academic standards these results are particularly pleasing. Many children have achieved academic personal bests spurred on by our new Challenge Grade system and our excellent teaching. Our English and English Literature are particularly impressive, where many of our pupils have surpassed their Challenge Grade. As a proud non-selective school our results indicate that our academic core is strengthening year on year enabling pupils to gain their academic personal bests. In conjunction with the improved A Level results, this demonstrates that Seaford is continuing to gather academic momentum”.
The “sharp fall in English”* GCSE grades experienced nationally is not reflected in the Seaford results. John Doy, Head of English said: “In English and English Literature we have had amazing results. Hudson Greig (from Guildford) and Alex Hodson both achieved 100% in English Literature which is phenomenal. Hudson is a very talented boy and will take our new Creative Writing A Level. It’s his ambition to be a writer and his creative writing is amazing. I’m looking forward to reading what the students write. Our success is down to the hard work of teachers, lots of application from the students, pastoral care and the senior management team, it really is a team effort. When everyone pushes in the right direction the students achieve their potential”. Alex Hodson was really “happy and surprised” with his 9A*s and 2 As and said that: “Mrs White, my English teacher, gave us lots of work to do and really motivated us, she is really on the case and pushes us to succeed. Science and Maths is more my thing so it’s my 2 A*s in English which I’m really proud of. I’m studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry at A Level and I would like to go to Oxford or Cambridge”.
Owen Godfrey, from Brook Surrey, has achieved 3A*s, 2As and 3 B’s. He achieved A* in both English and English Literature and the results are a great personal achievement. Owen said: ”I’m really happy and I got better than my Challenge grades. My English teacher is really motivating, just fantastic! When I came in this morning I heard on the radio that English has been marked harder this year so I was really worried. I wanted to live up to expectations.” Owen has also been an active member in the Seaford community service programme, the choir and drama. He added: “it’s very rewarding volunteering at Lavington Stud, I really felt I’d helped out and it’s nice to feel you helped the animals.”
Seaford College prides itself on small class sizes and the individual focus and attention it provides for all students at all levels of ability. Breege Jinks, Deputy Head Academic, said “We pride ourselves on our Value Added and Jack Jamieson, from Sidlesham, is a great example of what can be achieved. He got 3A*s, 5As and a B”. Mrs Jamieson said: “prior to our data interview in year 9, Jack was on a trajectory to get C grades. Mrs Jinks used National data to predict that if Jack worked really hard he could get straight As. Jack found that once teachers say you could get As it really inspires you.” Mr Jamieson added: “Mrs Jinks has been very instrumental in inspiring Jack, the whole new management team is very very strong. Jack also benefitted from the course Seaford ran on how to revise. Jack is a visual learner and it gave him different ideas and he was able to align his revision style. It was a fantastic investment from the school. It was great that parents had an evening to see what they had learned so we could really support them with revision”. Jack will study Chemistry, Geography, Maths and Physics at A Level and is planning to be a Renewable Energy Engineer. He said: “it’s an up and coming sector and with gases running out it needs good students to go into the industry”. Mr Jamieson added: “it needs smart people to push it forwards, Jack is already talking to Charlie Dunhill a Renewable Energy expert and Charlie is planning to come into the school next year to present a bike that makes hydrogen to the students.” Jack has also just come back from a Community Project in Ecuador where he spent 13 hour days cementing a water tank, carrying heavy bamboo through the rain forest for a community centre and helped make a mud temple. To join the project you need to raise funds. Jack raised over £2,000 in sponsorship by taking part in cycling and running challenges, the Three Peaks Challenge, odd jobs in the local community and selling his drum kit (which he says his mum didn’t complain about!).
John Green added: “Seaford inspires personal ambition and success so that personal bests are achieved inside and outside the classroom. This is why I love Seaford – because our flight path is unique.” Many of Seaford’s students achieve high academic results and excel in extracurricular activities. Emma Brown with her 8A*s and 2As is a strong all-rounder in sport. Alex Hodson, with 9A*s and 2 As is a great sportsman and a 1st XI cricketer. Ellie Hitchcock, with 5A*s and 5 As is a strong all-rounder and excels in sport, the choir and drama. She performed to great acclaim in Oh What a Lovely War! She is hoping to go into medicine. Tom Newman, from Yapton, has achieved 6A*s, 3 As and an B and has just returned from the community project in Ecuador. Holly Bassett, from Itchenor Chichester, achieved 4 A*s, 2 As and a B, despite competing in the World Paddle Surfing Championships in Nicaragua. She spent 2 weeks competing and came back just a day before her exams started. Holly said: “I was so jet lagged when I got back. I had my Chemistry and Geography exam on the same day and fell asleep in my Geography exam”. Despite this Holly got an A* in Geography. Holly took a lot of revision with her but was up a 5am every day so could only rely on the audio tapes she had taken with her to revise. Holly added: “I’m really happy, English is the subject I found the hardest and I’m really pleased I got an A* in both English and English Literature. When I was away my teachers sent me emails and extra prep work. They also gave me extra revision lessons before I went away.”
James Passam, Deputy Head Senior School, said: ”many of our students take up bespoke academic programmes that enable them to succeed. Finn Clancy is a great example, gaining 7A*s and 2As. He joined Seaford from Hurst last September and we have successfully managed his academic transition with impressive results. A particular strength at Seaford is the dedication of teachers and the time they give to prioritising pastoral care, which underpins each pupil’s academic progress. This a unique selling point for Seaford and something we are very proud of. The intervention and support the team provides each individual pupil enables them to develop the confidence to succeed and achieve their academic personal bests. I wish all of the students going into the Sixth Form every success and I’m sure they will join the band wagon of successful students that gained a place at top Russell Group Universities, following the impressive A Level results last week”.
Seaford offers a unique environment and inspiring personal ambition & success is part of its DNA.
• * BBC website 21 August 2014