The pupils are well into rehearsals of what is bound to be another spectacular Seaford show. The cast involves students from years 3-13, and the show will be the first of its kind in our new Performing Arts space in the Johnson Centre. Continue reading
It’s becoming something of a tradition for the Walled Garden boarding students to prepare red roses and sell them ahead of Valentine’s Day, raising money for charity in the process. This term, their chosen charity is Help for Heroes.
The students cut and trimmed the roses down to size, wrapped them up nicely and hand-wrote out any cards, complete with any particular messages.
This year, as Valentine’s Day falls during half term, the students had an epic task of hand delivering all of their roses on the final day of the first half of term.
As with last year, we followed some of the students around as they gave out roses around the Seaford College campus! It was a perfect day for it, and they did an excellent job delivering them around campus, which you can see in our video below.
Walled Garden has an exciting summer coming up, with some fantastic fundraising activities including a cycle from Seaford to Ypres in Belgium, over the May Bank Holiday weekend, ending at Menin Gate where Seaford’s founders son is commemorated.
Students will also be undertaking a walking challenge in the first week of the summer holidays, 10 summits in 10 hours in the Lake District, again raising money for Help for Heroes.
Towards the end of last term, some Year 12 and 13 students studying A Level English Literature attended Lecture Days on “Frankenstein” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” organised by Sovereign Education in Central London.
English Teacher Susan Roberts reported on the trip for us.
Not only were these informative and a great way to revise the two texts, but the days gave a taste of what academic university life would be like. The venue was large and packed. The 4 lectures on each day were 45 minutes long, with students expected to make their own notes. However, perhaps the most important part of the learning process was about the lecturers themselves.
All were academics, many from Russell Group universities including Warwick and Nottingham. However, what was fascinating was the diversity of presentations. One on “The Handmaid’s Tale” was engaging, interesting, informative and perfectly pitched. The most entertaining of the presentations came from a lecture on Exploration and Discovery in Frankenstein, where after a somewhat awkward beginning the lecturer managed to transform his presentation into a totally compelling lecture, worthy of the rapturous round of applause he received at the end. He even apologised for the beginning of the lecture.
What did we learn from the experience? Probably not a great deal than we didn’t already know about the texts, which in itself, was reassuring. However, lessons were learned about the importance of presentation, planning and delivery, and that Mrs Doy is an amazing driver!
And finally, that passion and love for your subject should never be condemned but should be valued and cherished.
In order to test the water of this new location, Seaford, like many other Colleges, opted to enter just two teams this year, with 31 teams in total competing.
As a school we had a mixed success with one of our teams finishing in one of the top ten places and the other team walking a little bit further than they needed to; after becoming somewhat geographically challenged!
However, both teams performed exceptionally well in muddy, wet and slippery conditions; with some team members indicating that they would like to do it all again next year!
We were incredibly honoured that Shaun Edwards OBE was one of our guest speakers at our Annual Sports Dinner almost two weeks ago, and grateful when he also agreed to take a training session with a group of our rugby players.
Shaun made his name in Rugby League playing for Wigan, England and Great Britain. He won 8 Challenge Cups and 3 World Club Championships and was voted Man of Steel in 1990, before switching codes for a hugely successful coaching career in Rugby Union. 10 successful years as Head Coach at Wasps led to his current role as Assistant Coach for Wales and the Defence Coach on the 2009 Lions tour of South Africa.
Shaun visited us on 12th January, and along with Anya Shrubsole MBE, was one of our two guest speakers at our Annual Sports Dinner. This is an annual fundraising event to raise money for Seaford Sport which involved auctions, raffles, games, and Q&A’s with our guests. It was a fantastic evening, enjoyed by all, but before the evening began, Shaun took a two hour training session with a group of our senior rugby players.
The Classics department at Seaford attended a number of interesting Seminars and Lectures last term, and our Classics teacher Tim Farmer is pleased with the enthusiasm of his students. Year 12 student, Eddie MacKenzie, penned his thoughts for us on some of the recent trips.
Last term the Senior Drama performers took to the stage with a wonderful production of Greek Theatre Tragedy, Antigone, and once again, Seaford College students demonstrated that they are capable of performing very challenging plays from a range of genres and historical periods.
Last year was the first year that a number of Seaford students took on the gruelling Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race, an intense 125 mile paddle over 4 days, ending at Westminster Bridge in London. It’s a huge challenge that requires months of endurance training, and huge mental focus.
Inspired by last year’s paddlers, this year Seaford has a larger number of pupils who are looking to take on the challenge. Once again, Charles Lunt and Bill Marks, who trained last year’s pupils, have kindly offered to take on their training.
Every year, Head of Boarding Matthew Pitteway organises a Santa Dash towards the end of the Winter Term, to raise money for Walled Garden West’s charity of the term. This term, it is YoungMinds, and they’ve currently raised £500.
Matthew reports on today’s festive run!
“Nineteen of us set off today on Seaford’s annual Santa Dash from Seaford to East Dean. Although the forecast was for ‘heavy rain’ it was actually dry the whole way round. The ground was very wet though and that was the big challenge this year – dealing with slipping over the whole time.
Spirits were really high all the way round and we had regular breaks for photos which gave some of the slower members of the group a chance to catch up. We eventually made it to the Star & Garter just after 3pm and all enjoyed some refreshment before heading back to Seaford.”
Great work everyone!
Last month, Seaford College joined forces with Canford School and renamed their usual rugby fixture as Stand Together Saturday, a day designed to prioritise the experience and enjoyment of rugby for our pupils, above winning and losing.
Both Seaford and Canford have similar values, and each school is proud to help their students discover themselves and their passions. The idea behind the day was to focus it on enjoyment, right through the age-groups, and foster good relationships between players, parents, and staff from all sides and all teams. Before the game, Seaford’s rugby coach, Kevin Rich, said: “The idea behind this was to engage parents a little more on match days and attempt to help them to learn about how their touchline behaviour impacts the sporting experiences of pupils.
“Both Canford and Seaford are trying to create the best possible environments for young people to thrive in their sporting lives. With regards to rugby, the very physical nature of the game can sometimes draw out the worst in those watching and we feel that certain behaviours such as yelling instructions, jeering and berating the ref should have no place at school matches.
“By promoting an openness and convivial atmosphere in which it is normal for both sets of parents to connect and simply enjoy the game for it’s own sake we feel that this will minimise these negative tendencies. We put together a programme that highlighted some of these thoughts and also emphasized the importance that both schools attach to using sport as a vehicle to develop character and resilience.”
Below are some of the tips that were included in the programme, which you can also download below.
HOW WAS THE GAME ?
The game is so much more than who won and lost. Of course winning feels nice but let’s celebrate the character,
temperament, endeavour, bravery and teamwork. It’s not professional sport. The pupils are learning to get better at
something they love doing. Try using ‘how was the game’ instead of analysing why a team may have won or lost.
SHARE THE SIDELINE
One of the best parts of watching a Premiership match live is to share in the experience with supporters from other
teams. It is a pleasure to connect and watch sport to appreciate skill and strategy from both teams. To simply enjoy
the game without wondering what the score is. School sport should not get caught up in creating divides. Sharing the
sideline puts the game first.
Of course we want the best for our children. But ‘best’ is perhaps not always having to be ‘THE STRONGEST’. We want
pupils to build character and play with spirit in their sporting lives. One of the greatest gifts that we (as adults) can give
them is to model courage, integrity and respect; especially in defeat. How does our touchline behaviour shape character and enhance the enjoyment for the players during the game?
In the matchday programme, both Seaford and Canford students shared what they love about rugby, which you can read below.
“Rugby has allowed me to meet so many different people, if I look at my close group of friends I have at the moment I have played rugby with them. The sport is so great because in the game you do everything to win but then when the final whistle goes we have the respect to shake hands and catch up. Some of my closest friends have been people I have played against and got to know after the match. The physical demand of the sport is another reason I love rugby. When playing rugby you put everything on the line and you know you have done this when you feel the aches and pains the next morning. Finally rugby has given me many memories and experiences which will stay with me for a long time.”
“I love playing rugby at Seaford College because not only is it brilliant fun, but also it is so inclusive. Everybody can play for a team no matter what their ability. Personally, what I love mainly about rugby is that there is so much competition for places in the team. So, I must improve myself every week to make sure I stay in the A team. Also, there is no prejudice between teams, the A team and B team are considered equals and nobody is looked down upon.”
“The reason I like rugby so much and why I have carried it on for so many years is because in no other sport do I get the sense of a brotherhood as strongly as I do in our current team in rugby, and a desire to put our bodies on the line for each other for that win. In no other sport do I think you will get a group of players so passionately playing for each other and that is why I love rugby, and this year especially.”
“I love rugby because it gives you an opportunity to express yourself in a way through hard work and skills, whilst it also helps me to stay fit and look at the nutrition side of sport which I can take into everyday life. But the main thing is
it helps to block out everything else that is happening in my life meaning I don’t have to worry about anything whilst I’m playing rugby and knowing I am enjoying myself.”
“At the end of the home games played at Seaford, visiting Canford parents awarded a ‘Spirit of Rugby’ plaque to a Seaford player that best reflected the values of each school,” added Kevin Rich. “The Seaford parents selected a Canford player too. This was a gesture to remind parents that both teams are fighting for the same cause and to try and enjoy the game a little more neutrally – not an easy task when parents are watching their own children but something we think is worth is working towards.”
Seaford College welcomed Old Seafordians back to the College for it’s annual Remembrance Day Service and Parade on Sunday 12th November. This is always a very special event in the Seaford College calendar, with over 1,500 current pupils, alumni and family members attending a lovely service, which this year was led by The Reverend Canon David Nason. It’s always an important day in the calendar where we not only honor the fallen, but also provide opportunities for Old Seafordians to return to the College and catch-up with each other. Continue reading
Melanie in the Prep School reported back to us on how the cake sale came about!
“Freddie saw the Children in Need fundraising pack on my desk, and asked if we were doing anything. He first came up with the idea of Mr Brown dressing up as Pudsy and hiding in the woods for the children to chase. He asked if I would ask Mr Brown. I did and, funnily enough, Mr Brown said no!
So, after talking again with Freddie, he came up with the idea of holding a spotty cake sale. He and Joshua approached Mr Brown together, and suggested either he dress up as Pudsy, or we do a spotty cake sale – and that’s how the cake sale came about!
Freddie and Joshua organised posters to be made in their Thursday lunch time Social Club, gathered together a team of helpers for the sale, asked me to promote it in the newsletter, held a quiz before the cake sale to raise extra money… and made an impressive £250.”
Headmaster John Green presented the two boys with a certificate for their fundraising efforts this week.
Along with our netball teams, our rugby teams had been in New Zealand on tour themselves only a few months previously, and it was fantastic to welcome a school from New Zealand to the beautiful grounds here at Seaford College.
The experience of hosting a New Zealand side, and in particular, to watch them perform the Haka, was hugely exciting, not only for the players, but for the many people who came along to watch the game.
“What a fantastic experience for our students at the College,” admitted Liam Doubler, Director of Sport. “For the community to come down and witness that… it’s what touring, it’s what sport’s all about.”
Palmerston North are one of the strongest school rugby sides in New Zealand, and this was the final stop on their tour, so it was always going to be a tough ask to get a victory, and so this proved.
In the 1st XV game, Palmerston took a very strong lead in the first half, and whilst Seaford improved dramatically after the break, the damage had been done and they ended up losing 0-30. Despite the scoreline, the Palmerston tour administrator, Lindsay Calton, felt that “even though the score might have blown out a little bit, it was still a physical game, a tough game, and the boys are really tired.”
The 2nd XV also struggled to cope against the strength and power of the Palmerston boys, losing 5-42.
A defeat is always hard to take, but it’s important to take the positives from them, and to focus on what can be learnt for the future. “They’ll definitely take something from the game,” said Kevin Rich. “And I think it’s a great experience for them to be able to push on after half term. They’ll reflect on this game, review it, and they’ll build on it.”
The Palmerston coach also felt that Seaford rugby was going in the right direction, and predicted that “In three years’ time it’ll be a different game.”
We certainly enjoyed hosting Palmerston North, and if they go on any tours in the future we would gladly host them again!
On Thursday 2nd November Seaford College students, parents, and members of the public, enjoyed a real treat. We welcomed Tom Briggs, the Education Officer at Bletchley Park, for a talk in the Assembly Hall, Decoding Bletchley Park.
Tom brought a real enigma machine with him to Seaford College (in fact, the exact machine that had been used in The Imitation Game movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch) and he spoke to the audience about how the enigma machine worked, and the true nature of the task that faced the real codebreakers of Bletchley Park in World War II.
It was a fantastic talk, and when Tom invited a volunteer to try encoding a message using the Enigma machine, Kitty Cooper gave it a go, with the help of her exceptionally eager assistant, Seaford’s Head of History, Mr Gisby (who practically ran down the stairs at the chance to be involved).
Kitty, in Year 8, told us her thoughts on the evening.
“When we arrived there was a coded sheet we needed to break. It was quite hard! The talk was all about the code breaking work carried out at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. Mr Briggs gave us a brief history of the house before telling us about the enigma coding machine. I was allowed to send a hello message using the same machine which was really cool. The whole evening was fascinating.”
Seaford College was also honoured on the evening to have been graced with the presence of Commander Le Pass, who was on the HMS Petard when it sank the U-559 submarine and recovered a new style of Enigma cypher machine at the time, which had four wheels, which was a highly dangerous mission and provided the Allies with invaluable information.
What was particularly fantastic about the evening was the real mix of the audience, from the younger students at Seaford College, through to members of the public. The fascination with codebreaking, and what this meant for the war effort, was clear throughout.
Tom returned to Seaford the following day for a couple of workshops with Seaford College students, looking at how maths can be used to help with codebreaking, and all the students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions, particularly the chance to use the enigma machine at the end of the sessions, which you can see in our short video below!
It has been named in honour of Reverend Canon Charles Johnson, who was Headmaster at Seaford for 44 years, and his wife Joscelyn. Gareth is an Emmy, Golden Globe and BAFTA award winning producer and is the Executive Producer for Downton Abbey.
Gareth praised Seaford saying: “I was honoured to be asked to open the Johnson Centre, firstly because Seaford College was the making of me. Above everything else it taught me self-confidence and independence which are tremendously important in the business I went into, so I have a lot to be grateful for. I visited the College in the summer and I was incredibly impressed by the range of facilities available to pupils today. Seaford has always had excellent sport but now it was the calibre of the Music and the Art & Design departments that really struck me.”
The official opening and blessing was followed by an impressive variety of performances including the College’s chapel choir, funk band, soul band and wind quartet, alongside a lyrical contemporary dance and a short scene from a play which was commissioned for the event. The vibrant evening ended with an impressive firework display illuminating Seaford’s 450 acres of listed parkland.
John Green, Headmaster added: “The Johnson Centre is a £3.5m investment in the facilities at Seaford. It’s all about an all-round education and every pupil aged 7-18 will benefit from the facilities here.” Su Sayer, CBE, and the daughter of Charles & Joscelyn Johnson (who is also Seaford’s Vice Chair of Governors) spoke warmly of her parents saying: “Today they would be thrilled to see this wonderful Performing Arts and Sports Centre together with the integrated sports facilities and climbing wall, they would be thrilled. This building will enable every pupil to learn new skills and develop his/her talents.”
You can see our highlights video of the event below. An extra special thanks goes to Peter Viccari, who helped with the creation of this video!
Tom Thornton, in Year 8, reports…
“A group of comic club students and teachers, Miss Jones and Mr Doy, went to “Meanwhile… Comic Con in Chichester”. The entry fee was cheap but the things inside were expensive. We met a Stormtrooper and the Mandalorian, Boba Fett, from Star Wars, plus more characters. We also played lots of comic related board games and computer games. There were lots of people dressed up as characters from comics – and we ate some pancakes!”
On Sunday 24th September a team of Seaford riders competed at Merrist Wood, Guildford in the NSEA inter-schools show jumping competition run by Cranleigh School. This was one of Seaford’s last opportunities to qualify for the National Schools’ Championships, so the competition was very hot with over sixty riders in each class.
The Seaford team of Beanie Bradley, Jessie Schute and Flora James came a fantastic 2nd to Guildford High in the 90cm team class, qualifying for the very prestigious Championships. Only the top two teams qualified, and Seaford beat both Cranleigh first and second teams, along with Wellington, Winchester, Mayfield, Farlington and Priorsfield.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” said Lucy Sanders, Head of Equestrian at Seaford. “It is the first time we have had a Seaford team competing at a National competition, and this is something to celebrate.”
Our Prep School riders have also had a fine start to the year, competing at a NSEA inter schools Grassroots show jumping competition at Sands Farm near Horsham, at the end of September, and achieved some fantastic results.
Honey-Bea Hogan came individually 4th in the 50cm, Abigail Jupp was 3rd individually in the 70cm with the team of Abigail, Grace Bolton & Honey-Bea coming a fantastic 2nd to Brambletye in the 70cm, qualifying for the Regional Championships in November.
Abigail then went on to win the 75cm class with a brilliant speedy clear round against the clock. New year 7 pupil, Grace Bolton, with her enthusiastic pony Ruby came a very commendable 3rd and we enjoyed welcoming her to the Seaford Equestrian team.
Lauren Goldsmith’s pony was sadly kicked the day before the show so she had to stand down this time but Honey-Bea bravely rose to the occasion to fill in the team place jumping 70cm for the first time.
Join us for a fascinating evening about Bletchley Park on Thursday 2nd November! Thomas Briggs will be taking us through a timeline of Bletchley Park’s development as a code breaking facility, and an original enigma machine will be present during the talk, which will be held in Seaford College’s Assembly Hall. Tickets will be £5 on the door, you can show up on the night, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot. Continue reading
Breaking news! Seaford’s U14 Girls Netball team came 2nd in the County on Saturday, in the first round of the National Schools Competition. This is the biggest school’s competition in the netball calendar, and Georgie Hegarty, Head of Netball at Seaford, is very proud of their achievement.
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve been getting closer and closer to progressing, but this is the first time that a Seaford team has managed to make it through to the regional round. We really look forward to representing the top Sussex schools in January.”
Congratulations to the team for making it through, we can’t wait to cheer you on in the next round!
At 889 feet, Butser Hill is the highest point on the South Downs, overlooking Petersfield. And, since 1978, it has also been the site of a fantastic cross country mass run, raising over £200,000 for different charities over the years. Seaford College took a team along to this year’s race, and it was a great day. Continue reading
At Seaford College we encourage students to discover their passions and aspire to achieve their personal bests in all their pursuits, from academic, to sporting, and right through to music and the arts. And in September, Yolanda Gumpo embarked on a career in the music industry, studying a degree in Songwriting at BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) in Brighton. BIMM is well known for giving its graduates a fantastic start into the world of music, and George Ezra, James Bay and The Kooks all started out there, as well as Old Seafordian Tom Odell. Yolanda is really excited about living in Brighton, and what the future may have in store for her. Continue reading
During the second to last week of the summer term, six students from Seaford College competed in the Schools Week Sailing Championships, which has been held annually at Itchenor Sailing Club since 1953. It is one of the biggest school sailing events in the UK, and attracts teams from across the country, and this year attracted entries of over 150 racing dinghies. Paul Harker, who took the students to the competition, told us about the event.
Seaford College student Fergus Guiry will never forget the phone call he received earlier this year. It was from Simon Amor, the England Rugby 7s Head Coach, offering Fergus a one-year professional contract with the England 7s squad.
Fergus, who completed his A levels in the summer, was spotted by the England coaching team playing for Seaford College at the Rosslyn Park 7s tournament and they invited him to an England trial. After impressing at the trial, Fergus received the dream phone call offering him a contract, and he has now joined up with the full England squad and played in several tournaments. Continue reading
A new Academic year is upon us once again, and we’re very pleased to be welcoming our students, both new and returning, to Seaford College, for the start of term. We hope everyone is fully refreshed from the Summer break and ready for whatever challenges the new term brings.
Here at Seaford, we aim to make the transitions from Prep School to Senior School, and Senior School to Sixth Form, as smooth as possible. Today, all of our Year 12 students are heading off to Wales for a few days on a bonding trip, and our Year 9 students will head off on an overnight Camping and Activity trip tomorrow, and we thought that now was a good time to have a chat with James Passam, Deputy Head, about the transition process, and any advice he has for parents and pupils.