Seaford’s Prep School students and parents took time over the half term holiday to create beautiful poppies for the Remembrance Day Service. The poppies are displayed in the grounds at Lavington Park and look absolutely stunning.
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!
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
Seaford College hosted its annual History Society talk and dinner, with guest speakers Lord Peter Hennessy and Dr James Jinks authors of a much lauded history of the Royal Submarine Service: “The Silent Deep”.
The evening was introduced by Seaford’s Head of History, James Gisby, who began by saying that history was about much more than just “the past” and that the evening promised to demonstrate to the assembled crowd of students, parents and interested local people that history is still occurring before our eyes.
Lord Hennessy began the presentation with a brief sketch outlining the genesis of the project, explaining that due to the sensitive nature of the submarine service’s operations, there was, before their book, a sizeable “gap” in British naval history where submarines were. This perhaps explains the “special fascination” that these craft and their operations have, not just for historians like himself but also many curious laymen, as evidenced by the attentive and appreciative faces before him.
He explained the “remarkable access” that he and Dr Jinks had enjoyed to previously forbidden territory, remarking however that the clear enjoyment he took from the research led his wife to suspect the whole thing was some kind of “extended jolly”. And this was perhaps the overriding message of the night, especially for the students: despite the fact that the speakers were discussing such terrifying concepts as the “letters of last resort”, they had an infectious enthusiasm for history and the stories they had to tell, which transcended the serious subject matter to make for an enjoyable and entertaining evening.
Dr Jinks then followed, giving a brief history of the submarine service from its beginnings on the “piratical fringe” to its current modern incarnation. Much of its modern history was of course concerned with Cold War intelligence gathering, and Dr Jinks’ talk was accompanied by some fascinating photographs of Russian military hardware taken by submarines in the 70s. He spoke also of the service’s involvement in the Falklands war, as well as offering some fascinating insights into the under ice warfare that characterised the 1980s as the Russian fleet retreated to the Arctic Circle.
The question and answer session that followed raised some fascinating points with two very searching questions from Seaford students, Tom Hennessy (no relation) and William Morris. Tom had clearly done his homework, having read one of Lord Hennessy’s other books, questioning him on his personal views on nuclear retaliation while William asked about the safety measures aboard nuclear vessels. Both questions provoked well-considered and detailed responses from the panel.
The event was followed by a book-signing and dinner with many guests and students stocking up on some high-brow stocking fillers for the Christmas period.
John Doy, Seaford’s Director of Academic Performance said: “The evening was a fascinating, if sometimes alarming, insight into what has gone on, and continues to go on, beneath the surface of the world’s oceans; we were all left feeling privileged to have glimpsed for a moment the secretive and compelling world of “The Silent Deep”. Many of Seaford’s Gifted and Talented students and the students on the Academic Enrichment Programme attended the talk and dinner and they enjoyed hearing Lord Peter Hennessy and Dr James Jinks share their experience and expertise.”
James Gisby, Head of History added: “My vision for the evening was to inspire future historians with influential speakers who are experts in their fields. This talk follows closely on the heels of Seaford’s Gifted and Talented conference for local schools and Seaford staff, making a link between the skills we teach and foster at Seaford, manifested in an authoritative work. This is a key feature of providing extension of provision for the Gifted and Talented pupils.”
The talk and dinner was supported by the Petworth Festival Literary Weekend. Festival Manager, Kate Wardle, and her colleagues attended the event and added: “Thank you very much indeed for a superb evening on Friday. We all enjoyed the talk and presentation enormously. Lord Hennessy and James were very knowledgeable people who could both speak eloquently and expertly on the subject, but from different points of view and with different emphasis. This made for an extremely interesting and informative evening. I don’t think many of us can imagine quite what it’s like to spend weeks on end under the sea without any daylight or realised quite how important the sub-mariners work is to our national security. Dinner was wonderful with a great atmosphere too. All the Festival team so enjoyed being guests at Seaford.”
Josef Amin (from Graffham) is celebrating gaining 11A*s at GCSE. Joe is also celebrating completing his Silver DofE today. Joe said: ”It’s been quite a day”. He has celebrated with a fish and chip supper tonight with the Seaford students on the DofE trip. He is looking forward to celebrating with his parents tomorrow and has asked his mum to make him sausage pasta to celebrate because he has been walking for 3 days!
We caught up with Joe and his mum about his fantastic results and life at Seaford:
Joe: “I’m in complete shock, I thought I’d done well but not this well. Seaford really helped me succeed by helping me manage and structure my time which meant I started my revision months before the exams. I was shown how to devise a revision timetable that included having breaks which I really needed to help me focus. The teachers were great and were very thorough. We practised past papers and they really helped me with exam technique and timings. I learnt how to efficiently use my time in exams.”
Mrs Amin said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with the results. It’s all very overwhelming. Joe worked so hard and his results have completely blown us away. He has taken it upon himself to work hard, we are very proud of what he has achieved. My husband and I are looking forward to celebrating with Joe when he gets back tomorrow.
“At Seaford he has thrived with the extra-curricular activities and it has been good to see him have a balanced life where he can pursue his passions for the environment and his creative side in DT. There is such a lot of pressure these day from society to get good results and I’m pleased Joe was able to manage his time and find a balance in life.
“He is a star! Joe has thrived on the diversity of what Seaford has to offer in terms of the sport and the other extra-curricular opportunities the school provides.“
Joe: “I play in the 1st XV and I like the competitive side of rugby, I enjoy the physicality of it. You really bond with your team mates and I like rugby because it is challenging and requires skill. I looked forward to my rugby sessions, it provided a break from studying.
“I have played tennis at Seaford on a Saturday and I also played a lot of tennis over the summer both at Graffham Tennis Club and at Seaford. I played when I was revising to give me a break.
“I also enjoyed CCF at Seaford because it was physical and challenging and this led to do my DofE. I want to do my Gold award next. I have been volunteering at Botany Bay at Seaford for my DofE. I have enjoyed it because I like the environment. I also love fishing at Botany Bay and I have taken two training courses which means I can monitor the water quality and the invertebrates. If there is a problem or signs of pollution I have the responsibility to let the Environment Agency know.
“I love angling and I’m on the talent pathway with the Angling Trust. I’m really design orientated and I designed a stylish wading and landing net for my DT GCSE. I loved designing it.
“In the sixth form at Seaford I’m going to study Physics, Maths, Biology and DT and I’d like to go on to do Maths and Science at University. I’d like to go into science research, design, architecture and engineering”.
Seaford College Head of Humanities, Nick Angier, appeared on Radio BBC Sussex Breakfast show on 1st July 2016. Nick talked with the host presenter Neil Pringle about his grandfather who was a budding football player (interest from Arsenal football club amongst others) before WW1 and who joined The East Surrey Regiment who were posted to The Somme area.
They went over the top on the morning of 1st July 1916 at 07.30 am encouraged by their Captain Billy Neville who used football as a means of encouragement to go over the top and a way to deter his soldiers’ from considering their certain fate. Nick’s grandfather raised signal flags in full display of The German positions to warn the British artillery to stop bombing their own soldiers in ‘no mans land’, but he was hit with shrapnel which ironically saved his life. As he laid injured, his entire platoon was killed. Nick also mentions his daughter who has her own big fight against Leukemia, we wish her well.
We have made a recording of the coverage here https://youtu.be/5g0HKdwJFd4
Every two years CCFs are inspected by the MOD to ensure they are fulfilling their remit ‘to provide a disciplined organisation within a school so that young people may develop powers of leadership by means of training to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness, team work, endurance, perseverance and a sense of service to the community’. Seaford College CCF was inspected by a senior RAF Officer and his team on 11 May 2016.
Maj Andrew Plewes RM, CCF Contingent Commander, said: “My main effort was to demonstrate what training normally goes on in the CCF here at Seaford. There is really no reason to make it too complicated or big by involving organisations from outside the school because that is not what normally happens. We have not taken time out of the programme to rehearse for the inspection, we have just treated this as a day of quality training.”
The day started with a formal parade, which gave the Reviewing Officer (RO) the opportunity to talk to the cadets about their experiences in the CCF. Then after lunch there were a series of training activities that the RO was able to observe, including Camouflage and Concealment, a Personal Role Radio ‘assault course’, Fire and Manoeuvre, a Principles of Flight demonstration, some air rifle shooting, Command Tasks and two-man shelter building.
The day finished with a final address by the RO. He said that he was very impressed with what he had seen. His main message was that cadets should grasp the opportunities that the CCF can provide as “the more you put in to your time with the CCF, the more you will get out”.
21 Year 10 pupils from the RAF section of Seaford College’s CCF recently spent an enjoyable day at RAF Odiham, home to the most distinctive of helicopters – the Chinook. The cadets had a guided tour around a Chinook, learning about the aircraft’s history and how it operates, each taking a turn to sit in the pilot’s seat.
The students then listened to an informative talk in the armoury about the vast array of weapons used by the RAF. They learnt entertaining facts, such as the need for a new shorter rifle becoming apparent when soldiers kept falling over as they collided with door frames while attempting house clearances.
“Lastly came the highlight of the day: a flight in a Chinook,” said Augusta Pitteway, CCF Pilot Officer. “We were all kitted out with helmets and climbed on board for a half-hour flight. The cadets all had a fantastic time and we look forward to making this an annual visit.”
The aim of the exercise was to provide the cadets with the necessary weapons, fieldcraft and patrolling skills needed to gain the full benefits of the annual camp. It was also an ideal opportunity to give the school’s cadet Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) a chance to develop not only their personal skills but also their leadership abilities by receiving command appointments throughout the weekend.
The first day saw the cadets being given weapons training and instruction on how to eat and live effectively in the field. They then occupied and prepared a defensive position for the evening, with each cadet experiencing the joy that is sentry duty.
After sunset, the cadets also received a demonstration in light and noise discipline, as well as learning how to move quietly at night. Early morning saw the cadets awake and in their defensive positions, before carrying out the morning routine of cleaning their weapons, washing themselves and cooking breakfast.
Once all the morning administration was complete, the cadets moved from their position, ensuring no trace of their occupation was left behind. Weapons training continued for the remainder of Sunday morning and there was also a chance to learn patrolling skills such as obstacle crossing and setting up all-round defence.
The weekend was organised and run by the SSI, Sgt Gough, with the assistance of 2Lt Baxter RM and 2Lt Gisby. All the staff agreed that the cadets had performed admirably throughout the two days.
“I was very happy with the standard the cadets achieved,” said Sgt Gough. “All the Year 10 cadets were enthusiastic and exceeded my expectations, while the cadet NCOs demonstrated good leadership skills in all the command appointments given to them. I would especially like to mark out Cadet LCpl George Bridgeman, who was a fantastic example to all the junior cadets.”
Last week, 12 cadets from the Seaford College Navy CCF section took part in afloat training at HMS Excellent on Whale Island near Portsmouth. The aim of the day was to introduce the cadets to offshore sailing and complete their Royal Navy 2 Star afloat training.
The weather was excellent and the cadets learned about crewing a small yacht and many of them had the opportunity to take a turn at the helm. The cadets also completed man-overboard drills as part of their training.
The Navy Section Commander, 2Lt Baxter RM, said that he was very impressed with the quality of training set by Headquarters CCF Royal Navy and that he was also impressed with the standards displayed by Seaford College cadets.
Sgt Matt Gough R Sigs, Seaford’s CCF School Staff Instructor, said: “On a personal note, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the facilities offered at HMS Excellent with further, more advanced training for the Royal Navy section in the coming terms.”
During the Easter break, Seaford College cadets went on an Easter expedition to Snowdonia, staying at Capel Curig camp not far from Mount Snowdon itself, where they were joined by many other CCF Sections from schools across the country for a varied week of outdoor pursuits.
Seaford’s CCF group were accommodated in tents for the first two nights but the weather was so wet and windy that they were forced to move to a nearby outward-bound centre, Plas y Brenin, for the next two nights. This allowed the whole contingent to enjoy every activity, including mountain biking, rock climbing (both outdoor and on an indoor wall in Caernarfon), canoeing and an ascent of Snowdon along the Watkin Path in harsh conditions.
Major Andrew Plewes RM 1 became Seaford College’s new Contingent Commander during the winter term. We spoke with him about his distinguished military career, the secrets of good leadership and his plans for the future.
Tell us about your background.
I went to Bromsgrove School in the Midlands where I joined the cadet force there in my last year. I was interested in the Navy at that point and thought the experience of being a cadet would be useful.
I studied Anatomy and Human Biology at Liverpool University, joined the Royal Navy unit, learnt navigation and seamanship, and had a great time. As I considered my future more closely, I decided I wanted to be a Marine, for the challenge, the variety and the travel.
So after uni I applied to join the Corps, went through the selection process, completed my training and went on to have a very varied and interesting career. I looked for challenges, variety and experience rather than aiming for promotion, which led to me doing a lot of diverse jobs. After 12-15 years, I began to look at what my next move would be. I’d married a teacher and was aiming towards getting the right qualifications to go into teaching, so I did my PGCE part-time while I was running a training course teaching Marines how to be Corporals. To complete it I had to be granted an extension of studies due to being deployed to Iraq.
More recently, two years at Army HQ behind a desk convinced me that it was time to leave. I had to put in a year’s notice, then start looking for a job and here I am.
What do you miss most, and least, about the Royal Marines?
I most miss the huge amount of camaraderie. Also I miss the fact that when we were based in the UK there was a lot of time built in for sports and fitness training. I ran the Royal Marines’ cycling team for five years. I miss those opportunities.
I least miss the uncertainty every year or so when you need to go into bat with the ‘(dis)appointer’ to work out what your next move would be. I was lucky that throughout my whole time in the Marines I got relatively interesting jobs, but the longer you stay in, the greater the chance of not getting posted where you want to be. It also became more disturbing to family life.
How have you found the experience of adjusting to life at the school?
It’s been like going back to school! Adapting to a new and different environment is in many ways similar to starting a new job in the Corps – it’s the same process of learning from other people and working very hard. People who’ve been in the armed forces tend to be able to adapt to what is required of them. It’s been an interesting experience so far.
What has your role at Seaford involved thus far, with regards to both the CCF and academic teaching?
So far I’ve taught a fair amount of Science to Wilberforce and Biology up to Year 11, which has been good. I’ve enjoyed getting back into biology. The CCF side has been quite challenging but rewarding. It’s been all about building a team to deliver an exciting and challenging programme for the cadets here. We’re also trying to squeeze things into the diary that weren’t planned at the beginning of the year. But it’s nice to have an area of the school that I can really influence.
What do you think are the secrets of successful leadership?
There are lots of different styles of leadership. The most important thing I learnt about leadership is to know what you’re good at. You can apply principles that you’ve seen and heard elsewhere, but you must be true to yourself. A key point is an ability to communicate. It isn’t as much about standing out and delivering moving speeches and shouting, ‘Follow me!’ It’s more about motivating a team and playing to other people’s strengths and weaknesses.
How do you think the CCF benefits pupils?
I think the CCF is a brilliant system. It offers a huge range of opportunities to give cadets experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise get, fully funded. It gives pupils leadership opportunities, the chance to challenge themselves, do adventurous activities outside the classroom to gain in confidence and broaden their horizons.
What do you have planned for the future of the CCF at Seaford?
I want to expand the programme and forge closer links with the Outdoor Education department. The two are complimentary, there’s a lot of crossover. CCF is compulsory in Year 10 and we’re trying to make the Year 10 programme as varied and interesting as possible, with additional activities ranging from offshore sailing to mountaineering.
Each pupil chooses which of the three Sections to join – Royal Navy, Army and RAF – and the vast majority of cadets get their first choice. There are some collective activities such as DofE that all cadets do, and some that only your Section will do. Then pupils have the option of: staying on, moving Section, or leaving. Later on is when all the leadership opportunities come about. There are a huge variety of leadership courses, events and activities on offer.
The way the CCF is designed to run is that we as cadet force adult volunteers provide a safe framework under which cadets help to provide their own training. So a lot of the Year 10 training is delivered by Year11-13 students.
Is being a Marine as tough as everyone says?
It can be. It can also be incredibly rewarding. I feel a huge amount of pride about having done it. The training itself is one of the toughest basic military training courses in the world, but with the desire to finish it – the right frame of mind is incredibly important – it is perfectly achievable. So it is as much about the right mental attitude as the physical side.
You really have to want to succeed. In training everyone goes through a bad patch. Most people who drop out do so of their own free will. If you’re determined enough, you will get through. It’s about how you deal with the challenging times. There are very few people who the training instructors will throw off the course. You’re given every opportunity to pass. The right will to succeed will get the majority of people through.
As a career, it’s an example of one extreme to another. I’ve been the Officer Commanding the Royal Marines Biathlon Team, spending six months travelling around Europe cross-country skiing and shooting and six months planning deployments and training in the UK. At the other extreme, I’ve been a Company Commander leading 100 men on the battlefields of Afghanistan.
How was the experience of seeing a Remembrance service from a public viewpoint, rather than a military perspective?
I hadn’t done an address like that before. It wasn’t something I had thought about or envisaged doing, but it was an honour and a good way of remembering some of my own personal challenges and losses. It means an awful lot that we as a school and a society still remember – and rightly so. It wasn’t just the military but the whole of society in both world wars, the sacrifices that so many people made in order to provide a better world for future generations.
Do the grounds here at Seaford provide an ideal training environment for the CCF?
We’re in an absolutely unique and very enviable position with regards to what we have on our doorstep in terms of the school grounds and the military training grounds nearby, such as Longmoor and Thorney Island.
In terms of outdoor education, the fact we’re able to do the bronze DofE award here in the school grounds is extraordinary. The CCF now helps deliver the Bronze DofE in Year 10 – it made sense to pool resources and run it together with the Outdoor Education team.
We also want to do more adventurous activities. For example, we’ll be taking 17 cadets to North Wales soon for mountain walking, canoeing, climbing and mountain biking.
How do school meals compare to military meals?
The food here at Seaford is very good. The food in the military can be pretty good but it can also be pretty dire when on deployment. That said our ration packs are a lot better than they used to be.
What do you do to relax?
I cycle. There’s nothing more relaxing than a 50-60 mile ride over the Downs at the weekend.
What advice do you have for someone who’s thinking of going into the armed forces?
The CCF is the ideal opportunity to find out more about it, whether that’s as a reserve or a regular. Whatever Service you want to go in, the CCF is a brilliant opportunity to learn about them. It can help you to get into the armed forces or to rule them out as an option – either way, it’s a fun thing to do. There are all sorts of visits and connections we can arrange that can inform pupils’ future career. And the CCF always looks good on your CV. The leadership experience is excellent.
What are your plans for future?
There will be two main trips a year. One will be non-uniform adventure training over Easter and the other will be a military-run summer training camp, where the cadets will learn military field skills. The latter will be at Crowborough this year and we’re looking to carry on holding it there – it’s relatively local and it’s a well-run camp.
We want to have one field day per Section per term, to broaden the cadets’ experience, see military establishments, see more of the military outside of the school. The RAF Section already has flying experience opportunities, going out to a local airfield and looking at light aircraft. We’re looking to take the Navy Section sailing in Portsmouth and to have fieldcraft training weekends for the Army Section.
It’s an exciting time for the CCF because it’s just beginning to move forwards with new facilities. We’re building a new HQ office and a new stores complex, and a new outdoor centre – of which the CCF will be one of the key users.
Have you done the same training course that houseparent Matthew Pitteway completed last year to raise money for charity?
The Endurance Course is a series of tunnels, muddy pools and obstacles on Woodbury Common, just outside the Commando Training Centre. They stage challenge events where civilians can put themselves through the course. I think this is what Matt did. It’s something that we will look to do again. I used to do it regularly during training – except we had get ourselves to the common with 30lb of kit and our rifles. We’d then complete the course, run back to camp, prepare our rifles for firing having taken them through those water-filled tunnels, and then have to achieve at least 70% in a shooting test.
Seaford College CCF had a day out at the beginning of the month, when the Navy Section went to the Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth and the RAF Section went to the Air Force museum at Tangmere. The Army Section, meanwhile, took on the high ropes course at ‘Wildwood’ in Guildford and a great time was had by all. Those rising to the challenge included Claude Komen, Dylan Kerler, Charlie Christie, Joe Alexander, Max Falkner, Ben Twyford, Jack Glascott, Harry Disley-May, Harry Bacon and Charlie Palmer.
They started out on the low-level treetops ropes course, which is 5-7m high and includes rope bridges, wobbly crossings and zip wires. Later they moved on to the higher level course, negotiating similar obstacles at a height of 10m. There were also other team challenges such as climbing the giant Jacob’s ladder and trying to get four people to the top of a 10m pole without any of them falling off. Although it was an extremely cold day, with sunshine but also snow, sleet and hail, the weather didn’t deter the boys from having a fantastic day out.
Seaford College CCF held its annual Regimental Dinner at the beginning of the month. Organised as an enjoyable evening for both staff and senior Cadets, it was also a cultural enrichment opportunity. Many of the cadets had speaking parts, including the reading of VC citations and the recounting of regimental and service honours, as well as the grace and toasts, all rounded off by the senior cadet, Staff Sergeant Alex Reese, addressing the guests, staff and Cadets.
Contingent Commander Major Andrew Plewes RM said: “The evening was a great success and definitely fulfilled the purpose of thanking our guests for their support, as well as strengthening the camaraderie and esprit de corps within the CCF.
“The event also provided the opportunity to ‘dine out’ the departing School Staff Instructor WO2 Stevie Gerrard after an illustrious career in the Parachute Regiment followed by an equally gruelling 24 years at Seaford College. He will be remembered very fondly by a generation of Seafordians and CCF staff for his inimitable style and hugely significant input to the school CCF.”
The team had tea at Seaford College prior to departing on Friday to settle in the accommodation ready for the activities on Saturday. The team Captain, Cadet SSgt Harry Marchant, attended the evening briefing, and relayed the details to the team members.
The Competition activities were full-on once they started: Command Tasks to test team work, Shooting to test personal skills, Military and Map Reading Knowledge to test basic knowledge. The First Aid Stand was a tribute to the professional organisation of the Cadet Training Team, and the Seaford team rose to the occasion: Continue reading
Seaford College’s Premier Team, Seaford Antelopes, snatched first place from Sackville Team A in the Charlton Chase Premier Division on Saturday.
Over 400 young people faced an intrepid challenge in Charlton Forest on a very chilly night. Charlton Chase is a night time navigation event, designed to test mental, physical stamina, with teamwork as a key to success and is hosted each
year by Seaford College.
Victorious again, and masters of this prestigious night-navigation competition, Seaford College once more won the Elite Section. Eight hours of criss-crossing the competition area up above the College, in the Charlton Forest, finding all the main checkpoints and tracking down all the extras which are so valuable since they contribute extra points, seemed a walk in the woods for Seaford Antelope team (Harry Leleu, Harry Marchant, Toby Hindmarsh and Josh James) who exercised great accuracy in navigation, and superb time-management to carry off First Place.
This is the third successive year that a Seaford team has won the competition and sets a benchmark for the future. The weather was dry, apart from a slight flurry of snow, and the wind was cold, bringing a chill factor that lowered temperatures by some 6 degrees, and the competitors in general found it tough going: out of a total of 86 teams entered, 29 retired. Congratulations must go to all teams for taking part, especially to the members of the 8 teams that Seaford entered.
But the final accolade is reserved for Seaford Antelope team for having triumphed. Head Boy Harry Leleu said: “What a great challenge, what a great achievement. We are delighted, and now pass the challenge on to the next generation for next year!”
For the first time in known history, Seaford College Combined Cadet Force attended the Commandant’s Parade on Wednesday 10th December 2014 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. This was an awesome opportunity for the 12 cadets selected to attend this highly motivating and inspiring parade. The parade gave them and the staff the incredible privilege and insight into how the best military establishment in the world operates, and turns out highly-polished young officers. The weather was bright but cold and seating was arranged under cover at the Old College Parade Ground.
The Reviewing Officer was Major General S R Skeates CBE who addressed the young officers wishing them all good luck with their future careers with these words of wisdom: “I ask only 3 things of you – run hard, shoot straight and Serve to Lead”
This sums up the essence of the training in military skills, man-management and self discipline that all officer cadets undergo. Our CCF cadets watched spellbound by the precision drill of the Sandhurst cadets preparing to pass out of the prestigious Academy two days later, to start their active military careers.
We then moved on to the Royal Logistic Corps Museum at Deepcut, where the manager Mark Tindle gave us an escorted tour around the exhibits, explaining the historical background to the artefacts, and the importance of the Logistic Corps to ensure that troops had rations, accommodation and ammunition. His assistant curator then demonstrated firearms from across the centuries, an opportunity for the Cadets to handle the decommissioned arms.
The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all the staff and cadets alike.
This year Seaford CCF have been back at Crowborough Camp for a fantastic Summer Camp. Twenty six cadets took part and on day 1 this Platoon showed its skills on the Platoon Attack, as the cadets convincingly took on the deployed enemy forces of a bunch of Gurkha soldiers! The weather was hot, and the cadets all worked really hard, physically and tactically, and many lessons were learned. Most importantly, however, Seaford won!
Day 2 saw Seaford in the Military Skills phase, and the group moved through a series of stands that tested their abilities. The First Aid stand was split into two scenarios, a crashed helicopter and a crashed vehicle, each with casualties that needed treatment. It was almost too realistic, with smoke pouring out of the two vehicles, and injured people writhing around on the ground.
The Survival stand showed how to make clean water out of the fetid contents of a ditch, and how to make fire from not a lot in order to create warmth and cooking opportunities. Everyone built their own upside down fire, with the large wood on the bottom and the kindling at the top!
Day 3 was a chance to fire weapons, ranging from No 8 .22 on the indoor range, Cadet version of the SA80 on the full-bore outdoor range, Paint-ball, Airsoft and Laser Quest. A great time was had firing off rounds of all categories, much appreciated by everyone, including the staff. One cadet, who shall remain anonymous, even managed to fire off a Paintball round and hit the Sgt Major on the hand!
Competition Day was on Day 4, and everybody took part in the many aspects of the morning activities. Seaford managed to come 2nd in the Observation Stand, but that notwithstanding, all competitors worked with much gusto and energy. The same afternoon, Seaford deployed onto the Training Area of Pippingford Park in order to carry out a number of Reconnaissance Patrols to gather intelligence on enemy intentions. Everyone loved sleeping out that night under bashas and eating from the 24-hour ration packs. Seaford are pleased to announce that the next Head Cadet will be Sgt Harry Marchant, and that the Best Cadet of the Camp was LCpl Aaron Bulman – good effort.
Tired and weary the Cadets returned to home base at Seaford, just as the rest of College was standing down for the start of the Summer Holidays. What a great start to the Summer Break. Well done everyone!
For several weeks the Cadets had been practising their drill in readiness for this Inspection Parade, and finally the big day arrived. The weather cleared and the CCF enjoyed a hot and sunny day as the Contingent marched on and formed up to await the arrival from Mansion of the Reviewing Officer, Brigadier Magowan CBE, (late of the Royal Marines).
Head Cadet Flight Sergeant Daniel Atkinson reported the Contingent as ready for Inspection, and the Brigadier kindly inspected the Guard of Honour, the Royal Navy Section, and the Pipes and Drums of the Gordon’s School. He took time to speak to each cadet in turn, and showed genuine interest in the comments they made.
As ever, the Cadets performed impressively well, the Gordon’s School Pipes and Drums gave their usual excellent performance, and almost as a mark of respect, an RAF Chinook helicopter coincidentally flew overhead even as the Brigadier inspected the Guard of Honour!
After lunch, there was a full afternoon of activities for the cadets who basked in some early summer weather. The cadets going on Summer Camp at the end of term and who had already passed their Weapon Handling Test progressed to a blank firing exercise involving Pairs Fire and Movement, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Those who had not yet passed the test devoted the afternoon in preparation for the Test, and 3 Year 11s and 1 Year 13 successfully took and passed the Weapons Test.
Others of the Contingent followed a rotation that took them through a First Aid stand that simulated a Road Traffic Accident; a Wood-craft stand that demonstrated how to make fire, and how to exploit natural vegetation to flavour food for cooking; a Paintball Close Quarter Battle stand that gave cadets the chance to ‘splat’ targets as they dashed forward.
It was a brilliant afternoon and all the cadets enjoyed themselves immensely, and are looking forward now to getting involved in some of the other aspects of the syllabus that do not require too much marching foot drill!
Seaford College Cadets and CCF Staff members were kindly invited to HMS Excellent on a Field Training Day organised by the Phoenix Group, Royal Navy, Portsmouth. After arrival and welcome from the Phoenix Staff, the group were taken to the Fire fighting briefing room where Cadets were given the opportunity to try on the fire fighting protection gear including breathing apparatus.
The Cadets had a tour of the fire training units and we were given a demonstration of the various techniques used depending on the types of fires and how they are caused. Cadets then had the chance of putting out the fires caused by oil, electrical and chemical sources.
The Cadets proceeded to the Damage Repair Unit and after a thorough briefing from the RN Staff, the Cadets were put into two teams and taken into the sinking ship simulator where an impact ‘emergency’ was simulated!
This involved a rapid filling of high pressure water into the small compartment which they had to remedy by plugging the various holes that had been created in a temperature of only just 9 degrees! Despite the coldness of the water, they managed to succeed in this task which involved a huge degree of teamwork. Jacqueline Kyte, CCF Captain Said: “A great day was had by all and we hope to repeat this again with another CCF group in the Summer term! We were very privileged to be one of the first groups to take part in the Field Training Day normally reserved for leading worldwide Defence Agencies.”
Thanks to incredibly good time-keeping, Seaford Jaguars snatched first place from Churcher’s best team in the Charlton Chase Premier Division. Although the opposition had accrued more points for having found more checkpoints, Seaford were only 1 minute late in getting back, and therefore suffered only 1 penalty point, ending up with a 15 point advantage. Great time-management!
Despite desperately muddy conditions underfoot, Seaford Cougars also achieved 3rd place in the same Premier Division, and in the Standard-entry Division, Seaford Antelopes achieved 3rd position. A really impressive performance! As an indication of the attrition rate, of 16 teams entered for the Premier Division 9 teams retired; and of 52 teams entered for the Standard Division, only 29 completed, the darkness of the night and the quagmire beneath taking their toll.
Congratulations are due to Seaford Jaguars (Sara Carr, Tom Bolsover, Theo Ormrod-Davis, James Watts) on achieving First Place, some 13 years since this was last achieved! Also to Seaford Cougars (Ian Duff, Ben Evans, Tristan Evans, Piers Tickner) for gaining 3rd place – all can move on from the College with this accolade under their belts! We must also congratulate the Seaford Antelopes (Christian Disley-May, Toby Hindmarsh, Dan Jones, Harry Leleu) for their efforts in gaining 3rd place in the Standard Division, and hope that they will take part again next year with the benefit of their experience with a view to winning.
Well done the other 7 teams that Seaford entered in this prestigious event – it takes a lot of stamina to stay out for 8 hours (12 hours for some!) and keep making the efforts needed to navigate as well as carry out command tasks at the checkpoints.
Sara Carr, Head Girl, said: “This year was much tougher than last year, and I am so pleased that our team won the trophy back for the College before we all leave in the summer! The challenge for the College now is to retain the trophies next year!”
A team from Seaford College came first in the standard class of the gruelling Charlton Chase night-navigation competition during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd of February. The private school has played host to the competition for more than a decade and teams from all over West Sussex travelled to the college for the start of the all-night exercise in the South Downs hills and the Charlton Forest. The winning team of Jack Ghinn, Piers Tickner, Ben Evans and Alex MacPherson completed the competition in just under eight hours. They were presented with their trophy at County Hall, Chichester.