Children’s Author Ali Sparkes inspires Prep School pupils

Ali Sparkes reading to the Prep SchoolChildren’s author Ali Sparkes spent a whole day at the Prep School during the Spring term, inspiring the pupils to write stories of their own.

Ali’s first stand-alone novel, Frozen In Time, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2010 and her books, including the SWITCH series, have been translated into many languages from French to Japanese, Polish to Korean. Her books are pacy, funny reads, and this came across in two engaging presentations, one to Years 3, 4 and 5, and another to years 6, 7 and 8.

Ali really involved the pupils in the presentations. In her first talk she went into depth about how she became a writer, in a very interactive way, and in the second presentation she ran a Genius Quiz, to find out the potential child geniuses in the room, as the main character of her book, Carjacked was a child genius. To the horror of the teachers, she then repeated the exercise with them.

Ali Sparkes talking to the Prep School


After singing books for the pupils, Ali then ran a workshop with some of Seaford Prep School’s keenest young writers. She spoke about the importance of the cover, blurb and first line to get readers hooked. After asking the pupils to vote on the cover, blurb and first line of four of her books, she split them into teams. She challenged them to come up with their own story idea, and come up with a title, blurb and first line. She encouraged them to focus on gripping the reader from the start. They then voted on each others ideas, and the winner was Human Robot. But all teams came up with interesting concepts, especially given the amount of time to work on them.

Ali Sparkes takes a workshop with keen young Seaford writers

Ali was very impressed with the pupils, but had special praise for the winning idea. “The first line was very gripping, it really pulled you in, that’s why I voted for that one.”

Eleanor Jones, Seaford’s Gifted and Talented Co-ordinator, thought that Ali was fantastic at inspiring the pupils. “I had read a couple of books of Ali’s and so was delighted to have her come and talk to all the pupils today, she was wonderful, as full of fun, suspense and excitement as her books, we laughed, we held our breath, we ‘ahhh’d ‘all the way through her readings…fantastic!”

Ali Sparkes signing books for Prep School pupils


Seaford celebrates World Book Day 2017

Seaford College enjoyed a whole week of activities to celebrate World Book Day, capped off with the new Prep School Head, Alastair Brown, joining in with the costume efforts by dressing up as the famous red and white-striped explorer on World Book Day.

We kicked off the week with a Continue reading

Happy World Book Day!

Happy World Book Day from everyone at Seaford College! Come back tomorrow to find out more about the amazing things we’ve been up to over the whole week!


Prep School pupils visit Tim Peake exhibition

Seaford pupil with Tim Peake poster_840x560Children from Years 2 to 5 were propelled into an excellent learning opportunity at the Tim Peake; An Extraordinary Journey exhibition in Chichester. This small but brilliant interactive exhibition is currently on display at The Novium Museum. The children were guided around Continue reading

Seaford College Prep School Equestrian Grassroots team enjoys great day in Felbridge

Seaford College Prep School Equestrian Grassroots team in FelbridgeThe Seaford College Prep School Equestrian Grassroots team had a great day at the Felbridge Show Ground near East Grinstead last Sunday. Consisting of Emily Cook, Abigail Jupp and Lauren Goldsmith (pictured, all standing), the team came second in the 50cm class, qualifying for the Regionals for the second time this year. Emily came second individually after a very speedy jump off round.

The team then rode brilliantly to come second again in the higher 60cm class, also qualifying at this height for the Regional Championships in November. Cheam came first, with Hurst, Farlington and Dorset House taking the lower placings.

“It was a pleasing result!” said Lucy Sanders, Seaford College Equestrian Team Manager.

Seaford College Prep School stages rousing performance of musical Annie

Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 5Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 1Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 7Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 9Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 10Seaford College Prep School musical Annie 11In May, Seaford College Prep School gave a rousing performance of Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. For two nights the College assembly hall resounded with the show’s hit songs, such as Tomorrow, It’s the Hard Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile. The young cast did a great job of bringing to life this heartwarming story of orphan Annie and her eventual adoption by ‘Daddy’ Warbucks, based on the 1930s American cartoon strip by Harold Gray.

Charlotte Cragg was outstanding in the title role, finding just the right balance of pathos and humour as well as beautifully performing some of the show’s most famous songs. The other orphans were played by Lauren Goldsmith, Ellie Clarke, Nia Burkinshaw, Amy Styles, Saskia Hodder and Erin Harte, all of whom really brought the stage to life with their song and dance numbers.

Sam Brown made his debut Seaford performance as Oliver Warbucks, the busy industrialist who opens his home and heart to little orphan Annie. For such a young performer he captured the role with great sensitivity, creating some lovely poignant moments in his duets with Charlotte.

The dastardly Rooster Hannigan and Lily St Regis were played to great effect by Nick Easton and Tilly Woodford, with Lottie Hubbard excelling as the more saintly Grace Farrell. The gloriously wicked Miss Hannigan was given a most accomplished performance by Cameron Cragg, who fully exploited the comedic potential of the role throughout the show.

These were all supported by an excellent ensemble cast including Henry Grantham-Smith, Lee Soar, Adam Horstman, Archie Fletcher, Jonny Green, Lewis Reeks, Charlotte Cassar, Helena Mitchinson, Maddie Chandler, Imi Guimaraens, Ned Price, Joe Harrison, Patch Joynson, Rafe Nisbet, Elliot Emslie, Lucy Jackson and Rubee Bracewell; and stage-hands Harry McMorran, Archie Sleeman, Christian Gillingham, Harry Thompson and Eddie Cooper.

Director Dr Jane Askew said: “The show was a lot of fun to work on. The children were very committed to learning their songs and their lines, and seemed to really enjoy learning the dance routines with me as well. We had lots of warm and congratulatory feedback from the audiences, so the cast can be very proud of their achievements.”

Seaford College Year 7 pupils write to the Headmaster with views on creating a more eco-friendly school

Seaford College Year 7 pupils eco-friendly meeting with Headmaster 2Seaford College Year 7 pupils eco-friendly meeting with Headmaster 3Seaford College Year 7 pupils eco-friendly meeting with Headmaster 5 (letters)Seaford College Year 7 pupils eco-friendly meeting with Headmaster 4Seaford College Headmaster John Green was delighted to receive letters recently from Year 7 science classes taught by Mr Barnham. The letters related to how we could be far more eco-friendly at Seaford. Mr Green was incredibly impressed by the children’s initiative and invited the entire group in for a special lesson with him in his study – including croissants and hot chocolate.

“During the lesson we had some very engaging and informative discussions, including introducing electric vehicles for our support staff, sensor lights that turn off automatically throughout the campus, solar panels on roofs and even Seaford having its own windmill to generate power!” said Mr Green. “To me this is what an all-round education is truly about – giving children the self-esteem to promote their own views and opinions in a most well researched and interesting manner.”

Seaford College Prep School presents a production of the musical Annie

Seaford College Prep School performance of Annie poster (2016)This year Seaford College Prep School is proud to present as its annual production the musical Annie. This will take place in the College’s main Assembly Hall on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May at 7pm. Pre-show refreshments will be available in the Hollington Centre from 6.30pm.

Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin Theatre. It spawned numerous productions in many countries, as well as national tours, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The songs Tomorrow, It’s the Hard Knock Life and You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile are among its most popular musical numbers.

We always have a fantastic audience for the Prep School shows, and again look forward to welcoming parents, grandparents, friends and teachers for what will be a great evening of entertainment.

Seaford College stages science essay competition

Seaford College science essay competitionThis year’s Seaford College science essay competition involved pupils writing a newspaper-style article on the uses of micro-organisms, the title of which was provided by the Society for Applied Microbiology. There were entries from pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. The winners were Fliss Hitchcock in the Middle School category and Lottie Hubbard in the Prep School category.

“They both managed to find the best balance of scientific content, which was well researched, and a pleasing aesthetic look to their A3 posters,” said biology teacher Seb d’Agar, who organised the contest.

Seaford College students enjoy falconry display

Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 1Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 2Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 3Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 4Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 6Seaford College Xtreme Falconry 7Seaford College Year 7, 8 and 9 students were treated to a falconry display at the end of the Spring Term. The pupils were taught about the science of adaptations and flight using a range of birds of prey, including a peregrine falcon and a barn owl.

The display was conducted by experienced professional falconer Martin Ballam and covered topics within the National Curriculum such as food chains and conservation. “All the pupils had a great time and asked and answered a huge number of questions,” said biology teacher Seb d’Agar, who organised the event.