Meet the Head – an interview with John Green

John Green talking with students

Seaford’s Headmaster, John Green, was recently interviewed for Sussex Life Magazine, to talk about the changes he’s made over the last 3 years, his determination to continue developing the school, and helping every child to reach their academic and personal bests. Read the interview in full below. If you’d like to find out more, register for our next Open Morning for an informal tour of the school, and a chance to meet John and his senior team.

What makes your school unique?

Ambition is vital and Seaford’s number one focus is to make sure pupils attain the best results they are capable of, their personal best. Seaford isn’t the normal conveyor belt school and I believe in an all-round, inclusive and non-elitist education. This is the strength of Seaford, where pupils are encouraged to be the best they can be – as the School motto states: Reach for the Heights! – Ad Alta!

Seaford is set in over 450 acres of listed parkland nestled at the foot of the South Downs. Students benefit from this space whether Continue reading

Seaford College Appoints New Head of Prep School

photo (5) (1)Seaford College is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Alastair Brown as the Head of Seaford College Prep School from September 2015. Alastair is a proven and inspirational leader who identifies with the ethos and vision of Seaford College. He is an innovative educationalist with a key focus on the development of the individual. Alastair is currently Deputy Head of Dean Close Prep School in Cheltenham and is also a highly successful Geography teacher and a talented sportsman. He has played national league hockey and county 2nd level cricket. Alastair enjoys classical, choral, popular and jazz music and plays the trumpet. He also has a keen interest in all other extra-curricular activities.

Alastair is married to Ruth and they have two children: Josh (14) and Sam (9) currently in Years 9 and 5. He believes in high quality communication and likes to make himself accessible at drop off time and at the end of the day. He believes that school should be fun and that “academic success is a by-product of good education. This is important because children’s self-esteem in one area spills into another enabling them to express themselves and make progress.”

John Green, Headmaster said: “We are all absolutely delighted that we have been able to attract and catch Alastair, there are very exciting times ahead! We very much look forward to working with him over the coming years as he builds on the many strengths of the Prep School. Alastair will take up the reins in September 2015 but in the meanwhile, of course, School life will continue apace under the leadership of Sebastian Rees. The Prep School has flourished under Sebastian and Gillian Rees and we now look forward to a future era of further development under the dynamic and ambitious leadership of Alastair Brown.”


Independent Schools Inspectorate Report January 2015

Message from John Green, Headmaster

IMG_0485 2webSeaford College had its inspection in November 2014 and the full report will be available on the ISI website this week. For your information I have attached a summary of the major findings.

After one year of leadership at Seaford I am very pleased with the outcome of my first ISI Inspection. Indeed, it is obvious from the comments in the report that we have, and are, making exciting progress at Seaford by implementing, as the inspectors say, “a clear and ambitious strategy for the school” combined with “high quality management and leadership.” Without question the whole ISI inspection process has become far more rigorous over the past couple of years, with the two top grades becoming more elusive to attain – hence I am really pleased that the report concludes that Seaford is either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in all of the areas assessed by the inspection team.

The main findings state that the quality of academic and other achievements is good; work is fluent, showing particular imagination and creativity in English. Students have well developed Mathematical Skills and produce work of outstanding creative quality in Art and DT. Students achieve a high level in Music and Drama and achieve success in Sport. The report states: “Throughout the school teaching encourages pupils to be Continue reading

Remembrance Sunday Service and Activities

remembrancesundaypoppylr16 October 2014

Dear Seafordians

Mr John Green, Headmaster warmly welcomes all Seafordians to join in the Remembrance Sunday service on Sunday 9 November 2014 at Seaford College. As you will know, it is a very special event in the College calendar bringing current and post pupils together for a very extraordinary service. Everyone is asked to be in their seats in the Sports Hall for 10.30am.

After the service, a buffet lunch will be provided in Mansion House in the Senior Dining Room for Old Seafordians, governors and staff members. It will be a relaxed atmosphere, allowing a great opportunity to catch up with alumni as well as former and current members of staff.   If you would like to attend, it would be very helpful to receive your RSVP by Wednesday 29 October. Please contact Miss Jo Browne, School Secretary on 01798 867392 or email so we can inform our catering team. We will do our best to accommodate any late responses but we cannot guarantee a place so please let us know as soon as you can.

There is a number of sporting activities available to take part in or to spectate commencing at 2pm.   Please see the list below and make contact with the activity organiser if you are interested in joining in.  All the activities below are weather dependent and may be postponed if the weather conditions are unkind.

Clay Pigeon Shooting: Tony Bracci:

Golf: Neil Macfarlane:

Football: Antony Cook:

Tennis: Antony Cook:

Men’s Hockey: Nick Gregory:

Old Boys’ Kit: White shirts (provided by the College). Shorts & Socks – bring your own (white and dark of both if possible.)

Clay Pigeon Shooting: Due to the time restraints and the sheer volume of people who attend this event is offered to competent shooter and will be a 25 bird sporting shoot.

Tea and cakes will be served in the Senior Dining room following the afternoon of the activities have finished, approximately 4pm.   We look forward to meeting you all and hope you will be able to join us for this very special day in the Seaford College calendar.

With Kind Regards

John Green


John Green is Celebrating a Dynamic 1st Year as Headmaster of Seaford College

IMG_0573 54thiswebJohn Green joined Seaford College as Headmaster in September 2013. Amazingly Seaford in its 130 year history has only had 8 headmasters, with John Green being the 9th. John Green is already making his mark on Seaford History with the ambitious changes he has put in place in just one academic year. Reflecting on his first year, John Green said: “in a good school children need to feel valued, trusted and respected. Children also need to enjoy school and have fun. At Seaford we have a very strong academic core and via our new and unique Challenge Grade system, children are encouraged to secure academic personal bests – whilst still keeping a smile on their faces! Prospective and current parents always say how happy our children are. At Seaford we look after our children and inspire 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 to other schools.”
John is a good communicator and listener and is ambitious for every pupil. He maintains a high visibility throughout the ellie hitchcock challenge gradeWEBschool and prides himself on the fact that he can name every pupil. His sincere and personable style has led to successful Parent Focus Group meetings and an emphasis on open communication. He has successfully restructured the Senior Management team with increased attention and focus on the Prep, Middle & Senior School. With the appointment of James Passam & William Yates as deputy Heads, each of Seaford’s key stages has great leadership in place to drive success.
Academically John has introduced Challenge Grades to enable every child to achieve their full potential and to secure academic personal bests. Also new this year, the Year 9 Creative Carousel has enriched pupils’ learning, enabling students to have creative taster sessions and explore potential interests. In the Arts, Seaford has had 4 major productions, with the Prep School performing Peace Child and Honk! and the Senior School presenting Macbeth and Oh! What a Lovely War. The performances have rivalled the West End and represent the dedication and hard work of students and teachers. Musically Seaford had a record year of success at Godalming and the choir had the amazing opportunity to support Gary Barlow in concert.
John set out at the beginning of the year to improve careers advice. This led to a very successful everywoman conference, a careers fair and talks by leading business leaders. These have led to pupils gaining internships at Incredibull and IBM.
In sport, Seaford College is the Sussex U18 rugby champions for a second year in a row. Within the space of a month Seaford Boys’ Indoor Hockey team went from qualifying in the top 10 in the country to being ranked third nationally. Girls’ hockey is going from strength to strength. There have been notable Senior & Prep Netball performances with the 1st Prep Netball team winning the Annual West Sussex West Netball Tournament. The summer term has already seen great performances in Cricket, Athletics and Rounders. One of his ambitions was to see girls’ cricket become a popular sport at Seaford and in their inaugural outing the team came second against more experienced schools. The Tennis Academy, Shooting & Golf are all proving to be successful Saturday morning pursuits.
Seaford has had great success in the Young Enterprise competition and in debating. With an increased emphasis of giving back to the community John has also extended Seaford’s involvement with local community projects such as Petworth House and Brent Lodge Animal Hospital. Seaford also won the Charlton Chase for the first time in 20 years. Seaford’s outdoor pursuits are thriving including a strong participation in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
John has embraced modern technologies with the introduction of a Parent Portal (instant access to progress reports), Prep Diary (enabling parents to see the prep work that has been set), and improvements to the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and Wifi over the expansive campus. John has also focused on networking within the local community and Seaford has had record breaking numbers at its 5 Open Mornings, illustrating Seaford’s buoyant and strengthening reputation within the educational arena. Seaford’s ability to offer a breadth of choice to meet the needs of the whole family and its focus on the individual is proving to be very alluring. It’s been a busy first year with John successfully managing the transition of Seaford into a modern and dynamic College.

Rugby Reunion Team of ’74’

The gang from top left: Lionel Weston, John Green (headmaster), Keith Woodcock, John Nelson, Craig Reynolds, Adam Courlander, Mike Madeiros, John Dudeny, Andy Nightingale, Maurice Hudson, Rob Norton, Graham White.The gang from top left:

Lionel Weston, John Green (headmaster), Keith Woodcock, John Nelson, Craig Reynolds, Adam Courlander, Mike Madeiros, John Dudeny, Andy Nightingale, Maurice Hudson, Rob Norton, Graham White.

John Green recently welcomed the victorious Seaford Rugby team of 1974 back to the college to watch the current Seaford 1st XV, who are also in fine form, for a celebration lunch.

Rob Norton Old Seafordian started his quest to find the team after almost 40 years of leaving Seaford and the turn out considering the time gap was fantastic. Here is a snippet of what Rob had to say when we asked him if the players took the same places for their picture last week as they did for the team photo back in 1974! (see photo at foot of this post)

‘Yes, we had a great day, I don’t think we did sit in the same place, it was talked about and if everyone had been there, I think we would have!’

The lunch in the Headmaster’s study was very good. He was very generous, we were very privileged! There were some references to the fact that the last time Graham White was in there was for a beating from the Head! (This was at a time when corrective punishment was deemed lawful we should add !)

Maurice made a lovely speech and I think his words made us really appreciate what we had achieved and how much it had meant to him and all of us. It was quite an achievement, they were not easy teams to beat. It’s just a shame we hadn’t arranged the reunion before. Some of us hadn’t seen each other since leaving school but we all had very fond memories of our time at Seaford. It seems we have never forgotten our unbeaten season.

Meet Seaford College’s New Headmaster John Green


John Green headmaster Seaford CollegeName of school:  SEAFORD COLLEGE


Tel no: 01798 867392


Number of pupils: 620

  Age group: 7 – 18

                                                                        Gender: Male & Female

                                                                        Day/boarding: Both + flexi

                                                                        Name of head: John Green

In your eyes, what makes a great headmaster?

Someone who is a good communicator and listener, who is ambitious for every pupil and maintains a high visibility throughout the school.

What do you most enjoy about being a headmaster?

Being able to make a positive, ambitious difference to all pupils.

Continue reading

Seaford College appoints a New Head

Seaford College appoints new Head 

Seaford College, Petworth, is entering an exciting new phase, having appointed a new headmaster.

John Green (45), the school’s current deputy, has been appointed headmaster with effect from September 2013, taking over from Toby Mullins who is to take on new challenges in the state sector.

For Romford-born Mr Green, it is his second spell at Seaford – he was their Director of Sport from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that, Mr Green was educated at the all-boys Campion School in Hornchurch, Essex, and then studied Sports Science at Cardiff University, where he went on to do a Master’s degree in Business and Sports Science, before taking an advanced diploma in Economics from the Open University.

He is perhaps best known nationally for his sporting prowess: he played rugby for England U16s, U19s and U23s and captained England students for three years. He played professionally for the Saracens from 1992 – 1997.

He combined his rugby with teaching in the state sector at Barry Boys’ School where he was Director of Sport and, later, taught at Ardingly College, Sussex, where he was deputy head of the Prep School and Director of Sport and PE.

Following two years at Seaford College, he was appointed Head of the Upper Sixth and a Boarding Housemaster at Hurstpierpoint. For the last four years at Hurst, he was Deputy Head and also taught Economics.

Married to Sian, whom he met in Cardiff, the couple have three children – Megan (17), Ailsa (14) and Johnny (8).

Mr Green said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been appointed headmaster of Seaford College. I will be taking on a school in great health, thriving on all fronts, both in and out of the classroom.

“Sian and I are looking forward to leading Seaford through the next stage of its exciting development and being part of such a strong, friendly and vibrant community.”

Mr Green believes his understanding of the Seaford ethos will stand him in good stead, as will his comprehension of the holistic nature of education, founded on a strong academic core.

Toby Mullins, who has been headmaster for the past 16 years, is leaving the independent sector to take on the challenges of running Lodge Park Technology College in Corby, Northants, an academy in the Midlands which was recently placed in special measures.

Mr Mullins said: “I have had a wonderful 16 years at Seaford College, during which time we have improved the academic results beyond recognition, increased pupil numbers and engaged in several major building projects which have brought the College bang up to date in the 21st century.

“I am happy to be leaving the school in the capable hands of John Green and am confident he will continue to grow the school in line with its ethos and principles, building even further on the foundations which have now been laid.”

“My new role will certainly be very different – but provide me with a range of challenges which I shall relish.”

Chairman of governors Graeme Sinclair said: “The interview process was not an easy one and involved over 100 applicants, with the short list going through three days of interviews and a wide variety of tests. In the end I am pleased to say Mr Green came out as the unanimous choice of the Board and we are thrilled that he will be leading the College from 1st September 2013.”

A level Results excellent once again

Academic grades at Seaford College continue to show an upward trend in the A-level results, announced last Thursday.

Almost 30% of entrants gained AAB or above, with the A*-B  percentage rising from 53% to 56% and the A*-C to 82%.

A-A* remained at just over 30%, as last year, but, for the fourth year in succession, the grades averaged better than 3Bs per student.

Top performers were Jamie Simms and Ella Luo with 2A*s and 2As, Charlotte Rottier with 3A*s, Wayne Su, with 2A*s, 1A and 1B, Sam Suchal with 1A* and 3As , and  William Whitwell with 1A* and 2As.

Last year, Seaford College was identified as one of the top 25 most improved schools in the UK for its A-level results.

Late Developers – Speech Day Address

Our brains, it seems, take much longer to develop than we have previously thought. In fact they undergo a massive reorganization between the ages of 12 and 25. During this period it seems that the brain undergoes extensive and continuous remodelling that, in some ways, resembles a network and wiring upgrade.

This process was once thought to be largely finished by the end of Primary School but, in fact, continues throughout adolescence. It is becoming clear that some youngsters’ brains do not become fully developed until they are mid-way through their twenties!

These physical changes move in a slow wave from the brain’s rear to its front, from areas governing basic functions to finish at the more complicated thinking areas in the frontal lobe.

The frontal areas are the ones that we need for complex tasks. Once the wiring is upgraded, it’s harder to change. So, earlier brain development comes at the price of flexibility. The later developers gain more connections and, thus, greater flexibility.

So what the implications?

Many parents want their child to be at the front of the queue when it comes to educational developmental milestones. They desire for their child to demonstrate a superior intellectual ability of the kind that would get them onto many gifted & talented programmes.

Limited places are coveted, some parents going to extraordinary lengths to get their kids certain schools and to prepare them for entry examinations.

It has always been assumed that those children who demonstrated a superior intellectual capability early in their lives would be ahead in the race, and stay ahead, forever. Such pupils have an intellectual development that is more precocious than their peers. This new evidence, however, questions whether early developers do indeed stay ahead of the race as compared with late developers?

The answer is basically NO.  In fact, it is the late developers who possess the capability to catch up and edge ahead of the early ones. Those with superior intelligence show a slower developmental curve, but the highest rates of change throughout that journey. A child who is not reading or doing maths like his peers may, in fact, end up doing even better than them years down the road.

So the key fact coming out from this research is: – That late developers could have an edge over the early developers, though the capabilities will show up later in life.

So, knowing this new data my questions to you are;

  • Why do we continue to associate lifelong ability with precocity?
  • Why do we continue to test at ever earlier ages assuming that we will identify the most talented children?
  • Why do we even test children all at a particular age? If they are all developing at different rates, what are we learning?
  • When we find a late developer – and there are many examples – how many others like him or her have been thwarted because their talents were prematurely judged?
  • How wise is it to devote resources to the development of child prodigies whilst relegating the ‘average chaps’ (which includes late developers) to the backseat.

So what about the average students?

Should they resign themselves to being the ones sitting below the elite performers who have proven their abilities at a young age? Or will they, given time, develop late with the capability to edge past these prodigies?

At Seaford we invest in every child including the average ones, in the hope that they will blossom and bloom into the leaders of the future. As Charles Johnson used to say “not too many Seaford pupils go onto to Oxbridge but ours usually end up employing those that go!” ….. and he was right.


Beautiful Brains
National Geographic                          Oct 2011

Late Bloomers aren’t necessarily inferior to young prodigies
New Asia Republic                              Jan 2011

Boarding Inspection – Report Published

The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate visited us on the 8th – 10th May for our formal Boarding Inspection. I am very glad to say that they gave us a completely clean bill of health. Well done to everyone involved.

The report is now complete and can be read by clicking on the link below.


ISI Seaford Boarding Report

Seaford gets Animated

Seaford College Art Department has a number of young animators amongst its GCSE and A level candidates. Using the same software that Aardman use for ‘Wallace and Gromit’, youngsters can now create their own stop-frame animations.

Last year Millie Elwes finished a piece that she successfully used as part of her AS course and this year a number of GCSE candidates are making short animated films as part of their portfolios. Not only do they have to film the short scene, they also have to go through a lengthy design process to make the characters, and the set, whilst experimenting with the movements to make them convincing.

A couple of the early efforts can be seen at the links below.

Will Strivens piece    ‘DUTCH COURAGE’  –   Link

Ben Leonard’s piece    ‘MISERABLE LES’  –   Link



More news from Cambridge

Mr Coulson has had quite a lot of correspondence with Gabriella Bird who went into the ‘Winter Pool’ at Cambridge University for English. She has been offered a place a Lucy Cavendish College (a mature ladies college where you have to be 21yrs old to enter) and hence the offer is to start in October 2013. We all hope that Gabriella will take up this wonderful opportunity but, in any case, she has done fantastically well to win the place. Well done Gaby!

News from Oxford University

Recently, we have had some good news from Oxford University.

Cornelia Roibu, who is now in her second year at Somerville College Oxford (pictured) reading Biochemistry, has been awarded a  Scopes Exhibition from Somerville in recognition of her outstanding examination results at the end of the first year. In addition to receiving a bursary, she is entitled to wear a Scholar’s gown to future exams and other events at the University. Cornelia should be very proud of this achievement.

On a more disappointing note, both Willam Whitwell and Jamie Sims have been unsuccessful in gaining offers from Oxford to read Politics Philosophy and Economics. This is one of the most difficult courses on which to gain a place and, having both performed well in the interviews, they were unlucky to miss out.

End of Term

The term came to an end with the two College Carol services at Chichester cathedral.

The Prep School service was held in the afternoon and an appreciative audience of parents, pupils and staff joined in lustily with the congregational carols and were treated to some wonderful performances from the Prep School Choir under the Direction of Jeremy Weaver. The readers and soloists should all be very proud of their efforts in what was a superb service.

The Cathedral was absolutely packed out for the Senior School Service in the evening. Ten minutes into the service, parents were still being ushered into seats and spaces wherever they could be found! The music was outstanding with Eleanor Pearce’s solo in ‘O Holy Night’ one of many highlights. Sara Reynolds had the Choir performing at their absolute best at the end of what has been a long week with concerts at school, Eaton Square and Shoreham. The standard of reading this year was excellent and thanks must go to Mrs White for her efforts in preparing the readers for what is a very daunting task.

The congregation heard about the Chaplain’s night out clubbing in Kigali with Bishop Dennis in Rwanda and after a couple of excellent funny stories from the Rev left, happily, for the Christmas holidays. A wonderful, uplifting, end to a long successful term!