What it’s like
Founded in 1875, it is situated near Beachy Head with grounds and gardens
opening on to the Downs. The buildings are well designed and comfortable and
provide good accommodation and facilities. Academic standards are high and
examination results are very good. It enjoys a high staff:pupil ratio of about
1:8. The music and drama departments have excellent reputations. The school
prides itself on strong careers counselling. Very good sports and games, plus a
very wide range of activities, including local community schemes. Many overseas
links eg sport, drama and exchange visits.
Scholarships, bursaries & extras 15 pa scholarships and exhibitions,
value 15%–50% fees: academic, drama, art, music, sport and a number of
bursaries. Parents not expected to buy textbooks; maximum extras approx £150.
Parents 70+% live within 30 miles; 30+% live overseas.
Head & staff
Principal: Mrs Ann Harris, appointed in 1997. Educated at Royal College
of Music (ARCM) and Bath Spa University. Previously Headmistress of Moira House
Junior School. Also Founder Member of GSA Junior Heads Group in south east;
member of Incorporated Society of Musicians and East Sussex Chairman. Involved
in local musical activities as pianist and in choirs.
Teaching staff: 40 full time, 30 part time. Annual turnover 7%. Average
GCSE: In 2003, 36 pupils in fifth form: 100% gained at least grade C in
6+ subjects. Average GCSE score 65 (50 over 5 years).
A-levels: 32 in upper sixth. Average final point score achieved by upper
sixth formers 348.
University & college entrance 100% of sixth-form leavers go on to a
degree course (10% after a gap year). 20% take courses in science, engineering
and medicine, 15% in law, 40% in humanities & social sciences, 2% in art &
design, 12% in eg business, acting, dance.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 20 GCSE subjects, 18 AS and
A-level, 4 Vocational A-levels.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level;
general studies is not taken. 50% take science A-levels; 40% arts/humanities;
10% both. Key skills optional and integrated into sixth-form courses and
Vocational: Work experience available.
Special provision: Special tutoring for dyslexic pupils and EFL.
Languages: French, German and Spanish offered at GCSE, AS and A-level;
GCSE Latin. Regular
exchanges (France, Germany and Spain).
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (1 lesson a week
in Years 7–9) and across the curriculum eg data-logging in science, composition
in music. 130 computers for pupil use, most networked and with email and
Music: Over 70% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. 6 musical groups: orchestra, chamber groups, woodwind, string
quartet, swing band. Many successes in Eastbourne Festival.
Drama & dance: Both offered. GCSE, AS and A-level drama and LAMDA exams
may be taken. Majority of pupils are involved in school and house/other
productions. Many successes in Eastbourne Festival.
Art & design: On average, 15 take GCSE, 3 A-level. Design also offered.
Sport & activities
Sport: Hockey, netball, swimming, athletics, gymnastics, tennis
compulsory. Optional: cricket, squash, badminton, golf, sailing, basketball,
football, volleyball, trampolining, windsurfing, orienteering, riding. BAGA,
RLSS, RYA exams may be taken. Biennial hockey and netball tour to eg West
Indies, Europe, Australia.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Community service optional. Over 30 clubs, eg sports clubs, drama,
dancing, computing, Young Enterprise, debating, public speaking.
Uniform: School uniform worn, suits in the sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Prefects, 2 head girls, house councils, elected by
girls and staff.
Religion: Morning prayers and Sunday church compulsory for Christians
until fifth form; confirmation, Christian Unions.
Social: Public-speaking, Eastbourne Festival with other local schools.
Organised trips abroad (Year 9 upwards) for music, drama and sport ( eg USA and
Hungary), annual ski trips to Europe and USA and cultural exchange to Thailand.
Day pupils allowed to bring own car/bike to school. Some meals formal, some
self-service. School shop. No tobacco or alcohol allowed.
Discipline Pupils failing to produce homework once will repeat their
work in detention; those caught with cannabis on the premises will be expelled.
Sanctions for anti-social behaviour.
Boarding 50% have own study bedroom, 50% share with others. Houses of
approximately 60, divided by age. RGNs on duty or on call. Central dining room.
Sixth-form pupils can provide and cook their own food at weekends. Half term,
and exeat weekends by arrangement. Visits to local town allowed at weekends.
Former pupils Rumer Godden (novelist); Prunella Scales (actress); Joy
Finzi (artist); Virginia Fiennes (explorer).