Eastbourne College

East Sussex

Image for Eastbourne College

  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 351 (Boys) 263 (Girls)
  • Day pupils: 319
  • Boarders: 295
  • Age Range: 13 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1867

General Information

We believe the key values of participation, the pursuit of excellence, integrity, courtesy and kindness form the bedrock upon which every child’s education should stand, providing young people with the wherewithal to flourish both at school and beyond.


Set in a stunning location between the sea and the South Downs, Eastbourne College offers a superb education for its pupils. Every boy and girl is encouraged and supported to achieve their full potential, wherever their strengths lie.

The importance of family life cannot be under-estimated and the College has responded to this by introducing a new boarding model that accommodates greater weekend flexibility. The new ‘flexi’ weekends enable pupils to choose whether they remain at school or return home for part of the weekend. These are in addition to traditional exeat weekends.

The first phase of the Project 150, a £33 million development taking place at the College, opened its doors to delighted pupils and staff in January 2017. The new Nugee Building has delivered 32 state-of-the–art classrooms, two specialist IT suites and several stunning entertaining areas. A new cricket pavilion was also opened last spring and there is great excitement about the new sports centre and dining hall due for delivery in April 2018.

There are excellent Music and Drama facilities including the Birley centre, a stunning performing arts centre that houses an acoustically-designed auditorium with sprung floor, a fully-equipped recording studio, percussion rooms, a vocal booth, music technology suites and a gallery and exhibition area. In addition, the College has a fully equipped 284-seater theatre with a raked auditorium and a 120 seat studio theatre. The school has an excellent learning resources centre and also its own Chapel. Pupils are able to join the choir which sings regularly, not only at chapel services but also annually at Chichester and Winchester cathedrals as well as various orchestras, bands and ensembles. The Science Department occupies an award winning £4m state-of-the-art building and the College is justly proud of its outstanding Design and Technology facilities.

Sport is an important element of the school curriculum with very good results. A-D sports teams in every year group, boys and girls. Running alongside the College's major sports programme, other sports include athletics, golf, horse riding, tennis and sailing. An extensive co-curricular programme also exists with CCF, ‘Service at School’, D of E and many other opportunities.

Entrance Requirements

Scholarship, Common Entrance or own exam, plus visit at 13+; reports and visit at 16+


Entry to Year 9: Art, Academic, Drama , Music and Sports. Entry to Year 12: Academic (inc. Science), Music, Sport, Drama, Art and Design and Technology. Please contact the College for details. Means tested bursaries also available

Open Days

2019. Open Morning: Sat. 9th March and Sat. 15th June, both 9am – 1pm.


2018/2019. Boarding: Years 9 – 11 £11,750 per term, Sixth Form £11,885 per term. Day: Years 9 – 11 £7,710 per term, Sixth Form £7,835 per term.


ISI Boarding Inspection 2012
ISI Inspection 2014
Exam Results

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Tom Lawson MA (Oxon)

Contact for enquiries: Ms Eloise Cheary, Director of Admissions

Eastbourne College
Old Wish Road
East Sussex
BN21 4JX

[t]: 01323 452323
[f]: 01323 452307
[w]: www.eastbourne-college.co.uk

Location Description

The College is situated on the edge of Eastbourne’s town centre, minutes from the sea and the glorious South Downs and a five minute walk to the station, with its main-line trains to London Victoria.

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School News

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

The Oxford Union represents what former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan hailed as the ‘last bastion of free speech in the Western World.’

With a tradition of

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hosting debates and speakers as far back as 1823, a strong Eastbourne College debating Society grasped the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of the most eminent speakers and shapers of the world narrative (Prof John Lennox, John Kerry, Morgan Freeman, Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Sir Malcolm Rifkind), with two pupils progressing to the national finals.

Four College teams travelled to the Oxford Schools Regional Debate Competition on Thursday 7 February, accompanied by the College’s Debater in Residence. The team was formed by Abby, Harry, Johnson, Max, Oliver, Olivia, Raul and Yeouw. Congratulations to Abby and Harry who have advanced to the Oxford Finals.

Run by the Oxford Union, this is the biggest debating competition in the UK. Aimed at students aged 14 to 18, the competition offers young people an excellent chance to develop their skills and confidence in public speaking, thoughtful argumentation and analytical problem solving. Set up over 20 years ago as a British Parliamentary school-level debating competition, it aims to make debating accessible to pupils. Every year, over a thousand pupils and around 350 teams are invited to participate.

The College’s Debating Society is a lively part of the school with many events planned throughout the year. Prior to the Oxford Schools competition, six teams had traveled to King’s College London to take part in a well-attended (63 teams) blind-topic event in British Parliamentary Debate style and only 15 minutes to prepare for each topic; no help from the internet allowed. Topics ranged from women in STEM, worker benefits, banning political parties and the US 2020 Presidential primary election.

We are very proud of our debating teams and of Abby and Harry who have made it to the finals day, to be held in March at the historic Oxford Union.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

One to watch, Eastbourne College’s Ben Fox continues to impress as part of the England Hockey’s U18 squad. One of the youngest competitors and having

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only recently recovered from a broken leg, he scores in semi-finals of Super Sixes at Olympic Park.

England Hockey hosted the Jaffa Super-Sixes Men’s indoor hockey finals at the Olympic Park and one of the youngest players in the tournament, Eastbourne College pupil Ben Fox (just 17 years old), played for Sevenoaks. The top eight teams had been playing off over the Christmas period to earn a place in the finals. Ben played superbly scoring one of the four goals against Surbiton in the semi-finals but alas it wasn’t quite enough to see them into the final.

Ben continues to feature prominently on the hockey scene, playing for his school’s 1st XI under the watchful and experienced eye of his coach, Director of Hockey and ex-Olympian Rob Hill. He also plays for Sevenoaks 1st XI in the highest division of domestic hockey (Premier National League) and often finds himself marking a GB player.

Rob Hill, who has 40 caps for Great Britain and helped the GB team place sixth at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, says that, ‘Ben has a great balance of positional awareness, skill, sportsmanship and teamwork. The College’s consistent record of hockey achievement is down to players like Ben and a strong, supportive coaching and pastoral framework.’

In Year 10, Ben was selected to the U16 England training squad and earned six caps at that level playing against Germany and Belgium. He continued to represent his country and now, after a year recovering from a broken leg, has retained his place again, making it into the final U18 England squad of just 25 players. He will be travelling to Lilleshall, the national sports centre over half term to play in a series against Ireland.

Selection for Sevenoaks at the Men’s Super-Sixes indoor hockey finals (and scoring under pressure) is one more step in the right direction for Ben as he balances school with elite sport commitments. We wish him all the best and give him and his family our full support.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

Eastbourne College had the pleasure of hosting Paralympian Joe Townsend and coach Dr Gary Brickley for a training session in their new pool.

The 25 metre

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pool, built to exacting Sport England standards and benefitting from Swiss touch-pad timing systems, was the ideal training venue for this home-grown hero.

Born in Eastbourne, Townsend is a Commonwealth Champion, former Royal Marine Commando, Ironman UK triathlete, Ironman World Champion and winner of four gold medals at the Invictus Games 2014. At London 2012, Joe carried the Paralympic Flame into the stadium starting from the Orbit Tower and falling from 350 feet in a controlled descent via a zip-wire. At Rio in 2016, he made his Paralympic debut in triathlon, securing a sixth place PT1 finish and is widely regarded as one of the best para-triathletes in the world.

Dr Gary Brickley, an expert swimmer, having swum across the English Channel in under 12 hours back in 2016, is a GBR Paralympic coach and senior lecturer at Brighton University. He has helped the likes of Sarah Storey, the most decorated female Paralympian of all time (14 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals) and makes important contributions to academia and sport through scholarly journals such as the International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching.

It was an inspiration and an honour to have Joe and Dr Brickley training alongside our own pupils, and we hope to build even stronger links in the years to come.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

Wg Cdr Donald Perrens DSO OBE DFC was 100 on 1 January, and yesterday he enjoyed a special celebratory lunch at the College as the

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guest of Headmaster Tom Lawson and his wife Jess.

He is pictured here, with the help of his daughter Pip Kirtley, blowing out the ten candles (one for each decade) on his birthday cake.

The Eastbournian Society (ES – Eastbourne College’s extended family of ex-pupils, staff and parents) were delighted to pass on a large number of cards and congratulatory emails that had been received in the ES office from Old Eastbournians and former staff worldwide.

Donald was appointed to the College staff by Headmaster John Nugee in 1939 but the Second World War intervened before he could finally take up his post in 1946. He was on the staff until 1981, during which time he ran the RAF section of the CCF before becoming commanding officer in 1954. He was also at various times head of science, housemaster of Blackwater, acting headmaster and second master in the early 1970s, as well as a coach for tennis and hockey.

In the war Donald was initially commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment in 1940 and posted to France with the British Expeditionary Force, but managed to escape on one of the last allied boats to leave Cherbourg. By November 1941 he had transferred to the Royal Air Force and, after basic flying training, went with 225 Squadron to North Africa, where he provided reconnaissance support during the Tunisian campaign.

Later the squadron moved to Sicily, then by the winter of 1944-45 he was flying Spitfires with 208 Squadron, based near Florence. During a reconnaissance mission near Bologna Donald’s plane was hit by enemy fire and he managed to crash-land in the allies’ forward defence lines, where he was dragged from the wreckage with a fractured spine and skull. After hospital treatment he returned to operational duty in March 1945, shortly before the end of the war.

Donald has been a regular visitor to the College in recent years and has been particularly interested in the Project 150 development, the culmination of many changes he has witnessed in his 80-year association with the school.

Present at the lunch and pictured here, left to right, with Donald at the front, are Col Anthony Lamb MBE DL VR, Contingent Commander of the CCF; David Stewart, Director of the Eastbournian Society; David Winn OBE (School 1954-59), President of the Eastbournian Society; Jess Lawson; Headmaster Tom Lawson; Pip Kirtley; and Forbes Wastie MBE, College staff 1961-98 and Contingent Commander of the CCF 1968-73.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

‘You can do whatever you put your mind to’ was the prevailing message this week, as England and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold winning netballer, Natalie

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Hawthornthwaite, headed to Eastbourne to inspire the next generation.

Natalie spent the day with St Andrew’s Prep and Eastbourne College pupils speaking about the dedication and hard work required to be part of a successful team, before answering questions from the girls, and then putting them through their paces in a series of masterclasses. The visit, organised by Eastbourne College’s Director of Netball, ex-England international and super league coach, Lisa Price, marked a fitting end to the College’s ‘Year of the Girl’activities with a hopeful message attached; that, with the right support, UK women’s sport can be world-beating.

To achieve gold at the Commonwealth Games is tantamount to winning an Olympic gold medal and is the highest accolade the sport currently offers. Natalie, playing in the position of wing attack, was on court when the ‘England Roses’team defeated tournament favourites Australia in the dying seconds of the final to claim gold. The iconic photograph of the elated England team, and the message it conveyed, echoed around the globe, placing UK Netball on the proverbial sporting map, just two years after the team had managed to secure £3 million worth of elite Sport England funding.

Recently named Team of the Year at the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards 2018, the Sunday Times Sports Women of the Year Awardsand the BT Sport Action Woman Awards, the BBC TV Sports Personality of the Year 2018 announced that the ‘Vitality Roses’ (their new name, having secured a three year sponsorship deal from Vitality insurance) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Team of the Year 2018 award and the Greatest Sporting Moment of 2018 award.

Headmaster of Eastbourne College, Tom Lawson, thanked Natalie for her time and insight into the world of elite UK netball, noting that,

‘So many girls have been inspired today by her presence and the message of empowerment that she brings.’

Impressed by Natalie’s positive effect on the pupils, he implored,

‘I do hope the positive vibes emanating from Team England, England Netball and the Vitality Roses, can be matched by similar vibes from Sport England, to continue funding the success story beyond 2019.’

Gareth Jones, St Andrew’s Prep Headmaster concurred and added,

‘Opportunities to hear about the benefits of team sport first-hand from a sportswoman at the very pinnacle of her game don’t come along very often. Most of us are aware of the psychological and social benefits but St Andrew’s Prep also believes the life skills gained including respect, resilience, discipline, problem-solving and humility are equally as important, as well as the sheer fun and enjoyment that sport offers.’

Photo: Eastbourne College Under 17 and Under 18 Girls

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

With a reputation for helping to develop world-famous performers such as the likes of Eddie Izzard, Ed Speelers (Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones) and

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Hugh Skinner (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Eastbourne College Drama is a force majeure.

Eastbourne College’s School of Rock performances erupted in a blast of colour and sound as the brazen Dewey Finn took on the challenge of galvanising A-star academics into A-star rock legends!

Based on the hit movie, and faithful to the contemporary humour and vivacious musical score in the current West End production, the College’s School of Rock production followed Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher to earn some extra cash.

Buzzing with energy the tunes kept on coming, from the slow and lyrical to the full-on rock riffs. Fusing the talents of all the year groups, the cast were a delight to watch as they dared to defy the system and try to win the ‘Battle of the Bands’. Backed by a full rock band and looking the part, the pupils were extraordinarily dynamic and skilful in the most technical performance the College has ever attempted.

‘Two hours of absolute bliss!’ stated one audience member, while others marvelled at the level of musical ability the pupils demonstrated as they punched out live music and vocals, using lead and bass guitars, keyboards and drums to electrify the atmosphere.

The Friday and Saturday shows were performed in front of a packed-out College Theatre, which holds in excess of 250 seated, and tickets sold out to the public.

Henry Turnbull, who played the lead role of supply teacher Dewey Finn, had an amazing experience. Initially nervous about taking on such an audacious character, he portrayed Dewey with great attention to detail, projecting the extroverted American accent with panache. Henry built a great rapport with the supporting cast and pushed himself to the limits, combining a busy schedule of schoolwork, sport and rehearsals.

‘This has been the most amazing experience, one I’ll never forget’, an elated Henry commented as he walked off stage after the final performance.

Claudine Sinnett, Director of Drama at Eastbourne College and professional actor with experience in the West End and Broadway, was thrilled with the outcome and praised the cast for their hard work,

‘Directing this group has been a wonderful experience for me personally. They are some of the most talented pupils I’ve ever worked with and I’m glad that I could help them achieve such a great performance.’

She also commended the College’s Music, Dance and administrativerepresentatives (staff and pupils) who worked tirelessly,

‘adding a great deal to our ensemble with their professionalism and talent’, adding that ‘ thrives on the idea that theatre can transport us to different worlds. Worlds where everyone is allowed to express themselves creatively.’

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

Eastbourne College sixth former Oliver Williams secured a prestigious work experience placement at Williams Formula One (F1) team headquarters thanks to the endorsement of former

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College pupil, now Williams’ Senior Aerodynamicist, James Crook.

Mr Crook’s Eastbourne College journey prepared him well for work at one of the world’s leading automotive engineering firms. A music and academic scholar, Mr Crook threw himself into all manner of opportunities on offer at the College, including two prizes for Design and Technology (innovation), a McLaren F1 racing team placement, and building a ‘Locost’ sports car.

Formula One racing is often perceived as elitist and inaccessible and Oliver Williams was part of a new programme driven by Williams to reverse these perceptions. The company also offers financial bursaries and promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in schools.

Oliver’s placement was in the Formula 1 Model Shop and his week was peppered with eye-opening opportunities, including a tour of the sitea meeting with founder and Team Principle Sir Frank Williams, and a personal tour of Frank’s private collection of F1 cars.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

The annual Remembrance Day march past the Cenotaph is one of the cornerstones of British society. Watched by millions across the world, the occasion gives

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opportunity for reflection, mourning, commemoration and a moment to unite.

With one of the largest school cadet forces in the country, EastbourneCollege was honoured to be the only school selected to provide twenty cadets to participate in the Remembrance Day march past the Cenotaph on Sunday.

Tom Lawson, the school’s headmaster stated, ‘to pay our respects at the Cenotaph was a huge honour and we are proud that our pupils were given the responsibility, especially in this centenary year.’

The cadets performed admirably on the day, marching down Whitehall, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph and saluting HRH Princess Anne at Horse Guards Parade.

Back in Eastbourne, the school held their own Remembrance service and Combined Cadet Force Parade, which took place in front of the iconic Memorial Building. An address, delivered by Colonel Anthony Lamb MBE DL, focused on the less tangible effects of the colossal human sacrifice. Attention was brought to the loss felt by the families of those that did not return home, the local communities, and the ripple effect on British society as each community, and the country, began to rebuild.

The College then welcomed former Chairman of Governors, Admiral Sir Ian Forbes and Captain (retired) Andrew Jelinek, both ex-pupils and ex-servicemen, who laid wreaths which will be placed beneath stone tablets that bear the names of the 174 boys and one teacher that gave their lives in the Great War. After the service, 174 cadets each placed a small wooden cross in front of the Memorial Arch around a ‘Tommy’ silhouette (pictured).

Following the Act of Remembrance, the College unveiled a memorial to Old Eastbournian Lionel Rees VC (Victoria Cross), who earned his VC as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps in WW1 and after whom the new dining hall has been named; a fitting end to the day’s remembrance events.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

On Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November 2018, Eastbourne College, in collaboration with LM Productions, showcased a sensational world-first video mapping projection show, the pinnacle

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event in a year’s worth of 150th anniversary celebrations.

More than a year in the making, the College’s iconic Memorial Building was transformed into a touching digital artwork.

Residents of Eastbourne were treated to an awe-inspiring display of moving images, light and sound that depicted with great clarity the College’s original mission, to ‘provide an emerging energetic seaside town with a centre of learning that would come to rival the best in the land.’

Built in 1930, the Memorial Building was commissioned to remember the many Eastbourne College pupils who fought and died in the Great War. In an ode to those who had fallen, archive images of the boys who had perished, captured in the cold splendour of their laden battle dress, adorned the façade to the melody of Sting’s Fields of Gold, as poppies and the Union Jack descended solemnly; it was an emotive reminder of how lucky we are.

Three minutes into the show, a message of optimism then reverberated across College Field as the low hum of approaching WW2 aircraft, Spitfire and Hurricanes, winged their way towards the spectators. An 18-metre high victorious Churchill appeared as the narrative changed to one of hope; that future generations would embody wisdom, enlightenment and work towards a more tolerant society. That future generations would pursue excellence and question the accepted world view, looking to find answers to ‘what if?’ Gentle reminders of the College’s contribution to politics, science, humanitarian efforts, music, performing arts and sport were weaved into the display as notable celebrities added candid and, at times, humorous sound bites.

Culminating in a simple message and to rapturous applause from an estimated 2000 spectators, the 3D show was a resounding success; the only downside being, as one spectator put it, ‘that we only got to see it twice.’

Head of Eastbourne College Tom Lawson (who cameoed in the show, alongside his faithful dog Roy), was over the moon, ‘we could not have done this without the help and generosity of LM Productions, and the creative input of our dedicated teachers and support staffWe shall never forget how lucky we are as we look towards the next 150 years.’

Please follow this link to the ‘latest news’ page on the College website for full details: https://www.eastbourne-college.co.uk/world-first-3d-show/

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

It is with great excitement that Eastbourne College welcomes on board county and international cricket professional James Tredwell. Praised for his professionalism, James is set

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to boost a well-resourced, first-class cricket coaching set-up.

Known for his tricky right-arm off-spin bowling and close fielding skills, James has recently retired after a long and successful 18 year career at the highest level. A prominent figure on the county cricket circuit, James bonded well with the Kent set-up, amassing over 600 wickets for the club. He also played two Tests for England, returning match figures of 6-181 against Bangladesh in 2010 and 5-140 in the West Indies in 2015. James was arguably most dangerous in the shorter forms of the game and has taken 60 wickets in 45 one-day international appearances and seven in 17 T20s for England. Swapping right-arm bowling for left-hand batting, James’ batting performances are not to be sniffed at, with four centuries and seventeen first-class fifties to his name.Upon learning of the opportunity to join the College cricket programme, James mentioned that he was, “very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play at such a high level” and “always wanted to give something back to the next generation”, also adding “it would be a pleasure” and that Eastbourne College was “the perfect fit and a natural progression; the coaching team and set-up you have there is great.”James shoulders a well-deserved reputation as solid, reliable and the perfect role model. A hard worker, known for his consistency in training sessions, James’ endearing character earned him numerous nicknames from his Kent teammates. Tredders, Tredman, Pingu, Chad, Jimmy T are popular identities synonymous with his unique brand of quality cricket and he will be sorely missed by the coaches, fans and professionals that knew him.

Headmaster Tom Lawson stated, “Eastbourne College are delighted to have the opportunity to benefit from the immense experience and character of James Tredwell. He will be an excellent addition to our coaching team which is led by longstanding Director of Cricket at the College, former Kent and Notts player Rob Ferley. We want our pupils to have the best opportunities and part of that quest is to provide inspiration. Having James as part of the coaching team is a great way to motivate the many pupils that Eastbourne College educates.”

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

FREE WORLD-FIRST 3D VIDEO MAPPING SHOW ! On Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November 2018, Eastbourne College will showcase a sensational world-class video mapping projection

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show, the pinnacle event in a year’s worth of 150th anniversary celebrations.

More than a year in the making, unique content will transform the College’s iconic Memorial Building into a moving (in both senses of the word) digital artwork; and entry for the public will be free.

Produced by LM Productions, an award-winning Eastbourne-based company with an enviable global customer-base (including Universal Studios, Florida), the spectacular show will utilise six projectors producing 168,000 lumens of light over more than 1300 square meters of building, with images over 18 metres tall. For around ten minutes, in excess of 16,000 frames of animations projected from two specially constructed towers will adorn the front of the red-brick and sandstone building, set to a specialised original sound track and voice over, accompanied by music created in the College’s on-site recording studio by the School’s top choristers and musicians.

Stephen Harvey, Managing Director of LM Productions and parent of a former pupil of Eastbourne College, was keen to work with the College in support of the school’s innovative outlook, stating that a 3D video mapping show ‘would be the ultimate inauguration for the next 150 years’. In a year that saw the school invest £33 million in its future-focused Project 150 development, Mr Harvey added that it was ‘fantastic that we have the chance to share our experience and knowledge with the people of Eastbourne, our home town.’
Headmaster, Tom Lawson, who earlier this year picked up a prize for the College’s lead role in the Eastbourne Schools Partnership (a community partnering scheme that accounts for more than 14,500 children in the local maintained sector) stated: ‘we have an opportunity here to inspire the next generation and we are grasping it with both hands.’ He added that ‘British independent education is well-placed to make the most of emerging technologies. Here, at the College, using breakthrough technology provides a breath of fresh (sea) air as part of our 150-year tradition of innovation.’

Open to all in the community and with no charge for admission, this one-off 3D video mapping show is preceded by live music and bar at 6.00pm, followed by a film about the making of the show at 6.40pm, with the 3D video mapping show itself at 7.00pm. Grange Road and Blackwater Road will be closed for the event and made into pedestrian-only areas for the public to enjoy the spectacle. The event which, it is believed, will be a world-first for a school, will be live-streamed.

The opening of the stunning new Winn Building completes the second phase of Project 150. Our £33m enhancement offers ground-breaking, state-of-the-art facilities, marking a pivotal

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moment in the College’s 150 year history. Click below to view our superb new facilities:

The development is located in the heart of the College campus. This transformational development provides:

• academic accommodation: 32 state-of-the-art classrooms, fitted with Prowise screens and intelligent heating and lighting systems
• new sports facilities comprising a new sports hall, FINA certified swimming pool, squash courts, fitness suite, multi-purpose dance studio and changing facilities
• dining facilities: accommodating up to 600 in one sitting, with the new kitchens fitted with the very best in modern equipment, which are comparable to prime business and industry sites in London.

Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

Headmaster Tom Lawson and Head of Partnerships Linda Salway receive the Community Award for the work of The Eastbourne Schools Partnership which provides community, educational

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and sporting activities and accounts for 14,000 children in the area.

Eastbourne College were honoured to receive the Community Award at the 12th annual Education Business Awards in London. The award recognises the College’s work in founding and growing the Eastbourne Schools Partnership (ESP) which provides community, educational and sporting activities. Comprising a blend of 12 local maintained and independent schools, the ESP now accounts for 14,000 children in the surrounding area. Headmaster Tom Lawson and Head of Partnerships Linda Salway were very pleased to receive the award from Susie Dent, lexicographer and long-term occupant of Dictionary Corner on Channel Four’s Countdown.

Situated beside St Paul’s Cathedral, the five-star Grange St Paul’s Hotel played perfect host to a total of 68 schools and the presentation of 22 award categories, including the Building Award for which Eastbourne College also received a special commendation. Named Project 150 or P150, the judges’ praise fell upon the recently completed £33million fabric redevelopment. The ground-breaking, environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art build marked a pivotal point in the College’s history. Employing a predominantly local workforce and utilising expert knowledge from local companies and subcontractors, P150 delivered an educational environment beyond expectations, and contributed significantly to the aesthetics of Eastbourne’s multi-million pound Devonshire Quarter facelift.


Eastbourne College independent day and boarding school East Sussex

To mark International Women’s Day, there has been a series of initiatives in the College today where pupils and staff have all taken

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Lessons have been especially focused on notable women this week. Women are in the forefront in Mr Wood’s Philosophy lessons. As part of International Women’s Day, pupils have been learning more about Simone de Beauvoir, Hypatia of Alexandria, Mary Wollstonecraft, and other prominent women in Philosophy. Pupils have also been discussing gender parity and looking at ways in which they can, as individuals, pledge to make their environment more equitable for people of all genders. They made personal pledges of how they intend to ‘press for progress’ in order to achieve this end and to help make their school inclusive for all, mirroring the College’s key values of participation, the pursuit of excellence, courtesy, integrity and kindness.

The Art department has launched a series of projects to learn more about  the woman behind our Chapel’s stained glass windows. Mary Lowndes was a leading light in the suffrage movement (Chair of the Artists’ Suffrage League 1907-18) where she designed many of the banners used in public demonstrations and marches. She was also a business woman, the co-founder of Lowndes and Drury who were commissioned to create eight of our stained glass windows in chapel, five of which are signed by Lowndes. Pupils will be involved through activities, trips and workshops over the next two terms to learn more about this fascinating woman.

Female pupils and staff have gathered together on College Field in glorious sunshine this morning to perform a short yoga sun salutation sequence as a show of strength and solidarity for International Women’s Day.

The Arnold girls also got behind the initiative by encouraging people to wear purple on their hands to show support of women and by decorating the dining hall with purple balloons full of motivational words and stats about notable women in History.

The Headmaster addressed a letter to parents this morning challenging the notion that single-sex schools are good for girls (and boys). Read the Headmaster’s letter here.

Eastbourne College Independent East Sussex Eastbourne College Housemistress Takes Fastest Women’s Time in The Marathon of Afghanistan

An account of the marathon and trip by Victoria Burford, an Eastbourne College girls’ boarding Housemistress.

‘Another marathon in Afghanistan? You’re going back?  You must be

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mad’ was the usual reaction from my friends and colleagues when I mentioned my plans to return to Afghanistan in November 2017. Having raced the previous year and surprised myself by winning the female title, I couldn’t wait to return, although to travel to Afghanistan is never without risks. Indeed, as I landed in a misty Kabul from Gatwick and heard of a fatal attack that same day on a Shia mosque, it was with both nerves and excitement that I passed through the many checkpoints at immigration. However, as dawn set on a troubled Kabul and we watched groups of innocent children playing with kites on a hilly outcrop, I knew that my decision to return was right, whatever the outcome of the race.

I have enjoyed running since a young adult, and since becoming a boarding Housemistress although the time pressures of training to run a marathon while concomitantly running a boarding house can sometimes be challenge (anyone fancy a 20 miler between roll call and chapel?), I find that long distance running can be a great way of alleviating the demands of the job and creating vital headspace. Many of my best House initiatives have been borne on the South Downs, although woe betide the girl (or parent) who comes between me and my post run refuel!

The Marathon of Afghanistan and the associated 10k is the only sporting event in Afghanistan where girls and boys can take part together, and is organised with a charity called Free to Run which is an inspirational organisation which works with women and girls in conflict areas to give them confidence, equality and education through exercise. The entry fees paid by the international runners enable both the local Afghans to take part for free, and for a small group of girls from Free to Run to  participate and  take part in a training schedule in the months leading up to the marathon. We spent a day hiking with some of these girls, and it was humbling to hear some of their stories – before Free to Run, these girls would risk stoning, insults and death threats if they ran on the streets, and they would be reduced to training in small compounds or stairwells.  Over tea in a local shepherd’s hut, we all discussed why we enjoyed  running.  For the international runners, the reasons were predominantly health driven, yet the unilateral reason cited by these local girls was to bring about change in their country.  While hiking up the hill, one of girls who was a student at the American University in Kabul told me that ‘things had been tough recently’, due to a Taliban bomb at the university which had killed a lot of her friends and teachers.  The mental and physical resilience of all of these girls is truly remarkable.

The marathon took place in the town of Bamiyan which is a Hazara stronghold in the North of Afghanistan at an altitude of 2,500m.  With a Buddhist past, its cliffs are dotted with ancient sacrificial caves, some of which now house refugees.   One of these caves is also a school, and it was wonderful to return there and teach a lesson. All that remains of the largest Buddha statues which the Taliban blew up in 2001 are huge silhouettes etched into the black rock face.  It was an out and back route – climbing 700 metres directly up and down a hill on a well tarmacked road – never have I felt so happy in the 14th mile of a marathon! Because of the altitude and the 8 am start, it was never oppressively hot – a bonus since we had to ensure that our clothing fully covered us, including headwear.  The morning of the races afforded a rea sense of camaraderie with 300 competitors lined up to race.  It was one of the fastest starts ever with adrenalin and inexperience playing no small part. After about a kilometre the dirt track became a fully tarmacked road, and I managed to settle into a pace. I passed through the 5k checkpoint without stopping, and paused at 10k checkpoint where an inviting tray of bananas, apricots and home-made cake  awaited. It really was a long and winding road up the hill – it was beautiful in its bleakness,  remote,  flanked by two mountains so the air still bitingly chilly  – running through shepherd settlements where fields of potatoes were being harvested by families, being overtaken by the occasional donkey laden with fodder – it was like running in a bygone era. We passed through dramatic gorges and small villages, where locals would stare at us with mild bemusement. One man even invited me in for a cup of tea – I don’t think that he quite understood the concept that we were running a marathon. Sadly the racing culture in Afghanistan is almost non-existent, so there was a fair amount of cheating, ranging from people jumping into cars to hitching an illicit ride on a bike or even a donkey.  In a land of widespread poverty, chip timing would seem like an ironic luxury, but I really do think that it was ignorance rather than malice behind a lot of the cheating.  Indeed  as I was huffing my way up the hill, I chuckled when a fellow competitor asked me quite innocently how I intended to get down the hill – the concept of actually running the 26 miles of a marathon seemingly quite novel to him.  As I ran down the hill, it became apparent to me that I was the first female, but knowing how difficult the last few miles of a marathon can be (all the more so at altitude), I could afford to take nothing for granted, but it was not until I crossed the finish line and had the position to me confirmed that I could really relax! The winning man, a taxi driver from Kabul, by then adorned in an Afghan flag and being interviewed by local TV was being feted  as a local hero (and rightly so) and it was an honour to be part of his story and indeed part of the journey behind running in Afghanistan – a journey which may only be in its first few faltering miles, but one which thanks to Free to Run and the Marathon of Afghanistan, can increasingly be enjoyed by both girls and boys.

Back now in UK where I am free to wear what I want, do what I want, run where I want, Afghanistan feels miles away. Without a doubt, Afghanistan is a country which challenges the senses – so often associated with danger, war, bombings and violence, but it is also a country of love, compassion, friendship and  some of the warmest hospitality I have ever encountered. Like running itself, it is a country where a whole range of emotions inextricably connected and the fine line between joy and pain, wealth and poverty, laughing and crying can change at the blink of an eyelid.  Like running, Afghanistan is a country which gets under your skin and challenges a return.  And you may even find yourself a champion!

Victoria completed the marathon in an impressive 4 hours and 25 minutes.

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