Dear Old Brightonians,
I am writing to report some wonderful GCSE results. Incredibly, out of 2,080 exams sat, every single one was a C or better, with the most common grade being an A*.
Dear Old Brightonians,
With 505 grades at A* or A, 117 at grade B, 20 at grade C and 2 at grade D, our delightful outgoing Upper Sixth pupils are today celebrating a stellar end to their time here. Remarkably, 110 sixth formers secured A* and A grades in every single subject, with at least a dozen really wonderful characters pushing up from D grade predictions a year ago to a terrific set of B grades today.
Dear Old Brightonians
It has been a busy and emotional day at the College as our Upper Sixth received their results. I write this afternoon merely to put some further flesh on the news I e-mailed out to you this morning.
Essentially, Brighton sixth formers have bucked the downward national trend again, with some stunning A-level results, including a record number of grades at A* (an impressive 181 A* grades in total). The College also celebrated another rise in the proportion of grades at A* and A, those grades demanded by Oxford, Cambridge and other elite universities.
Christmas is a time of giving and of time spent with loved ones, and wherever you are this Christmas I wish you well. I am tremendously proud of my connection with the College, and especially with the Old Brightonians. This year I read with great pride about not only the achievements of the school, which are nothing less than astonishing, but also of the wonderful acts of kindness and generosity within the Brightonian community. In his end of term letter Richard Cairns wrote of the sense of community that the College enjoys; 'I want everyone who leaves here to feel that by their presence they can make the world a little bit better. I want them to recognise that they can make a difference and should.' I would like to urge my fellow OBs to embrace this philosophy.
Dear Old Brightonians, A day from now, term will end. The signs are clear already. Yesterday, boys and girls were sporting Christmas jumpers in aid of the Rocking Horse charity. Today, the porters are lugging bottles of wine, chocolates and flowers across the quad to favoured teachers and House tutors. Vast quantities of cake and chocolate will be consumed in the final few lessons. Christmas lunches will be served, crackers will be pulled, hats donned, jokes told and so the longest term will come to its inevitable conclusion. The college will fall silent. Only a few cold, sad seagulls (and the Bursar) will remain.
I am writing with news of our A-level results. Of the 616 papers sat, the following grades were achieved:
This equates to 96% of grades at A*-B at this stage. These are the grades universities now demand.
The College is currently enjoying unparalleled success under Head Master Richard Cairns and his team, something which we can all be proud of whenever we were at the College. It has somewhat put the College on the map as it were. It has also been a memorable year for the Old Brightonians, for completely different reasons. The year started with a memorial for Sgt Major Chris O'Connell when a few hundred OBs turned up on a freezing January morning to pay their respects to a man who had inspired and been a father figure to many. It had already been a year since Chris O'Connell died, but the effect that he had upon the pupils under his guidance was as palpable as ever.
Dear Old Brightonians,
The Sunday Times has published its latest table of the UK's Top 400 schools and I thought you would be interested to see the attached extract. The table places Brighton College as the second highest performing co-educational school in Britain, the fifth highest performing boarding school in the country and the only school in Britain to have improved its academic performance every single year for six years. It also places the College above many of the country's most selective schools. Brighton is the only Sussex school in the Top 100.
I was fascinated to see the Leconfield picture of the College Shooting Team. Two boys I recognise; Gouriet and Brian Mullin who was one of my great friends. He and I went to Sandhurst together and he stayed in the Army, passing away recently in South Africa.
Brighton College continues to give us all cause for celebration, gaining this year not only the best results in Sussex but also being named the ‘Sunday Times UK Independent School of the Year 2011-12’. The Head Master Richard Cairns and his staff are to be congratulated upon this achievement and of course all of the pupils and staff, past and present, who have contributed to this accolade. It is an achievement that all Old Brightonians should celebrate, and as President of the Old Brightonians I would like to pass on my congratulations for your efforts. We all have different memories of our time at the College, but it is truly a school that we can all be proud of.
We had a fabulous letter in this week from Kate Merrin (W/F. 1989-93) who found a photo of a BCJS team on a filmset in Australia. We would love to know the date of the photo, and also the story behind how it got there! Here's the letter for starters, if anyone recognises the photograph please contact the OB office!
I am currently posted to HQ ISAF Joint Command, in Kabul, Afghanistan on a 9 month tour. Christmas day marks the half-way point of the tour. I work in the Campaign & Transition Assessment Group, helping the Afghan Government prepare for and plan their assumption of security responsibility.
I am writing with some fantastic news. The Sunday Times has decided to award Brighton College the title of UK Independent Secondary School of the Year 2011 in their highly influential Sunday Times Schools Guide to be published this Sunday and on line.
Brighton College is about so much more than academic results but once a year it is nice to celebrate another fine performance by the boys and girls in their public examinations, reflected in the these two tables. It is also reassuring for the pupils themselves. At a time when universities are becoming more and more demanding, College pupils are better placed than ever to make successful applications to universities where they really want to study.
With preparations underway for the World Cup in New Zealand this year, it is with an inflated ego and a great deal of national pride that I humbly submit that we have a new contender this year: The United States of America. That's right: the Eagles will go all the way this year, and no one will see it coming.
For the last month I have been living in rural Nepal, which has been amazing.
For a start, the view from my bedroom window is an open meadow, and I am woken up every morning at 5.30 by the squeals of the pig tethered just outside. At the end of the meadow is dense forest, eventually backing onto the mountains. All water is sourced from the handpump in the front garden, and the toilet is no more than a hole in the ground. I have eaten Dahl, rice, vegetables and occasionally goat without exception for the last month, and the only other European face I have seen is that of Mr John Spencer. He stayed in the SOS school for two weeks, coaching cricket and teaching English.
In 1969 the Old Brightonians were invited to take part in the Public Schools knockout competition run by the Cricketer and sponsored by Mercier Champagne. Nobody expected very much from us. We had a good side but not a great one, but we did have self belief and enthusiasm. The first match was against the favourites, the Old Tonbridgians. This was the closest game we played. With the scores equal we won through to the next round, having lost fewer wickets.
John Gifford Stower (H. 1932-33), born September 15th 1916 in the Province of Jujuy, North of Argentina, came to the UK as a youngster in 1925, spending his first years at a small school in Worthing, before finishing his education at Brighton College via Sedbergh. Two years later, aged 20, he returned to Argentina to work in a sugar cane mill close to his place of birth.
I am planning to write a book about the history of Brighton Institution for the Deaf, Eastern Road (1848-1941) which was situated opposite Brighton College. My intention is to draw up the floor plans, and an architectural front & rear elevations of the school buildings.
The recent great successes enjoyed by the College – surely a source of joy to all of us who love the place – have caused the Press to suggest that it was previously a ‘backwater’. So it seems right to refer to the work done in the last fifty years, that work itself laid on earlier foundations. After all, the decade before then produced Lord Alexander, Lord Skidelsky and Bishop Bavin (to say nothing of Sir John Chilcot) among others! And these last fifty years began with a visit from the Queen. Backwater...?!?
This photo was recently found in the Faber archives! This is the CCF at RAF Waddington (home to the Vulcan bombers) in 1978 for a weeks camp!
Dear Old Brightonians,
Having just glanced at the on-line Pelican, I have to admit to being somewhat ashamed at seeing that my last presidential letter to you was written well over six months ago! I hope that you have enjoyed a good Christmas, wherever you may have spent it, and I wish you the best of good fortune for 2009.
Holly has travelled to Sydney, Australia to play her winter cricket and will join up with the England team for the Women’s World Cup in March.
Dear Old Brightonians,
I would like to put on record my congratulations to all our newest members, the Class of 2007, who have smashed Brighton College A-Level records this year with a staggering 87.5% A and B grades, of which nearly 60% were A grades (see results tables). Brighton College is the top performing school in Sussex, beating Roedean, Lancing, Eastbourne, Hurstpierpoint and Christ Hospital among others.
I promised that in our 125th anniversary year there would be some special events and they don’t come much better than this year’s Commemoration Weekend.
The Leavers’ Ball, the first ever to be held off campus, was a glamorous affair, judged a huge success by the 250 attendees. The following day was a return to the traditional programme of cricket and other sports fixtures against the College, with an informal BBQ on the Home Ground. Though the weather was a bit unreliable at times the atmosphere was fantastic with over 400 people of all ages filing through the College gates. It was a pleasure to welcome the newest OBs following their emotional graduation ceremony in the Chapel and to welcome so many parents and families.
Spring finally seems to have arrived and it’s great to see the College looking so colourful, if slightly disrupted by the building work in the Woolton Quad for the new Visual Arts Centre which is to be named in honour of the late Old Brightonian Lord Alexander.
Another Old Brightonian whose untimely and premature death affected many of us was of course Joe Scourfield. I am delighted that the OBA was able to contribute to the appeal for a memorial in the College Chapel and the fund which has been established in his name to help BC families affected by the severe illness of a son or daughter. The fund remains open for OBs and others who wish to contribute and I would invite you to contact me to obtain details of how you can help.