Three years ago, a young teenager clambered into the back of a frozen chip van on the final leg of his long journey from Syria to England. He arrived in a country he had only ever read about in books. He had no idea what sort of reception he would receive.
Letters from the Head Master
Dear Old Brightonians,
As you walk along the streets of most German cities, you might, as you pass the entrance to a house or an apartment block, suddenly feel a small change in the level of the pavement.
Dear Old Brightonians,
It has been an odd sort of term. There has been the usual pattern of sports fixtures, concerts, plays and debates. Teachers have continued to stretch and challenge in the classroom. Pupils have continued to surprise themselves by how much they can achieve if they really put their mind to it. And the kindness and respect that the overwhelming majority of boys and girls demonstrate, day in and day out, remains palpable.
This has been a year in which once again the focus has been on creating an environment where every child feels valued for who he or she is. That’s not always easy amidst the maelstrom of hormonal change that bedevils teenagers (and no doubt drives one or two parents to distraction).
I am very sorry to be writing to let you know that Dr Joanna Seldon died on Tuesday 6 December after a long illness that she faced with much dignity and courage. She died peacefully, surrounded by her family, who have supported her throughout with great love.
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.
Two years ago, a boy came to see me in my study to tell me that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and was about to embark on a gruelling course of chemotherapy. He was 17 years old at the time. Thankfully, he is now fully recovered.
I am writing to report some excellent GCSE results, with a record number of A* grades. I suspect they will again be the best of any co-ed school in England and certainly among the top three such schools. 100% of grades were at A*-C, with a record number of A* grades: almost a thousand!
I am writing to report another excellent set of GCSE results. These are the first GCSEs to have been seriously toughened up by Michael Gove, with all exams taken at the end of two years as opposed to the modular system of recent years. In addition, easier elements of the English Language GCSE (such as speaking and listening) no longer count towards the final grade. It is all the more impressive, therefore, that our boys and girls have done so well.