News headlines – August 2020

<<<    Later headlines
21 Aug 2020    Pupils celebrate another year of strong GCSE results
19 Aug 2020    John Boyle 1935-2020
17 Aug 2020    Ben Biltcliffe (Craig 2011-16) organises charity auction for Red Cross in Beirut
14 Aug 2020    A-level results up for third year in a row
14 Aug 2020    Hugh Skinner (Pennell 1998-2003) in Sky TV drama 'Little Birds'
13 Aug 2020    Luke Howard (Powell 2010-15) cycles the North Coast 500 for charity
5 Aug 2020    Eastbournian Society August newsletter
>>>    Earlier headlines

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21 August 2020 - Pupils celebrate another year of strong GCSE results

Pupils at Eastbourne College celebrate another year of strong GCSE results, which have gone up for the third year in a row, with the proportion of top grades increasing each year. This year’s set of results reflect a combination of hard work from pupils, parental support, year-on-year improvements in teaching and learning strategies, and the integrity of grading.

Over one in five (22 per cent) grades awarded to pupils this year were at the highest grade available, grade 9. Over 40 per cent of grades were 9 or 8 (equivalent to A*).

Top grades accounted for the vast majority of grades awarded, with almost two thirds of all grades being a 7, 8 or 9 (equivalent to A*-A). Over a quarter of all pupils taking GCSE achieved ten or more grades at 7, 8 or 9, and thirteen pupils received ten or more grades at 8 or 9.

Almost 70 per cent of pupils were awarded five or more grades at 7-9. The school also achieved close to a 100 per cent pass rate with 99.8 per cent of grades awarded 9-4.

This year, the boys and girls did very well but it was the girls who stole the show: almost one in every three grades awarded to our girls was grade 9; over half of grades awarded to girls were 8 or 9 (A* equivalent); almost three quarters of grades awarded to girls were 7, 8 or 9 (A* or A equivalent); 90 per cent of grades awarded were 9-6 (A*, A or B equivalent). Top performers included locals: Liv Reeves (twelve 9s), Sapphyre Mills Kennelly (eleven 9s), and Izzy Skarbek (ten 9s) who collected 33 grade 9s between them.

Headmaster Tom Lawson said: 'Year 11 pupils have worked their socks off under challenging, changing conditions, to achieve a set of results of which their parents and teachers can feel proud. Our continued exam success demonstrates that the targeted investments in teaching and learning we have made in recent years are paying dividends. Exam grades have risen across the board in line with expectations: a testament to an educational community dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. Amid all the hype and confusion surrounding this year's exam season, pupils should be congratulated for the excellent outcomes they have to show for their diligent work. Our healthy, balanced approach leads to pupils fulfilling their academic potential while developing body and mind through community service, creativity, sport, and teamwork.'

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19 August 2020 - John Boyle 1935-2020

The Eastbournian Society is sad to report the death of John Boyle, a longstanding supporter, friend and donor to Eastbourne College, as well as father to two former pupils.

John died on 4 August aged 85, after a brief illness.

A man with great community spirit who loved Eastbourne, John supported many charitable and local projects in the town. 

Educated at Lancing College, he came to Eastbourne when he joined the town council as an articled solicitor; he was later recruited by law firm Mayo and Perkins – now Mayo Wynne Baxter – where he practised successfully for more than 20 years, eventually becoming managing partner.

He was a law and business lecturer at Eastbourne College of Arts and Technology (ECAT) in the late 1980s, later rising to assistant principal, in which role he helped drive the modernisation of the Kings Drive site. He was also a longstanding Rotarian, and was involved in a number of community ventures including the Link Centre, Eastbourne Allotment Society and the Citizens Advice Bureau which he chaired for several years.

More recently, he set up the Civilian War Memorial Trust to honour the townspeople who died during enemy bombing in the Second World War. With the help of a committee he raised £70,000 for the memorial at the Wish Tower and transformation of the surrounding garden.

At Eastbourne College John supported all the appeals mounted by the College Foundation and was a member of the Old Eastbournian Charity Committee. He also played in the Foundation Golf Challenge every year with his good friend Forbes Wastie, and is pictured here at the 2016 event. Many at the College are also grateful to John's kindness and support on a personal level.

He leaves his wife Marion, son Simon (Reeves 1976-79), daughter Rosalyn (Nugent 1984-86) and six grandchildren. 

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17 August 2020 - Ben Biltcliffe (Craig 2011-16) organises charity auction for Red Cross in Beirut

Ben Biltcliffe (Craig 2011-16), Chief Operating Officer at his company Bloomer Creative, has organised a charity auction to raise funds for the Red Cross in Beirut.

Following the devastating explosion in Beirut on 4 August, Bloomer have worked with Lebanese artist Jad Saintbai, who has donated his painting entitled The Fear. Jad says that after the explosion he was inspired to paint one of the greatest fears known to humans: the fear of a mother losing her child.

He says: 'I took the chance to pass the horrific moment and paint it. To send a message to the world in order to help people in need. I hope people enjoy my painting and are able to donate. The struggles that the Lebanese people constantly face, and now this explosion, has crippled our capital city. Support for medical teams and all emergency services will help the Beirut people get back to everyday life.'

You can read more about Jad's story and make a donation on Bloomer's JustGiving page. Ben tells us: 'All donations will be collected and the largest donor will be given Jad’s piece.'

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14 August 2020 - A-level results up for the third year in a row

A-level results at Eastbourne College were up for the third year in a row as pupils achieved a swathe of top grades.

43 per cent of grades awarded were A* or A, and the overall proportion of A*, A or B grades was 72 per cent.

Unlike many other schools and Colleges, all Eastbourne College pupils sit gold-standard A-level or Cambridge Pre-U qualifications for all their subjects and this year achieved a pass rate of 100 per cent.

Maths, English, the sciences, the humanities, languages and creative arts continue to be beacons of excellence. Once again, the majority of pupils achieved A-level grades that enabled them to access top courses at the leading universities at home or abroad.

Chloe Cox achieved a remarkable five A* A-level grades and will take up her place to read Veterinary Science at Cambridge.

In all, 29 pupils achieved straight A*/A grades, including Luke Muschialli, Florence Ji, Joseph Shouksmith and Johnson Oh with A*A*A*A, and James Song and Leila Lopez-Moran with A*A*A*.

Headmaster Tom Lawson said: 'Pupils should be proud of their achievements and hard work on the A-level course and, despite not having the chance to sit the exam, these great grades should stand as testament to the academic progress and ambition of Eastbourne College's pupils. I am delighted that the calculations show that our grades are improved again for the third consecutive year and while uncertainty still remains I would expect any revisions to individual grades will only see them improve. Our healthy, balanced approach leads to pupils fulfilling their academic potential while developing body and mind through sport, creativity, teamwork and service.'

Eastbourne College’s sixth form continues to grow in popularity, with over 150 pupils taking A-level exams this year and places for September 2021 (and scholarships) hotly contested.

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14 August 2020 - Hugh Skinner (Pennell 1998-2003) in Sky TV drama 'Little Birds'

Actor Hugh Skinner (Pennell 1998-2003) is currently appearing in Sky's new television drama Little Birds.

Set in Tangier in 1955, the programme is based on the erotic short stories of Anaïs Nin, which explore the hedonistic and bohemian lifestyle of the international community.

Hugh plays Hugo Cavendish-Smyth, an upper-class Briton, who marries American heiress Lucy Savage (played by Juno Temple, pictured with Hugh) as a means of overcoming his money problems. However things are complicated by the fact that Hugo is gay and has a lover, Adham Abaza (Raphael Acloque), a local man.

In an interview with inews, Hugh says: '...this is definitely the first time I've played a gay person in any depth and that definitely fascinated me. And particularly in that period in the 50s when it was an absolutely horrific time... [In London] the arrest of homosexuals was often front-page news – a truly terrifying time to be gay.'

Talking about other recent parts, including Prince William in Channel 4's The Windsors, the hapless intern Will in BBC comedy W1A and the young Harry Bright (the younger version of Colin Firth’s character) in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Will says: 'Of course I want to play other parts but there’s definitely a market at the moment for idiotic white men, and I’m pleased for the work.'

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13 August 2020 - Luke Howard (Powell 2010-15) cycles the North Coast 500 for charity

Luke Howard (Powell 2010-15) has completed an epic cycle ride, travelling some 500 miles in just three days.

Luke took on the challenge of Scotland's North Coast 500, which takes a circular route from Inverness, west to Applecross, then north to John O'Groats before returning south to Inverness.

Regarded as one of the toughest road cycling trips, it takes in some stunning scenery along the way.

Luke was riding to raise funds for Abbie's Sparkle Foundation, a Scottish-based children’s charity providing support for children with cancer across the UK. 

You can see a video of Luke's trip on YouTube and can donate to the charity at Virgin Money Giving.

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5 August 2020 - Eastbournian Society August newsletter

Director of the Eastbournian Society David Stewart has sent this message to all ES members:

Greetings from Old Wish Road and I hope you have been able to get out and about a bit more and enjoy the beautiful weather as restrictions have been partially relaxed.

Thank you to all those of you who have supported the Foundation 2020 Challenge. We raised a fantastic £16k in July and as a result we are able to sponsor two U6 pupils through to their A-levels next summer. Sadly financial hardship as a result of the pandemic is a reality and we are determined to do what we can to minimise the effect on young people's lives. It would be wonderful if we could support one more Eastbournian through to their A-levels next year and if you would like to support the fund it can be done through this link:

The Board of Governors meet on Friday 14 August and the new term begins on Wednesday 2 September. The College is planning for a full-steam-ahead return to normality. A benefit of lockdown is that as a country we have been reminded once again of the absolute priority and importance of education. It is a pity that it takes a pandemic to remind many of this and that there is nothing more important than our children and the future they will have in their hands.

As far as our programme of Eastbournian Society events are concerned we continue to be in a 'holding pattern' until government regulations allow otherwise. As announced last month this year's reunion early in September has been cancelled and we will let you know as and when events can be planned with a greater degree of certainty. 

With best wishes and enjoy August.

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