A marriage of old-school and modern architecture slap-bang in the middle of Eastbourne, this is a place where budding artists thrive – as proved by the impressive number of accolades they’ve won. One pupil was recently crowned Young Fashion Designer of the year; another won a national BSA photography award; and a third was commended in the RSPCA Young Wildlife Photography competition.
Given the coastal location, a hearty connection with the great outdoors is inevitable; and this will only be enhanced by the addition of Natural History GCSE, which aims to support students’ environmental awareness. Sport is particularly strong – especially cricket, which is set to soar with the recent engagement of the first female director of cricket, professional Matilda Callaghan. The girls’ tennis team is seeded in the national top four; and hockey players and swimmers continue to impress. Those who prefer their exercise off the pitch are well-served by a state-of-the-art sports hall, containing an airy dance studio. And musicians prosper: one had her song chosen as track of the week on a BBC Backbone show; another student was selected for the National Youth Orchestra; and the annual Undercroft concert and raucous inter-house singing competitions are anticipated by everyone.
Parents say the strength here is the lack of pretension. ‘Eastbourne is not trying to be something it is not,’ says one. ‘Academically, it produces good results as well as rounded and well-balanced children.