20 Sussex headteachers - class of 2015

BACK ROW: 1.Graeme Owton, Handcross Park; 2. Haydon Moore, Ashdown House; 3.Nicola Gane, Deepdene N

BACK ROW: 1.Graeme Owton, Handcross Park; 2. Haydon Moore, Ashdown House; 3.Nicola Gane, Deepdene Nursery; 4. Harry Hastings, Brighton College Prep; 5. David Quick, Slindon College; 6. Richard Brown, Dorset House 7.Sue Parkinson, The Drive Prep School | MIDDLE ROW: 8. Julian Witers, St ChristophersSchool; 9. Tom Rogerson, Cottesmore; 10. Chris Jones, Copthorne School; 11. John Green, Seaford College; 12. Richard Maloney, Bedes; 13. Colin Baty, Great WalsteadSchool | FRONT ROW: 14. Elizabeth Brown, Deepdene; 15. Richard Taylor-West, Shoreham College; 16. Antonia Beary, St Leonards-Mayfield; 17. Richard Cairns, Brighton College; 18. Gill Proctor, Oakwood Prep; 19. Stuart Douch, Sompting Abbotts; 20. Louise Higson, Farlington School - Credit: Archant

They have one of the most important jobs in the world: guiding our children’s futures. We gathered some of the people driving education in Sussex to find out about the things that are important to them. Our venue? The newly completed Cairns Tower at Brighton College

Richard Taylor-West - Shoreham College - www.shorehamcollege.co.uk“Do you have a school motto? What does it mean?”

Shoreham’s Latin motto is Deus Horam Dat, which translates as God gives us the hour. It’s powerful, I believe, as it reminds pupils that time is precious and should be used wisely and with a sense of urgency. It also reminds staff that we have no time to waste. We have been given the opportunity and privilege to shape the lives of our young people and there’s no time like the present – right now, in fact. I think it focuses the mind, to say the least - and that’s a very good thing in education.


Graeme Owton - Handcross Park - www.handcrossparkschool.co.uk“Do you have any stars of the future?”

Our philosophy is that all our children have star quality, but in many different ways. We have many gifted children, including successful academic scholars, talented sportspeople and wonderful musicians. However – and this is crucially important – we also have those children who are stars of the future because they are brilliant citizens, positive contributors and hard workers; they are kind and thoughtful members of our community and they come to school every day, wanting to make a difference. So yes, we do have stars of the future at Handcross Park – all 340 of them!”


Julian Withers - St Christopher’s School, Hove - www.stchristophershove.org.uk“What inspired you to go into teaching?”

I wanted to go into teaching because I was lucky enough to be taught by inspiring teachers, who nurtured my love of history, literature and sport, and believed I could do the same for children in schools. It is a privilege now, as Headmaster of St Christopher’s, to support teachers with a similar aim.


John Green - Seaford College, Petworth - www.seaford.org“Do you have any famous alumni?”

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Seaford’s alumni include Tom Odell (singer on the 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert), Toby Stephens (Maggie Smith’s son) who starred in Die Another Day, Sussex and Somerset cricketer Adrian Jones, Formula One driver David Purley, opera singer Matthew Rose, Hugh Bentall – a pioneer of open-heart surgery – and Val Guest, film director. We have many stars of the future, notably Holly Graham who was the soloist at a Gary Barlow concert this year. She won the Elton John prize at the Junior Royal Academy and plans to go into opera singing. Holly is also a very talented costume designer and created a wonderful feather dress for her AS Textiles.


Richard Cairns - Brighton College - www.brightoncollege.org.uk“What was your favourite subject at school?”

I always loved history at school – and still do. That is probably why I introduced a new Story of Our Island course for all sixth- formers so that they all leave here knowing something about the country they live in and how it has been shaped over the centuries.”


Louise Higson - Farlington School - www.farlingtonschool.net“Do you have a school motto? What does it mean?”

Farlington girls epitomise our school motto: vive ut vivas. It means live life to the full – they do this, and then some!


Haydon Moore - Ashdown House - www.ashdownhouse.co.uk“What is your school most renowned for?”

Tree-climbing, free range chickens and, because it is small, the school really is run as a large family with the headmaster and his wife always available to both children and their parents; children move on to the major public schools, with many winning scholarships.


Christopher Jones - Copthorne Prep School - www.copthorneprep.co.uk“What are you most proud of?”

The children, first and foremost, and all of their achievements. They all leave us being the best they can be at everything. We have pretty much doubled in size over the last 10 years, which makes me proud. The staff make me proud, because they are very good at what they do, and I think the parents would speak highly of us. So yes, I am very proud of my school.


Richard Maloney - Bede’s - www.bedes.org“What are the most interesting changes taking place in education at present?”

The way changes to public examinations are managed and the potential for them to have a positive impact on the level to which young people study, in the coming years. And actually fundamentally there is also a great debate about the subjects you teach children in schools.


Stuart Douch - Sompting Abbotts - www.somptingabbotts.com“What is your school most renowned for?”

I think Sompting Abbotts is most renowned for looking after children in a beautiful set of grounds with a wonderful family atmosphere and achieving fantastic academic results: getting people where they need to go and looking after them fantastically well.


Colin Baty - Great Walstead School - www.greatwalstead.co.uk“What inspired you to go into teaching?”

My grandfather was a headmaster, my father is a headmaster, my brother is a headmaster, my mother is a teacher. It was very much part of me, and I was brought up in country prep schools in New Zealand. Part of my dream was to come to England and work in an English prep school, but the bottom line is that I love children and I love the spirit of the school.


Sue Parkinson - The Drive Prep School - www.tdpspupils.co.uk“What is your education ideology?”

An excellent education is only part of a young person’s development. Support, inspiration and empathy are key to reaching their full potential.


Elizabeth Brown - Deepdene School - www.deepdeneschool.com“What is your school most renowned for?”

Being one of the few traditional prep schools in Sussex that is still independently owned and run, offering childcare and an ‘outstanding in all areas’ education (Ofsted) from six months to 11 years. Also being set in a beautiful large house by the seaside.


Harry Hastings - Brighton College Prep - www.brightoncollege.org.uk“What are you most proud of about your school?”

The individuality, effort, achievements, kindness, support and of course, creativity of all the children, inspired daily by such a vibrant and cohesive staff team.


Richard Brown - Dorset House School - www.dorsethouseschool.com“What are the most interesting changes taking place in education at the moment?”

We had the video machine, then the DVD player, then the interactive whiteboard and now the iPad or tablet – did/do these technological innovations improve teaching and learning? Have these innovations made a difference to exam grades? Are we just trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’? I believe that we are living in very exciting times where new technology could enhance the learning experience of the pupil in the classroom – it is worth exploring.


Tom Rogerson - Cottesmore School - cottesmoreschool.com“Which book has inspired you the most?”

The idea that human progress is dependent on the combining of artistic and scientific endeavour is perfectly summed up in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As a teenager, I found this inspirational - and it still is now.


Sussex Life would like to thank Brighton College for hosting the ‘school photograph’. The shoot took place in the Cairns Tower, which was recently completed, 125 years after it was first built!



27 famous people who went to school in Sussex - Celebrities and other famous figures who went to school in Sussex.

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