Match report: 6.1 v Block 5 girls’ football

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday, the Mem Pitch played host to the inaugural 6.1 v Block 5 girls’ football match. Despite some tough playing conditions, both teams approached the game with tremendous enthusiasm and spirits certainly weren’t dampened by the weather!

The Block 5 team got off to a flying start, finding themselves 4-0 up inside 12 minutes. The fourth goal was particularly special, with a superb cross in from the right from Mary Whiteley that was met with an even better header from captain Romilly White, sending the ball into the top corner. The Block 5 side were a constant threat, with Kamaya Nelson-Clayton and Ava Sender Logan regularly making bursts forward, and Skylar Cazac a potent threat up-front.

Half-time was productive for the 6.1 side who regrouped and the second half saw the emergence of the influential Lila Levingston and more space opened down the right channel for the excellent Dora Wooldridge and Martha Clough. It was clear the relatively inexperienced 6.1 side were improving and starting to get used to playing as a team and creating more chances for the ever threatening Phoebe Esdaile.

However, as the final whistle blew, the Block 5 team had comfortably and deservedly picked up the victory.  A really enjoyable game with both teams eager to get back out on the pitch.

Biodiversity update – Moths

By Mary Shotter, Biology Technician

Moths are declining in the UK. Studies have found the overall number of moths has decreased by 28 percent since 1968. The situation is particularly bad in southern Britain, where moth numbers are down by 40 percent. Many individual species have declined dramatically in recent decades and over 60 became extinct in the 20th century.

These alarming decreases in moth populations are not just bad news for the moths themselves, but also have worrying implications for the rest of our wildlife. Moths and their caterpillars are important food items for many other species, including amphibians, small mammals, bats and many bird species.

The reasons for the loss of moths are likely to be many and complex, including changes in the way we manage our gardens, pesticides, herbicides and light pollution. Climate change appears to also be affecting moths.

However at Bedales moths appear to be doing very well. Over the last few months, I have been putting out a ‘light trap’ once a week to attract moths and have so far found just over 100 species, including 4 types of hawkmoth – elephant, pine, poplar and the giant privet hawkmoth which has a 12cm wingspan.

Many of the moth species we have at Bedales are masters of camouflage – such as the Buff tip, which disguises itself as a birch twig and the Flame which has evolved to resemble a broken stick.

My favourite to date has to be the wonderfully named Merveille du Jour which translates roughly as ‘the best thing I’ve seen all day’ –  pictured above (bottom right) merging into lichen on a fence behind the science department.

Many moth caterpillars feed on grasses and it appears that the policy of keeping  areas around the school uncut is reaping rewards for both moths and the many other species that depend on them.

Dystopian Worlds A Level Art project

By Andy Cheese, Teacher of Art

In this week’s Art update, I thought I would share the projects from my 6.1 group. Since the start of term, they have been working on 2D and 3D projects under the theme of ‘Dystopian Worlds’.

All of the projects are individually led, and students have been using a range of techniques such as using clear casting resin to make a stained glass effect relief and making mosaic panels, pyrographic panels (burning or drawing into wood), cardboard constructions and clay modelling.

The work will go towards their folio of work for college applications and their final exam grades and a display of their work will be in an informal show from 9 December.

Impressive efforts as DofE participants prepare for expeditions

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English and DofE Manager

Bedales students have been busy working towards their Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Awards in preparation for the expeditions due to take place in Spring 2021.
 
There are four main sections of a DofE programme: Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. Bedales students who wish to take part in the expeditions have been asked to complete two sections, provide supporting evidence (an Assessor’s Report is the very minimum needed to pass a section) and for this to be signed off the scheme’s portal, eDofE, by the end of January 2021.
 
Although it is still only November, there has been a fantastic effort from students already. Well done to Kamaya Nelson-Clayton (Block 5), who has been working very hard to complete her Silver Award, volunteering at a youth centre near her home in South London; Issy Robinson (Block 4), who has completed her Bronze Award; Katie Mansbridge (Block 5), who completed lots of hill-walking in the Lakes and on the South Downs during lockdown; Georgie Du Boulay (6.1), who has completed her Silver Award, cycling the South Downs Way and running a social media page for Extinction Rebellion’s Winchester branch as part of her service; and Kit Mayhook-Walker (6.1), completed Couch to 5k during lockdown to go towards his Silver Award.
 
It is tougher than usual for students to volunteer at the moment, but I have been really impressed at the initiative students have been taking to complete this section of their awards. Taragh Melwani and Sacha Weisz Brassay (both 6.1) arranged to volunteer in Bedales’ Outdoor Work department, Thomas Figgins (6.1) volunteers locally at the Petersfield Community Garden, and a number of Block 3 students have been litter-picking.
 
The practice expeditions in Spring are a highlight of the school calendar. Letters with full details of each expedition were sent out to parents of students who have signed up for DofE last week. If your child would like to take part, please let me know as soon as possible, and do encourage them to complete two sections of their award – as a starting point, they may well have completed their Physical section during lockdown, and just need to write it up – and take the next steps to organise an Assessor’s Report, which should be completed by a non-family member.
 
From now until Christmas, I will be available to help if students need any guidance or assistance to complete their sections, and I am looking forward to hearing more about what students did during lockdown. Students can find me in the English Office or teaching in the Orchard Building. If they would like to drop-in at a specific time, I will be available during Badley Time on Mondays, or they can reach me by email at jbevan@bedales.org.uk.

Halloween Fest on Steephurst

By Ava Sender-Logan and Leila Coy, Block 5

On Sunday, we had a belated Halloween party on Steephurst. With lots of volunteers from different year groups, we started setting up at 2pm. Block 4 and 6.1 made a delicious pumpkin soup, while volunteers from all year groups decorated the courtyard with balloons, garlands and stickers. COVID related restrictions meant there were staggered times for students to come and enjoy the festivities. We made a photo booth and poster and there was popcorn, hot dogs, soup, hot chocolate, make-up and temporary tattoos to keep everyone entertained. Despite the restrictions, it was really nice to dress up collectively and share a carefree evening together.

Match report: 6.1 v Block 5 girls’ hockey

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

Wednesday saw another round of internal hockey fixtures and the first game of the season ‘under the lights’. Both the Block 5 and 6.1 teams had been particularly impressive in training over the last week or so, but it was the 6.1 team who burst out of the blocks with centre forward Mathilda Douglas looking particularly threatening, putting her team 2-0 up within the opening 10 minutes. A high press from the 6.1s ensured constant attacking pressure and a cool finish from Fleur Donovan, followed by a completion of a first half hat trick from Mathilda, led the 6.1s into the break 4-0 to the good.

The game was in danger of running away from the Block 5s, but a re-group at half time saw a much improved performance and it was the Block 5s who opened the scoring, through the ever dangerous Kamaya Nelson-Clayton. Despite constant attacking pressure from the 6.1s the Block 5 side stood firm with some excellent tackling from Ava Sender Logan and always posing a threat on the counter attack from Zoe Lobbenberg and Kamaya. As the game developed we saw more and more of the increasingly impressive Lally Arengo-Jones and captain, Leela Walton.

Despite the improved performance from the Block 5s the 6.1 team deservedly scored again, once again a fantastically calm finish from Fleur.

The Block 5s are in action again next week versus the Block 4s. The 6.1s will have to wait a couple of weeks before they take on the ‘all-star’ team.

Soloists shine at November Chamber Concert

By Doug McIlwraith, Director of Music

Thank you to Bedales musicians who took to the stage on Monday evening for the second Chamber Concert of the term. A group of well-rehearsed soloists entertained an audience of students with music ranging from the classical era through to jazz and music for acoustic guitar.

Jamie Loudon made an impressive start to the concert with Neruda’s Trumpet Concerto, which demonstrated his beautiful tone and firm technique on some tricky high notes. Joel Edgeworth played a beautifully meditative jazz piece on the piano called Tenderly by Walter Gross which was listened to in rapt silence. Max Koca and Livvy Edgeworth performed brilliant vocal vocal solos and Arthur Lingham tackled one of Schubert’s famous Impromtus on the piano.

Tobias Bonham-Carter’s exuberant Bugler’s Holiday contrasted with Martha Lye-Rees’ melancholy clarinet solo All in the Past by Latvian composer Pelēcis. Laurence Johari wowed the audience with Acousticore by German guitarist Rauscher which called for all sorts of percussive effects and tricks on the body of the guitar. Shoshana Yugin-Power closed the concert with a very intricate piece on the flute by Hungarian Composer Doppler which was a suitably impressive finale to the evening.  

Two other highlights which you can watch below is Block 3 student Eliza Hayward’s debut performance at Bedales with Neilsen’s Fantasy for Clarinet which she played with real assurance and style. Also, Monty Bland performs D Blues by Turetzky on the double bass, half of which is actually an improvisation.



Thanks to all the performers for their hard work and to Will Lithgow for pulling the concert together and doing much of the accompanying. Thanks also to Clara Batty for introducing the performers and bringing wit and charm to the proceedings! 

Thought-provoking talk from Erwin James as Wellbeing programme continues

By Kirsten McLintock, Head of Wellbeing & PSHE

Beginning in Block 3 with the theme ‘Empathy’, Bedalians are encouraged through the Wellbeing curriculum to develop emotional and cognitive empathy, whilst demonstrating empathetic practice through a healthy curiosity for the lived experiences of others. I hope the 6.2 Wellbeing speaker this week – the convicted murderer and columnist Erwin James – inspired students to embody such practice.

Erwin was released from prison in August 2004 having served 20 years of a life sentence. At the time of his conviction, he was an inarticulate and ill-educated individual with, in his own words, “massive failings to overcome”. From unpromising beginnings as a prisoner with bleak prospects, it was encouragement from a prison worker that inspired Edwin to embark on a programme of part-time education. Six years later, he graduated from the Open University with an arts degree majoring in history. Around the same time, he began writing for The Guardian, with the paper publishing his first article in 1998 and a regular column, ‘A Life Inside’, from 2000.

He is a patron of the charity CREATE, an organisation that promotes the arts and creative activities among marginalised groups; a patron of Blue Sky, the award winning social enterprise company that trains and employs ex-offenders; and a patron of The Reader Organisation, a national charity that, “aims to bring about a Reading Revolution”. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (FRSA) and an Honorary Master of the Open University, and works full-time as a freelance writer. 

Thank you to Erwin for sharing his story and experiences with our students.

Art update – impressive sculpture skills

By Andy Cheese, Teacher of Art

This piece of sculpture was produced by Block 4 student Clemmie Pike. The theme of the project was ‘Portraiture’ and I tried to keep the ideas for the project as varied as possible. Clemmie spent a lot of time constructing a wire frame for the head and body. We then modelled a heat hardened clay into the forms. Once baked in the oven, Clemmie added the paint finish. The early end to the Spring term due to COVID-19 did mean that the sculpture has only now been finally completed ready for her folio presentation at Easter time next year. I was so impressed by Clemmie’s dedication to the project all those months ago, and it’s great to see it completed.

Explosive Bonfire Band Night

By Neil Hornsby, Head of Contemporary Music

Last Thursday, two socially distanced audiences were treated to a Band Night unlike any other. The audience may have missed out on the Steep fireworks display this year, but there were more than enough musical fireworks to make up for it in the Theatre, as well as actual live pyrotechnics to get everyone in a Bonfire Night mood. A varied set of 16 songs performed by students from every year group at Bedales highlighted the amazing range of musical talent on offer. 

Block 3 students Siena Marcos Bancroft Cooke, Hendrix Campbell, Kobe Carter-Johnson, Saffi Forder, Saul Zimdahl, Storm Verwey and Theo Stewart showed that the future of the Bedales Rock Show is in safe hands and it was amazing to see such confident performances from those so young. 

Classic songs by The Strokes, Rage Against the Machine and Michael Jackson were complemented by the ingenious original songs of Lula Goldring, Molly Montagu and Jake Scott and the evening was brought to a close by a rousing rendition of The Killers’ Mr Brightside sung by George Vaux that got a necessarily restrained audience on its feet and dancing (in place!)

In these Covid times, the most important members of the Band Night team were our amazing stage crew. Tom Bonnar, Sam Coleman, Tashi Feinstein, Oliver Jones and Joe Wilson made sure everything ran safely and smoothly. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help and support of the wonderful Joanne Greenwood.