Block 3 Art students sketch the view from their windows

By Andy Cheese, Teacher of Art

During the first week of remote learning, I wanted to extend students’ drawing skills using a basic theme of ‘looking out the window’.

I supported this task with a sheet on what to focus on when drawing – for example, concentrate on the foreground detail, or make the background more interesting. I also added more support sheets on perspective – one and two-point – if some of the students wanted to complete some exercises while we are working from home.

You can see some of the finished pieces of work below.

dylan hui

By Dylan Hui

george bedford

By George Bedford

jamie bradbury

By Jamie Bradbury

madeline Farley

By Madeline Farley

Matilda (Alejandra-Matilde) Celma Rodriguez-Fonseca - drawing window

By Matilda Celma Rodriguez-Fonseca

 

Living and thinking sustainably

Sustainability

This article was originally published in the Old Bedalian Newsletter 2020.

The whole school community has been doing more to reuse, reduce and recycle in the wake of the climate change campaign that has been dominating the streets and the media, drawing attention to the urgency of the global changes that need to be made.

Bedales hosted a ‘Funeral for the Planet’ earlier this year, where a climate emergency was announced. The event was organised by Bedales Head of Geography Paul Turner, who became one of the UK’s first United Nations-accredited climate change teachers. Bedales’ Geography department has also recently launched the UK’s first climate breakdown scheme of work, collaborating with other teachers and organisations.

Following this, a group of 60 students joined a climate change protest in March, marching from Parliament Square to Buckingham Palace and were encouraged by the amount of support they received from tourists, construction workers and even police officers. Students took part in more protests in Petersfield and in London, with a small group attending a symposium on climate change at the London School of Economics. A number of speakers were present including Lord Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, who addressed the question of, ‘What should individuals, communities, schools and universities do to stop climate change?’

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What a week for Utopian thinking…

By Clare Jarmy, Head of Able, Gifted & Talented, Oxbridge, Academic Scholars & PRE

The Utopia Project is the longest-established part of the Bedales Assessed Course in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) and, as PRE is one of the oldest BACs, it is therefore one of the best established BAC modules. These have been new, different times in which to think about society and utopia, and I am sure that these events will colour how we see the project in the future.

On Wednesday afternoon, Block 5 presented their Utopias to their teachers, and to each other, in an Expo in the Library. Every year, I am impressed with the sophistication of students’ work. The project, for most students, fosters independence in a wholly new way. The Utopia Project is effectively a blank sheet of paper for students to formulate a vision for a perfect world. It is structured for them, and they have to refer to five key texts, but their Utopias can end up being utterly different.

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An old-fashioned Bedales fireside

By Clare Jarmy, Head of Able, Gifted & Talented, Oxbridge, Academic Scholars & PRE

It’s a temptation once you’ve been here a while to harken back to the old days as if you were there. The reality is that the Bedales ‘fireside’ – a relaxed evening with music, snacks, games and chatting round a fire – has not been a staple part of the Bedales way of life for a long time, probably not since the times when staying in at the weekend was the norm for everyone. But the important thing about being aware of a school’s history and ethos is that you have a vocabulary, an established set of practices, on which to draw, especially in more challenging times.

So what could have been more appropriate on Thursday night than to spend the evening round the fire with the Bedalians who were still in school – many here to keep working on Art and Design – playing games, chatting, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to music? We had Monopoly, jigsaws, word games, and some very special Star Wars Lego that Clive Burch had saved for such an occasion!

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Conserving the Bedales Archive

Bedales-Archive

Last week Jane Kirby (Old Bedalian and Volunteer Archivist) and Ian Douglas (Librarian) attended a conservation workshop arranged by the School Archivists Group. This organisation brings together staff and volunteers working in over 250 independent schools, who between them share responsibility for looking after a vital part of the national heritage.

Top of the bill on this occasion was expert advice on preserving photographs, film and textiles. Jane and Ian can now confidently distinguish an albumen print from a silver gelatin print, and understand their different preservation needs. We have also been cautiously sniffing our film collection for signs of the dreaded ‘vinegar syndrome’.

In our own recent conservation work, Jane has been making bespoke light-proof boxes, to protect some early Bedalians’ photo albums. Ian has conserved and rebound this 1930s diary written by Dunhurst pupils.

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‘Beautifully nuanced’ A Level Scripted and Devised performances

Drama-performances

By Caitlin Nugent, 6.1

On Tuesday, the 6.2 A Level students performed two pieces across the course of the evening. Firstly, they performed scripted pieces in a naturalistic style, working in groups of two or three to perform short extracts from contemporary plays such as The One by Vicky Jones and After the End by Dennis Kelly.

Each of the extracts was performed in an intensely realistic manner and it was clear that the 6.2s had been working hard to prepare beautifully nuanced pieces. Later on that evening in the Theatre, we watched their devised pieces, which were created in the style of a variety of practitioners, including Grotowski and the Belarus Free Theatre.

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Bedales scientists support Dunannie STEM event

By Liz Stacy, Head of Chemistry

Last Saturday was Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie’s STEM themed Open Morning. Five of our Block 5 students – Rhiannon Griffith, Milo Whittle, Ben Bradberry, Mabel Watson and Athena Lucas – filled their lab coat pockets full of chocolates (the one and only time they will be allowed to put food in a lab coat!) and headed down to Dunannie to help the children with their science experiments.

There was an amazing range of experiments on offer, from making lava lamps using immiscible liquids and building circuits to power buzzers, to programming the Beebot robots to move and light up on command and looking at field line patterns using magnets. The students were tasked with judging each exhibit on presentation and also the scientific knowledge of the children manning the experiment. They also fielded questions from prospective parents about what studying at Bedales was like and the excellent opportunities on offer for students interested in pursuing science. I thought Milo was maybe a bit harsh giving one small six-year-old five out of ten for scientific knowledge – he did award a lot of chocolate though!

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