Weekend activities for boarders

By Jack Brooksbank, Block 3 and Oskar de Aragues, Block 4

The weekends for the boarders at Bedales this year have definitely been a highlight and a great way to end a busy week.

We have done it all, from visiting a 500-year-old ship (the Mary Rose), to seeing all the animals at Marwell Zoo, jam packing our weekends with activities. There were also the classic favourites of bowling, shopping or seeing the very latest blockbusters at Gunwharf Quays. Last Sunday, we went trampolining at Flip Out.

What we really like about the weekend here is that Bedales provides a relaxing, homely place to rest your head after the previous week, thanks to having supper and breakfast on flat in the shared kitchens, a movie night and friends from different year groups all around you. There are also many food related activities – two of our favourites being pasta making with Giacomo and fajitas with Alejandro and Alastair.

The weekends are what makes being a boarder feel so unique with a family and home away from home.

Bedales hosts first Reading Day

Last Friday saw Bedales host its first Reading Day, with students and staff taking part in a range of reading related activities throughout the day, from nature poetry walking tours to exploring different ways to enjoy Shakespeare, listening to Stephen Fry read Harry Potter and independent reading on the Orchard.

Head of English David Anson – who along with Rick Cross (Deputy Head Academic), Al McConville (Director of Learning and Innovation), Emily Seeber (Head of Sciences) and Ian Douglas (Librarian) organised the day – explained that the idea for a ‘Reading Day’ stemmed from a collective, passionate belief in independent learning, as well as the view that reading is the very best way to learn. This is an idea that is backed up by research as well as some of the pedagogical foundations Bedales was set up with.

Activities were designed to give students – regardless of ability or levels of interest – the opportunity to get their teeth into areas of personal interest, with the day structured around independent reading and activities that encouraged or modelled ‘how to read’ – reading or understanding an object or the landscape, for example.

The day went well and there is talk of holding another in the future, possibly one in the winter term and then again in the summer. Thanks to everyone who was involved in the smooth running of the day.

Biology department marks Parents’ Day

By Mary Shotter, Biology technician

Following on from this year’s Eckersley Lecture on the History of the Periodic Table by Dr Peter Wothers, this year the theme of the Biology department’s Parents’ Day display was The Elements of Life, which looked at how individual chemical elements were used in the natural world.

In the lab there was the chance to make slides to view under the microscope and see the myriad of microscopic creatures found in pond water, test your grip strength (won, as always, by Sam Wilson in 6.2), check your lung volume and blood oxygen levels, and test your speed using a reaction timer.

Most popular of all, though, was a chance to see if you were ‘one in a million’ by trying out a series of genetic tests where people looked at a number of their own physical traits – for example, whether they could smell freesias, taste the bitter chemical found in sprouts or roll their tongue. Results ranged from being one in 31 to one in 2 million!

It was particularly nice to meet up with several Old Bedalians who came back to see us and who have gone on have very successful careers in the field of biology including Gary Skinner (OB 1992), who specialises in the use of DNA as a digital storage device and whose father, also Gary, was a previous Head of Biology and Science. We were also visited by the daughter of another former Head of Biology, Andrew Routh, who at 95 was keen to find out how the department had changed over the years.

It was a lovely day and a pleasure to welcome so many, old and new, to explore the world of Bedales Biology.

Match report: Mixed Senior Rounders v The Royal School

By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball

The first fixture of the season for the mixed senior rounders team. After spending the whole summer term training for this moment, the team started the game with a few nerves. The pitch they were playing on lacked width, forcing the team to be tactical with their placement.

The first innings went off to a flying start, with a brilliant back stop performance from Meadow Ridley. We won the first innings 8.5 – 2.5, getting the opposition out after 18 balls. The nerves had settled by the second innings, gaining 11 rounders.

The Royal did not give up so easily and came back fighting with a brilliant performance, gaining ten rounders in the second innings. Unfortunately for them, this was not enough to beat the ever competitive Bedales side and they went away with a 19.5 – 12.5 win.

Most Valuable Players for the match were Meadow for her fielding performance and Oscar for his batting. Either of these players could have been picked for either title, with Meadow scoring two out of the 11 rounders in the second innings and Oscar making three or four superb running catches, forcing their best players to retire early.

Other mentions for batting go to Mimi Lomax, scoring three overall, and Lily, scoring two full rounders (which was particular hard on this pitch). We look forward to hosting the mixed senior teams second fixture next week against staff on Wednesday afternoon.

Match report: U14 Rounders Tournament, 2 July 2019

By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball

The Block 3s were ready and raring to go for their last fixture of the year. Due to the Wimbledon trip and an injury, Bedales were only able to compete with eight rather than the standard nine rounders players. However, this did not phase them at all. Kamaya Nelson-Clayton stepped in as the U14s’ coach and number one fan due to her injuries, helping Bedales with tactical decision from the side of the pitch.

Out of the five games they played, they won three, drew one and just lost to the hosts Ditcham Park by 1.5 rounders. The girls adapted well to only having eight players, seeing some fantastic fielding performances from all players. Bowling from Millie Harris was extremely consistent, pairing well with backstop Millie Kennedy, who kept calm under the pressure of also doubling up as fourth base. Nicole Simpson and Coco Witheridge worked well sharing the responsibility of second base and just off second fielder, getting many players out with their reliable catches. The deep fielders Lula Goldring, Katie Mansbridge and Mary Whitley performed extremely well with the sloped pitch, making some brilliant catches.

The U14 tournament was closely contested with three teams ending up on the same amount of points by the end of the tournament. In the final results, due to rounders difference, Bedales came a brilliant second place. It was a fantastic afternoon of rounders with Bedales performing to a high standard.

My Coach’s Player of the Tournament was Maya Cressman. Her batting performance was exceptional. Not only can she hit the ball with great power, she was able to find the gaps in the field, enabling her to secure a rounder almost every time she came to bat.

Tennis update: 24-29 June 2019

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By Graeme Coulter, Head of Tennis

A very busy week for tennis last week. U15 girls drew 3-3 with Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS), while the U15 boys won 8-1, also against PGS. U15 girls lost 4-2 in an excellent match against St Swithuns in the Hampshire semi-final. The match went down to the wire and unfortunately we fell just short in the tie break. Huge congratulations to Romilly White, Eliza Mcfarlane, Alisia Leach and Sasha Arney, who played some brilliant tennis throughout the year to get to the semi-finals.

Our annual school tennis finals (pictured) took place on Parents’ Day in the scorching heat. A massive congratulations to all those involved for persevering through the heat and producing some wonderful tennis.

Senior Boys Singles: Oscar Golblatt beat Lev Borisovets

Senior Girls Singles: Illy Verdon-Roe beat Romilly White

Junior Boys Singles: Paddy Arrowsmith beat Hari Walton

Junior Girls Singles: Romilly White beat Sasha Arney

Team Tennis Event: Oscar Goldblatt, Eliza Goodfellow, Tobias Bonham Carter, Lally Argengo Jones beat Lev Borisovets, Hannah Mazas, Harry Hornsby, Eliza Mcfarlane

Girls Doubles: Meadow Ridley and Lola Pilkington beat Romilly White and Eliza Mcfarlane

Boys Doubles: Final not played. Lev Borisovets and Hari Walton win by default

Mixed Doubles: Lev Borisovets and Romilly White beat Oscar Goldblatt and Thea Levine

Mentor-Mentee Doubles: Lev Borisovets and Paddy Arrowsmith beat Oscar Goldblatt and Harry Hornsby

Sport report: Stoner Cricket Club v Bedales Invitational XI, 29 June 2019

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

Parents’ Day saw the annual Stoner CC vs Bedales Invitational XI take place. The Bedales side was a wonderful mixture of varying year groups and staff. Having won the toss, new captain Gordon Dale elected to bat first. Unfortunately, having scored a plethora of runs this season, Bedales lost opener Hugo Napier-Munn in the first over.

However, David Mann (22) was there to settle the ship and was ably supported by Block 3 Zach Stewart (27), who has been in fine form this season. The demise of David saw the arrival of Block 5 Sam Wheeler (32) to the crease who built a wonderful partnership with Zach, steadily increasing the run rate and setting a solid base for the remaining Bedales batsman.

A flurry of runs and wickets made for an exciting final few overs of the Bedalian innings. Cameos from Chris Bott (14) and Gordon Dale saw Bedales post a competitive 135 from their 25 overs.

After a wonderful tea in the marquee overlooking the Mem Pitch, the teams retook to the pitch and the Bedales side got to a flying start with Block 3 Josh Baty, bowling Justin Jones, often a danger man in these fixtures, with his first ball. From here on in the game ebbed and flowed and it was going to be incredibly hard to call a winner.

Al McConville was looking imperious at the wicket for Stoner, seemingly scoring runs with ease, so it was crucial when the leg spinning Sam Wheeler picked up his wicket with Al on 46. At this point, the Bedales side were very much on top but the arrival at the crease of Paul Bradley for Stoner changed things dramatically. He scored a rapid fire 46 which took the game to the final over with Stoner needing 4 to win from 6 balls… cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Chris Bott was tossed the ball and tasked with defending the Bedalian total. Chris was not phased and bowled an impressive over, claiming the wicket of the free scoring Bradley and conceding only two runs to ensure a Bedales victory in a closely fought contest.