And a fruitful weekend it was – a re-vamped Badley Celebration Weekend, building on the strong traditions of previous years and branching out into new areas, seemed to hit the spot. Enjoyed greatly seeing most of the seven main strands in action: recording my one line of the Whitman poem (one of Badley’s favourites) as part of the digital archive; the Saturday night entertainment – classy music and a trio of excellent TCD comics; the Outreach projects, involving students in hands-on work, clearing gardens, cleaning houses etc in the local community; the mainstream whole school effort, with thousands of bulbs being planted in the Orchard; the 6.2 project – the building of a small outdoor theatre by the Sotherington Barn; composing and adapting music to accompany the promenade performance, under the direction of the National Youth Theatre; and the 250 students who worked under the energetic and expert direction of the NYT practitioners, towards the final goal of two promenade performances of a scary Steep-based werewolf story. This had some spell-binding moments – as much created through the imaginative use of space as anything – the final “reveal” in the theatre, as the audience found itself on the stage looking at actors in the main part of the theatre, was a spine-tingling moment. Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, best of all is the sense of the community working collectively, often ambitiously and almost always genially, together in a range of ways that benefit both our community here and others elsewhere.
By Keith Budge, Headmaster Bedales Schools