Autumn half term – the most necessary break of the school year

Autumn half term – the most necessary break of the school year – brings with it the understandable debates about duration and timing: two weeks or one? coincide always with maintained sector or timed entirely to suit the term’s rhythm?  Next autumn, we will extend into the following week, with a return for boarders on the Tuesday night, so ensuring that there is some overlap with the maintained sector holiday and providing a more humane break for those, such as the 30+ staff and students away in Swaziland, who are away on school trips. To view the term dates for 2013 please visit the school website. For the following year (2014) there will be a broader consultation and consideration of how we can best deploy holiday time to work alongside the push to increase our students’ opportunities for broadening experiences out of school – in particular overseas. In that context, my visit over half term to a range of schools in New England has been stimulating and thought-provoking. More anon on this. Back at this ranch, our new ex-Waitrose hens are off to a cracking start, by which I mean being in the eggs again.

By Keith Budge, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.