Fulfilling weekend for students in Outdoor Work

Bedales Assessed Course Block 5 outdoor workers are doing their stuff in their all in weekend. I catch up with them on Saturday afternoon, firstly hammering the boards into the flanks of the newly re-modelled meditation centre. Theo S, Harry B-H and others are hard at work under Peter Coates’ direction, making this fine structure (which started its life as a turkey house in Cecily’s Garden) ready for an extended and meditative life in its new setting in Steephurst garden. Perched elegantly on concrete mushrooms, it already has the air of being a place for placid and even great thoughts. Over then to see the magnificent pizza oven that Hux and Arun have crafted under the guidance of Keir Rowe (who knows a thing or two about bricks). The pizza dome owes a bit to Brunelleschi and has a barbecue abutting – brilliant for entertaining hungry theatre-goers attending the outdoor Sotherington Theatre nearby. But will it work? Only the first firing will tell. Final stop is to see progress on the alpacas’ shelter. Jake has been hammering in the slats; it will be another fine structure, eventually, although the alpacas have been turning their (already quite disdainful) noses up at it, preferring to shelter under the trees rather than in this elegant structure. Maybe they can be persuaded, or maybe, like the turkey house, this structure will evolve its use. We will see. The ODWers have their celebratory supper (roast Jacob’s lamb, of course) to look forward to, as they march off to the Bakery for the next stage of their fulfilling weekend.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, 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.