Student BAC and EP work continues at a red hot pace

Siberian winds may lash Steep, but student project work continues at a red hot pace: our BAC designers working like Trojans (and with even greater deftness) and 6.1 Extended Project folk doing their presentations. Saturday and Sunday see the second batch of BAC design students working on projects as various as circular, tree-like speaker case (Jack P), an electronic score board for tennis (Harry B-C); within the galaxy of colour and enviable fabrics that comprise Fashion Design, a pair of surfing shorts with a cleverly positioned perspex pocket (Roly B) and a wispy skirt with alluring burnt frills (flambéed?) from Lizzie C. The themes are an icon, a movement, an ism or natural forms – it is humbling but very impressive to see the range of inspiration and the concentration in play as I bumble around asking my layman’s questions on Sunday morning.

Monday evening and we are in the SLT hearing 7 students’ Extended Project presentations. This is the fourth year that we have been offering the EP – we joined is as early as we could and decided that it should be done in 6.1 over the course of the first two terms – a tall order but  it has proved to be formative in the progress of many 6.1 students.  Why do it so early, when many schools have it as a 6.2 item? Because it is a brilliant education in how to manage independent study and being able to show that you have pursued successfully this arduous and sometimes lonely path before you apply to university is impressive when you apply the following autumn. And how our cup overfloweth with good stuff! Early twentieth century influences on Modern Dance (Jasmine H), Is it possible to eat off £2 a day? (yes, see my recipe book: Georgie D), Comparing mental illness in Ancient Greece with twentieth century treatments (those late Victorians’ asylums looked a bit like an enlightened school…from Sofia G-M), Researching and devising pudding recipes (30 of them, from Coco C), Writing and illustrating an iBook in French (Immy W), A Photographic illustration of Godfather Death by the Brothers Grimm (Connor L) and, finally,  Sharks, a study of how they are treated and perceived (from passionate shark-lover Charlotte R, whose favourite shark is a whale shark). Fascinating also to see how both the research methods and the media chosen for the project/product have developed with the pace of technological change. A very cheering and stimulating evening which was a great credit to students’ ingenuity, hard work and resilience, as well as their mentors’ wise advice and patient guidance.

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.