“Events, dear boy, events..” replied Harold Macmillan to a journalist naively enquiring what might upset the planned course of his government. Tuesday night’s fire was at the most unwelcome end of the spectrum of events that schools know will occasionally happen but seek to minimize both the risk of occurrence and the impact when they do occur. Early detection, swift remedy and the right damage limitation measures in a building’s construction all help. The systems all worked and the weighty, swift and expert presence of the Fire Brigade was decisive in putting the fire out. Much energy and thought has subsequently gone into ensuring that students’ project deadlines are adjusted so that no one’s chances are lessened.
At Dunhurst assembly on Thursday morning it was a different kind of event that that was the subject of Group 1’s excellent presentation on Tutankhamun’s life and death. Dramatic irony was to the fore as the (conveniently) young, finely made up and aloof king announced that he wasn’t very interested in the grim details of his embalming because he wasn’t going to die for a long time. But some of us knew before the presentation – and thanks to the Group 1’s fine narrative – all of us knew by the end, that the canopic jars (suitably emblazoned with a jackal, maybe) awaited his internal organs and that, nearly 3000 years later, Lord Carnarvon’s lot were going to disturb his gold-enfolded sleep. Afterwards I made a quick sortie into the reconstruction of his tomb in their classroom and was further impressed by its intricacy and the pupils’ knowledge of the rituals. Hats off to Group 1!
And finally, we know that the big event of Spring is really on the way when even the sluggardly Budge hens start laying – all of a sudden, this week, at last: hoorah!
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.