Parents’ Day medley

Parents’ Day gives students and staff a chance to show the school’s values, achievements, buildings, grounds and relationships at their best. My day began chatting with the final shift of 6.1s in the All-Night Bake and ended, again in the Bakery, talking to a remarkably lucid (given the time of night) group of OBs at their 25 years on reunion. In between, I was lucky enough to witness a wonderful Dance display, Design and Art shows of humbling craft and creativity and, apt finale, a Summer Concert which shimmied beautifully between musical traditions but which engaged us as an audience, whether with Keir Rowe’s adaptation of Bernstein in the Quad or with a Messiaen piece in the Boys’ Flat serenade when, wonderfully,  birdsong permeated the music. Messiaen, an ornithologist who was inspired by birdsong, would have approved. As memorable as anything were the readings in the Library given by current and former students as a tribute to Graham Banks who retires from Bedales in a few days time after 33 years’ teaching here. Anyone who has doubts about the long term impact of great teaching would have had those doubts quelled by those readings and accompanying student testimonies.

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.