Central to John Badley’s view of education was the idea, unusual for the time, that a civilizing environment was integral to a child’s development; so surrounding yourself with good things – conversation, music, architecture and art – was vital. As well as feeling that he would have approved of the stimulating range of activities that made up the recent Badley Celebration Weekend, I feel that the spectrum of cultural influences brought to bear on Bedales students already this term, simply through visitors, would meet the most demanding Badleyan criteria: Sir Terence Conran talking design last week and OB concert pianist Martino Tirimo last night; less mainstream but still influential would be a Civics one man show, dramatising the life of poet and cleric John Donne and the inimitable talk in the theatre prior to the debate on GM foods on Saturday night by forager Robin Harford. The influence of experiencing talks like these is, of course, immeasurable, but at the very least you come away with a sense of the multiplicity of human talents and the range of different ways through which livings and lives are made.
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.