In Gwent and in London over the past week I have seen Bedales students competing with their peers nationally: in the Colditz-like setting of the Celtic Manor Hotel (chosen this year both by NATO and the Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference – HMC for their shindigs) I saw two Bedalians awarded prizes in the HMC Eisteddfod which took place alongside the greyer considerations of our group: Chloe Z (6.1) was a close runner up in the Sculpture class, with her magnificent Sleeping Buddha; Georgina U (last year’s 6.2) meanwhile won the poetry prize for her excellent poem, Accent. Georgina’s reading of her poem was then followed by Wales’ own bard, Gillian Clarke’s reading of her own poetry. Great to be the only HMC school to have two prize-winners out of the 260 schools eligible for the competitions.
To London on Saturday where Flora S (6.1) was one of nine finalists in the ESU Winston Churchill Public Speaking competition that took place in the War Rooms buried beneath Whitehall. Flora competed strongly against an outstanding group of finalists drawn from schools across England and Wales. A brilliant achievement to be there amongst the best in the country and in a setting, nestling now beside the excellent newish Winston Churchill museum, which is as apt a reminder as any of the power of the spoken word.
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.