Leading voices, calming and cheering

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Assemblies and Jaws, which make up such a large chunk of communal life at Bedales, are increasingly student led. This week is an example par excellence of this.

Monday sees Tom H and Foxey H, both 6.2 Psychology students, present on Happiness and positive thinking, interlacing findings from research with tips (that are especially handy given we are in 6.1 Mocks’ week) on how to prevent fruitless stress by positive thinking. In spite of some IT gremlins, the assembly is engagingly and neatly executed. I certainly feel calmer and cheerier.

Now it’s Wednesday evening and Jaw, which aims to mark significant points in the faith calendar, focusses on Chinese New Year. The entire occasion is masterminded by Block 4 students, all new to the school in September. Up front is the formidably eloquent and authoritative figure of  Hector C who takes us through the cultural background to Chinese New Year, via some facts about China, including sad ones about female infanticide and Hector’s lack of siblings (but happily he has a school of brothers and sisters, so good mitigation here). Then we have the most graceful of dances, performed by Kiki W, accompanied melodically by Bethy Y. This is a magic moment and, buoyed up by a finale of some Hector-led communal Mandarin (New Year’s greetings to each other in particular) matters close to much applause and cheering all round.

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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.