By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools
The emphasis that Bedales Assessed Courses (BACs) have on coursework and the conclusion of those courses at the end of this month means that this stage in the Spring Term entails much making and doing – whether your creation is an English Literature essay, your History chronicles, a gargantuan Utopia project, a student-crafted play or your Design artefact, we are coming into the zenith of the season of Block 5 doing and making.
The new Art & Design building is always an interesting place to visit, but doing so around midday on Sunday was especially gripping. Turn right and you’re in a beautiful Fashion Design studio full of Block 5s making sumptuous clothes: here is Lettie’s MRI-scan themed tie-dyed (and multi-coloured) corset. By contrast there is Mia’s magpie themed (suitably black) dress with its multiple feathery tassel bits. Over by the window pinned to the mannequin is Tiger’s shapely aquamarine sea-water-themed chiffon dress; and so she mulls: the ripples in the chiffon are suitable, it seems, but when does a ripple become a ruck? The 60s tend to feature – and, yes, here is an octagon inspired dress: Fleur is mapping out the octagons’ geometry – tricky work.
Over in the Product Design side, Cian is sanding his maple clock and Goose has created the most exotic of tables, with a mariner’s top and a bark-covered base which will be coated in a PVA and water mix to ensure it lasts. Lily is making a very different table which has a reversible top – backgammon on one side and general purpose on the other. Jack’s wellie and coat holder has involved some serious welding and is at least as tall as I am. Joel’s glider launcher combines an electric motor with a crafty take-off pad, whilst Archie’s Cooking Camping Stove Unit even has a mini cool box – handy indeed. Happily the new Jewellery Bay has had some action. MIllie’s steel bracelet needs some intricate cutting.
The patient students have to put up with my nosey questions – about materials and thought processes; but I find it as interesting as I do encouraging. There is real pride in what they are doing and such a sense of purpose infusing the whole weekend: teachers, technicians and students are working closely together.
Next stop, Bedales Dance Performs on Thursday evening.