Ullswater – perspectives

We hear perspectives from Block 3, 6.2 and a teacher on last week’s Ullswater trip…


Clive Burch, Head of Block 3:

Last week Block 3, their tutors and an elite squad of Badley Seniors (6.2 student mentors) substituted Jane Austen’s Hampshire for Wordsworth country, the comfort of the school for a lake and its surrounding mountains and their usual beds for roll-mats. An equipment store became their library, a kit room their locker and a day sack their pencil case. Hoodies, jeans and trainers were out; fleeces, waterproof trousers and walking boots were in. They spent a day walking in the hills, another climbing up a waterfall (the revered ‘gorge walk’) and another both on and (inevitably) in the water. These team-building activities were only the prelude to either a walking or a canoe expedition with a mountainside or lakeside overnight camp. The boil-in-the-bag chicken tikka masala tasted great, but the chocolate pudding did not. Thankfully, jelly babies were at hand. Over 100 individuals left; one unified year group returned. Thank you to all the staff at Outward Bound Ullswater and for all the generous support both at school and at home.


Eben Macdonald, Block 3:

Up in the Lake District, we, Block 3, who had just commenced our career at Bedales, were made to do various activities over a five day period aimed to create socialisation. This was successful in doing so. These activities included: gorge walking, jog and dip, camping, hiking and much more. The idea was that if we did rather arduous activities together, we’d end up helping each other. And we did. For example, in the gorge walking, which personally was my favourite activity, we had to ascend up a watery gorge which varied in steepness. We had to give each other boosts, we had to hold each other’s hands etc. Thanks to this experience at Ullswater we have made amicable friendships and have learnt what determination is. We shall apply this to our school careers.


Rahaf Tammour and Imo Mayhook-Walker, 6.2:

At Bedales we think of going to Ullswater as a Block 3 rite of passage. It does not really have much, if any, association with 6.2. A few years ago, a handful of Badley Seniors went to Ullswater with the Block 3s and then after a hiatus that idea was revived with 18 Badley Seniors going up to Ullswater with the Block 3s. Both of us started at the beginning of 6.1 and had never been to Ullswater so we were unsure what to expect. What we experienced was a really enjoyable week where we got to know a part of the school that we would normally have limited contact with. Some of the highlights of the trip for us were the mountain walk on the second day, which challenged us as a group (and let us know what we were in for!), and the cliff jumping. The expedition on the last two days was the real high point of the whole experience – the previous days had all been leading up to this and we were all excited. We canoed 4km before walking 3km to our camp up a hill. There we met up with two other groups who had done different routes to come and camp with us, before we went on a night time walk to eat dinner and collect water. While that first day was fun, it was very tough at points and I think it helped us come together as a group. The next day we packed up and walked down to the lake before catching the steamer across the lake. Ullswater is truly a unique part of the Bedales experience and one that we would greatly encourage any new Block 3 or Badley Senior to embrace.