Girls’ First XI Hockey in the Hampshire Hockey U18 Trophy Tournament

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday, the incredibly committed girls’ first XI hockey team travelled to Southampton Sports Centre to take part in the Hampshire Hockey U18 Trophy Tournament. After a sporadic two years of hockey, this was always going to be a tough ask, both physically and mentally. Things got off to a tough start as the Bedales side faced a direct and powerful KES Southampton side and were unfortunate to lose the influential Alisia Leach when a rogue lifted ball struck her ankle. The first game ended in a 2-0 loss for Bedales.

It is, however, a huge testament to this side that they regrouped. Alisia returned to play through injury and the team were determined to bounce back, Ruby Cole sparking some inspiration with her tough tackling, timely interceptions and accuracy when building an attack. The next two games followed very similar patterns: a lot of attacking possession but not enough finesse in the final third and opposition always a threat on the counter attack. However, this was consistently dealt with by full backs Shanklin Mackillop-Hall (fresh from completing her Gold DofE) and captain Esther Stewart striking the right balance of being calm in possession and combative when looking to win tackles and make interceptions and an emergence of Gala Pearson winning a lot of ball high up the pitch. This resulted in two 1-0 victories and put the Bedales side back in chance of coming in the top two places.

The fourth game was a 1-1- draw in a competitive and enthralling game vs Lord Wandsworth College B. Confidence was now flowing through the Bedales side, with Rebekah Leach pulling the strings from centre half and Leela Walton dominating in possession.

The final game vs Peter Symonds’ second XI was by far the best performance. The deadlock was broken from a deflected short corner strike that was brought down neatly by Rebekah and calmly slotted home and this was followed up with a thoroughly deserved hat-trick for the ever threatening Mathilda Douglas, who was assisted greatly by the driving forward runs of Sasha Arney and unbelievable work rate jumping back and winning the ball from Kamaya Nelson Clayton.

The side have now qualified to go through to the regional rounds in November. This is only the second time ever that a Bedales side has reached this level and the team should be incredibly proud of themselves.

Adventure @ Bedales

Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations and DofE Manager

I write this from Dartmoor on a sixth form Gold Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) award expedition. Thirteen students are enjoying good weather and the beautiful surroundings of this national park which is the largest and wildest area of open country in the south of England. Working in teams, students are walking, navigating, carrying their kit, cooking, wild camping, and supporting each other, under the expert eye of Ridgeline Adventures who provide the specialist training and assessment.

Bedales is proud to offer DofE which is delivered through the Activities programme for Blocks 3-5 where students can progress through Bronze and Silver, and the Enrichment programme for sixth formers to pursue Gold. Virtual information sessions are offered by the DofE for parents where you can find out more about the award and how to support a young person through DofE. Click here for more information.

The DofE award was founded by its namesake in 1956, and has become an internationally recognised mark of achievement. For many participants, the DofE can be a life-changing experience and a lot of fun. Students discover new interests and talents, and the tools to develop essential skills for life and work. Participants describe how they have developed character traits like confidence and resilience, which have boosted their mental health and wellbeing and helped them face and overcome personal challenges.  

The programme has three progressive levels with four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver, and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

As a Round Square school, Bedales has made a commitment to character education and experiential learning built around the six themes of International Understanding, Democracy, Environmental Stewardship, Adventure, Leadership and Service. The DofE award has a lot of synergy with Round Square, both having been heavily influenced by the thinking of educationalist Kurt Hahn.

At Bedales each level is overseen by a DofE ‘leader’. To find out more, interested students and parents can contact one of the Bedales DofE team: Paul Beauchamp (pbeauchamp@bedales.org.uk) for Block 3; Allen Shone (ashone@bedales.org.uk)/David Mann (dmann@bedales.org.uk) for Blocks 4-5; Julia Bevan (jbevan@bedales.org.uk) for Sixth Form. I oversee the award programme, organise the expeditions in conjunction with Ridgeline Adventures and liaise with the DofE staff (contact: (rreynolds@bedales.org.uk).

Brain Day with Dr Guy Sutton

By Lily Brough, 6.2

On Thursday, A Level Psychology and Biology students were joined by Dr Guy Sutton for ‘Brain Day’. It was an inspiring day full of talks, ranging from the effects of drugs on the brain, criminality, brain trauma and the future of the brain. We even got to witness a live dissection of a sheep brain, exploring the different areas of the brain. The day showcased the far-reaching impacts of psychology and neuroscience and its relevance to many unsuspecting aspects of life.

The morning saw a detailed introduction to the structure of the brain, as well as the concepts of neuroplasticity and imaging techniques. This included contemporary studies on the effects of COVID-19 and the Abracadabra project, which studied the long term effects of cognitive stimulation in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas. This was followed up by an informative look at the effects of drugs such as cannabis and ketamine on the brain. It was especially interesting to learn of the vastly different effects various forms of cannabis can have – THC causes cognitive impairment, while CBD can be used as a treatment for epilepsy, for example. Just before lunch, we had a look at various neuroimaging techniques. Students particularly enjoyed the vivid images produced by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), as well as the extremely complex connectomes being created.

After lunch, Dr Sutton explored possible explanations of schizophrenia before giving a powerful talk on the ‘criminal brain’. Looking at different case studies, we were able to explore the complexity of the causes behind crime and the debate of free will. This revealed the philosophical questions that underpin both psychological and neuroscientific research. After this, we had the exciting brain dissection, which gave us a chance to see the structures discussed during the day. Everyone was intrigued by the strange texture of the brain and enjoyed inspecting the hippocampus and cerebellum.

To end the day, there was a talk on the future of the brain, with the discussion of neuro-bionics and the impending fusion of the brain and technology. This sparked much debate about the ethics and morals of advancing research and left us thinking about the future of neuroscience.

By Pip Stamp, Teacher of Psychology

I was extremely proud of our students on Brain Day. To quote Dr Guy Sutton: “I always enjoy visiting Bedales. I was particularly impressed this year, given what has happened over the past 18 months, of how attentive and receptive the students were. They engaged fully, asked some great questions and equally, answered my questions with intelligent and thoughtful responses. Generally, a really delightful, attentive and polite audience and I very much look forward to visiting again.”

The Chemical History of Nicotine – Science Lunchtime Lecture Series

By Mary Shotter, Biology Technician

As part of the Science Lunchtime Lecture Series, A Level science students and members of 3i were joined by Dr Harry Pearson, former Bedales Housemaster and Head of Science/Chemistry, in the Simon Lecture Theatre to explore ‘The Chemical History of Nicotine’.

The intellectually stimulating talk began with the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492, where European explorers were offered a ‘fuming material’ called zikari, made from the leaves of the plant Nicotiana tabacum by indigenous people. Harry’s talk then led us to 1560s Paris, when diplomat and scholar Jean Nicot de Villemain brought in seeds from the Americas and introduced the plant to France. Paris Society was polarised by this new ‘magic’ substance, now named ‘nicotine’ after Jean Nicot.

From France, Harry took us to 1800s Germany, where nicotine was first isolated in Heidelberg University – its chemical structure being determined in 1891. After an in depth look at nicotine’s chemical properties and the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to determine the molecular structure, the talk concluded with a look at nicotine’s effects on the body, the work of Sir Richard Doll – the first scientist to discover the link between smoking and lung diseases in 1954 – and brought us to the present day with the introduction of nicotine patches and vaping.

Harry’s talk focused not only on the science of nicotine, but also encompassed many other topics, including stories of Bedales past, the difficulty of learning German and the witty quotes of Mark Twain.

The next Lunchtime Lecture take place on 12 November, when Dr Tim Mason of Portsmouth University will speak on ‘Edward Jenner and the Story of Vaccines’.

Girls’ U14 Hockey v Alton School

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday evening, the girls’ U14 side faced Alton. This was the first time the team had played together, and for the majority of the side, the first time they had a competitive fixture on a full-sized pitch. It was therefore perhaps not surprising that early on the Bedales team found themselves 2-0 down. However, it was incredibly impressive to see the way in which the side rallied and forced their way back into the game – much credit due to the work in the middle of the pitch from Daisy Milton and Agnes Bathurst – to bring the scores level at half-time.

Some focused and brave defending from Jazz Daly and Jazzy Jordan kept a talented Alton side at bay for a good period of the second half, but once again the Bedales side found themselves two goals behind. It is clear to see that with this side though, Bedales are never out of the game; some driving forward runs from Ella Reid, Poppy Daly and Phoebe Land forced attacking territory and Bedales managed to get themselves back into the game 4-4 with eight minutes to play. The consistently hard-working Tallulah Plant, Inaya Strong and Iris Biles were putting everything in an attempt to force a victory, but it was not to be, and despite some excellent clearances from debutant goalkeeper Freya Hunt, Alton grabbed two goals in quick succession to finish 6-4 winners.

A thrilling game and exciting times ahead for this developing side.

Girls’ Second XI Hockey v Churcher’s College

By Jamie King, Teacher of PE & Sport

The girls’ second XI hockey team travelled to Churcher’s College for their first game in many months on Wednesday. Churcher’s were combative and difficult to contain, but with the help of some versatility from Greta Stilwell, who played in three different positions during the match, we were able to draw level at 1-1.

Our first goal came with Ottilie finishing the move after a lively and skiful drive into the D by the ever busy and purposeful Sage Bidwell. Ultimately, the game would be lost (final score: 8-2) but there were some very promising passages of play with the two Bedales wingers – including captain Anna Tasker and Rosy Riley – lighting up the attacking line and causing lots of problems for the opposition. The second Bedales goal was a wonderful individual effort from Rosy, who broke free down the right wing and cut into the ‘D’, finishing decisively in the bottom corner. 

There were excellent performances in defence from Maya Cressman and Lula Goldring, who were often facing an attacking overload but continued to put in strong tackles and vital clearances. The moment of the game came after a deflected long-range shot seemed destined or the Bedales top corner, only to be denied by an outstanding one-handed tip over the bar from goalkeeper Rosie Voyantzis. It was an excellent game showing lots of promise for the season ahead. Our Monday practice sessions will continue to develop the team’s cohesiveness and fitness levels. Well done to everyone involved!

Match report: Girls’ First XI Hockey v Churcher’s College

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

There was a sense of nervousness and excitement on the Astro on Wednesday as the girls’ first XI hockey team were back in action after a COVID enforced break. The team knew they had to be ‘switched on’ as they were facing a quality opposition in Churcher’s first XI and the match certainly lived up to expectations with both sides looking to play good hockey. It was Churcher’s who held the majority of attacking possession, but good saves from Tilda Gellatly and some timely interceptions from Shanklin Mackillop-Hall kept the Churcher’s side at bay for the majority of the first half. This, alongside the impressive Alisia Leach and phenomenal work-rate of forwards Mathilda Douglas and Kamaya Nelson Clayton, made for an enthralling encounter.

As the game moved into the second half, an unfortunate deflected own goal put the Churcher’s side 2-0 up. But, by virtue of her ‘do as I do’ approach, captain Esther Stewart kept the team focused and an exceptional stick save from the Churcher’s goalkeeper stopped Mathilda Douglas’ brave attempt to bring Bedales back into the game. As the match progressed, tiredness crept in and an increasing number of opportunities fell to the Churcher’s side – although it is fair to say that without the presence and influence of Rebekah Leach at centre-half, there would have been a greater number of opportunities.

At the final whistle, it was a deserved victory for Churcher’s, but there are a huge amount of positives for the Bedales side to take into the Hampshire U18 Trophy Tournament next week.

Supporting charities in Global Awareness

By Sage Bidwell, Lola Mackay and Emily Kavanagh, Block 5

We are a group of Block 5 students who are doing a Global Awareness project on homelessness and poverty. We have linked the aims of our project with the annual Harvest Festival food collection and plan to hold a food collection week at Bedales from 4-10 October.

We are working with the Petersfield Food Bank to provide food and hygiene products for the homeless and would be grateful for any donations. If you would like to donate, you can view a list of items requested by the Petersfield Food Bank below. However, any donations are a great help to our local community. Our collection point is based outside G1 (the ground floor Geography classroom in the atrium). If you have any questions, please email us via Abi Wharton (awharton@bedales.org.uk). Thank you for your support.

  • Tinned soup
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned fish
  • Tinned meat
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned pulses
  • Tinned or packet custard
  • Tinned rice pudding
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Long life milk
  • Biscuits
  • Crackers
  • Couscous
  • Instant Noodles
  • Cup a soup
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Oats
  • Sugar
  • Treats (chocolate bars, nuts, crisps, etc)
  • Toiletries (including sanitary products)

By Rose Purves, Turi Spens and Charles Walls, Block 5

As part of a Block 5 BAC Global Awareness project, we are researching the refugee crisis. We are partnering with the Rural Refugee Network (RRN), a local charity whose mission is to help bring refugees to safety in the UK and, once here, to help them successfully resettle into their new communities. The RNN offers grants for education, training and employment to families and young people placed across Hampshire. 

We will be raising money by planning, putting on and hosting a charity art show for the RRN in late November. Our target is to raise £25,000 to aid them in their vital work. We would be grateful for any donations – please do speak with family or friends and let us know if you are able to donate any pieces of work for the show and email us via Abi Wharton (awharton@bedales.org.uk). Thank you in advance for your support.  

Sixth Form Show celebrates 25 years of Bedales Theatre

By Hayley Cole, Head of Drama
Photo by Beau Brentnall, 6.2

This year marks 25 years since the opening of the Bedales Olivier Theatre. To celebrate, we wanted to pay homage to some of the original work staged there. As the first piece performed at the Theatre was My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley, directed by a female student, we decided to invite a female Old Bedalian and professional in the field back to Bedales to direct a feminist play this term for the Sixth Form Show.

Evangeline Cullingworth has worked with the department as a practitioner over the last few years and assisted all year groups in academic and co-curricular performance projects. It is an honour to invite her back as our external director this term and we are excited to share this year’s Sixth Form Show, Image of an Unknown Woman by Elinor Cook, with you on 12 and 13 October (book tickets here).

6.2 student and Theatre Don Aryana Taheri Murphy recently interviewed Evangeline and cast member Beau Brentnall photographed the rehearsal session. Read Aryana’s interview below.

By Aryana Taheri Murphy, 6.2 and Theatre Don

Evangeline joined Bedales in 2011, where she studied A Levels in Drama, Music and English. She went on to study Theatre at NYU Tisch and completed an MA in residence at the Orange Tree Theatre. She has worked at the Hampstead Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Opera House training under Katie Mitchell. She is especially interested in community engagement and increasing access to opera, after working on RhineGold with Birmingham Opera company.

Evangeline was attracted to Bedales for the quality of the work, both academic and artistic, as well as the vast number of opportunities and how respected the arts are within the school. She had always been interested in drama since a young child, however, after joining Bedales she became more dedicated and serious about a career in the industry. She explained that by working towards her A Levels and being involved with the Sixth Form Show, she was able to learn from the “high level of production quality” and the “incredible experience” of being a part of the Theatre. One memory she shared from her Sixth Form Show performance was smashing a watermelon (with a sponge soaked in stage blood) with a hammer and it splattering all over her clothes and face, to create the effect that she was smashing someone’s head in. She recalled the shock from the audience and her feeling of being completely out of her comfort zone but also her excitement of the experience.   

This year Evangeline is directing Image of an Unknown Young Women. She explained how she attended a workshop several years ago when the play was first published and found that it stuck with her for its exploration of the impact of social media. She further explained how the play seemed more relevant now, as the only way we have been able to connect for the past two years is through phones. It made her look differently towards the piece, as 2020-2021 has been a time where “social media meets activism”.

Uniting the world to tackle climate change

By Abi Wharton, Head of Geography, Global Perspectives and Politics

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. The aim of this conference is to bring the world together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

As Alok Sharma, the COP President-Designate states: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought devastation to millions around the world, disrupting many parts of the global economy. But climate change has continued, and it ultimately threatens life on earth. As countries begin to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, we must take the historic opportunity to tackle climate change at the same time – to build back better, and greener. And we must. To keep the temperature of the planet under control – limiting its increase to 1.5 degrees – the science dictates that by the second half of the century, we should be producing less carbon than we take out of the atmosphere. This is what reaching ‘net zero’ means. The journey is already underway. Despite the pandemic, the direction of travel is changing. Around 70% of the world economy is now covered by net zero targets, up from less than 30% when the UK took on the Presidency of COP26. The world is moving towards a low carbon future.”

These aims must clearly be considered at a personal, local and national level to be successful globally. We are rightly very proud of our Bedales student body who are all too aware of the impact previous generations have had on the environment, and their responsibility to do more, and quickly, to protect the planet. Across the curriculum, students are conducting innovative academic research to prepare them to be the change makers of the future. Geography BAC students study a bespoke module on climate change unlike any other course at this level in the UK, and the Block 3 collaborative project between Philosophy, Religion and Ethics (PRE) and Geography focuses on ‘Who made my clothes?’, tackling globalisation, the winners and losers of a globalised economy, and the ethical implications of business practices on people and the environment. In Pre-U Global Perspectives students have chosen to research topics such as ‘The effect of COVID-19 on consumerism’ and ‘Is sustainability in the fashion industry sustainable?’ In tandem with this, students from across the year groups continue to be involved in a range of activities to raise awareness about the urgent need to do more.

As a prelude to the global conference taking place in Glasgow, East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, in conjunction with East Hampshire District Council, has organised a local climate conference focusing on the action that can be taken locally to accelerate decarbonisation. The conference, which will involve Bedales students, will take place on Friday 8 October at The Maltings in Alton, to which everyone is invited. More information can be found on Damian Hinds’ website here and tickets can be booked here.