Range of musical styles showcased at Spring Concert

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By Tom Batty, 6.1

After a term’s worth of rehearsals, the long-awaited Spring Concert took place on Wednesday. An exciting programme full of a wide variety of styles laid ahead of us and finally it was ready to begin.

The concert opened with a raucuous and flamboyant piece: Rossini’s overture from The Thieving Magpie. The catchy melodies and high energy was perfect to open the concert, and with the equally fun conducting from Bedales Prep, Dunhurst’s Director of Music, Ben Harlan, the stage was set for a very enjoyable concert full of pieces to please.

The orchestra followed with the two most popular pieces from Grieg’s Peer Gynt suites: Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King. Morning showed off the warm strings’ and delicate winds’ evident practice, resulting in a truly beautiful piece played with the beauty it deserves. There wasn’t long to wait before everyone was on the edge of their seats again as they listened to the ever increasing tension and drama of In the Hall of the Mountain King, conducted by 6.2 student and Music Don Sampson Keung.

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British Museum exhibition brings students closer to Ancient Greek epics

By August Janklow and Gus McQuillin, 6.1

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On 28 February, those of us in the 6.1 Classics class visited the British Museum’s Troy: Myth & Reality exhibition. It was an extraordinarily well curated collection of anything and everything relating to Troy, in order to help us better understand The Iliad by Homer.

The museum had lots of ancient pieces of art and stories relating to Troy. They had lots of vases and other items of treasury dating back roughly 4,000 years. The artefacts came from museums across the world and also reflected that these stories have inspired artists, sculptors, potters, writers and musicians of every century. A highlight was the massive wood-framed Trojan horse that hung over the main room to bring us into the Trojan world.

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Visiting Thomas Hardy’s Wessex – perspectives

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On Tuesday, 6.2 English Literature students went on a trip to Dorset to visit some of the key sites in Thomas Hardy’s life, to complement their study of Hardy’s 1841 novel, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, as well as some of his poetry.

The group visited Hardy’s Cottage in Higher Bockhampton, where Hardy was born, grew up and wrote his early novels, before going onto Stinsford Church, where Hardy’s heart is buried with his first wife, Emma Lavinia, and walking across the River Frome, across which Angel Clare had carried Tess in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

The group also visited Max Gate, the atmospheric Victorian home which was famously designed by the author and remained his home until his death in 1928, before hearing from two English Literature PhD students, Laura Cox and Sophie Welsh, about Hardy’s work. Here, some students share their perspectives from the trip.

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Oscar Clark: Sinking into Hardy’s armchair by the fireplace he designed, tiled by ceramics he found, surrounded on three sides by the privacy of a screen that has stood since he sat there and looking at a mirror upcycled by the man himself, I listened to Neill, the National Trust volunteer guiding us through our visit to Max Gate. A scholar on all aspects of Hardy, Neill showed us the humourous, sensitive and at times difficult man, as well as the nuances and foibles of his personality being reflected in the features of the home he designed.

Isabella Doyle: My favourite moment from the trip was seeing Hardy’s Cottage, where he grew up. I learned much information from the guide who showed us around Hardy’s former home. She explained how Hardy’s mother had strongly advised her five children not to marry, and Hardly was the only one who went against her advice – twice.

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Futures and Innovation – Parents’ Feedback Event

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Thank you to everyone who came along to the Futures and Innovation Feedback Event. For those of you who were unable to attend, please find a copy of the presentation that was given here, and an overview of the meeting below.

The Aim

The aim of the Futures and Innovation project is to test how we can better prepare students for the fast changing world post Bedales – in terms of the curriculum we teach and the soft skills that students learn.   Bedales is a progressive school and is already way ahead of most others in terms of our approach to education, the skills we teach the students and the Bedales Assessed Courses we offer in place of GCSEs in many subjects.   However, the speed of change in the workplace and beyond is such that no one can afford to be complacent and, over ten years since the introduction of Bedales Assessed Courses, we are keen to continue to test our educational offer and improve on it.

The Process

Last summer term we held a programme of events, a film, workshops and meetings with parents, Old Bedalians, staff, students, employers, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders in the world of education.   We asked them what skills they were looking for in young people entering the workplace and where they felt education as a whole was trailing behind in terms of the skills, mind-set and approach that is needed to flourish in the workplace and in life in general.

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UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge success

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By Martin Hanak, Head of Maths

Every year around 200,000 students from the UK take part in the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge and the top-scoring 40% of participants are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates in the ratio 3:2:1. This year, 72 Bedalians were among the participants. Congratulations to the students who were awarded certificates, listed below:

Block 3: 7 bronze and 3 silver certificates

Bronze: Candice Kamal, Joe Cullen, Rafael Legorburu, John Hall, Katharine Cecil, Meiya Feng, Reuben Stannah

Silver: Archie Holmes, Dylan Hui, Izzy Land

Block 4: 13 bronze and 5 silver certificates

Bronze: Daisy Taylor, Mike Wei, Ben Greening, Connor O’Donoghue, Nate Shuster, Beatrice Lingham, Pim Rippinger, Anna Anikieva, Arlo Martin, Jac Wheeler, John Wentworth-Stanley, Teo Sydow-Elias, Rowena le Poer Trench

Silver: Renee Luo, Benjamin Tsang, Gabriella Stephenson, Chubbs Bailey, Coco Witheridge

Block 5: 3 silver and 2 gold certficates
Silver: Zakhar Gabriadze, Adam Forsyth, Raef Macnaghten

Gold: Annabelle Snell, LJ Phelan Continue reading

Singing Evensong at Queens’ College, Cambridge

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By Sampson Keung, 6.2 and Music Don

On Wednesday, the Bedales Choir had the opportunity to go to the University of Cambridge and join the Choir from Queens’ College for their Evensong service in the college chapel. It was a wonderful experience to sing in a beautiful chapel with fantastic acoustics.

Repertoires from the evening included Dyson’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimmitis in D, as well as Haydn’s Insanae et vanae curae. The service was conducted by Eton College’s former Director of Music, Ralph Allwood, who, some will remember, visited Bedales in October 2019 for a sight reading workshop. The audience enjoyed the high quality of singing from the choir, who were accompanied by a former organ scholar from Cambridge, and we were all impressed by his virtuous performance.

As well as the Evensong service, we had the chance to take a tour around the University of Cambridge with Old Bedalian Josh Mazas, who is currently studying at [college]. Thank you so much to Doug McIlwraith for organising this amazing trip, and Jo Mayhook-Walker and Phillip Guy-Bromley for their help with the choir.

Outdoor Work hosts Bedales’ first ever ‘forge-in’

By Iris Campbell-Lange, 6.1

Outdoor Work is unique in its ability to displace us from the normality of walled classrooms. It enables everyone, regardless of age, to become acquainted with the work that our hands can miraculously create.

On Saturday I, along with seven other keen blacksmiths (who are either learning blacksmithing as part of their Outdoor Work BAC, have chosen blacksmithing as an enrichment or regularly attend blacksmithing club with our visiting resident blacksmith, Lucille from Little Duck Forge), diverged from the routine of morning lessons and attended Bedales’ first ever ‘forge-in’. A forge-in is the term given to a group of blacksmiths working collaboratively on a project – and in our case, we spent the day making a decorative panel for a new wooden archway to be built at the entrance to Outdoor Work near Steephurst.

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