New season of Bedales Events – on sale now

By Phil Tattersall-King, Deputy Head (Co-curricular) and Director of Bedales Events

With only three weeks left of the academic year, suddenly September doesn’t seem such a distant prospect… and with it comes a new season of Bedales Events, available to book from 8am on Saturday 15 June.

The season gets underway on 10 September with an incendiary double bill – HOTTER and The Privileged – where we question attitudes to the female orgasm and white privilege in Bedales’ open and honest way. Visiting poet Julia Copus will also go beyond the conventional on 17 September, when you can hear both her written works and a piece commissioned for radio. Old Bedalian Marika Hackman returns to Bedales on 20 September ahead of her impending UK-US tour, and there’s an the opportunity to get to know former nation’s favourite Michael Barrymore again on 26 September – this time through the eyes of Nick Cassenbaum’s childhood adoration and without the overblown vilification of his downfall. On 28 September, we welcome Squashbox Theatre to Bedales for family show Tales from the Trees, and on 4 October, Taking Flight Theatre explore accessibility and unfairly marginalised stories in Peeling.

Later in the season comes another double bill: Status and Signals. Seth Kriebel tells the ancient tale of Beowulf, Jo Berry and Dr Patrick Magee share what it is to forgive in the annual Global Awareness Lecture, and you can fill your belly with laughs in the run up to the Christmas holidays with comedian Matt Parker’s Humble Pi.

If all that culture isn’t enough to tempt you, there’s all the usual home grown productions by Bedales students. Find out more and book tickets to all events via the Bedales Events website.

Moving D-Day Memorial Service

By Mack Cowling, 6.1

On Wednesday 5 June, I attended the D-Day Memorial Service on Portsmouth Common with my two veteran grandfathers. It was an incredible experience for them, as they were able to receive merit and respect for the service they gave to the country.

One of my great grandfathers, Roy Purnell, was a troop who arrived on Juno Beach in Normandy on 6 June 1944. I also had John Castleton, my great grandfather on my other side, with me. John was part of the 76th Royal Air Force Bomber Command. He flew a Lancaster Bomber during the war until he was shot down and taken as a prisoner of war.

Due to the tremendous significance of the war in their lives, being able to reminisce and relate with stories being read by the multiple guest speakers – including the Prince of Wales, President of the United States and Her Majesty the Queen – was incredibly rewarding for them. The event itself was on for most of the day and featured music and dance, themed to the 1940s era to commemorate wartime culture.

I think the most special part of the day for everybody involved was the chance to meet and talk with the guest speakers. My great grandparents were spoken to and personally thanked for their service by Charles, Prince of Wales, and the President of the United States, Donald Trump. Overall it was an incredible experience and one which I will truly not forget.

Student shortlisted for National Theatre New Views Playwriting Competition

aidan-hall

By Aidan Hall, 6.1

From the beginning of the school year until the first day of the summer term, some sixth formers had been writing their own plays to submit to the National Theatre’s New Views Playwriting Competition.

Led by David Anson and Hayley Ager, we honed our skills in dialogue, character development and expressing messages that were personal to us through our writing. We would meet every Monday for an hour and a half, sometimes reading what our peers had written, sometimes doing exercises that gave us a better perspective on how to craft personality and motivation in our characters. Other times, we would spend writing.

At the end of the Easter holidays and after a week-long recluse into the hills of Shropshire with some other Bedalians for the Arvon creative writing course, I submitted my play. It got shortlisted!

This now means that a rehearsed reading of it is going to be performed at the National Theatre later this term and I am ridiculously excited to see something I created manifested into (some form of) reality. It’s confirmation that, as artists, our practiced creation bears fruit. I believe that, so often, creators fall into the fallacy of thinking “I don’t want to create anything right now, I’ll save my efforts for when I’m better in the future”. But this isn’t how it works, you can’t just think of practice as a creative middleman that you can eliminate. Exercising our creative muscle and producing something, no matter how proud of it we might be, is the only way to develop as an artist. If you really want to go somewhere with your art, and to a wider extent anything, you gotta do. Period.

My play, The Closest Thing to Silence, is a combination of dialogue and poetry that explores the attempts at escape from modern metropolitan life, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. These are lives we could potentially find ourselves living. It follows two strangers as they go through an interview process to leave the city in which they reside, both connected by their longing to see the stars again, away from the neon covered sky of the concrete jungle.

Lupton Hall memories

Lupton Hall mid-1920s (map chest 2)

By Alison Mallett (née Melville), Old Bedalian (1939-46)

My first memory of the Lupton Hall goes back to the thirties and my single-figure age, just at Dunhurst. I had heard that a play was to be performed there and decided to see it. I was told that I couldn’t as it was “unsuitable for young children”. A challenge there! I slipped in with the audience and slid under one of the pews near the front. Somebody saw me and hauled me out ignominiously. Some years later, once I had moved up to Bedales, I suffered many bum-numbing Jaws, admirable though the principle. How many activities come to mind: speech competitions, Merry Evenings, Gilbert and Sullivan, Shakespeare when not outdoors. Details like Paul Williamson (1940-46) clasping his hands over his chest, declaring, “I never apologise!” Bob Collet’s (1919-22, staff 1929-46) amazing hands playing Liszt; or the melting tones of Gervase de Peyer (1939-43) and Mozart.

The green rooms below were often used as practice rooms where in anonymous privacy one could loudly wail out one’s sol with Kol Nidrei and the like.

My most striking adventure was musical. Two flautist friends, Geoffrey Spencer (1939-48) and Jan Fabricius (1942-46), got together a small band of volunteers to play a Brandenburg Concerto. Our first rehearsal was nearly terminal. With no conductor, we were all at sixes and sevens. So one after another, a player stood up and waved hands and arms around but, astonishingly, completely out of time. Finally Jan said: “Ali, you’ll have to do it”. Unconfident, I pulled a twig from Miss Hobbs’ (staff 1920-47) beautiful flower arrangement, and waved it around. Amazingly it seemed to work. Rehearsals became fun. Our music master, Harry Platts (staff 1937-46), got to hear of our venture and lent me his baton and lots of advice. We were to perform with the whole school. “Start off with a bold upswing of the baton,” Harry advised.

The two soloists stood close below me. I swung the baton up with a bold upswing. The tip caught Geoff’s music and sent it flying over the orchestra to land on the resting big drum below the stage. Kerplonk! The next few bars were drowned in laughter.

We used to get many lovely musical performances, from staff, pupils and visiting professionals. The Griller Quartet were much loved. All four were drafted into the RAF and turned up one visit in their uniform blue. Late Beethoven, out of this world. Except that the cellist’s buttons rattled hideously against his audience. Between two movements he called out to the audience, “Can anyone lend me a pair of scissors?” Someone produced the scissors. The cellist then cut off all his buttons.

Now I trust future Bedalians will cherish lovely memories of the restored Lupton Hall.

Arvon attendees reunite for writing workshop

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

Last Wednesday, 14 students who attended the Arvon Creative Writing course in Shopshire over the Easter holidays attended an afternoon writing workshop. We held the workshop partly so they could collect The Lighthouse (the anthology of their writing from the course), but also to celebrate seeing their work in print and practice writing techniques they learnt on the course.

To get themselves in the writing headspace, they began by carrying out a free writing task to some serious music, which quickly led to much fast scribbling! The students then attempted some ‘Golden Shovels’, a technique devised by the American poet Terrance Hayes in honour of his fellow compatriot Gwendolyn Brooks.

The last words of each line in a Golden Shovel poem are, in order, words from a line or lines taken often from another poem; the original Golden Shovel is The Pool Players / Seven at the Golden Shovel by Brooks. The results of this technique can be quite different in subject, tone and texture from the original poem, depending on the ingenuity and imagination of the poet composing one!

In honour of the incoming Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage – who visited Bedales last September – students chose lines from his poems Poem and I Am Very Bothered, and had a lot of fun sharing the new poems that evolved from his lines. The intention is to keep the writing momentum going with monthly writing reunions next year and include new work in The Poet’s Stone.

Match report: Boys’ U14 Cricket v Mountbatten School (23 May 2019)

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday the U14 cricket side hosted Mountbatten School in the ESCA National One Day Competition.

Having lost the toss, Bedales were put in to bat and got off to a blistering start with Jac Wheeler scoring 18 from eight balls, but this was to be short-lived as he top edged one to the keeper. This brought captain Zach Stewart to the crease to join Huw Wheeler, who was looking in imperious form. A solid partnership ensued, with Bedales reaching 82.

However, the demise of Zach, pulling a short delivery straight into the hands of the square leg, signaled the start of a batting collapse.

Huw Wheeler was soon to follow, having scored an impressive looking 69. Unfortunately there was not much resistance from the Bedales middle and lower order, other than a wonderfully creative and entertaining innings from Elio Mazas (28), and Bedales were bowled out for 154 from 26 overs. The home side knew they were going to have to perform well with the ball and Jac Wheeler stepped up to the mark, clean bowling two of the Mountbatten top order.

The game then turned on its head with the Mountbatten side batting sensibly and punishing any loose deliveries. With momentum shifting, Zach Stewart picked up the crucial wicket of the Mountbatten opener, tempting a drive into the safe hands of Jac Wheeler in the covers. At the end of his eight over allotment, Zach had finished with incredibly impressive figures of 1-21.

Twenty-two overs in, the match was finely balanced with Mountbatten 106 for four, but the game ended in an abrupt manner as the Mountbatten side had to leave suddenly. With Bedales ahead on the run rate, they progress through to round two.

New Pre-U in Global Perspectives & Research

By Abi Wharton, Head of Global Awareness

We are delighted to announce that we will commence teaching of the Cambridge Pre-U in Global Perspectives and Research from September 2019 in our vibrant Sixth Form Enrichment Programme.

It has long been a desire of parents, students and staff to introduce a sixth form offering to complement the BAC in Global Awareness which continues to develop in terms of popularity and success.

The Pre-U, which is suitable for all students, regardless of whether they have taken the BAC in Global Awareness, places academic specialisation in a practical, real-world context, being a seminar-based opportunity to research and explore a range of issues challenging people across the globe. Developing critical/analytical, research, and problem-solving skills essential to higher education, students will learn to place their personal perspectives in a global context, finding new inspiration and challenges for their studies.

During their study, students consider at least four topics taken from different themes. For example, genetic engineering, medical ethics and priorities, standard of living or quality of life, ethical foreign policies, or the religious-secular divide may be studied under the Ethics theme. Typically students develop the necessary skills to embark upon a realistic and meaningful research agenda.

Students will submit a presentation and an essay from their portfolio and sit an examination. The Independent Research Report gives candidates the chance to dig still deeper into a particular subject, or to cross boundaries by doing interdisciplinary work, or to make a new departure by investigating a subject not covered by traditional school syllabuses. Students submit a single piece of extended work on their chosen theme. Students can choose whether to take the Pre-U short course or to study for the two year Pre-U.

An increasing number of UK and international universities are providing statements of recognition for Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR). In their view, Cambridge Pre-U GPR is an excellent preparation for undergraduate study since it gives real evidence of independent, critical thinking. This is applicable across all undergraduate subject areas due to the nature of the skills developed throughout the course.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information.

Global Perspectives Pre-U | Two year syllabus | Short course syallbus