New student studies in use

The first phase of the new student studies are complete and are currently being used by 80 6.1 students.

The high quality study spaces, which can be found in the old Bedales Gallery and Textiles building, were designed by Richard Griffiths Architects and the interior was completed in consultation with Old Bedalian and current Governor Anna Keay.

The second phase has now begun, with demolition work currently taking place that will enable a new roof to go on the old workshop, before the former Art buildings are removed ahead of reconstruction. The final building will be an energy efficient, high quality space for students, and the old academic village will vanish.

Completion of the whole project is anticipated for the start of the Autumn term 2020, and we will update you as the project progresses.

First Duke of Edinburgh expedition of the year

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

When 37 students in Block 5 headed out on their qualifying Silver Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) expedition, they might have been extras in John Keats’ seminal poem, To Autumn. Last weekend on the South Downs, the world was rich in “mellow fruitfulness”. They plucked ripe blackberries from hedgerows, scrumpt apples from “moss’d cottage-trees” and in the evenings you might have come across the odd corn on the cob cooking alongside Wayfarer’s meals and pesto pasta.

On Friday morning it took a while to organise routes and check kit at the Triangle Car Park near the Trundle. As classic cars drove past on their way to the Goodwood Revival, assessors made a note of who had packed particularly carefully, and made sure those that needed an extra compass or water bottle were looked after. Routes were checked and starts were then staggered so as to make sure the groups were not tempted to mass together, before they headed off in different directions: east towards Graffam or west to Treyford.

There was no doubt that the participants had the weather was on their side, and navigation was considerably easier than on the practice expedition in the New Forest. That said, the West Sussex terrain presented the groups with different challenges, and many arrived in camp on Friday sore and exhausted from 400 metre climbs past fields of “full-grown lambs” and nosy herds of cows. After a glorious sunset, the full moon lit up the campsites making the night colder than expected and thus the tents were drenched in moisture on Saturday morning.

As the weekend bore on, it was clear that all 37 participants had personal challenges to meet. Some found the walking very tough, others had to manage their frustration with slower members of their group. Some had to share their food and kit, others to manage sore ankles and painful blisters. It was impressive to see groups leaving relatively early on their second day, and even earlier on the third, determined to get the bulk of the walking done in the morning. It was even more impressive to watch groups share out the load, so that all could complete the walk. All did and can hold their head high, having successfully completed this section of their Silver award.

A big thank you must go to Allen, David, Gordon and Rob for bringing wisdom, humour and years of experience to the trip. A thank you also to Duncan Selmes, who joined us from Dunhurst on Saturday afternoon, bringing more DofE expertise and enthusiasm to the team.

Match report: Girls’ U16 Hockey v Lord Wandsworth College, 18.09.2019

U16 Girls' Hockey v LWC

By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball

For a team that had never played together before, I have never seen such a beautifully played game of hockey! All the coaching advice Kevin Boniface and Mariela Walton gave at training were actually put into action, making it look like this team had been playing together for years.

Two players from the U15 team, Lally Arengo-Jones and Anna, stepped up and fitted in with the team well, providing many opportunities for a goal as well as Anna scoring a terrific goal in the second half. Sage Bidwell and Rebekah Leach stepped up from the U14 team and played magnificently.

Rebekah kept calm and opened up the game from the back of the pitch and Sage was a noticeable force in attack scoring the first and last goal of the game. The regulars in the U16s played like professionals, with Esther Stewart as acting captain rallying the troops from the defence. Sasha Arney, Mabel Watson, Gala Pearson, Etty Bratley, Sammy Smith and Nell Freeborough added to the score scoring a goal each (Nell with 2).

A brilliant afternoon out with committed and talented players. Final score 9-0 with Sasha selected as Most Valuable Player.

Match report: Girls’ 1st Hockey XI v Lord Wandsworth College, 18.09.2019

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By Mariela Walton, Teacher of Girls’ PE & Games

This week, the first XI stepped out onto Bedales home turf to play Lord Wandsworth College (LWC). Decked out in their new Bedales first XI kit, the team looked the part and were ready to battle against a strong LWC side.

LWC got off to a good start and within ten minutes, Bedales were 2-0 down. Despite this, Bedales continued to fight, and after Freya Leonard was hit by a stray lifted ball, the team raised their game further. As if seeking vengeance for Frey’a injury, Mathilda Douglas put one in the back of the net, sending us into the half-time break 2-1 down.

In the second half, an early goal from Amber Pearson saw the scored tied at 2-2, which was quickly followed by a goal from Eliza Goodfellow, taking us to 3-2. LWC then answered back with a third goal, making the scores tied again at 3-3.

Not long after, our resident goal scorer Mathilda Douglas followed with an excellent goal, crossed in by Most Valuable Player Thea Levine. Bedales managed to hold the lead for almost the entire remaining half, until Lord Wandsworth got a break in the last minute of the game and a quick goal left the final score at 4-4.

An exciting second game of the season – all of the students worked exceptionally hard and demonstrated some wonderful hockey. Next week they face Portsmouth High School at home with a 4.15pm start.

Julia Copus gives inspiring poetry reading at Bedales

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By Thomasina Rowntree, 6.2 and English Don

On Tuesday evening the renowned poet Julia Copus came to Bedales to give a reading of her poems in the Theatre. The evening began with a drinks reception for sixth form students, which gave them the opportunity to ask Julia for creative advice. Julia engaged with all the students, taking note of their individual interests – such as songwriting – to make the experience a very rewarding one.

The reading started with an incredibly moving and poignant performance of her collection of poems, Ghost Lines. Using sound and recorded text to enhance the poems, Julia told the story of her experiences of IVF treatment. It was an emotive experience to hear poetry performed in a way that many of us had never experienced.

Julia’s poem, An Easy Passage, is a text that we study for English Literature A Level. Hearing Julia read the poem gave a very personal insight into the piece, transforming the way I perceived it. We were privileged enough to be given a copy of some of the drafts of the poem, stressing the creative process, rather than the poem as a finished piece.

Hearing Julia read and having the chance to speak to her was a fantastic opportunity for all those who attended. The evening ended with a delicious supper for a few students and teachers. Many thanks to the catering team for such amazing food!

Block 5’s induction into National Youth Theatre

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By Freya Hannan-Mills, Block 5

Following an audition earlier this year, I was excited to be accepted onto the National Youth Theatre’s two-week summer course.

The course, which leads to National Youth Theatre membership, sees all new members aged between 14 and 17 spend two weeks taking part in the course at Goldsmiths, University of London, where we also stayed in flats at one of the university’s halls of residence.

The two weeks are spent devising, creating and performing new works. This year, the overarching theme was changing climates and we explored geographic, social and political responses to the theme. The final piece was then shared at Goldsmiths’ theatre to an invited audience, which included our parents.

For me, the entire experience was inspirational; a fantastic opportunity to work with professional directors and choreographers who explored the topic of climate change in new and challenging ways. We worked for eight hours a day – sometimes longer – and that intensity and focus created an ensemble which also forged amazing friendships.

I would definitely recommend auditioning for the National Youth Theatre to anyone who has an interest in the performing arts. It’s an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really explore and develop techniques and new ways of working. You remain a member of the National Youth Theatre until you are 25, and every year following your initial course, there are opportunities to audition for the rep shows, attend masterclasses and receive tickets for new plays. Find details about auditions for next year’s course on the National Youth Theatre website.

6.2 leavers raise over £11k for John Badley Foundation

Loet and Cian

Two 6.2 leavers marked the end of their time at Bedales by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats during the summer break, raising £11,116 for the John Badley Foundation.

Louis Brouwer and Cian Watson set off from Land’s End on 13 July, and spent a fortnight cycling 1,000 miles to the country’s northernmost point.

Impressively, the pair opted to cycle unsupported, carrying their own kit for the entire journey. Overcoming hurdles, including an accident which wrote off Loet’s bike, and even celebrating Cian’s 18th birthday en route, the pair reached John O’Groats on 26 July.

Keen to show appreciation for their time at Bedales and to help others have such an educational opportunity, Loet and Cian used the challenge as an opportunity to fundraise for the John Badley Foundation, which offers financial support through bursaries to students whose family circumstances mean that an independent school education would normally be out of reach. We are grateful to the many 6.2 parents who supported this initiative.

Loet said: “I have always wanted to do something adventurous and physically challenging and I am really pleased that Cian agreed to join in too. Bedales has had such a huge impact in developing me into the person I am. By raising bursary funds through the John Badley Foundation, I’m able to give something back, help others and show appreciation for my education.”