Business careers event for students – 31 January

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By Alex Beckmann, Alumni Liaison Manager

Following the successful industry focused careers event that took place in October, we are pleased to announce the next careers event for students is taking place on Friday 31 January, 5.40pm-7pm, in the Reading Room.

We currently have speakers from Google, McKinsey & Company, Technopolis Group and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confirmed to share their various experiences and participate in a Q&A with students.

We are hoping to confirm additional speakers that work in Law and IT. If you are a parent working in either of those fields, and you would be happy to talk to the students, please email Alex at abeckmann@bedales.org.uk.

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Bedales joins Round Square international network of like-minded schools

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By Al McConville, Director of Learning and Innovation

We received the very good news this week that Bedales has been accepted into the Round Square organisation. Round Square is an international network of schools inspired by the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn, who was a correspondent of John Badley, and who himself founded schools based on experiential learning principles.

The Bedales ethos has a great deal of resonance with the six ‘IDEALS’ of Round Square, which are Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service, and we plan to use our membership of the network to learn from and teach other member schools about how to enact these ideals even more successfully than we (or they) currently do.

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Silver DofE practice walk – perspectives

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Last weekend, 56 Block 4 students took a walk in the countryside surrounding Bedales, initially guided by seven experienced members of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) team. Here we share accounts of the trip from three students and one member of staff.

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

This was the first extended, practical opportunity for students to put into practice the basic navigation, pacing and map reading skills we’ve explored in our after-school sessions, and it also gave the students a chance to experience first-hand the importance of route cards, try out their kit and work as a team.

On Saturday morning, it looked as though we were going to get very wet in the afternoon, but in fact it was heavy wind and the onset of darkness that we had to contend with over Shoulder of Mutton in the nearby Ashford Hangers. The important business of putting participants into groups, and then reassembling the groups so that everyone was walking with at least one close friend, took some time. Once this was sorted, groups set off with a large rucksack containing emergency kit such as a high-vis jacket, head torch and tent, which they were instructed to take it in turns to carry.

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Bedales student stars in Petersfield Youth Theatre production

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By Phil Tattersall-King, Deputy Head (Co-curricular)

The connection between Petersfield Youth Theatre (PYT) and Bedales remains as strong as it always has been. Not only does Bedales help with provision of rehearsal space, there are always Bedales students and staff involved in the productions in some way.

In this year’s glorious production of C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Block 4 student Rowena le Poer Trench took on the role of Susan, one of the four children who stumble through the fur coats into a different world where animals talk and time works differently. Rowena carefully showed her character’s increasing awareness and wisdom as the plot developed, always being genuine and utterly engaged in the fiction.

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Whole school production concludes Autumn term

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By Blossom Gottlieb, Old Bedalian 2019

Perhaps it is the emotive true story of Mexican nun Juana de la Cruz that created the atmosphere of concentration in the Theatre during The Heresy of Love’s three-night run in December, athough I am inclined to give credit to the incredible cast and crew for really bringing this script to life. Smooth, practically choreographed transitions of the set whisked the audience from scene to scene, helped by the fabulous ensemble and their melodic singing. A gate was lowered from the ceiling to immediately capture the convent. This minimal use of set had maximum versatility, and therefore impact.

Notable performances from Kit Mayhook-Walker as Father Antonio and Oscar Clark as the archbishop at the start pulled the audience into the play ‘in medias res’ and remained strong, whilst Will Needs owned the stage with his excellently articulated monologues as Santa Cruz. Other beautiful examples of characterisation include Sienna Mills-Jung and Amber Pearson, who took on the roles of Sebastiana and Marguerita respectively, with Gus McQuillin as Viceroy and Bel de Gier giving a heart-warming performance as Vicereine.

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Poetry and mud studies at Ashford Hangers Nature Reserve

By Lucy McIlwraith, Teacher of English
Photos by Matilda McMorrow, Librarian

In the English department at Bedales, we like to give students the opportunity to venture outside the classroom to gain a deeper understanding of literature. Over the last couple of years, we’ve visited Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Dorset while studying Tess of the D’Urbervilles; hosted a tea party as part of our work on The Importance of Being Earnest; enjoyed a midnight feast of exotic sensory delights to go with John Keats’ poem, The Eve of St Agnes; and held a fireside evening of poetry-by-heart for Block 3’s study of the oldest forms of English literature.

Our latest venture earlier this week gave a 6.1 English Literature class a first-hand experience of writing poetry in finest Hampshire mud. The set are studying Seamus Heaney’s first poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist, which includes lots of descriptions of water, slime and bogs. In order to get under the skin of poems that feature phrases such as ‘bubbles gargled delicately’ and ‘the squelch and slap of soggy peat’, it seemed like a good idea to don wellies (with thanks to Outdoor Work for lending some to white-trainered students) and wallow in the plentiful mud at Ashford Hangers Nature Reserve.

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Bedales name-checked as pioneer of educational landscape

By Al McConville, Director of Learning and Innovation

Friend of Bedales and educational reformer, Professor Bill Lucas of Winchester University, gave a keynote speech to the Mercers’ Company in London about ‘the Future of Education’ on Monday, which I was privileged to attend.

Bedales was name-checked repeatedly as a key pioneer in the context of a pretty dreary and narrow educational landscape. Alongside School 21, collaborators of ours in the East End of London, Bedales was held up as the example of the sort of holistic, broad, practical education that more and more external agencies are clamouring for, from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to the CBI (Confederation of British Industry).

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