By Jack Duff Gordon, 6.1 and Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations and DofE Volunteer
Following the recent Block 3 Bronze DofE expedition, it was the turn of 10 intrepid 6.1 students who completed their Gold Practice in a very inhospitable Dartmoor over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend. The students’ resilience and determination were fully tested in looking out for each other and coping with the harsh conditions. Despite some tightening up of wild camping spaces, we found suitable spots and there were opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Dartmoor National Park whose granite tors, rich coloured rivers and open landscapes have inspired authors, poets, and artists for years. Overall the expedition was an excellent learning opportunity about the importance of looking after self and kit, and adapting to the various challenges of an expedition. The students should be proud of their achievement. Next stop for the Gold students in June: Bannau Brycheiniog (formerly known as the Brecon Beacons).
Jack Duff Gordon (6.1), who completed the expedition, commented: “While the walk had its ups and downs both literally and metaphorically, it was a good way of getting to know people better and make other friendships stronger. It was a good lesson in how important the basic human needs of water, shelter and warmth are. Despite the fact that warmth was sometimes not achieved, it was a positive experience – and some proper type 2 fun.”
With the application process now complete, we are excited to have launched a new programme for selected 6.1 students – the Badley Mentors.
The Badley Mentors are leading on promoting ‘wellbeing’ for the Bedales community whilst also providing peer support for the younger years. The group will be working primarily with Block 3 students; meeting new students and parents on our induction days, accompanying the Outward Bound trip to Cobnor each September and organising various student social events throughout the year. The Badley Mentors will also be leading Saturday tutor times each week and are attached to a Block 3 tutor group, facilitating discussions on topics such as respect, inclusivity, befriending, values, freedom, identity and living in the Bedales community.
The mentors have completed a full day of training delivered by Peter Bradley, CEO of Safe Child Thailand and former Director of Kidscape, whose experience with safeguarding matters and issues such as bullying is immense. The mentors will be available to the entire student community as a friendly, listening and approachable ear for one-to-one peer mentoring, in addition to meeting parents, reviewing school polices and visiting the Day and Boarding houses. I am excited to be working with the Badley Mentors on this new endeavour and the possibilities it holds.
By Jo Mayhook-Walker, Head of EAL and Extended Projects Coordinator
Last week, 18 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) projects were presented to an audience made up of students and staff. For me, it was an educational and invigorating experience, but how was it for the students? This week, five students who gave presentations share their thoughts.
Nina Jones, 6.1
Last week I presented my EPQ, titled A Thoroughbred’s life, how dangerous is it really? The process of presenting was much more rewarding and less stressful than I had initially thought; I felt that it was an important experience for me in order to build my public speaking skills and conclude my project. Prior to writing my dissertation, I put in a lot of time to research, ensuring that I was confident in the topic. This allowed me to answer the questions with ease. Within my presentation, I talked about my inspiration for my project, how I completed my research, the development, the content, and finally, an evaluation. The evaluation in particular helped me see the strengths and weaknesses of the process and the project itself and taught me valuable skills such as time management and sticking to a word count. I found that the feedback which I received after presenting was very beneficial, and I hope that I can transfer these skills into diverse areas of my academic and work life.
Jamie Loudon, 6.1
For my EPQ I decided to record and write a song. When I started, I was completely new to the process so I had to learn how to do everything. The first thing I had to do was choose a music production software. I did this by looking at reviews of lots of really good music software packages. I ended up picking a software called Ableton and I then learned how to use it using YouTube tutorials. I took what I learned and used it to write a song. I really enjoyed writing a song as I found it rewarding when I had a finished the song to be able to say I made it myself. Hearing people’s opinions of it after was also really nice. I found the presenting experience really fun because I got to show everyone what I had done. I found it fascinating listening to everyone else’s projects as there was a huge variety of topics covered. I was especially interested in the projects related to music, learning about the path their project took in comparison to mine.
Ben Bradberry, 6.1
For my EPQ project, I chose to focus on Singapore and how it achieved its importance in the modern world. I was inspired to do this having lived there for six years and noticing the differences to the UK. I found it frightening to be one of the first to give my presentation, but instantly felt more reassured as I got into the flow of it. I found the other presentations to be extremely interesting to listen to, but also valuable as a learning experience for myself as I could see how other people went about the process in comparison to how I had done so. Overall, it was an extremely worthwhile experience and I strongly encourage anyone considering an EPQ to pursue it.
Gemini Wang, 6.2
In last Wednesday’s EPQ presentation, 6.1 and 6.2 students presented their projects to an audience. In my group, there was a wide range of subjects from horse racing to time traveling. I was the first one to present in our group and although I was quite nervous before the presentation, from the moment I started talking about my project, I felt no stress at all. Talking to people about my interests and research was really enjoyable. At the end of each presentation, there was a chance to ask questions and the audience took this chance very well. They asked me interesting questions which challenged me as the presenter. Overall this presentation was a great opportunity for us all to share our research and listen to other people’s passions. It was also the moment when months of hard work finally paid off and I could see and hear that I had achieved my goals with my project.
Ernie Allesch-Taylor, 6.2
The opportunity to present an EPQ to Bedales staff and students was such a nice event to be a part of. What could have been a nerve-racking experience turned out to be a very good opportunity to share our projects. Despite differing topics, this enabled people from both Sixth Form year groups with ranging interests to showcase their passions. I for one thoroughly enjoyed the inclusive and welcoming atmosphere that everyone in the audience contributed to. Being able to ask in depth questions to my peers and having questions being asked to me about my project was a great way to properly engage with each individual projects. As well as this, being given the opportunity to ask for feedback after the presentations had ended was also a great way to learn how we could improve whilst also receiving positive praise.
Last Thursday, the 6.1 girls played against the 6.1 boys in what has now become an annual fixture for this cohort, having originated in Block 3.
Having won the last three years, the boys approached the game with confidence, possibly neglecting some valuable preparation time and were caught on the hop as the girls came flying out the blocks. Goalkeeper Patrick Bell and the central defensive pairing of Bade George-Coker and Archie Tier were the saviours for the boys’ team. However, with relentless attacking pressure from the girls – in particular Alisia Leach, Sasha Arney and Mathilda Douglas – it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken, with Alisia flicking in a low, powerful shot from a short corner to the delight of a partisan crowd.
An inspirational half-time team talk from the managerial team of Joseph Thanki and Harry Hornsby saw the boys’ team start the second half with renewed vigour. Despite this, and the skilful, quick attacking exploits of Paddy Arrowsmith, Joe Withers and Jamie King, the girls remained resolute, with Esther Stewart and Shanklin Mackillop-Hall, as ever, providing a calming influence at the back. As the boys’ fitness levels began to drop the girls’ side came into the game more and more. Increasing influence from Gala Pearson and Fleur Donovan ensured the girls side retained more attacking possession. Despite one last breakaway attempt from the influential Cosmo Hurwitz, the girls’ team held their nerve to emerge victorious.
Once again a really enjoyable game. Bring on the final game in 6.2…!
On Wednesday, the Mem Pitch played host to the inaugural 6.1 v Block 5 girls’ football match. Despite some tough playing conditions, both teams approached the game with tremendous enthusiasm and spirits certainly weren’t dampened by the weather!
The Block 5 team got off to a flying start, finding themselves 4-0 up inside 12 minutes. The fourth goal was particularly special, with a superb cross in from the right from Mary Whiteley that was met with an even better header from captain Romilly White, sending the ball into the top corner. The Block 5 side were a constant threat, with Kamaya Nelson-Clayton and Ava Sender Logan regularly making bursts forward, and Skylar Cazac a potent threat up-front.
Half-time was productive for the 6.1 side who regrouped and the second half saw the emergence of the influential Lila Levingston and more space opened down the right channel for the excellent Dora Wooldridge and Martha Clough. It was clear the relatively inexperienced 6.1 side were improving and starting to get used to playing as a team and creating more chances for the ever threatening Phoebe Esdaile.
However, as the final whistle blew, the Block 5 team had comfortably and deservedly picked up the victory. A really enjoyable game with both teams eager to get back out on the pitch.
In this week’s Art update, I thought I would share the projects from my 6.1 group. Since the start of term, they have been working on 2D and 3D projects under the theme of ‘Dystopian Worlds’.
All of the projects are individually led, and students have been using a range of techniques such as using clear casting resin to make a stained glass effect relief and making mosaic panels, pyrographic panels (burning or drawing into wood), cardboard constructions and clay modelling.
The work will go towards their folio of work for college applications and their final exam grades and a display of their work will be in an informal show from 9 December.
Wednesday saw another round of internal hockey fixtures and the first game of the season ‘under the lights’. Both the Block 5 and 6.1 teams had been particularly impressive in training over the last week or so, but it was the 6.1 team who burst out of the blocks with centre forward Mathilda Douglas looking particularly threatening, putting her team 2-0 up within the opening 10 minutes. A high press from the 6.1s ensured constant attacking pressure and a cool finish from Fleur Donovan, followed by a completion of a first half hat trick from Mathilda, led the 6.1s into the break 4-0 to the good.
The game was in danger of running away from the Block 5s, but a re-group at half time saw a much improved performance and it was the Block 5s who opened the scoring, through the ever dangerous Kamaya Nelson-Clayton. Despite constant attacking pressure from the 6.1s the Block 5 side stood firm with some excellent tackling from Ava Sender Logan and always posing a threat on the counter attack from Zoe Lobbenberg and Kamaya. As the game developed we saw more and more of the increasingly impressive Lally Arengo-Jones and captain, Leela Walton.
Despite the improved performance from the Block 5s the 6.1 team deservedly scored again, once again a fantastically calm finish from Fleur.
The Block 5s are in action again next week versus the Block 4s. The 6.1s will have to wait a couple of weeks before they take on the ‘all-star’ team.
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.
At the beginning of November, 20 students from Block 5, 6.1 and 6.2 volunteered to sit the Senior Maths Challenge.
Around 80,000 from across the UK took part in the competition; 15 Bedalians were awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates, with Aidan Hall, Maggie Luo and Annabelle Snell all winning Gold. They also qualified for the next round, the Senior Kangaroo, which places them amongst the top 10% of all the mathletes that took part in the competition.
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.
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