Congratulations to this year’s Academic Dons, who were announced last week.
Dons are student leaders, associated with academic departments and other important areas of the school, such as the Library and Theatre. As student spokespeople for a department, Dons represent the student body’s views to the relevant Head of Department, as well as offer subject specific help and advice to younger students at the senior school.
It is a genuine delight for us to see so many students showing such energy and enthusiasm for the different areas of school life, and we thank them in advance for the work they will do with teachers in supporting the academic life of the school.
The full list of this year’s Dons is as follows:
Art – Georgie De Boulay
Biology – Nina Jones
Business Studies – Maria Timokhina
Chemistry – Isabella McGrath
Classics – Annie Lawes
Dance – Mathilda Douglas
Design (Product) – Oskar De Aragues
Digital Game Design/Maths – Raef McNaughten
Drama – Jessica Asamoa
Economics – Harry Hornsby
English – Maya Muller
Fashion Design – Phoebs Esdaile
French – Alisia Leach
Geography – Fleur Donovan
Global Awareness – Sacha Weisz Brassay
History – Taragh Melwani
Library – Anton Lucas
Maths – Annabelle Snell
Music – Tiger Braun-White
Music (Contemporary) – Monty Bland
Outdoor Work – Lila Levingston
Photography – Poppy Kingsley-Pallant
Physics – Hux Green
Politics – Thomas Figgins
Philosophy, Religion and Ethics – Amos Wollen
Psychology – Lily Brough
Round Square – Amelia Smith, Ben Bradberry, Nina Solovieva
Spanish – Anna Sukhikh
Sport – Shanklin MacKillop-Hall
Theatre (Crew and Wardrobe) – Caelan Edward and Aria Taheri Murphy
Living with the Land is our new Sixth Form course, which was written by Feline and me, and introduced to the curriculum this year. The course aims to equip students with the necessary practical skills to live lightly off the land, and enable them to look at the issues surrounding the environment and our impact upon it. It is a natural progression from our Outdoor Work Bedales Assessed Course (BAC), however it goes into far greater depth and includes significant self-directed work, including a portfolio and a ‘major’ project in the final year.
Living with the Land around us means having a greater awareness of our environment, living in rhythm with the seasons, trying to reduce our footprint and applying our new-found knowledge to other aspects of our lives and our community. This term we have been focusing on getting students to really think about their immediate surroundings. We have encouraged them to take a step back and take time to really consider the impact we are having on the natural environment.
So far this term students have spent time looking at and observing our beautiful estate. This has meant a lot of walking and talking, as well as just sitting in a field, letting our senses tell us more about the land around us. We have been looking at permaculture and how its principles might be applied to ourselves, our community and beyond. We have built wattle and daub walls and started looking at natural building and how empowering and beautiful it is. Bread baking, foraging, making hedgerow preserves and site surveying are just some of the topics we have already touched upon over the past three weeks on this exciting and enriching course.
By Andrew Martin, Head of Outdoor Work, and Feline Charpentier, Teacher of Outdoor Work
From September 2020, students in 6.1 will be able to choose a new Outdoor Work (ODW) course as one of their sixth form options. ‘Living with the Land’ is a two-year course which will equip students with the practical skills to live lightly off the land, enabling them to look at the wider context for the issues surrounding the environment and our impact upon it. Living with the land around us means having a greater awareness of our environment, living with the seasons, trying to reduce our footprint and applying our new-found knowledge to other aspects of our lives and the community.
It is a natural progression from all aspects covered in the ODW BAC, however it goes into far greater depth and includes significant self-directed work, including a portfolio and a ‘major’ project in the final year. There is currently no clear pathway for a student wishing to take a more practical course at sixth form in environmental subjects. The closest comparable courses are Countryside Management, Food Skills, Sustainability or the planned Natural History GCSE. No courses combine traditional building, cooking and craft skills with aspects of ecology, sustainability and community.