Putney School exchange – postcard from the halfway point

Putney-Hostel

By Alastair Harden, Teacher of Classics and Day Housemaster

For this year’s exchange visit to the Putney School in the United States, Chloe Hamill and I have escorted eight intrepid Bedalians as they shrug off a week’s recuperation in the October half term for a fortnight of honest toil in the Vermont countryside. The trip is part of an annual programme which places our students in a setting that draws enlightening points of comparison with what we offer at Bedales.

The Putney School’s entire structure is built around student responsibility, from washing the dishes to milking the cows, raking the leaves and sorting the recycling, in an educational environment where the onus is clearly on the students to manage their education alongside the smooth running of the community. Each year we look forward to this quiet hive for inspiration, and each year the students bring home big questions and big ideas.

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Memorable third annual Three Schools’ Concert

Three-Schools-Concert

By Neil Hornsby, Head of Contemporary Music
Photo by Abby Hilton, 6.1

The Thursday before half term saw a wonderful musical collaboration between Bedales, Dunhurst and Dunannie in the third annual Three Schools’ Concert. A packed Lupton Hall witnessed a night like no other with 83 students taking part, ranging in age from seven all the way up to 18.

There were performances featuring each school, including Head Girl Lara Rippinger’s take on Esperanza Spalding’s I Know You Know, Group 3 Dunhurst student Eliot Santos’ show-stopping performance of Karl Bohm’s Perpetual Motion and the Dunannie Year 3 choir’s wonderful performance of Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid.

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Match report: First XI Girls’ Hockey in the Hampshire Trophy Tournament, 16.10.2019

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By Mariela Walton, Teacher of Girls’ PE & Games

This week the first XI travelled to Southampton to participate in the Hampshire Trophy Tournament, a competition which brings together a number of Hampshire schools to compete and win their place at the regional event.

Our first game was against King Edward’s School Witley, and after a slow start, the team warmed up and Marthila Douglas secured us our first goal. Not long after that, Nell Freeborough gave us our second and third goals, and our final goal came again from Mathilda.

A quick drink break and then we were back on against Ryde. Eliza Goodfellow was extremely threatening on the right, continuously driving the ball up the pitch with pace and providing us with countless attacking opportunities. Despite dominating most of the possession, we just couldn’t quite get the goal. However, the team managed to hold Ryde to a 0-0 draw until the final nail biting seconds, when Ryde was awarded a short corner. An unbelievable reverse stick lifted ball save from Shanklin Mackillop-Hall cleared the ball from the circle and let us walk away with the draw.

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Poetry by heart

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

On 11 October, Block 3 students were invited to attend and participate in a poetry event in the Dining Hall. Welcomed by members of the English department dressed in sheepskins and cloaks, and surrounded by candles, students and staff stood up to perform a poem they had learnt by heart in front of the roaring fire. Some took on Shakespeare and others invited the audience to join them in a rendition of a nursery rhyme.

Lilibet Viner gave a dramatic performance of Helena’s speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Sam Coleman told us what it was like to be a cupcake cooking in the oven; Clara Gardiner-Cox gave a moving rendition of Mary Elizabeth Frye’s Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep; and Miranda Robertson sang a luxurious yet spine-tingling version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

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Bedales represented at Round Square International Conference

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English 

Bedales was delighted this year to be one of the schools represented at the 51st Round Square International Conference in India. Al McConville and I were joined by two 6.2 students, Freya Leonard and Anton Ellis, on the trip. It was Bedales first delegation to the five-day conference, which this year was attended by 1000 people – 700 students and 300 staff – from all five continents.

For three days, the conference was hosted at the Emerald Heights International School, a boarding school on the outskirts of Indore that has 4000 students in total. Student delegates from around the world slept in the school dormitories. Over the course of three days, we saw all the keynote speakers, including a Nobel Peace Prize winner who works to end child slavery, a Government Minister (in opposition to Modi) and Madam Ghandi, a feminist musician.

Other highlights included a presentation with an AI robot. In between speakers, the students broke into Barazza groups to discuss issues relating to this year’s conference theme, ‘the world we wish to see’. We also spent time meeting other delegates, learning about the Round Square organisation, and meeting representatives from other schools that might wish to arrange international exchanges with us in the future.

We spent a day sightseeing at the city of Mandu, where we visited a beautiful mosque which is now a historical site of interest, rather than a working mosque. We also saw some impressive forts and palaces overlooking lakes and hills. We spent nearly six hours travelling to and from Mandu, which gave us time to observe Indian life and culture from the windows of the bus. It was fascinating – families of four riding on mopeds, Tuk-Tuks behaving like pushy, rude teenagers, and cows sitting on the road. At one point, our coach had to reverse to allow a chicken and six chicks to cross safely!

Another day was spent doing service in the morning and sightseeing in the evening, and there was one very early start with a run for charity alongside Blade Runner, the first Indian to run with a prosthetic foot! Al, Freya and Anton got up early to join him, and a tree was planted to honour the occasion.

We had a very long journey there and a long journey home, so we are now looking into carbon off-setting for the trip, which seems particularly fitting as climate change and air travel was a hot topic amongst delegates.

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.

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.