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.
By Phil Tattersall-King, Deputy Head (Co-curricular)
I am pleased to announce changes to the key dates for the 2020-21 academic year. The changes have come from listening to feedback and from years of working with students and recognising the times their energy starts to dip – particularly around the first half term and long leave weekends.
For many years, Bedalians have had to show stamina in this long first term but fatigue has always been a factor, even for the many who have excelled this year. Therefore, the introduction of a two-week half term is to allow for a meaningful break and a chance to return refreshed. This will provide better support for those students going out on trips to Eswatini or the carousel of Global Awareness destinations, allowing for both exploration and recuperation. As a result, we will be teaching later into December (just as we will in Easter) but with a later return in the New Year.
For those of you who remember the 13+ assessments on 2 January, a sharp return from festivities almost as bracing as the inclement weather outside, these will now be on the more family-friendly 11 January for new students looking to join Bedales in 2021.
To fend off the global warming crisis, we need to appeal to the hottest place on earth. The sun’s core is 10 million degrees, but in the Joint European Torus (JET) at Culham, the doughnut-shaped plasma in the reactor consistently reaches temperatures of over 100 million degrees to initiate nuclear fusion between hydrogen isotopes and release enormous quantities of energy. The hydrogen is sourced from seawater, and there are no harmful waste products. What is not to like? Unfortunately, it’s fiendishly difficult to achieve.
The Sixth Form physicists visited JET last week, for an inspiring tour and lectures. The scientists and engineers explained the current developments of this futuristic technology, which has come a long way since its inception in 1983, and has inspired the next generation of fusion reactors, driving the plasma science and fusion research. Ground-breaking and innovative engineering solutions are necessary for the magnetic containment, keeping the super-heated plasma just metres from the surrounding vacuum at almost zero, to harness this potentially limitless resource.
The John Badley Foundation (JBF) offers financial support through bursaries, giving more young people a chance to benefit from the transformational opportunity a Bedales education can provide. With Christmas fast approaching, there are several ways you can support the JBF.
Swap Christmas cards for a donation this year
Instead of sending Christmas cards, please support a bursary child by donating the money you would have spent on cards to the JBF. You can download a donation and gift aid form here.
Buy Bedales presents for friends and family
Visit our fundraising shop to see a range of Bedales merchandise, including Emma Bridgewater pottery (from £15), Bedales tea towels (£10), and bespoke Bedales jigsaws (£30), with all proceeds going to the JBF.
By Clare Jarmy, Head of Head of Able, Gifted & Talented, Oxbridge, Academic Scholars & PRE
Getting into Oxford and Cambridge involves lots of work. Students have to get their applications in early. They also usually have to send samples of work, and often have to take challenging admissions tests. In the next month, candidates from Bedales and Bohunt will be off to interviews, and last Wednesday, the two schools organised an interview preparation day together.
In the morning, the sessions were run in collaboration between Rowena Hammal, Assistant Head of Sixth Form (Progress and Guidance) at Bohunt, Clare Jarmy from Bedales and Ioanna Tsakiropoulou (Old Bedalian), who completed both her undergraduate and postgraduate work in History at Oxford, and now works at DEFRA.
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.
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.