Last Saturday was Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie’s STEM themed Open Morning. Five of our Block 5 students – Rhiannon Griffith, Milo Whittle, Ben Bradberry, Mabel Watson and Athena Lucas – filled their lab coat pockets full of chocolates (the one and only time they will be allowed to put food in a lab coat!) and headed down to Dunannie to help the children with their science experiments.
There was an amazing range of experiments on offer, from making lava lamps using immiscible liquids and building circuits to power buzzers, to programming the Beebot robots to move and light up on command and looking at field line patterns using magnets. The students were tasked with judging each exhibit on presentation and also the scientific knowledge of the children manning the experiment. They also fielded questions from prospective parents about what studying at Bedales was like and the excellent opportunities on offer for students interested in pursuing science. I thought Milo was maybe a bit harsh giving one small six-year-old five out of ten for scientific knowledge – he did award a lot of chocolate though!
Thank you to everyone who came along to the Futures and Innovation Feedback Event. For those of you who were unable to attend, please find a copy of the presentation that was given here, and an overview of the meeting below.
The aim of the Futures and Innovation project is to test how we can better prepare students for the fast changing world post Bedales – in terms of the curriculum we teach and the soft skills that students learn. Bedales is a progressive school and is already way ahead of most others in terms of our approach to education, the skills we teach the students and the Bedales Assessed Courses we offer in place of GCSEs in many subjects. However, the speed of change in the workplace and beyond is such that no one can afford to be complacent and, over ten years since the introduction of Bedales Assessed Courses, we are keen to continue to test our educational offer and improve on it.
Last summer term we held a programme of events, a film, workshops and meetings with parents, Old Bedalians, staff, students, employers, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders in the world of education. We asked them what skills they were looking for in young people entering the workplace and where they felt education as a whole was trailing behind in terms of the skills, mind-set and approach that is needed to flourish in the workplace and in life in general.
On Saturday night at the Small Shepherd’s Club AGM, Kirsten Houser and I were the proud recipients of the McLellan Lambing Trophy (pictured above with Etty and Sasha). The trophy is awarded to the flock with the highest lambing percentage. Although we came second in 2018, in 2019 we were finally victorious!
Here in Outdoor Work, we have a long tradition of keeping sheep. We mostly have Jacobs, a breed prized for their piebald fleece and magnificent curly horns. Not only do they have a distinctive look, they are easy to handle and produce delicious meat. Because of the variation in their fleece, the wool is highly sought after by knitters and weavers.
We also have three smiley-faced South Down ewes. This is a local breed that has grazed the South Downs for centuries and is historically one of the most important British sheep breeds. Keeping them company are two Herdwicks, a breed native to the Lake District. We mostly keep them just because they look so awesome!
This Wednesday the second team faced PGS. Various illnesses meant we lost a couple of regular players, but it was great to be able to bring India Saunders into the side to make her debut for Bedales netball.
As the game started, Mimi Fowler was excellent at defending down the court and feeding the ball into the shooters, and we were able to take an early lead, ending the first two quarters ahead. Continue reading →
A well contested game of netball, playing against a strong Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) team. With Maddie Jeffreys out due to Rock Show rehearsals, we recruited Alyssa Leach from Block 5 to set up as Goal Attack for the senior side. This meant the team had to adapt quickly to a new member of the team, which did see a few teething problems in the first half.
The score was tied in the first quarter, but as Bedales settled they were able to pull away with a two goal lead by half time. This Bedales side definitely has strength and numbers in defence, enabling the defensive end to be rotated regularly, bringing fresh legs and fresh energy to each quarter.
A lovely game of netball against a good Portsmouth High School (PHS) side.
The first quarter saw an extremely unsettled Bedales side making simple mistakes in passing and footwork. The score reflected this, with Bedales drawing the first quarter 4-4. As Bedales moved into the second quarter, they started to settle and were moving towards the ball and making correct passing decisions. By half time, Bedales were coming into their stride.
As the temperature started to drop, Bedales settled into play and pulled away from the PHS side. Ottilie played a strong Wing Defence, making numerous interceptions and tips. Rebekah and Lola showed brilliant improvement in their movement in and out of the circle. Sage brought great energy to the game as Centre, making numerous tips.
The team left early to start their first match of the Hampshire Trophy Tournament – against the Churcher’s B team – at 1.30pm. We quickly went 1-0 down, before having numerous opportunities to equalise, which we could just not convert. Despite Anthony White’s miraculous efforts in goal, we went 2-0 down, before Ed Marshall-Smith and Cartier Clothier combined for a brilliant breakaway goal that took everyone watching by surprise. Churcher’s closed the match out with another skilful effort, but Bedales were the moral victors, and we took confidence into the next match against Ryde.
This proved to be a dogged affair, with the play travelling from end to end without either team being able to break the deadlock. Big praise for Jamie Price and Arthur Lingham, who were resolute in defence ahead of the brilliant Anthony White.
On Monday evening, we were very lucky to have Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, visit Bedales to give a fascinating talk. Patrick spoke of his life as a dairy farmer in West Wales and his early work with the Soil Association, before talking about the aim of the Sustainable Food Trust, the patron of which is the Prince of Wales.
The Sustainable Food Trust works to “accelerate the transition to more sustainable food and farming systems that nourish the health of both people and planet”. They work with government organisations and individuals to audit and fight for more sustainable food and farming systems. Their latest project is a collaboration with Richard Dunne called The Harmony Project, which seeks to apply the principles of nature and interconnectedness with education.
Patrick wanted to highlight the complicated nature of every choice we make – the hidden cost of food. He spoke of the benefits of grass-fed beef and lamb, both for our health and for our environment. He also spoke of sheep farmers in Wales who are now building huge chicken sheds where there would have once been grassland, as consumers mistakenly believe buying chicken is better for the environment than lamb. Those chickens are fed a concentration of soya and grain shipped in from all around the world and live short, miserable lives in giant sheds. We as consumers are completely unaware of the implications of our food choices – the ‘plant based’ food trend as pernicious as the one consumers think they need to avoid, with large multinational companies making huge sums of money from our desire to eat more sustainably.
By Clare Jarmy, Head of Able, Gifted & Talented, Oxbridge, Academic Scholars & PRE
Following Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January, Abi Wharton and I reflected on the Shoah – a Jewish term meaning ‘the destruction’, which has been given to the atrocities committed against Jews, and others, by the Nazi regime – at Jaw on Wednesday.
Holocaust Memorial Day is especially poignant this year, as it marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, the concentration camp in Poland where 1.1 million people were murdered by the Nazis.
At Jaw, we heard about Arnold Arnold (né Schmitz), a political and religious refugee and a German Jew, who came to Bedales during the 1930s on a full bursary after his family’s assets were seized. Interestingly, in his obituary, the claim was made that Bedales was – at that time – the only school that would consider accepting a Jewish student. We are not sure what, if anything, substantiates this – Eton’s Jewish Society has already celebrated a centenary, for example. Whether or not this claim is true, the perception that Bedales was unusual in having its doors open to Jewish students is an interesting one.
On Tuesday, the U15A team kicked off the netball season with a home match against St John’s College, Southsea. We started off with six players, but managed to hold the first few minutes to an even game; with the arrival of our seventh player, we took a comfortable lead, finishing the first quarter 11-5. In the second quarter, some excellent circle defending from Lula Goldring meant St John’s only got two goals, whilst we sailed ahead, thanks to the expert shooting and movement from Lally Arengo-Jones and Ellen Wilson. We finished the game with a 23-9 win and Millie Harris was awarded player of the match. A great game to start the season with, well done to all.