On Sunday, we had a belated Halloween party on Steephurst. With lots of volunteers from different year groups, we started setting up at 2pm. Block 4 and 6.1 made a delicious pumpkin soup, while volunteers from all year groups decorated the courtyard with balloons, garlands and stickers. COVID related restrictions meant there were staggered times for students to come and enjoy the festivities. We made a photo booth and poster and there was popcorn, hot dogs, soup, hot chocolate, make-up and temporary tattoos to keep everyone entertained. Despite the restrictions, it was really nice to dress up collectively and share a carefree evening together.
Since half term, the Houseparent teams have been hosting online ‘At Homes’ with our students. It has been lovely to catch up with people and hear how they are doing either locally, further afield in the UK or abroad. As ever, these forums of discussion are re-energising for us as Houseparents, and it has been great to get the students together in a social context. The students also found it helpful hearing from their peers as to how they are managing life in lockdown. We look forward to more virtual At Homes, although we would much rather be meeting face-to-face at Bedales.
To give you a flavour of what has been happening at my At Homes this week, I showed the boys in my house how to make poached eggs live – this was my first attempt too! I was delighted that some of the boys joined in at the same time, poaching eggs in their own kitchen. We all had moments of great triumph as we cut into a poached egg and out flowed delicious yellow yolk. We all had moments of disaster as eggs split, yolks went too hard and one even ended up on a laptop! I suggested poached eggs go well with haggis or avocado, or of course, Eggs Benedict… that will be for next week!
After my morning lessons on Saturday, I – along with significant help from history teacher and house parent Chris Bott, as well as Block 5 student Teo Sydow Elias – set to work on unboxing and starting the build. We started at 1pm on Saturday and worked until late into the evening, stopping only for dinner.
My help on the project was halted on Sunday morning by an early start for some volunteering work with the Rural Refugee Network, as organised by Al McConville. I and several others helped set up and martial their Walk for Hope, a charity walk that raises money to help support Syrian refugees in the UK. Fellow 6.1 student Eloise Cooper helped man the drinks stall at Elsted Village Hall for another fundraiser, which included raffle tickets, cakes (courtesy of Outdoor Work) and drinks as ways to raise money. There were several touching speeches from founders of the charity and also some of the people who they have helped arrive and settle in the UK.
By Jack Brooksbank, Block 3 and Oskar de Aragues, Block 4
The weekends for the boarders at Bedales this year have definitely been a highlight and a great way to end a busy week.
We have done it all, from visiting a 500-year-old ship (the Mary Rose), to seeing all the animals at Marwell Zoo, jam packing our weekends with activities. There were also the classic favourites of bowling, shopping or seeing the very latest blockbusters at Gunwharf Quays. Last Sunday, we went trampolining at Flip Out.
What we really like about the weekend here is that Bedales provides a relaxing, homely place to rest your head after the previous week, thanks to having supper and breakfast on flat in the shared kitchens, a movie night and friends from different year groups all around you. There are also many food related activities – two of our favourites being pasta making with Giacomo and fajitas with Alejandro and Alastair.
The weekends are what makes being a boarder feel so unique with a family and home away from home.