An old-fashioned Bedales fireside

By Clare Jarmy, Head of Able, Gifted & Talented, Oxbridge, Academic Scholars & PRE

It’s a temptation once you’ve been here a while to harken back to the old days as if you were there. The reality is that the Bedales ‘fireside’ – a relaxed evening with music, snacks, games and chatting round a fire – has not been a staple part of the Bedales way of life for a long time, probably not since the times when staying in at the weekend was the norm for everyone. But the important thing about being aware of a school’s history and ethos is that you have a vocabulary, an established set of practices, on which to draw, especially in more challenging times.

So what could have been more appropriate on Thursday night than to spend the evening round the fire with the Bedalians who were still in school – many here to keep working on Art and Design – playing games, chatting, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to music? We had Monopoly, jigsaws, word games, and some very special Star Wars Lego that Clive Burch had saved for such an occasion!

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Volunteering in the community

By Al McConville, Director of Learning and Innovation

We’re working hard at Bedales to give students more opportunities to volunteer for good causes, since we know how satisfying that proves to be for many people.

We have kicked off the year with a new scheme for Block 3 to undertake ‘service’ activities within the community to get them in the mood, working with the kitchens, the library and the gardeners to keep the place ticking, and to give them a sense of responsibility for their surroundings.

In addition, a whole host of sixth formers are heading down the road to Steep Primary School to help younger children with their learning, and a separate group have embarked on a project with the Fitzroy charity for adults with learning difficulties at their base in the Sustainability Centre. This week we got cracking on a pond, and painted the inside of their composting toilet!

Lots more opportunities in the pipeline – watch this space.