Prep schools visit Bedales for Music Day

By Doug McIlwraith, Director of Music

On Thursday, we welcomed 40 pupils from Dorset House School, The Prebendal School and Froxfield and Steep primary schools for a music day. They were joined and supported brilliantly by over 20 Bedalians who assisted with pieces for orchestra and choir. The orchestra learnt music by Purcell and Dvorak, as well as a piece specially written for the occasion, which blended a bit of techno with orchestral colour, and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed. 

It was wonderful to see how our students interacted with the young visitors and helped build their enthusiasm and confidence and the whole group made swift and pleasing progress. We then opened the doors to let in some fresh air and sang several silly songs and a choral rendition of Ben E King’s Stand By Me. Our guitar teacher Kevin Walker was on hand to assist a group of fledgling guitarists ably assisted by Block 3 student Wulfie Pink-Smith and they worked on a blues improvisation. Imogen Tillotsen and Elliot Cundy gave impressive performances on harp and piano to inspire the visitors – and then they had an amazing 45-minute preview of the Rock Show which utterly blew their minds! The day ended with an open workshop for visiting parents where we presented the fruits of our work.

Thanks so much to all of our students who helped in the Lupton Hall and to the Rock Show musicians who contributed magnificently to the event. It was our first musical event where we have been able to invite young musicians from beyond our community to join us and we look forward to future joint events where Bedalian musicians can help inspire a new generation of young players. Particular thanks go to Janie Jarman, Rachel Hinett and Matt Potts for ensuring everyone was in the right place at the right time and well fed.

Silver DofE practice walk – perspectives


Last weekend, 56 Block 4 students took a walk in the countryside surrounding Bedales, initially guided by seven experienced members of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) team. Here we share accounts of the trip from three students and one member of staff.

By Julia Bevan, Teacher of English

This was the first extended, practical opportunity for students to put into practice the basic navigation, pacing and map reading skills we’ve explored in our after-school sessions, and it also gave the students a chance to experience first-hand the importance of route cards, try out their kit and work as a team.

On Saturday morning, it looked as though we were going to get very wet in the afternoon, but in fact it was heavy wind and the onset of darkness that we had to contend with over Shoulder of Mutton in the nearby Ashford Hangers. The important business of putting participants into groups, and then reassembling the groups so that everyone was walking with at least one close friend, took some time. Once this was sorted, groups set off with a large rucksack containing emergency kit such as a high-vis jacket, head torch and tent, which they were instructed to take it in turns to carry.

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