Christmas Pudding Bake… and festive produce now on sale

By Nicoletta Draper, 6.2

Last Friday night, keen 6.2 students gathered in Outdoor Work (ODW) excited for the festive evening ahead, the Christmas Pudding Bake. We huddled in the black barn, watching a classic film and warming up with Christmas treats. There was mulled apple juice and freshly baked cookies which were quickly eaten along with the enjoyment of being able to roast marshmallows on the fire. Groups of us went in to do the jobs, baking cookies, making the pudding batter, placing it in bowls and wrapping them up. The making of the Christmas pudding took many people to complete which required team skills and enthusiasm. Thankfully, the atmosphere was amazing, carols were being sung, the candles gave the barn a beautiful Christmas look and the ODW teachers wholeheartedly showed us the skills and recipes of the baking. A total of 98 puddings were made, which will be available to buy at the ODW shop in school along with other Christmas produce.

By Feline Charpentier, ODW Teacher


The Outdoor Work elves have been busy this term, filling our farm shop shelves with lots of Christmas produce. Chutneys, jams, jellies, pickles, herbal teas, granola, flour, and our own apple cider vinegar, plus handmade natural cosmetics like lavender bath salts all make lovely Christmas gifts. We also have our beautiful Jacob wool blankets, scarves and fleeces for sale. Our annual 6.2 Christmas pudding bake made almost 100 delicious puddings, in small (for 2-4 people, £8), medium (for 6-8, £10) and some very large (for 10-12, £14). We will also be baking our unique apple cider mince pies almost every day now, sold in boxes of six. We make our own all-butter pastry and fill it with handmade mincemeat, made with our orchard apples cooked with brown sugar, apricots, spices, cider and lots of dried fruit. The shop is always open, when we are there. Monday to Friday, come on up and have a look at everything our lovely students/elves have been making! All money we make goes back to supporting the farm. Thank you for ongoing support.

Kate Adie delivers Global Awareness Lecture

By Abi Wharton, Head of Global Awareness

On Wednesday 7 November, the annual Global Awareness Lecture was delivered by Kate Adie CBE to a sold- out crowd, in the year which she was awarded the BAFTA fellowship. Kate framed her experiences in response to the question of how journalists play a role in protecting human rights – one of the key themes in the Global Awareness BAC.

Kate talked movingly about her progression from an accidental foray into local journalism which led to her becoming the BBC’s Chief News Correspondent from 1989 to 2003 and a career which included reporting on a series of kidnaps in Sardinia; being arrested in Belgrade trying to gather material about General Tito. She also spoke about the two foreign assignments she is most often associated with – the American bombing of the Libyan capital Tripoli in 1986 and the Chinese authorities’ killing of protestors in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1989.

Kate gave rare insight into what it means to be a journalist and how difficult it often is not to get involved with the event. She was clear that the role of a journalist is to expose the truth in order for others to then be able to react. Kate also spoke about the changes to the news seen over recent years and how the access to instant information has cut right at the heart of how we access and interpret information. This was a salutary lesson for the audience, particularly for those who are learning how to use conflicting evidence which is presented to us 24 hours a day.

Despite the many atrocities Kate has witnessed, she reaffirmed her belief in humanity. She was clear that good journalism is all about understanding people and their own stories – a chord that struck deep with the audience.

Students’ Swaziland Project

By Jo-Lea Edery, 6.2

In the half term break, 22 students and five teachers ventured off on an expedition to Southern Africa. Our destination? A small landlocked country called Swaziland. Our goal? To provide a sustainable, free supply of clean drinking water to a primary school in need, but first we had to get there.

After a seemingly endless flight and a series of car journeys, we arrive at the residence that we would occupy for the week. The scenery of Swaziland was very rustic and beautiful, in any direction you looked the view could be considered ‘postcard’ worthy. The warm hues blended with casual herds of cattle, antelope, wildebeest, and even the occasional crocodile, most of which could be seen at close range during the optional early morning walks at 6am.

The general routine for the rest of the day involved the trickle of aching and half-awake students in and out of breakfast and bed, where we would get ready for the day by packing the essentials: sunscreen (SPF 30+), sunglasses, bug spray, hats, and a packed lunch. This all occurred between 6:30 to 8:15, where there would be a war of finding all the best snacks and items before they were used up for the packed lunches. Then we were off to the school…

Arriving at the school grounds always energised the drowsy buses. The cheers, smiles and greetings of the children, officiated the beginning of the day. As the week progressed, our relationship with the children deepened. Trust developed and friendships formed: possibly through the daily football games, dance sessions and photo shoots.

But our journey wasn’t just for fun and games, there was work to be done. Jobs ranged from digging trenches with pickaxes and hoes, painting the walls, and constructing new desks to teaching lessons in English. The students’ breaks from their classes and our breaks from work were simultaneous, allowing for the various activities and games mentioned above. Trenches were dug, pipes were laid down, murals finished drying, and desks were bolted.

After each day of work students would either go to the supermarket to shop for dinner or head back home. A different group was responsible for dinner each night, buying enough groceries to qualify for a maths problem, while the others would entertain themselves in a WiFi-free environment with card games, reading, and board games (our favourite being ‘Game of the Goose’). After demolishing the delicious food prepared by the students we would sit around for our evening meeting and be on our way to bed exhausted at this point.

By the end of six days of hard toil in the Swazi sun the group had achieved digging in excess of 350 metres of trenching for water pipes, all necessary plumbing for a water storage tank, four taps and two sinks whilst installing 45 desk tops, the painting of three buildings, painting of three signs and a the school’s entrance! This was a truly excellent effort by everyone involved.

On the last day of work, there was a tremendous amount of satisfaction in the air as we collectively overlooked the last of the trenches being filled and attended the resurrection of the water pump that would bring fresh water to the pipes. This was all made possible by a combination of the money we raised and the work we put in collectively, not to mention the fabulous group of staff that had also volunteered to participate in this amazing experience by looking after us and all of our shenanigans.

Overall I’m glad I had the opportunity to contribute to such a well-rounded and rewarding trip, even if it does mean that I had to trade in Swaziland’s welcoming sun for England’s grey skies.

None of this fantastic contribution to Hawane Primary school would have been possible without all of the generous donations by so many people connected in some way to the Bedales community – you have all helped to make a tremendous difference to a school and wider community in need.

Bedales celebrates Biology Week

By Clover Skerry and Maisy Redmayne, 6.2

Last Friday, Block 3 students participated in the ‘Bio Art Attack’ competition run by the Royal Society of Biology as part of Biology Week which sees events take place all over the world to celebrate biological science.

As part of the activity we went for a walk around site to collect autumn leaves and late flowers. We went back to the lab and used what we collected to create a palisade cell art piece. After this, we used the spare leaves to make landscape and nature scenes, which we also sent off to be judged for Art Attack.

Other Block 3s have been working on models and posters of  plant and animal cells for the competition.

Last week a budding group of sixth form biologists undertook dissections, as a celebration of Biology Week. Everyone seemed to think that chopping up rats and cuttlefish was a fun activity for a Thursday evening. Our specimens were swiftly dismembered and examined giving an invaluable insight into some basic anatomy. I hope that we are able to hold future dissections which will be met with equal enthusiasm.

First impressions of the Putney School

By Freya Hannan-Mills, Block 4

The Putney School is extraordinary. At every moment someone or something is happening which is completely unique to both the school and its environment.

At Putney, the academic subjects are not taught in isolation, instead they are a brew of different curriculum areas all blending together into one class. For example, I am taking the ‘Humans in the Natural World’ class and we are studying the Colombian exchange and how stories are created. The class is an intriguing mix of geography, history and English and uses the students’ knowledge and skills in all those areas.

Apart from the classes we are also taking on activities and jobs. The activities vary from tai chi to digital photography, ultimate Frisbee, hiking and many more. You get the sense that nothing at Putney is done half-heartedly and this certainly goes for the jobs. So far, everyone’s jobs have been in the barn – some at 5am in the morning, and others at 4.40pm.

The barn is an experience! My personal practical knowledge about shovelling cow manure is very limited to say the least, but in an odd way the students here have an infectious enthusiasm towards doing it. Their commitment and energy makes it enjoyable and the milk and cheese they make is amazing.

The campus is picture postcard gorgeous,though I seem to be continually getting lost – mainly as I have no sense of direction. However, wherever I end up it’s always crazy beautiful.

Unlike Bedales, here the dorms are split into a number of smaller buildings. I’m staying in a picturesque building which almost feels Hobbit like, partly because the view outside is of wild Nature but also because it has a huge tree growing right thought the centre of it.

Jake is staying in one of the cabins in the woods – being there makes you want to give up on the 21st century and just move in.

Apart from the classes and the setting, what really embodies Putney, is the people. Everyone here is so bubbly, welcoming and always there to lend a hand and help us when we get desperately lost!

English Literature trip to ‘Othello’ at The Globe

On Tuesday 2 October, 6.1 English Literature students (along with a handful of 6.2s) embarked on another amazing trip. I’m beginning to learn fast there are many perks to doing this subject! Only a couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet Simon Armitage and now we have seen Othello with Mark Rylance at the Globe.

Mark Rylance gave a very convincing performance as Iago. Surprisingly, the actor chose to portray the malcontent with a bumbling foolishness. For me this gave Iago an even more menacing air, as if his calculated evil was lying behind a simple façade.

The atmosphere of the Globe was incredible as well. With the atmosphere of this historic theatre glowing, you could feel and trace the expressions of people with all of the shocking deaths and deceits throughout the play, as if Shakespeare could see into the future and know his play would still be captivating audiences all these years later.

This Othello, directed by Claire Von Kampen, seemed to have a lot of parts omitted. It was also interesting that Iago’s wife Emilia was portrayed as regal, and is displeased with her husband, which is not at all the impression I had had before.

However, I do not want to risk dampening a brilliant day, and this play truly had everyone on the edge of their seats:  an incredible achievement for a seven hundred year old writer.

The Globe was magnificent. Othello was enrapturing. However the same cannot be said for the bus ride home, and for London traffic; as  Shakespeare once put it: “What fresh hell is this?”

Bedales hosts International Day

By Tristan Wilson, Head of Modern Languages

Thursday 4 October saw Bedales International Day. Proceedings kicked off with an international dress competition. There were some highly entertaining staff and student entries but the winning outfit was a Colombian dress worn by Miranda Ashby. At lunchtime students were treated to a generous international spread in the Dining Hall before flocking to the stalls for anything from cheese to Chinese food in the quad. Here they could buy student-made world food from France, Belgium, Greece, China and Italy or have their names written in foreign scripts. The Geography department also ran an interactive mapping event. Some maths sets were lucky enough to have maths lessons in German or Czech before heading to one of the many student and staff led workshops on offer which included Kung-Fu, Kendo, Albanian, Swedish, Origami, Model United Nations, Chinese and Modern Greek. Perhaps one of the highlights was the International Open Mic Night which proved to be an enjoyable evening featuring poems and songs in Chinese, Swedish, French, Japanese, Portuguese and an unforgettable Chinese rap.

Thank you to Charlotte Whiteside, Lola Vogel and Mia T (all 6.2) for photographing the events on the day.