Dunannie’s young minds inspired by Astronomy, Morpurgo, Flight and Easter chicks

Pupils from Bedales Pre-Prep Dunannie have enjoyed studying subjects inspired by a variety of influences from aeronautical engineering to a stage play of Michael Morpurgo’s Farm Boy. As the term draws to a close they also witnessed the hatching of live chicken eggs, with the children watching enthralled as two chicks hatched during a lesson. Seven chicks are now thriving in the incubator located in Year 1’s classroom and the children are taking it in turns to help feed and care for them before the Easter break when they will be cared for at home by the teaching staff.

Across the school, the children have been busy understanding astronomy with Bedales Head of Maths; studying gravity and the first lunar landing with Bedales Head of Physics and discussing economics and politics with Bedales Head of Economics, Ruth
. Philosophy also features in the curriculum for Year 3, with a session led by Bedales Head of Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, Clare Jarmy as part of the school’s RE lessons.

Visits this term have included the South Downs Planetarium for Year 1. Year 2 enjoyed a tour of the Museum of Army Flying as a conclusion to their project on flight. The children explored military aircraft from the last hundred years, including gliders; helicopters and hot air balloons. They enjoyed the simulated experienced of flying a helicopter, listening to the crew giving orders in an operation and learning how difficult
it is to keep a helicopter level. They also dressed up in overalls, boots, helmets and flying suits. The boots had actually been taken from a German prisoner and were huge.

A stage play of Michael Morpurgo’s Farm Boy took to the stage at the Bedales Olivier Theatre earlier in the term and pupils from Dunannie enjoyed the performance along with pupils from Dunhurst’s Group 3 (Year 6), Harting Primary school and Greenfields School in Woking, Surrey. The children described Scamp Theatre’s production as
‘awesome’ and ‘funny’ and enjoyed the beautifully written tale, which was a sequel to War Horse.

Commenting on the Spring term, Jo Webbern, Head of Dunannie, said, “The children have been through a whirlwind of learning, visits. workshops and activities over this term with many interesting and inspiring visitors passing through the doors of the school. We welcomed a knight clad in armour to our reception class for their study on castles and our nursery enjoyed learning the hokey-cokey in French during a weekly visit from Dunhurst’s French teacher Ellie Chilton. In the run-up to Easter, we took delivery of eggs in an incubator that have now hatched into chicks – much to the delight of the children. Over the coming months we are hoping to roll-out the lessons with
Bedales Heads of Departments with our younger children.  Learning through doing
is the cornerstone of our approach at Dunannie and the children have thoroughly
enjoyed their learning journeys this term”

Dunannie children and chicks


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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