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.

Perspectives from Badley Day 2018

We hear from two students about their experiences of Badley Day 2018.

Isabella Montero (Block 5) talks about her involvement in the seven hours of music played throughout the day and Eben MacDonald (Block 3) presents his perspective in the form of an original poem, Toil’s Gift.

Isabella Montero, Block 5

Like every year, the Bedales community took a day to honour its founder, John Badley, and to respect Bedales’ ethos of head, hand and heart during whole school effort.

While all the digging and building was happening, there were a select few of us who participated in seven hours of nonstop music for students, teachers and parents throughout the day and at the evening’s donor reception.

Although the weather was not ideal, the show must go on and there were many brilliant performances in the rain. It is remarkably special to be able to all share our music as a community and work together in order to better the whole of Bedales, artistically and physically.

Eben MacDonald, Block 3

Everyone’s yoked by
Ardour; some dig, some
Rake, some cut, some
Wheelbarrow, some hammer,
I myself trudge up a hill, my
Own spine a burden to my back,
My wet hair slouched over my
Eyes, with a barrow full of

I hear hammers knock, voices
Squabber, loads being released,
Lungs aflame, rather like a gold mine.
What’s the gold here?
Is it experience from toil? is it endurance
Together? We are building a path. Yes, that’s
Right a path, we are building a path, and
While our muscles ache, we construct
What will soon benefit us all, for
Paths lead us somewhere. We are and
Shall be led somewhere.

Preparations for the Sixth Form Show underway

By Darcy Bartlett, 6.2, Dance Don

From 12 September, 12 Sixth Form dancers, musicians and actors had the fortunate opportunity to work with the Temper Theatre Company to create a performance piece, Kin, which will be shown on 17 and 18 October.

Temper Theatre Company are a physical theatre company who create work inspired by pressing socio-political and environmental issues. Using dance, realism, ensemble movement and complex immersive sound and lighting design, their work explores stories designed to resonate with contemporary culture and evoke a meaningful, individual response among diverse audiences.

We began to devise Kin with the consideration of the universally relevant themes of global warming and the impact of social media. It was inspiring to learn from Temper Theatre Company members Jack and Finn, who are acclaimed theatre creators and performers, and are currently on tour with their show Nighshifter in London.

Book tickets for this year’s Sixth Form Show, Kin.

Afternoon Tea at The Bakehouse


By Helen Martin, privileged guest

Last Thursday saw the gastronomic highlight of the Easter Term; Afternoon Tea in the Bakehouse. Organised by 6.1 Food Enrichment students Lola, Charlotte, Nancy, Sam, Tiger, Lilly, Fleur and Isi, the event was the culmination of two term’s hard work.  Under the guidance of ODW teacher and culinary whizz, Feline, students rose to the challenge of not just feeding 20 members of staff and parents, but making us feel welcome and thoroughly spoiled too.

DYWk3X0X0AIIQHNThe menu included miniature quiches, meringues, scones with rhubarb compote, chocolate orange truffles, cucumber sandwiches, vegan cardamom cookies, chocolate eclairs and Portuguese custard tarts. Furnished with starched linen tablecloths, bunches of spring flowers and platters of exquisite homemade food, the Bakehouse looked more like the Hampshire outpost of a chic members club than a classroom.

A huge amount of work had obviously gone into the event, but it was a relaxed, happy occasion. Creative, heartfelt and unashamedly Bedalian. As Lola says, “You wouldn’t be able to do this at any other school.”

“People were amazed that we were able to come up with it all in such a short time, with so few of us,” continues Fleur. “The sun was shining and everyone was so thankful for the food, it felt like spring was finally here.”

DYWk3XzWAAAWc-TLola, who admits she wasn’t even able to cook before taking the course, says that Food Enrichment hasn’t just been about food: “It was great to cook together; we all worked really well as a group. We learnt about organisation and how to stay calm in the kitchen.”

“It was enjoyable, fun and friendly,” adds Fleur, “I got to work with people I wouldn’t usually hang out with. We learnt that cooking the food can be just as enjoyable as eating it.”

So what’s the secret to a successful afternoon tea? “Practise, organisation… and Feline!” says Lola. “We’re very lucky to have her.”


BAC students learn stewardship skills to improve Bedales working farm

By Andrew Martin, Head of Outdoor Work

As the Block 5 students near the completion of their BAC projects I thought now would be a good time to share some of the fantastic, challenging work they’ve been up to.

This time last year students were busy discussing possible projects and forming groups based upon shared interests, rather than friendships. Encouraging students to work in such groups enables them to develop important life skills, such as teamwork, listening, tolerance and resilience. Students are judged on their journal, the outcome itself, and, most importantly, their approach and attitude towards their work. The common thread running through all the projects is that each must give something back to Outdoor Work or to the community and estate: a form of stewardship where they learn about the importance of looking after the land for the next generation.

For example, Olav, Carter and Oscar have created a meadow between the new Art & Design building and Outdoor Work (above). To do this the boys learned how to split and shape chestnut poles to make ‘post and rail’ fencing. The meadow will soon be home to our two South Down sheep, Sammy and Saoirse.

ODW chicken pen crop (Large)Other projects include the creation of another chicken pen (right) and the restoration of a polytunnel. This will allow us to cater for an additional 20 Sussex Rangers and 20 Amberlink chickens, in order to increase our free-range egg supply (we are constantly being asked for more eggs!). The shed previously known as the Pineapple House has been converted into a potting shed . To do this, Hannah, Annie and Hanna had to learn a range of skills, including brick-laying, blacksmithing, carpentry and leaded window making. Neri, Jo and Aria have been busy continuing the development of the Bakehouse; adding a considerable amount of storage as well as ensuring our new wood-fired bread-oven, built by Keir Rowe, is completely sealed and weather proof in the new Bakehouse extension.

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Our pizza shack has been further developed with a new floor, rendered walls, and the addition of many fixtures and fittings. Flora, Max, Dylan and Cameron have managed all this whilst running it as a business every other week, making on average 45 pizzas each time. A number of chestnut and oak framed outbuildings have been built by Max, Archie, Gus and Finn, to store wood alongside all the reclaimed material that we pride ourselves on recycling. An exciting interactive map has been developed by Michael and Jamie, as well as a bespoke orienteering course around the estate. Thanks to Jamie, Olivia and Oscar there is a new terrace around the ODW office and lots more seating around the barns.

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The continued development of the ODW Shop (below) by Helena and Keziah is particularly exciting. Not only does it look amazing, it also provides a permanent space for us to sell products from the farm and our kitchen. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, because every penny of profit goes back into the development of the farm. And secondly, it allows students to display the end product of all their work. This could be meat from our livestock, bread or baked goods from the Bakehouse, or craft products from the spinning room and forge.

We are having a mini launch/opening for the new shop during the last week of term, on 21, 22 and 23 of March. Please, please, do come and visit. Your support makes such a difference to the students, and really helps them feel that all their hard work has been worthwhile.

We look forward to seeing you then!

ODW Shop peak (Large)

A sneak preview of the new ODW Shop

Bedales and QI thinking

By Clare Jarmy, Head of PRE and Head of Academic Enrichment and Oxbridge

On Saturday, two 6.1s, Taran Llewelyn Bradford and Thea Sesti, took part in a pilot scheme to bring ‘QI Thinking’ into education. Bedales is hosting this pilot, and is working with six other independent schools. The hope is to develop an approach that can be rolled out into classrooms in both the independent and maintained sectors, building inquisitiveness.

QI stands for ‘Quite Interesting’. You might have seen it on TV (this clip on ‘what is the roundest thing in the universe?’ is quite representative, if you haven’t seen it), but actually, its creator, John Lloyd has a much broader, and idealistic aim for QI than that. QI is not only about TV, but also books, podcasts, talks to industry leaders. In short, QI is not a show, but an approach to thinking and learning.

Parents might remember that we hosted John Lloyd ‘in conversation with…’ Harry Enfield in aid of the John Badley Foundation. There is clear overlap between QI’s focus on inquisitiveness, and Bedales’ first aim to ‘To develop inquisitive thinkers with a love of learning who cherish independent thought’. Because of this, Headmaster Keith Budge, in his role convening the HMC conference this year, worked with John to formulate a scheme for ‘QI boot-camps’, designed to reinvigorate curriculum with interesting, fascinating facts, rather than dull, obvious material.

John Lloyd argues that ‘nothing is boring if you spend enough time looking into it’. On Saturday, this was modelled for us. John, and two of the ‘elves’ Anna Ptaszynski and James Harkin, demonstrated, pretty conclusively that there is something fascinating, even about a topic as seemingly dull as fire-escapes!

In the afternoon, we spent our time in our wonderful library, with both online and paper resources (books, periodicals and newspapers) at our disposal. Students had to seek out anything fascinating relating to a ‘Q’ word (the elves are currently compiling material for the ‘Q’ series of QI). Look out for these facts we discovered!

  • Did you know that Tyrannosaurus Rex actually had feathers?
  • Did you know that when The Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) followers were exiled from Mecca, they used to pray facing Jerusalem?
  • Did you know that there is a disease that humans can get from eating a quail that has eaten a poison, even though we would not get ill from directly consuming the poison?

Taran and Thea will now be working as ambassadors for this approach in the school. Look out for prompts for QI thinking in the next few weeks!