Creative coppicing – the Bedales way

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By Carter Clothier and Oscar Goldblatt, Block 4

On Wednesday, we, and seven other students got an amazing opportunity to take part in a workshop with The Creative Coppice Company. It was a really fun and productive day and we now have the skills we need to carry out our final BAC project.

Carter

Carter Clothier

For our BAC, Oscar D, Olav and I are making a post and rail fence to surround a new meadow which we will create between the Art & Design building and Outdoor Work. We started the day by learning how to split a piece of chestnut using a hammer and wedges, and we all managed to complete this with ease. We then progressed a little and learnt how to split a much longer bit of chestnut using the same method, but this time we had to split it into four. This was a little trickier and we all ended up with a lot more wasted wood than we would have liked, but nevertheless we all got the hang of it after a few hours.

WP_20170510_14_29_59_Pro cropAfter a well-earned lunch we went back to learn how to finish off the posts and rails. For the posts we had to mark out the location of the mortice and drill 12 holes into the post, this then needed cleaning up with a very sharp chisel. We created six slots for the rail to go into.  This brings me onto the most difficult bit – making the tenons, which is basically a practice of shaping the end of the rail to make it fit into the post. This is usually done with a chainsaw, but in true Bedalian fashion we had to do it the traditional way: using an axe and draw knife.  This slow and painful process consisted of chopping the corners off the quartered bits of chestnut with an axe and then shaving of vast amounts of leftover wood with the draw knife.

This took a long while to get the hang of, but we eventually got it down to about one rail every 25 minutes. By the end we completed around five or six rails. Only 98 more to go…!

Oscar

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Livi, Jamie and I are building a terrace / balcony around the new ODW office as part of our BAC project – the office was refurbished from a grain store by last year’s BAC students.

WP_20170509_10_53_50_Pro cropWe began working on our project by showing Dave, from The Creative Coppice Company, some of our rough sketches and ideas and then we started measuring out some of the sides. Once we had all the sides measured we then calculated that we needed six poles for our design. As a group we started to scrape the bark off the 2 .75m chestnut logs in preparation for marking-out and cutting. Getting set up and trying to ensure all measurements were in the correct orientation on a round pole is very satisfying, yet quite intensive and time-consuming.

However, we feel we picked up enough information to start our projects with confidence. The next step in our project is to dig the holes and position the poles so we can start putting the decking on. We all benefited a lot from this day and I think we would all agree that we would do it again.

12 Angry Men and Block 4

Block 4 BAC English Literature students recently went to London to see a production of Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men at the Garrick Theatre; a superb production of the well-known, taut  jury room drama first seen in the Henry Fonda film of 1957 exploring not only a single case but the whole process of justice. Milo Howes said: “The visit was due to us studying the play in class and the production was a new way of helping us understand and connect with the plot. The performance was fantastic and many, if not all, the students benefited from it greatly; it was a brimming success which brought back many smiles on the coach. Many thanks to all the teachers who took us.”

By Milo Howes, Block 4 and Mary-Liz Houghton, Teacher of English

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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.

Geographers experience amazing Iceland

At the start of the Easter holidays Block 4 geographers faced an intensive five day field trip to Iceland, as part of our BAC course. With an extensive tour, visiting nearly 20 different locations, we saw some of the biggest waterfalls in Europe and some of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Staying at a schools youth hostel just a few miles from Eyajafjallajokull, the lasted volcano to erupt in 2010 meant that we were at the centre of the action, and able to travel out in different directions each day.

As soon as we landed in Keflavik, we went straight to the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal heated pool. The very fine silica mud is an excellent exfoliant, so within five minutes of arriving, naturally the whole group had face packs on! This was only one of the amazing sites that we visited; others included, Gulfoss waterfall, Solheimajokull Glacier, the Mid Atlantic Ridge Tectonic Plate boundary at Thingvellir National Park, Eyajafjallajokull volcano and Mount Hekla. In fact there was actually a small earthquake at Mount Hekla whilst we were in Iceland. This really worried locals, as the volcano was expected to erupt over three years ago.

Another fascinating visit was to the geysers, bubbling geothermal hot springs affected by pressure from lava flows beneath the earth. We were even lucky enough to witness one erupting numerous times whilst we were there, as it goes every six to eight minutes. However when erupting, they give off hydrogen sulphide, this leaves an unpleasant smell of rotten eggs!

The final highlight of the visit had to be seeing the Northern Lights appear, just hours before leaving the country. It was an early drive to the airport on the Friday morning, however this actually worked in our favour, as this magnificent formation appeared at 2am, followed by a shooting star, streaking straight across the sky with them!

Thank you to all of the teachers, and to Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography, for organising this unforgettable week, where we learnt and recorded masses of information, which we can now use for our geographical study of Iceland in our BAC course. It was an amazing experience to witness the real life actions of this incredible landscape.

View photos.

By Emma Duncan, Block 4

Bedales geographers visit Iceland

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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.

The Turn of the Screw impresses BAC students

Last week, Block 4 BAC English Literature students visited the Almeida Theatre to see The Turn of the Screw (adapted by Rebecca Lenkiewicz) which was an exhilarating and touching adaptation of the Henry James novel we have been studying in class. The staging was excellent in the way it changed behind the scenes (with no noise whatsoever); the lighting was always appropriate and on point. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance due to the ability and professionalism of the actors especially Laurence Belcher who played the part of Miles, showing great skill to play a part younger than himself but with the same level of maturity. I also found the coordination between the characters was very impressive with not a single moment of doubt. If I had to rate it out of 10 I would give it a solid 8 for a very true performance filled with tension and finesse.

By Archie Graves, Block 4

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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.