Bedalians head to Oxford

By Clare Jarmy, Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Head of Academic Enrichment and Oxbridge, Bedales

Every year, 6.1 students at Bedales have the opportunity to attend the Oxford University Open Day. This gives them the chance to attend lectures, see some of the colleges, and get a feel for what an Oxford education, and the application process, would be like. This year, as part of the 3i programme, students in Block 3 and 4 were invited to hop on the bus for a trip that we ran in parallel: an Oxford experience that introduced them to a top university, and to find out the differences that Oxford and Cambridge present, compared with other universities. For the youngest students, it was a chance to iron out some misconceptions ‘If I’m at this college, am I still at Oxford?’ or ‘Which college does English?’ For some, it was a chance to start setting their sights high for study after Bedales.

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Whilst the 6.1s were traipsing from college to college in the afternoon, Block 3 and 4 got a chance to see some of Oxford’s excellent museums, including the Museum of the History of Science, and the Natural History Museum (including the shrunken heads in the Pitt Rivers). The Block 3s had a photo competition, with categories such as ‘most intriguing object’ which you can see above.

This is just one of the many opportunities that students in 3i get. 3i (after Badley’s happy phrase ‘intelligence, initiative and individuality’) is a community of engaged, interested learners at Bedales. It includes academic scholars, those nominated by staff, and those who nominate themselves. 3i runs a regular bulletin, which publicises events, competitions and trips.

Extraordinary experiences in Iceland

Iceland 4  Iceland 3

The Iceland trip is viewed by many as one of the best of the year. This Easter was no exception, from visiting the Blue Lagoon recently titled as one of the 25 wonders of the world by National Geographic, to the National Parks situated all over the rugged and barren landscapes of volcanic overflow. Geographers learned about one of the many important new ways of creating electricity. Iceland is at the forefront of the geothermal energy business as warm water heated by the earth’s core is used for all aspects of Icelandic life; from heating water, creating electricity and melting ice on the roads. We visited Hellisheidi power plant which gave a greater understanding of how the Icelandic people are aiming to become an almost entirely green (renewable fuel sources) country. Iceland is a truly unforgettable experience for all; the temperature dropping to -7ºC is biting but with extraordinary experiences on offer one soon gets over it.

Iceland 5

As soon as you arrive you can see how the Icelandic people have adapted to the harsh landscape. With only 1% arable land, surprisingly, Iceland is still pretty much self sufficient, as they only fish for half of the year to allow fishing stocks to replenish, they are deeply in touch with their landscape.

Iceland 2

Waterfalls flourishing out of the ground pouring melted glacial ice and snow onto the ground. Huge waves crashing into the sides of the countries forming vast cliffs and jutting rock formations, and black sand on beaches from ash ejected out of the local volcanoes. All of this amazing scenery adds to Iceland’s natural charm.

View photos

By Tom Bradford, Block 4

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.

Using voices for International Education Week

Alongside Geography Awareness Week in the US and Children in Need in the UK recently, International Education Week with the theme ‘use your voice’ gave all geographers the chance to discuss pressing issues on a variety of scales. Block 3 looked into the impacts of globalisation through technology and global brands, Block 4 explored the argument of ‘aid does more harm than good for countries that need it the most.’ For Block 5, individual interests led to research and discussion on anything from ‘China’s trail to Olympic glory’, ‘global attitudes to abortion’ and ‘(cultural) cost of wealth’. Follow the Geography department on Twitter @GBedales to see what’s happening locally through in-house initiatives like YPI and globally with tools like the Closet Calculator from National Geographic.

By Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography


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.