Politicians share their ‘unspun’ opinions

It’s a rare opportunity to be able to hear nine prominent politicians speak in one day, but this is what ten 6.1 students enjoyed in Westminster last Monday at the annual A Level Politics Conference. Nigel Farage was certainly the most anticipated speaker of the day by all delegates, and we enjoyed listening to his use of rhetoric to speak persuasively and passionately, regardless of whether we agreed with his views! Other politicians speaking on the theme of the potential earthquake of next summer’s general election included William Hague, John Bercow, Tristram Hunt, Rachel Reeves and Nadine Dorries. It was refreshing to hear ‘unspun’ opinions on the impact of UKIP, the causes of voter apathy and the increasing importance of social media in campaigning.

By Ruth Tarrant, Head of Economics and Head of Government & Politics


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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Students attend US State Department’s webcast

Ocean acidification is a process that is threatening much of the flora and fauna in the world’s seas. It is closely linked to global warming (both being affected by increased CO2 emissions) and it is a massive problem. 6.1 biologists and geographers attended the Our Ocean conference webcast at the US Embassy last week and, once safely through passport control, joined a live streamed link to the US State Department and John Kerry’s keynote speech. A speech by Leonardo DiCaprio also served to highlight the urgent need for action. There was an entertaining Q&A session with US Ambassador Matthew W Barzun and academics from Imperial College discussed the underlying scientific issues. This was a great opportunity for students to see how the world is tackling a big environmental problem and to consider whether the responses will be effective. It was also an interesting opportunity to visit the embassy before it gets converted into a hotel!

By  Richard Sinclair, Head of Science

Our Oceans conference

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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.

Valuable insights into Oxbridge

A group of 6.1 students recently attended a student conference at Hampshire Collegiate School for potential applicants to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As well as meeting their peers from schools around Hampshire and Dorset, they gathered a wealth of tips and useful application advice from recent graduates and admissions officers. Though the bar is set very high – A*AA and even A*A*A are standard offers for many courses now – the importance of passion and interest in a subject was highlighted as by far the most important aspect of any strong application. So, lots of extra reading starts now… Differences between the application routes for Oxford and Cambridge were also discussed: Oxford look closely at GCSE results as well as the performance in their own entrance exams (necessary for most courses); Cambridge look closely at individual AS module scores. Great advice and useful information all round.

By Michael Truss, Head of Academic Enrichment and Head of Mathematics

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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.