Geographers experience Marrakesh and Sahara

The start of Easter saw the return of BAC geographers to Morocco. We studied aspects of North African culture, religion and history before setting off to experience Morocco for ourselves. During eight days on tour, from the bustling city of Marrakesh to the remote sand seas of the Sahara, we explored UNESCO sites (Ait- Ben-Haddou), stepped onboard galleons from Gladiatorat the Atlas film studios, walked the fossil covered Dades Valley and slept under the Sahara stars. A highlight for our sports’ contingent was the UK v Morocco football match in the Sahara, (1-0 to Bedales boys!). With one of the longest camel caravans this century, the students packed a great deal in throughout the week, keeping journals of their experiences along the way. Follow @GBedales. View photos.

By Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography

Geographers experience Marrakesh and Sahara

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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.

Glimpse of sail training and careers at sea

‘Sail Training and Careers at Sea’ was the flavour of a recent assembly, presented by Ben Swain, Director of Quaystage Training and a fully fledged officer with the UK Sail Training fleet. With 20 years of experience onboard vessels of various sizes, Ben presented exciting alternatives to conventional summer and gap year travel. With opportunities to gain qualifications, life skills and the all important travel adventures, students gained a glimpse in to the possibilities available. The Tall Ships Race 2014 is around the Baltic and offers young people aged 16-25 the chance to see new places, become part of a team and race a tall ship against the Mexican and Argentine navy! Want to find out more? Contact Kirsty Layton. Watch the video shown at assembly.

By Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography

Quaystage Training

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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.

Bedales student crews tall ship on Mediterranean voyage

16 year old Bedales student, Ally Swain, has returned from the journey of a lifetime as crew member aboard tall ship Tenacious operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), which offered five 16-25 year olds the chance to sail from Palma to Barcelona in December. Sixth former Ally applied straight away and became one of the youngest in the crew.

The voyage took the ship and her crew from Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca along a Mediterranean passage to Barcelona. During the journey Ally and her fellow crew members learned how to climb the mast, set the sails and helm the ship amongst other important skills while at sea.

Commenting on the experience, Ally said: “Sailing has always been something that I’ve been keen to do as many of my family members also sail. When our Head of Geography told me in a school assembly that she had looked down on Tower Bridge from the mast of a tall ship, I realised that it was something to add to my ‘bucket list’, and we’ve been chatting about tall ships ever since. I’m just really glad that she thought of me when she heard about the trip. The voyage itself was phenomenal. The JST, the charity that I was sailing with, is a really worthwhile cause, aiming to improve the lives of disabled and able-bodied people alike through the challenge of crewing a tall ship together. We were taught almost everything about the running of the ship, from mess duty (working in the kitchens) to raising or setting the sails and steering at the helm. Everyone was equal on the boat and people of all abilities would work together, from the wheelchair bound to the blind. It was the trip of a lifetime, albeit rather challenging. Because the ship has to be running 24 hours a day there would be very cold night shifts that were four hours long each, however in many respects that was my favourite part of the entire voyage. It is an indescribable experience to be steering a tall ship under the stars with people you met less than a week ago but feel as if you have known for a lifetime”

Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography, said: “When I found out the JST were looking for young recruits, I didn’t hesitate in putting Ally’s name forward. Ally has always been inspired by action rather than simply sitting back and talking an issue through – this has been the case since joining Bedales.  Ally has embarked on an Earthwatch expedition in Borneo, entirely through her own efforts and has since taken on debates in London and continues to be actively involved in wider environmental issues and supporting others through the school’s extra-curricular programme. The JST is an incredible experience to start a passion for sailing.”

Bedales student Ally Swain

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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.

Comparing experiences with students from India

Bedales was recently visited by Townley Grammar School in Kent and a delegation from their link school, Shri Ram in Delhi, who were keen to see Bedales as part of their wider exploration of the UK, and see the differences to their own schools; both girls’ schools, one city based, another on the outskirts of London. During their visit they enjoyed a tour courtesy of our 6.1s, including the Design, Art and ODW exhibitions from Parents’ Day.  As the sun was shining, Bedales students took the visitors into the Orchard to discuss experiences, culture and the educational systems of each of our schools.  With our own developing links with India, this provided staff and students with a great opportunity to see an exchange in action and get a feel for the types of discussion that could arise.

By Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography

Comparing experiences with students from India

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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.

Block 3 Silo Breakers

With the sun comes the deadline for Geography’s summer ‘Silo Breaker’ project. Long gone are the barriers where a subject remains restricted to the slot on the timetable; Block 3 geographers have spent the last half term exploring how we are connected from Geography out across the curriculum – some areas certainly more obvious than others. Students have independently selected an area of interest to them, planned and completed their investigations over six weeks. With more than 90 students working on their own research, it makes for an amazing and diverse learning experience for everyone. Here are some examples from this year’s research: exploring the influence of environment and location on music, rhythm and instrument; a look at how life continues in the shadows of multi-nationals like Nike and Primark; recreating the process used by early explorers to discover patterns in nature; and why do South American countries produce some of the best footballers in the world? Work will be displayed on Parents’ Day in the Geography Department.

By Kirsty Layton, Head of Geography

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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.

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

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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.