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.

Bedales A Level Success

Lizzie Compton A+AB, Chloe Green 3A+ A (1) (Large) (Large)

Bedales students have achieved strong A Level results for 2015 with the school’s highest ever percentage of A* grades at 15.5%. They have secured places at universities including Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, University College London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, Exeter, Warwick and Berklee (US). 43% of all grades were A*-A and 72% at A*-B.

Seven Bedales students have secured places at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge on courses in Medicine, Chemistry, Biochemistry, English, Philosophy, Politics & Economics, French & Religious Studies, and Fine Art; four have done so through this summer’s grades and three students from last year’s cohort received offers based on their A Level results from 2014. Four of these seven students were taught at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst, before progressing to Bedales Senior School and Sixth Form.

Poppy Duncan from Stroud, Petersfield will read Medicine at New College, Oxford having achieved three A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, and an A in Further Mathematics; Chloe Green from Liss achieved three A*s in History, Mathematics and Further Mathematics, and an A in Chemistry, and will read Chemistry at Worcester College, Oxford; Peter Price from London achieved three A*s in English Literature, History and Religious Studies and will take up his place at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, to read English;Juliette Perry from Petersfield gained an A* in History and three As in Chemistry, English Literature and Mathematics, and will take up a place at Somerville, Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Sophia Falkner from London achieved four A*s in Economics, German, History and Mathematics; to study Economics and Economic History at the London School of Economics.Oscar Braun-White from Rowland’s Castle achieved three A*s in Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics and an A in Classical Greek; to study Natural Sciences at Durham University. Sophie Mills from Rowland’s Castle achieved three A*s in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, and an A in Further Mathematics; to study Chemistry at the University of Warwick. Thomas Higginson from Chilworth, Southampton celebrated his 18th birthday on results day with three A*s in Dance, French and Psychology and an A in Mathematics; to study Dance at The Place, London.

Head boy, Rob Miller, from London achieved two A*s in English Literature and Mathematics, and an A in Latin. Head girl;  Margaret Rice, from Bampton, Oxfordshire achieved an A in Religious Studies and two Bs in Classical Greek and Latin.

Two departing Bedales students have spent the summer working with the prestigious National Youth Theatre:

  • Christi Van Clarke from London achieved two A*s in Drama and Theatre Studies, and Art and Design, and an A in French; to study a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at City and Guilds, London.
  • Deputy head boy, Roly Botha, from the Isle of White achieved three Bs in Drama and Theatre Studies, English Literature and Religious Studies; to study Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway. Roly was also awarded the school’s Gabriel Bruce Award for outstanding work in Theatre, Art and general contribution to the community.

22 Bedales students have been accepted at British art schools. Many schools find that only a select few of their art students choose to apply to leading art and design colleges and universities. The one-year Foundation Diplomas in Art and Design allows students the experience of further developing practical and conceptual skills in preparation for art and design related degrees.

The three Bedales students progressing to Oxford having taken their A Levels last summer are:

  • Olivia Brett from Petersfield who will read Theology and Religious Studies at Clare College, Cambridge. She is currently performing as Nannetta in The Black Cat Opera Company’s performance of Verdi’s Falstaff at the Camberley Theatre has also been awarded a choral scholarship at Clare College.
  • Rufus Rock, head boy in 2013/14, from East Meon, who will read Fine Art at Brasenose, Oxford. This year he has taken a six month practical filmmaking course in Berlin and also learnt German.
  • Joshua Grubb from Petersfield, who will read Biochemistry at Somerville, Oxford. He has spent this year working for Procter and Gamble in their science research labs at the Newcastle Innovation Centre as part of the ‘Year in Industry’ scheme. He was also awarded a Distinction in his Diploma (Dip.ABRSM) Clarinet examination.

Commenting on the results, Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales Schools, said:

“We are delighted that our students achieved Bedales’ highest percentage of top grades with 15.5% of all A Level awards at A*. Congratulations to our students whose results are worthy recognition of their hard work. I wish them well as they now progress to an impressive range of universities and art colleges in the UK and overseas.”

Other Bedales student successes include:

  • Mona Fu from Zhuhai, China achieved two A*s in Mathematics and Art and Design, and an A in Physics; to study Architecture at University College London.
  • Jojo Mosely from Hambledon achieved two A*s in Art and Design and English Literature, and an A in French; to study History of Art and French at the University of Bristol.
  • Sofia Palm from London achieved two A*s in Politics and Religious Studies, and an A in History; to study Social Anthropology at SOAS, University of London.
  • Jack Merrett from London achieved an A* in History, and two As in Politics and Religious Studies.
  • Isabelle Binney from Rogate achieved an A* in Art and Design, an A in Psychology, and a B in English Literature; to study History of Art at the University of Bristol.
  • Lizzie Compton from Rake achieved an A* in History, an A in English Literature, and a B in Mathematics; to study Law at the University of Bristol.
  • Henry McWhirter from Hindhead achieved an A* in History, an A in English Literature, and a B in Religious Studies.
  • Eleanor Soper from Hambledon achieved an A* in Mathematics, an A in Physics, and a B in Chemistry; to study Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.
  • Alexander Yetman from Froxfield achieved a D2 (equivalent to A*) in Music Pre-U, and two Bs in English Literature and Design and Technology; to study Bespoke Tailoring at University of the Arts London.
  • Sofie Kitts from Swanmore achieved three As in English Literature, History and Spanish; to study Scandinavian Studies and History at The University of Edinburgh.
  • Phoebe Landers from Headley achieved three As in French, History and Spanish; to study History at The University of Edinburgh.
  • Laura Wise from South Harting achieved three As in English Literature, History and Religious Studies; to study Philosophy and English Literature at The University of Edinburgh.
  • Lily Brown from Liss achieved two As in Biology and Classical Civilisation, and a B in Art and Design.
  • Victoria Burnell from Sheet achieved two As in Economics and History, and a B in Classical Civilisation.
  • Saskia Church from Brentford achieved two As in Design and Technology and Psychology, and a B in Economics.
  • Jack Shannon from Steep achieved two As in Biology and Mathematics, and a B in Chemistry; to study Marine Biology at the University of Southampton.
  • Maya Wilson from Rowberrow, Somerset achieved an A in English Literature, a D3 (equivalent to an A) in Music Pre-U, and a B in History.
  • Emily Blackley from Priors Dean achieved an A in Biology, and two Bs in Geography and Mathematics; to study Biological Anthropology at The University of Kent.
  • Gabriel Curry from Steep achieved an M1 (equivalent to an A) in Music Pre-U, and two Bs in Mathematics and History; to study Law at the University of York.
  • Ruan Evans from Wimbledon achieved an A in Dance, and two Bs in Drama and Theatre Studies, and History.
  • Foxey Hardman from Langport, Somerset achieved an A in Psychology, and two Bs in Drama and Theatre Studies, and French.
  • Radheka Kumari from Ruislip achieved an A in English Literature, and two Bs in History and Religious Studies.
  • Enrico Luo from Guangdong, China achieved an A in Mathematics, and two Bs in Physics and Design and Technology; to study a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at City College Brighton and Hove.
  • Robert Murray from London achieved an A in Mathematics, and two Bs in Physics and Computing.
  • Lydia Nethercott-Garabet from Steep Marsh achieved an A in Latin, and two Bs in History and Spanish.
  • Matilda Raphael from Richmond achieved an A in Psychology, and two Bs in English Literature and Drama and Theatre Studies.
  • James Sweet from Henfield, West Sussex achieved an A in Mathematics, and two Bs in Biology and Chemistry.
  • Lily Wetherill from Midhurst achieved an A in Art and Design, and two Bs in Design and Technology and English Literature.

The full A Level statistics were as follows:

  • A* passes: 15.5%
  • A* – A passes: 43.0%
  • A* – B passes: 72.1%
  • A* – E passes: 99.2%

Cambridge Pre-U D1 and D2 grades are equivalent to an A*; a D3 is equivalent to an A; M1 is equivalent to an A grade and M2/M3 merit grades are equivalent to B grade.

Note that this data is provisional and subject to re-marks.

View photos

Exploring Sicily’s ancient sites

IMG_1070It seems like an age ago – probably because everyone is now immersed in the work of revision – but just four weeks back, 19 sixth-formers and three teachers visited the gloriously beautiful island of Sicily, and surely if they close their eyes they can recall it all: temples, theatres, cafes, guides, beaches, bars, basalt (there is a lot of that; Sicily is made of basalt. We were told so many times…).

Highlights of the trip included the balconies in every room. Margaret Rice (Head Girl) particularly enjoyed the use of hers, stating “It was just a super chill place to hang out with friends and enjoy the sea breeze.” Lydia Nethercott-Garbage enjoyed herself greatly especially the “evening strolls along the beach” at Giardini Naxos, where we explored the coast and got lost at least once.

IMG_1108  Taormina (3)

On the more cultural side, we visited a range of sites, including some which UNESCO deigned to be World Heritage Sites. From temples (be it standing, or destroyed by the Carthaginians) to theatres set in the picturesque mountains of Selinunte and Taormina. At Selinunte, the ‘valley of the temples’ presented us with example after example of extraordinary precision and refinement in building. Piazza Armerina proved as amazing as the guides said it would be, with room upon room of the most colourful and exotic mosaics. Social life apart, the six days spent in Sicily were packed with visits to a wide range of Greek and Roman sites of extraordinary richness, and most of the party filled their iPhones with pictures! Even the weather was kind, starting dull but ending with a taste of summer (by British standards anyway).

IMG_1082  IMG_1124

Practically, the lower sixth Class Civ students have now seen many of the temples and other pieces of classical architecture which they will meet again in class. Everyone had the chance to enjoy all aspects of Sicily ancient and modern – art, colossal feats of building, ice-cream, and local delicacies such as cannoli and arancini.

View photos

By Christopher Grocock, Head of Classics


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.

Sixth form Psychologists and Biologists treated to ‘Brain Day’

Brain Day 2015 1

Last Monday was “Brain Day” and sixth form Psychologists and Biologists were treated to a day of brain lectures and activities, delivered by Dr Guy Sutton, Lecturer in Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham. This was a terrific opportunity for students to learn and interact with a brain specialist. The morning was all about structure and function of the brain, with a dissection of a sheep’s brain and the afternoon was about mental illness with a detailed talk about schizophrenia. This was a fascinating day that we will certainly repeat in years to come.

By Richard Sinclair, Head of Science


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.

Sixth formers develop their peer listening skills

peer listening workshop

This week, the sixth form peer listeners took part in a four-hour workshop to develop our skills as listeners and to deepen our understanding of communication and ourselves. Counsellor and coach Lilliana Gibbs, very kindly came in and performed various exercises with the group ranging from having to write about the sea for five minutes to a process called imago dialogue. Even though we had no idea what some of the tasks were to consist of or understand what they were trying to achieve at first, we found that they unveiled many things about the listeners in the group such as whether we were a visual, auditory or kinaesthetic person and if we are truly present as a person when listening to someone speak. The workshop was very successful as we began to speak about some really very personal and deeper issues within all of our lives. I can say on behalf of all of us that we have definitely taken something away from the afternoon and that the skills learnt will surely be seen implemented into our peer listening program.

peer listening workshop 2

By Thomas Higginson, 6.2


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 influence of the East on Maths

Late last Monday evening the Sixth Form Maths Society gathered for the first meeting of 2014. The topic of discussion was The Influence of the Middle and Far East on the History of Maths. We looked at the etymology of the words algebra and zero, both coming from Arabic. We also discussed the origin of numerals from the Hindu, Arabic and Chinese number systems. The history of pi and the solar system came up as we talked about Aryarbahta from 499 AD. This linked to the Babylonian and Egyptian calculations of time through Astronomy: our system of 24 hour days and twelve month year originate from these. Prominent Arabic Mathematicians (al-Karaji, al-Kashi and Omar Khayyam) discovered proof by induction, the cosine rule, binomial theorem and roots of cubic equations, all of which are crucial elements of modern-day Maths. More current mathematical topics were considered when we looked at algorithms used to maximise oil yield in the Middle East. Finally, we touched on Islamic art and how it relates to tessellations and symmetry. The Alhambra in Spain exhibits this, containing all the possible types of symmetry in its many elaborately decorated rooms.

By  Poppy Duncan, Sophia Falkner and Chloe Green (6.1)

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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.

Ciphers and challenges for mathematicians

It has been a busy couple of weeks for our Mathematics students. The Sixth Form Maths Society met to discuss a perennial favourite: code-breaking. The students’ contributions were erudite and impressive as ever, and between mince pies we discussed substitution and transposition ciphers, the Vigenère cipher and the classic pig-pen cipher. The meeting was timely because Bedales has several teams of students taking part in the National Cipher Challenge. As we approach the half-way mark, two of our teams are still in contention and battling it out at the top of the leader board. The week before last also saw our Sixth Form mathematicians enter the annual UK Senior Maths Challenge. 40 Bedalians took part – our highest ever entry in the competition – and 24 won certificates of achievement. Very well done all round and particular congratulations to Elliot Robson (6.2), who came away with the coveted best in school certificate.

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

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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.