Bedales, TPS and Bohunt partnership continues

On Wednesday, Head Students Ollie and Lettie visited The Petersfield School (TPS) for the second Three Schools meeting of Bohunt, Bedales and TPS. It was good to meet again with the other Head Students/School Council representatives and it was a really productive meeting as we already all knew each other.

We discussed mental health and pastoral care in each school and how we can learn from each other, specifically looking at the different support in each school to help student Well-being and to combat anxiety and depression. We all shared the different approaches to supporting young people in each of our schools, as well as each school’s existing platforms. We discussed how to deal with high levels of stress in exam years by helping to find alternative solutions to help students manage exam stress such as mindfulness and exercise.

We discussed smoking and vaping rules and how each school approaches these issues, as well as looking at ideas to help those who smoke or vape as a stress reliever to find alternative ways to relax.

We also discussed lost property and theft, looking at differentiating petty theft from serious theft and how to approach each according to the gravity of the situation.

There were some other ideas for more healthy eating in meals and in the school cafe as well as creating safe spaces for students to share in, building on the good work of student led groups at Bedales such as LGBTQ+ society and Tea & Chat.

Everyone appeared very excited to take their feedback to each of their school councils. We are looking forward to another meeting in the third term, hosted by Bedales, to continue learning from each other and share the progress we are making.

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Bedales Geography teacher awarded prestigious fellowship

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In recognition of the innovative Geography Bedales Assessed Course, Bedales’ Head of Geography Paul Turner has been awarded membership of a prestigious Curriculum Planning Working Group through the Fawcett Fellowship offered jointly by the UCL Department of Geography and the Institute of Education.

The working group will meet on a termly basis and look to link theory with practice at different levels of planning. Fawcett Fellows are committed to the value of contemporary geographical knowledge and a dynamic curriculum with a view to stimulating pupils’ interest in the subject and capacity for thinking geographically.

As a Fawcett Fellow, Paul will contribute to classroom-based research in order to evaluate how curricular aims are translated into pupils’ capabilities in geography. Overall, the aim of the Fellowship is to develop empirical research into the geography curriculum, thus filling a gap in the literature and knowledge base of many practitioners. The group will seek to better understand how to plan for progression of pupils’ understanding of knowledge, skills and thinking in geography.

The group will explore questions such as: which geographical knowledge and skills are most valuable for children and how should these be sequenced in a curriculum? And, what are the learning steps that pupils need to go through to move from novice to proficient geographer?

Block 5 student interns at renowned costume house

By Juliette Lemley, Block 5

In July, I was fortunate to have an opportunity to complete an internship at Tirelli Costumi, a renowned costume house based in Rome which supplies period costumes for motion picture productions.

During the internship, I met the fashion designer Andrea Sorrentino and I was able to work with him as he prepared the wardrobe for Catherine the Great, starring Helen Mirren, which is currently being filmed.

At the conclusion of our work in July, Mr Sorrentino invited me to take my internship further and return to Rome to assist him in the presentation of his work in a major exhibition on costume and wardrobe in cinema.

My role was to assist him in the preparation of his portion of the exhibition. Mr Sorrentino was displaying one of his original wardrobe pieces that he created for a short film called The Secret of Joy.

The exhibition was very interesting as it incorporated the work of established designers such as Piero Tosi and Maurizio Millinoti, both of whom are legendary designers in the global cinema world, and combined it with the work of fashion design students who are their protégés.

Some of the specific tasks I worked on as we prepared the display included adding gems to the dress, steaming the dress and adjusting some of the worn out areas on the dress, as well as numerous other things.

While working with Mr Sorrentino I gained a couple of insights that have been very impactful on my thinking. The first is that no matter what level, or what business you are working in, details matter – and focus on them is critical.

Secondly, I now have a much stronger understanding of how important it is to create and nurture relationships with people you admire and respect so, if you are fortunate, you have the opportunity to continue to learn from them. Also, being a good and dependable team mate is critical as people will be able to depend on you and you will be able to learn more.

Thank you to Bedales for making it possible for me to take part in the internship and continue my education in this area.

Head Students visit the Minerva Theatre

By Bedales Head Students

Last Tuesday, the Head Students, along with Magnus, saw Cock by Mike Bartlett at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester. While it was frustrating to watch due to the high levels of tension, it was also charming, funny and intimate. The dysfunctional relationship between John (Luke Thallon) and M (Matthew Needham) made the audience cringe and laugh. The fast moving pace of the writing made the relationship between John and W (Isabella Laughland) seem move exciting.

In the story we see these relationship’s put to the test when John goes from dating M to dating W. Therefore identifying as gay to identifying to bisexual. The twist comes when John makes promises to both parties that he wants to stay with them. This in turn leads to the climatic end to the story where we see M’s dad get involved in the situation Although the ending is left ambiguous the acute frustration of a household chore is amplified in John’s horrific decision. It is not the final choice that it is horrific, of course, the journey that he took there.

The staging of this play was very simple. There were no props or set. On the floor was red tape in the shape of a decagon. To show that time had passed, a alarm bell would ring and right lights would flash. The actors would change positions based on emotions rather than on particle steps. The beautiful and intricate writing of Mike Bartlett was portrayed perfectly, the words feeling natural for each character.

Commission for Block 4 student

A Block 4 student whose original script was selected to be performed at an event in London has been commissioned to develop it into a full-length piece for theatre in the capital’s West End.

Freya Hannan-Mills’ script, Swallow – which documents a daughter’s last days in a hospice with her mother – was one of four pieces of writing chosen by casting company Spotlight to be produced for an event hosted at their studios in the heart of the West End on 7 October.

The piece, which was brought to life for Spotlight’s event by director Phoebe Rhodes and actress Kate Kelly Flood, was well received by the industry panel in attendance, with casting director Daniel Edwards tweeting: “Left speechless by [Freya’s] exceptional piece … This young actress/writer is one to watch people!”

Following the success of the performance, Freya received the news that she was to be commissioned to develop Swallow into a full-length piece for performance at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London’s West End in January 2019.

The script will also be featured in a ‘Best of 2018’ showcase in London in December 2018.

Freya’s latest success comes just a week after she received the Robert Hutchison Young Poets Competition for her poem, Overheard at Zara – Liverpool One, at a special prize-giving event at the University of Winchester.

Earlier this year she was crowned the winner of  Wicked Young Writer Awards’ 11-14 Years Category for her short story, Mushy Peas and Battered Bits.

Students cycle the South Downs Way

By Oscar Kingsley-Pallant, 6.2

Last weekend Archie Gibbon, Jack Cecil, Sam Wilson and I left the King Alfred’s statue in Winchester at four o’clock in the morning attempting to cycle the South Downs Way in a day.

The initial 25 miles went by in a breeze, though in freezing temperatures and pitch black skies the distance we covered in such a short space of time raised our confidence.

At 30 miles we hit a low and began to struggle with the constant increase in steepness of the hills. At the perfect time we met Nicola Cecil and Fionna Gibbon who re-supplied us with energy and morale. Setting off after that was hard and required huge mental and physical strength for the next 40 or so miles.

After hours of intense cycling on the unforgiving terrain we met Jim Gibbon, a true guardian angel to all each of us. From Brighton he supported us with fuel and motivation, meeting us at pit stops well into the night.

When darkness came we were still left with 30 miles to go and struggled. The encouragement we got from each other allowed us to continue and spur on until Eastbourne came into view.

When finishing the final leg of the journey we were all fully exhausted and lied down underneath the finishing sign with a sense of overwhelming happiness and pride that we had completed cycling the South Downs Way in a day.

Thank you to all those who supported us, especially our parents, and thank you to those who have donated to our cause as we raise money for Swaziland.

Bedales student attends Rank Foundation Leadership Day

By Norpell Wilberforce, 6.1

On 13 September, I attended the Rank Foundation School Leadership Day. Prior to that, the Rank Foundation had been a mysterious organisation about which I could only guess. However, on the day all was made clear to me with perfect clarity; we were given a talk explaining the organisation’s history and their aims and were tasked to make videos centred on various aspects of leadership so that we hear each other’s ideas and learn from them.

These videos could only have ten shots lasting only a few seconds so it pushed all our cinematography skills to the limit! My group were given the question “what are the qualities of a good leader” and there were lots of intelligent answers such as resourcefulness, determination, wisdom and charisma to name but a few. However, what really resonated with me was when one of my peers answered “A good leader knows when to relinquish control”. I think that this is one of the most important qualities because the progression of time calls for different leaders with different styles; the time a leader must really step up to the occasion is when it is time for them to step down.

Despite the well-planned and engaging programme, what I enjoyed best was meeting the rest of my cohort and hearing about their summer placements and the fantastic opportunities Rank offered them. It was an immensely enjoyable day and I look forward with much anticipation to next year!