Bedales Historians visit Russia

Grand Palace Kremlin 1

By Nicholas Meigh, Teacher of History

The 6.2 History tour to Russia seems, on paper, a short visit of six days, but the content and variety of places visited means that the students experienced a huge amount.

A select group of 22 historians led by myself, Alison Mason (Professional Guidance) and Jane Shannon (Learning Support) set off for Moscow on 2 April. The focus of the visit was naturally historical and the group visited many of the sites of revolutionary Russia. Perhaps the highlight of this city was the extensive visit to the Kremlin; here the group not only trod the usual tourist trail but had the privilege of visiting parts of the Grand Palace that are usually off limits. We were treated to a private tour of the oldest surviving 15th Century parts of the original fortress and to the lavishly restored state rooms.

We travelled by overnight train to the imperial capital, St Petersburg, where we experienced the artistic riches of Russia in the State Hermitage Museum whilst also remembering the role of the city in the revolution with a visit to the Political History Museum. A favourite venue of St Petersburg is the sumptuous Yusopov Palace, infamous now for being the place in which Rasputin was murdered in a variety of ways.

The group experienced the full range of Russian culture in the evenings from watching the traditional folkshow – with special guest star, student Orlando Goffin – to attending a production of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty in the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St Petersburg.

View the slide show below.

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Poetry from Les Menuires


Over the Christmas break, 18 students went on a ski trip to Les Menuires, in the Belleville valley of Les Trois Vallées between Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Val Thorens and produced this poetic response, below:

ski-image-video-buttonBedales Ski Trip 2016,
18 students, all very keen,
We were in short supply of natural snow,
But cruised down mountains from high to low.

The advanced groups were ready to get started,
And all were sad when we finally departed,
The beginners all had lots of fun,
And even aced some difficult runs.

The weather was sunny and not too chilly,
Chloe and Abbie wore onesies willy-nilly,
On one evening we whipped out some sledges,
And certain individuals crashed into hedges.

Graeme’s games nights will go down in history,
But asking Block 4s to timetable is a mystery,
Lucy and Richie gambled with a table football prize,
The loser became a slave with some human rights deprived!

img_7154Bananagrams brought a competitive game,
Can Phoebe and Freya take Graeme’s so called fame?
Spencer joined in, difficult pool shots making a fuss.
And even taught some poker to us.

Everyone was pumped after a roller coaster success,
This thrilling ride put no one at rest,
Devlin was master of his own knowledge quiz,
But full of facts, Hermione was a whizz.

In just dance Meg and Boo had groove,
But it was Josh that went for it with his unique moves,
Luca and Neri showed skills on the slopes,
Millie’s helpful linguistics helped us to cope.

Cassius claimed victory in the After Eight game,
Amelia’s fashion sense was far from lame,
Graeme was forced to make his own fun,
But his “Guess the Ingredients” game impressed no one!
We wish a speedy recovery to Lucy’s broken wrist,
And to Miranda and Tilly who collided in snowy mist,img_7101
Everyone involved made it a great trip,
But now we must catch up on some well-deserved kip!

Special thanks to Helen, who organised the whole affair,
She was involved in all the fun and games with a dancing flare,
Also, we wish her a happy birthday (woo hoo!)
And to all, thank you, it wouldn’t have been the same without you!

-Freya and Phoebe, Block 4