This year’s Badley Celebration Weekend was one of the busiest to date, with over 30 different activities taking place over the two days. Students experienced a diverse range of workshops categorised into the following areas: language and skills; art, culture and cooking; music and movement; global awareness. As part of the Whole School Effort, each tutor group planted hazel trees and bluebells on the banks near the tennis courts, as well as helping to fence off an area for a chicken coop – the aim is to reintroduce chickens to Bedales early in the New Year. Sixth formers also worked hard on their own project – clearing overgrowth and creating space for a seating area with fire-pits near the large pond, to provide a space for supervised study groups.
As this year’s weekend had a global awareness theme, we were enormously privileged to be joined by four external speakers who brought the world to Bedales, just for a couple of days. Katie Millward spoke about her work as a journalist with the environmental agency Ecostorm, and as a grantee of the Pulitzer Centre for Crisis Reporting. James Askew, a member of the British Army who has served in the Congo, spoke about Child Soldiers in the Congo. Robin Gorna, a current Bedales parent and HIV/AIDS specialist, spoke about whether AIDS is still a global problem. Finally David Retter, head of educational inclusion services for Hampshire, spoke about the elsewhere right here – the shocking stories of young people on our doorsteps. As a Badley first, we also had five student-led sessions, on subjects as diverse as the Ebola crisis and the ethics of meat-eating.
One of the workshops over the weekend included a Communications Hub, which directed students to go out and capture as much coverage of different projects and workshops as possible, by filming interviews, taking photos and writing blogs.
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.