Groton exchange programme

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Over the course of a month, in the first half of this term, two 6.1 Bedalians crossed the Atlantic to spend 4 weeks at Groton School, Massachusetts.  Being on the first leg of this incredible exchange programme, there was a certain excitement of what the trip entailed.

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The exchange meant that whilst Bella and I were away, two Grotonians would take our place at Bedales. We met Abbey and Christine (two Groton 4th formers) briefly before we left, trading useful words of advice and typical school do’s and don’ts.

Bedales and Groton are alike, in that they are both mixed, co-educational boarding schools. They also both carry similar ethoses, and each work to achieve comparable goals. Like Bedales, Groton does not have a specific school uniform, but an informal ‘dress code’.

Whilst staying in America, we attended lessons, played in sports teams, and participated in various musical ensembles. However, whilst also maintaining work towards our Bedales courses. With four intense 2 hour sport training sessions a week, and at least 2 matches, we were able to form great friendships with other students in our teams. Also, the fact that musical ensembles practised together for 4 periods (1hr-1.5hrs) weekly, the orchestra’s progress made over our 4 week stay was incredible.

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We were particularly lucky to visit Massachusetts at such a beautiful time of year. Groton’s stunning campus boasted a river and boathouse, together with the charm and magic of the New England fall.

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Groton is a member of the ‘Independent School League’, and is widely recognised as one of the most selective, elite, exclusive boarding schools in New England. It was therefore an absolute privilege for us to be kindly welcomed and accepted into this enriched community. I can unquestionably say that this inspiring and educational experience will stay with me for years to come.

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By Emma Duncan, 6.1


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.

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