Trump and Brexit makes for lively discussion with US students


By Jonathan Selby, Head of Government & Politics

On Thursday, 23 February, Global Awareness, Politics and Economics students enjoyed a live discussion with Lake Forest Academy in Illinois.

This was the brainchild of Head of Global Awareness, Annabel Smith and marks a ‘first’ for Bedales. It was fascinating discussing Trump and Brexit while live with the American Politics students and gave interesting insights into Trump and American Politics; for instance the students did not seem worried by the fact that Trump got three million fewer votes than Clinton, explaining that this ensured that low density population rural states were not eclipsed by high density liberal cities.

The American students were interested in how we viewed Brexit. We had our Brexit-favouring expert George McMenemy to offer a considered reflection, ably assisted in the discussion by Kirstine Gernaa-Knudsen and Tom Reynolds. Lake Forest were interested in the link between Brexit and Nationalism and the whole question of immigration where we found links with America and much to discuss.

This was a distinctly different and refreshing lesson and we hope to repeat the exercise form time to time. Thanks to Lewis and Bedales ICT for setting up the technology and especially to Annabel for pursuing her contact at Lake Forest to such a fruitful end.

Hands-on on Putney School exchange

cow shed

Over half term, twelve Bedalians in Block 4 travelled to the Putney School in Vermont. We soon realised that the school has an ethos that was similar or maybe even more hands-on and progressive than our own. This included the broad Outdoor Work programme in which all students took part. This most notably consisted of us getting up early in the morning and working in the cow barn before breakfast, as well as helping to clear the tables and washing up after each meal. While we were there we took part in lessons, which had smaller class sizes which meant that they were more intensive and gave us more contact time with the teachers. Classes finished at half past two and the majority of each afternoon was spent doing activities, which included Jazz, Ballet, and survival skills. The experience was undoubtedly beneficial to us as we begin to relay the ideas we have and clarify what it means for each of us to be Bedalian.

By Will Morrison, Michael Rice and Richie Sweet, Block 4

straw cow shed Rachel feeding calf

shed Oli feeding calf

feeding calves mucking out 2

Sunny Putney, Vermont

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.