First Give charity final 2018

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By Beatrice Bonsey, Block 4

Just before half term, five Block 4 groups gave presentations for the First Give charity final with the aim of winning £1,000 for their charity of choice.

The team representing Catalyst went first and showed us a unique video with interviews with people speaking on behalf of those helped by the charity. Next was the team representing Stone Pillow who managed to raise money with a charity bake sale. They made two very inventive videos, one showing facts on homelessness while the other was a motion picture showing that it could be you on the streets. After that, it was our charity, Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association; we showed a video about a child with Down Syndrome finding the charity online and his life improving greatly. We then spoke about how much we had raised and how much this charity has helped families and children with Down Syndrome. After us, it was Jigsaw Trust, who told us about how much the charity does, how it is improving the lives of those with autism and how it is unique by using old planes to help children get over their fear of flying. Finally, the Salvation Army team told us statistics about homelessness and showed a short interview with a person saying how the charity helped him and others. They also told us how they were going to fundraise by one member of the team running two peaks in the Lake District.

The judges then went off to make a decision: they announced Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association the winner!  The £1000 prize money can be spent funding 13 pre-school sessions (1 years’ worth) to help children develop their learning milestones and help families with the children. The charity’s representative who had come to watch was over the moon to receive the money for her charity.

Block 4’s social action

By George Vaux, Block 4

First Give Final 2017Recently, Block 4 was tasked with selecting various charities for the First Give programme. First Give works in partnership with secondary schools and awards £1000 to each group that has the best presentation (left: 2017 finalists). Our groups are giving their presentations on Friday 9 February, just before Block 4 parents’ meetings. A large segment of the presentation is on how much money the group raises and how much awareness the group can raise for their chosen charity.

The group that I represent chose a charity called Jigsaw. Jigsaw is an independent day school based in Cranleigh for children on the autistic spectrum, and after visiting the school, it is apparent how much £1000 pounds could change the children’s lives. A large majority of the children cannot speak, so some of the award money, or any donated money, can go to speech and language therapy or for the more severely autistic children. They can buy more IPads that they can use to communicate, instead of using an outdated medium called a PEC board – which is very hard to understand. The money can help give the children experiences that they wouldn’t normally be able to have with their families and such a small amount of money can help with such a large amount of other things.

The school itself values individuality and quirkiness and doesn’t try to mould the children into something that they aren’t. Their highly professional care team is outstanding considering the small size of the school. They strive to make the children’s environment safe and caring, yet enjoyable. The school have an online donation page so please do donate to this great cause: https://www.justgiving.com/jigsaw

First Give: Students cash in for causes

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By Mary-Liz Houghton, Teacher of English and Classics

On the last day before half term, seven Block 4 teams took part in the final of the First Give Charity competition. The Programme encourages an entire year group of students to identify social issues in their area and engage with local charities that address them. The students then have the opportunity to compete for £1,500 of grant money spread between three charities. Teams do this by advocating for their charity in a competition-style ‘pitch’.

The scheme of work promotes many aspects of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education within secondary schools. The finalists, along with their whole year group, had spent time since September choosing a local charity to support, visiting them and then producing a group presentation including PowerPoint slides and, in many cases, their own film. There were heats to decide which teams’ presentations were the most powerful and then these were entered into the final.  The winning team, who were supporting Guildford-based charity, Disability Challengers, gave a very effective, moving and well researched presentation and thus won their charity £1000.

The two runner-up teams, supporting Stone Pillow (a charity supporting the homeless in Chichester) and The King’s Arms (which supports young people in Petersfield) each won £250 for their charities. All the teams, regardless of winning even the heat, have raised money this year for their chosen charity.

Lively performances at Cecilia Concert helps raise funds

Students involved in the concert band, orchestras and choirs, as well as the soloists, performed in the annual Cecilia Concert on 25 November.

The band, conducted by Keir Rowe, opened the evening with Johnny Warrington’s Original Dixieland Concerto and lively clarinet, saxophone and trumpet solos. The Orchestra, conducted by Nick Gleed, then performed the first movement of Schubert’s mysteriously unfinished Symphony No 8. The massive crescendos and subtle diminuendos added to the piece’s haunting melody. Shanise Liang was the truly inspiring piano soloist during the second movement of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Will Lithgow conducting the Chamber Orchestra.

After a lively interval with mince pies and the annual collection for Cecily’s Fund, clarinettist Finn Carter played an intimate jazz piece with Nick Gleed accompanying on piano. The evening ended with the combined choirs singing Nick’s harmonisation of I Will Survive, followed by Parry’s well know anthem, Blest Pair of Sirens and the eight-part choral work, I was Glad. Parents, students, staff and friends of Bedales who attended the concert all enjoyed it immensely.

By Tilly Driscoll Smith, 6.2

*The Cecilia Concert was set up in memory of Old Bedalian, Cecily Eastwood. More than £14,000 has already been raised in support of Cecily’s Fund, which aims to support and educate orphaned victims of aids in Zambia.

Students raise £100s for Ebola

Go Blue for Ebola

It was wonderful to see the whole Bedales community express their support for the Go Blue for Ebola initiative by wearing every conceivable shade last Wednesday. Organised by sixth formers’ Cameron Cross and Esme Allman, and OB Patrick Burrowes, the event saw students of all ages donning blue garments in support of the troubling epidemic in West Africa. On top of this, I was lucky enough to put into action a fantastic initiative by Digby Neave (6.2), in which students took part in a charity lottery. Their contribution shall go directly towards the fantastic work of MSF, the French medical charity supplying doctors working at the very heart of the humanitarian issues of the day; one lucky student will be awarded a cash prize to spend as they please. Donations are still being made through the Justgiving page from Bedalians and also other schools who have been motivated to join the cause. In all, an active week for global Bedales and more promising initiatives to come!

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By Jack Merrett, 6.2

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.

Opening of the Kadian Observatory

The Kadian Observatory was officially opened on Parents’ Day. Naveed Khalessi (Block 5), Peter Coates, Michael Truss and Thomas Harding spoke movingly about Kadian Harding, the inspiration in building the observatory, and the new opportunities for astronomy and Science exploration; Sam Harding cut the ribbon wrapped around the wonderful student-built structure. As the engraving states on the building’s brass plaque: “Kadian’s friendship was infinite like the universe.” The family has established the Kadian Observatory Fund in conjunction with the school to ensure the students’ work is maintained, treasured and utilised by present and future Bedalians. Over £17,000 has already been raised towards the target of £100,000. Find out more about the fund and how to support it, and discover more about Kadian. View photos of the opening. Read more.

The opening of the Kadian Observatory

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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.

Bedales Parents’ Association Silent Auction

The Silent Auction is a collection of 22 unique opportunities generously donated by the Bedales community. Items include a day’s fly fishing on the River Loddon, at the Duke of Wellington’s Estate at Stratfield Saye, an Arty Party for up to 14 children, a week in a beautiful apartment in Salcombe and ‘Glamping’ for four in the Forest of Dean. Bid online at http://interactivefundraising.co.uk/bedales/. Bidding will continue until midnight on Wednesday 2 July when the auction will close. All funds raised will go towards the new Art & Design building.

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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.