Our history

Bedales was founded by J H Badley in 1893 to be a humane alternative to the authoritarian regimes typical of late-Victorian public schools, read on to find out more about our history

1893

John Haden Badley, aged 28, opened Bedales School in a rented house at Lindford, near Haywards Heath.

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John Haden Badley, aged 28, opened Bedales School in a rented house at Lindford, near Haywards Heath.

Badley maintained that the main concern of education "must be with the development of creative intelligence, and with the intellectual and emotional tendencies, the formation of interests, purposes and ideals" (Bedales: A Pioneer School, JH Badley, p201).

1893

New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote.

1894

Coca Cola sold in bottles for the first time.

1894

The library bookplate of the bee and rose is created, and used on the 1897 prospectus.

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The library bookplate of the bee and rose is created, and used on the 1897 prospectus.

The brother of Mrs Badley, Edmund Garrett, 'designed the Bedales badge and the library bookplate' (Bedales: The First 100 Years, Roy Wake and Pennie Denton, p29).

1895

The National Trust is founded.

1895

W.E.B. du Bois (who, subsequently, sent his daughter to Bedales) becomes the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University 

1897

Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Amy Garrett Badley’s cousin, sworn in as President of the NUWSS

1897

Queen Victoria celebrates her Diamond Jubilee.

1898

The first girls are admitted to Bedales.

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The first girls are admitted to Bedales

"The year 1898 is an immensely important one in the history of Bedales for it was the year that the Badleys were, at last, able to realise their original plan that the school should be for girls as well as boys" (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p37). In his 1899 prospectus for the school, Badley wrote of his intention to provide 'an all-round education' for his pupils (Ibid., p37).

1899 - 1907

Main block built to design of E P Warren.

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Main block built to design of E P Warren.

The move to Steep in September 1900 was to a 'decidedly unfinished building'.  Basil Gimson's description of the first year there describes the Quad floor as 'still virgin soil, with no roof, spartan food and no heating'.  However the move was still welcome as there was more space, electricity and the 'surrounding countryside looked promising for nature study and exploration' (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p51-2).

'The time came when the original house on Bedales Hill was…no longer large enough for us.   An estate of 120 acres had been bought in the village of Steep, near Petersfield in Hampshire, with a house on it, big enough to accommodate fifty girls.  Here were built, to our own plans, school buildings sufficient for the housing of 80 boys and the teaching of the whole school (Bedales: A Pioneer School, J H Badley, p71). 

1900

Mr Badley christened 'the Chief' by one of his masters at school (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p30).

1900

Bedales moves to Steep, Petersfield.

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Bedales moves to Steep, Petersfield.

Badley wrote of the move: "On the day appointed in September some 70 boys and 7 girls arrived to take up their new quarters. Apart from the girls' house, which still keeps its former name Steephurst, little was ready for us. Workmen were still laying floors and putting in radiators, and in the Quadrangle, we had to make our way on planks across rubble-heaps. But...in spite of all difficulties the daily routine began, and we settle down to the work of organising our life in its new surroundings" (Memories and Reflections, J H Badley, p138-9).

1901

Death of Queen Victoria, aged 82 / Marconi transmits first wireless message.

1902

Preparatory School started at Hillcroft in Steep.

1903

Ford Motor Company sells its first car.

1903

Foxcot built for staff accommodation.

1904

A Head Girl was appointed for the first time, as well as a Head Boy.

1904-1905

Dunhurst built by Sir Percy Worthington; Dunhurst officially opened January 1905.

1904

Bedales Fire brigade introduced.

1906

SOS message becomes international distress call.

1906

The poet, Edward Thomas and his family moved to Steep so their children could attend Dunhurst (and later, Bedales).

 

1907

Millicent Garrett Fawcett, sworn in as President of the re-structured NUWSS

1907

Leslie Kent formed the 'Bedales Corps' which included drill, shooting practice and much 'zealous semaphore'. Around this time, Peter Eckersley, Thomas Eckersley and Robert Best founded ‘Wavy Lodge’, an experimental radio station.

1908

The tea-bag is introduced.

1908

Enlargement and extension of Steephurst and building of Steepcot for staff accommodation to designs by WF Unsworth.

1910

A copy of the 'The Times' cost 3d. 

1911

Amy Garrett Badley took part in the Suffragists’ boycott of the census. 

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Amy Garrett Badley took part in the Suffragists’ boycott of the census. Throughout their years in Steep the Badleys supported the cause of Women’s Suffrage, inviting speakers, holding fetes and allowing pupils to join marches in London.  Amy served on the committee of the Petersfield Society for Woman Suffrage and Equal Citizenship for many years.  Bedalians took this to heart, speaking in favour of women’s suffrage at university debates. Amy was the cousin of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Millicent Garrett Fawcett.

1911

New Hall (now Lupton Hall) designed by Ernest Gimson and built by Geoffrey Lupton.

1911

George V crowned in a ceremony which lasted 7 hours

1912

The Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage  

1913

First female magistrate, Emily Dawson, appointed.

1913

Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-health) Act, aka the Cat and Mouse Act allows temporary release from prison of hunger-striking suffragettes, (including OB Bertha Brewster and a an aunt of a Bedalian, Elizabeth Wilks nee Bennett).

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Letter to The Daily Telegraph 26th February 1913

Sir,
Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual.
1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.
2. Give women the vote.
Yours truly,
Bertha Brewster

Bertha was at Bedales 1900.2 – 1905.3

5th August 1914

Britain declares war on Germany.

1914-1918

285 Bedalians served in the armed forces (of many European countries) during the war; 30 received decorations; 66 students, two teaching staff and two domestic staff were killed; a further 19 men and 62 women were aiding the War Effort in civilian occupations (Ruth Whiting and Bedales Record 1919).

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285 Bedalians served in the armed forces (of many European countries) during the war; 30 received decorations; 66 students, two teaching staff and two domestic staff were killed; a further 19 men and 62 women were aiding the War Effort in civilian occupations (Ruth Whiting and Bedales Record 1919).

Badley wrote of those who had lost their lives in WW1 (Memories and Reflections, p153):

"Their memorial, we felt, should not merely be a tablet with its list of names but something closely and constantly affecting the life of the school, a building in daily use whose beauty should be an ever present influence. So came into being what is now the central feature of the school buildings, the Library."

On the same page Badley reflected:  "There had, of course, been critics of co-education who declared that boys brought up with girls, instead of in the hardening conditions of the Public School, must inevitably become soft and unable to hold their own in the rough and tumble of life. Here then [during the Great War] was the time that more than any should put this to the test; and by its outcome it was we, and not the critics, which were justified".

11th November 1918

At 11 o'clock, this morning came to an end the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind. I hope we may say that thus, this fateful morning, came to an end all wars.

The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, announcing the Armistice to the House of Commons
1918

First woman to be elected to the Commons: Constance Markievicz. However, as a member of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat.

1918

Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act is given Royal Assent. Property-owning women over the age of 30 can vote.

1919

Montessori classroom at Dunhurst. The Junior School received a visit from Maria Montessori herself.

1919

First woman to take her parliamentary seat: Nancy Astor, Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton

1920-1921

The Memorial Library, designed by Ernest Gimson, built by Geoffrey Lupton, supervised by Sidney Barnsley. Much of the furniture was made in the Froxfield workshop originally established by Geoffrey Lupton, and later taken over by Edward Barnsley. 

1922

First BBC broadcast made on 14th November.

1923

Education is… an unfolding of a life from within, … in response to external stimulus, and conditioned by that environment, both material and social, in which it grows. 

Bedales: A Pioneer School, JH Badley, p197
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J H Badley publishes Bedales: A Pioneer School, he wrote : "Education is… an unfolding of a life from within, … in response to external stimulus, and conditioned by that environment, both material and social, in which it grows" (p197)

He went on: "Reduced to their lowest terms, the needs of life are these: something to work at, someone to work with and something to live for."

"The function of the school is not to force upon children beliefs and enthusiasms ready made, but rather to supply the material and train the power to enable them to find their beliefs and ideals for themselves." (Ibid., p207)

1924

Badley's old friend Ramsay McDonald becomes the first labour Prime Minister. His two sons attended Bedales and Malcolm was Head Boy.

1924

Opening of Horsley Laboratories (built in memory of OBs, Siward and Oswald), constructed by the Bedales Estate staff. This was the first occasion when the school was put on show for parents; 120 came to this first Parents’ Day which ended with tea on Steephurst Lawn.

1926

General Strike

1928

Voting age for women in Britain reduced from 30 to 21. This was Mrs Badley's "great cause".

1929

Wall Street Crash

1930

Frozen peas on sale in U.S.A

1931

New York's Empire State Building opened

1932

The American, Forrest Mars, creates the Mars Bar

1933

England win the Ashes in the controversial Bodyline Test Series in Australia

1934

Female competitors are permitted to wear shorts at Wimbledon when Britons Fred Perry and Dorothy Round win the men's and women's singles.

1934

A group of boys who were about to leave Bedales formed the "East Hants Cricket Club" so that they could continue to play cricket for a week at the end of the Summer Term on the school ground. This club was renamed the Stoner Cricket Club. 

1935

Mr. Badley retires; Frederic Meier is appointed Head. 

1935

Penguin 6d paperbacks launched.

1936

Gatwick Airport opens.

1938

Much of Autumn Term 1938 was spent in preparations in case of war.  Trenches were dug just below the Church path, gas masks fitted for all and arrangements made to black out all the windows. 

1st Sept 1939

WWII begins with German invasion of Poland.

1939

Pan-Am launches first scheduled passenger flight across the Atlantic.

1940

Thames freezes for the first time since 1888.

1940

Pupils helped to cultivate vegetables in an attempt to offset food shortages and cleaned their own dormitories to alleviate pressure on the reduced domestic staff.

Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 122
1942

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief  (later OXFAM) founded.

1943

Bedales celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.  Celebrations were muted because of the war and Old Bedalians were welcome at the school, provided they brought their own butter!

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Bedales celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.  Celebrations were muted because of the war and Old Bedalians were welcome at the school, provided they brought their own butter!

"Throughout the war, the school farm had kept the school provided with milk, eggs and potatoes, and after the war a Governors’ Committee reached the conclusion that its main function was still to provide the school with food but also to maintain a permanent 'green belt' around the school" (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 136)

1943

Public recognition of Bedales music came in 1943 when the BBC broadcast "to the whole Empire" a recorded programme of the school’s music (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 124)

8th May 1945

Germany surrenders (VE Day) / 2 September, Japan surrenders (VJ  Day)

1946

UN holds its first session

1946

Freddy Meier retires, and Hector Jacks is appointed Head.

1948

Dunannie "a large rambling house” was bought to “get hold of its land for playing fields. Its gardens were sold off as building plots for private housing, and the money was used to finance the future development at Dunannie". 

Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 137
1948

NHS introduced

1949

NATO established

1950

"The Archers" first broadcast.

1951

Festival of Britain opens.

1952

Britain's first pop singles chart to be published.

1953

Queen Elizabeth II crowned / Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing conquer Everest.

1953

Dunannie opened in October, with Sophy Tatchell as Head.

1954

Roger Bannister runs the first sub-4 minute mile.

1955

Cardiff made capital of Wales / ITV first broadcast.

1956

Premium Bonds introduced.

1957

Mr. Badley returns to live at Bedales after the death of his wife.  The governors had a small house, Fairhaven, built for him. His appearances at Jaw, "seated in a specially comfortable arm chair in front of the hard benches could be very moving" (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 153)

1957

Women first admitted to House of Lords.

1958

I feel quite sure that the one thing that matters more than anything else is that we should preserve whatever gives children [a] sense of security and self-respect and self-confidence, which I think is what we are talking about when we say that Bedales is a 'happy school'.

Hector Jacks, Headmaster - The Educational Ideals & Aims of Bedales
1958

CND formed / "Blue Peter" first broadcast / First motorway opened.

1960

Doc Marten boots launched / JFK elected US President / RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) formed.

1961

Beatles made first appearance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

1962

Private Eye first published; Amnesty International created.

1962

Hector Jacks retires as Headmaster, and hands over to Tim Slack. 

1963

JFK assassinated.

1963

There is more than one way to encounter spiritual and ethical values and religious faith at Bedales. Head Girl Seona Ford (nee Denholm) recalls the school prayer from 1963, written by Oz Boz (Oswald Powell, Second Master), which she remembers 45+ years later. 

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There is more than one way to encounter spiritual and ethical values and religious faith at Bedales. Head Girl Seona Ford (nee Denholm) recalls the school prayer from 1963, written by Oz Boz (Oswald Powell, Second Master), which she remembers 45+ years later. 

School prayer (1963)

May this day be to us, and all our fellow men

As a resting-place on the mountain of life

That we may look back on the path we have come

and onward to the summit

Whither our way lies.

May we go forward with faith, hope and love

More clearly resolved in what we mean to do

Throughout the days to come.

1964

Simon Lecture Theatre (SLT) opened.

Two chemistry labs and the SLT, partly funded from the generosity of Mrs Winifred Simon (nee Levy, OB) in memory of her husband, Eric. Bedales Chronicle claimed science “is becoming the subject of the future at Bedales.” (Bedales School: The First 100 Years, p 160) 

1964

Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa.

1965

Judge Elizabeth Lane becomes the nation’s first female high court judge.

1965

Mr Badley celebrated his 100th birthday.

1966

The inaugural Eckersley lecture, endowed in memory of Thomas and Peter Eckersley, took place at Bedales in July 1966.

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The inaugural Eckersley lecture, endowed in memory of Thomas and Peter Eckersley, took place at Bedales in July 1966.

The first Eckersley lecturer was Nobel Laureate Sir Lawrence Bragg who spoke about his work on the use of X rays in structure determination. Bragg’s team at Cambridge, including Watson, Crick and the 1994 lecturer Max Perutz, used the X Ray technique to probe those molecules at the very heart of life itself.

1966

England won football World Cup.

6 March 1967

Mr Badley died.

1967

QE2 launched in same year as BBC Radio 1 began broadcasting.

1967

A new feature of outdoor activities was the completion of a heating system for the swimming pool. This allowed swimming to continue well into October this year. 

Bedales School Headmasters’ Report 1969-70, Timothy W Slack
1968

Cecil Day Lewis became Poet Laureate, and the Booker Prize established.

1968

New classroom blocks opened to accommodate increase in size of school from two to three sets per year, and the increased intake at 16+. 

1969

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

1969

IBM introduced the floppy disc.

1971

Full decimalisation introduced. 

1972

First home video recorders on sale.

1973

Britain joins EEC.

1973

First Open University Degree awarded.

1974

First UK McDonalds opens.

1974

Patrick Nobes takes over from Tim Slack as Head. Tim Slack stood in Petersfield for the Liberal party in both 1974 elections; despite gaining the largest increase in Liberal votes in any constituency in the country, he did not gain enough votes to unseat Joan Quennell OB (Conservative) in February, or prevent the arrival of Michael Mates in October.

1975

Memorable performances of Britten's War Requiem were given in Winchester Cathedral by the orchestras and choruses of Bedales and Winchester College students, supplemented by players from the Bournemouth Sinfonietta.

1975

First home computer goes on sale.

1976

Appointment of John Rogers to revitalise the farm and estate work, largely as a result of initiatives by senior students.

1976

National Theatre opens.

1977

Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon.

1978-9

Winter of Discontent.

1979

Margaret Thatcher becomes first female British Prime Minister.

1980

Solidarity formed in Poland.

1981

Euan MacAlpine takes over from Patrick Nobes as Head.

1981

First IBM PC goes on sale.

1981

Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.

1982

CD players go on sale.

1982

Channel 4 launched.

1984-1985

Miners’ Strike.

1984

The Bonhams Barn, now more usually referred to as the Bakehouse, was reconstructed in the Barnyard in 1984-5.

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The Bonhams Barn, now more usually referred to as the Bakehouse, was reconstructed in the Barnyard in 1984-5.

 “Students who had been involved in the reconstruction of the Sotherington Barn in their first year in the school, and were now in the Sixth Form, took charge of the project to build the bakehouse, which was completed with very little professional help. Amongst those sixth formers were John and Henry Russell and it was fitting that just over a decade later, by now making timber frame buildings for a living, they returned to work on the oak timbers for the Olivier Theatre.  John and Henry initiated many Bedalians of the 1990s into mortise cutting and peg shaving.” (Graham Banks, Head of English, 2009)

1985

The now well-established tradition of Whole School Efforts began, with the creation of the pond by the Sotherington Barn. 

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The now well-established tradition of Whole School Efforts began, with the creation of the pond by the Sotherington Barn. 

“Students and teachers worked together in gangs of about 50 lining a large pit with wet clay, often finishing their stint by throwing quantities of mud at each other.  Huge amounts of fun were had whilst achieving a good purpose, the benefits of which have been enjoyed by Bedalians and wildlife ever since. Whole School Efforts represent the Bedalian traditions and the school's motto, Work of Each for Weal of All, at their very best.  Subsequent efforts have involved the creation of paths, the construction of play areas for Dunannie, landscaping the Olivier Theatre, creating a new entrance for Steephurst Boarding House and general improvement of derilect areas of the school. More recently they have developed into  'Badley Weekends', celebrating the principles of the founder with craft works, debates and festivities added to the mix.” (Dennis Archer, Alumni Officer, 2009)

1985

Microsoft release Windows.

1988

GCSE exams introduced.

1988

George Bush (Senior) elected US President.

1989

Berlin Wall comes down.

1990

Nelson Mandela freed.

1991

One of the innovations of the early nineties was extension lessons in years 10 and 11, where students would take extra, and demanding, courses in subjects they enjoyed which had no bearing on their GCSE qualifications.

1992

Ian Newton takes over from Euan MacAlpine as Head.

1992

Church of England votes for ordination of women.

1992

After several dispiriting offerings from architects for a design for a new boys’ boarding house, Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith was commissioned. 

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After several dispiriting offerings from architects for a design for a new boys’ boarding house, Sir Colin Stansfield-Smith was commissioned. 

“Whilst previous bidders had wanted to flatten the site and build a barracks, Sir Colin’s approach was different. In his first walk over what was the a barren sloping wasteland he imagined a layered courtyard with a cloister, two storeys on the higher western side and three on the eastern with the cloister halfway between floors. This concept, which is pretty much how the building ended up, was literally sketched on the back of an envelope during his first visit.” (Graham Banks, Head of English, 2009)

1993

British and Irish Prime Ministers sign Northern Ireland peace deal.

1993

Centenary Concerts at Bedales and St John’s, Smith Square. Commissioned opera The Happy Prince by Alexandra Harwood OB was performed by student soloists, choir and orchestra. Also taking part in the concerts were Old Bedalian professional musicians Martino Tirimo pianist, Edward Clarkson violinist, Damaris Wollen clarinettist, and Penelope Lynex cellist.

1994

Alison Willcocks, Deputy Head, becomes the first woman to be appointed Head when Ian Newton leaves.

1994

Brian Lara scores 501 runs in a First Class innings – a cricketing record.

1996

Restored Globe Theatre opens.

1997

Bedales Olivier Theatre opened in May by Robert Powell. The school commissioned the composer William Todd to write In Praise of Trees, a setting for choir and chamber ensemble of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, who had visited Bedales in 1920.

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Bedales Olivier Theatre opened in May by Robert Powell. The school commissioned the composer William Todd to write In Praise of Trees, a setting for choir and chamber ensemble of a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, who had visited Bedales in 1920.

“Drama, with its distinguished history at Bedales, had secured a proper rehearsal and performance space at last. Large numbers of generous donors ‘secured a seat’ and ‘bought a beam’ in fund-raising efforts for the green-oak timber-framed building, designed by architects Feilden Clegg and Roderick James. The specifications for the intimate auditorium and highly flexible stage were devised in close consultation with the school’s first Head of Drama, Mike Morrison. The construction process was led by Paul Buxey, the school’s Estate Manager. Students and staff were able to play a part by cutting some of the joints for the frame and making pegs to pull and lock the joints together. They were supervised by Henry and John Russell, who had worked as students on the reconstruction of the Outdoor Work barns, and returned for the theatre project as professional frame-builders. The opening of the theatre made it possible for the school to develop a full public programme of arts events, embracing the Quad, the Gallery and the new Theatre. Free exhibitions, school productions and concerts were now promoted in a termly brochure alongside a diverse and ambitious programme of visiting professional performances, including mid-scale touring theatre, jazz, classical recitals, dance and poetry readings.” (John Barker, Arts Programme Coordinator, 2009)

1997

Tony Blair leads Labour Party to a landslide General Election victory.

1999

Euro launched.

1999

Concert to celebrate 100 years of co-education at Bedales. Performance of Verdi’s Requiem in Guildford Cathedral with the school choir and orchestra and over 40 Old Bedalian musicians - amateur and professional.

2000

Tate Modern Gallery opened.

11th September 2001

September 11 terrorist attacks in United States

2001

Labour is re-elected with a second successive landslide victory.

2001

Keith Budge takes up post of Headmaster in 2001 (appointed, 2000). An Oxford rugby blue, he was previously Head of Loretto and a Housemaster at Marlborough. 

2002

Main drama production was The Mysteries with different scenes undertaken by various school departments.

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Main drama production was The Mysteries with different scenes undertaken by various school departments.

“In medieval times the different scenes of the cycle would have been undertaken by different guilds of artisans, so head of drama, Al Muir, farmed out different scenes to various school departments.  Outdoor Work staged the Noah play, and built an ark for it.  The first eleven football team (plus a couple of substitutes presumably) memorably staged the Last Supper as a tableau of a renaissance painting”. (Graham Banks, Head of English, 2009)

2002

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother died aged 101.

2002

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Golden Jubilee.

2003

Curriculum review set up and chaired by Headmaster, Keith Budge.

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Curriculum review set up and chaired by Headmaster, Keith Budge.

“The Curriculum Review brief was to look at the Block 4 and 5 curriculum, with a view to avoiding the prescriptive, repetitive and simplistic nature of much of GCSE work.  It was clear that a core of English language, maths and science would need to remain, examined through the national system.  What should we do beyond that?” (Philip Young, Director of Studies, 2009)

2004

10 new countries join the European Union, bringing its membership to 25.

2005

July London tube and bus bombings

2005

Opening ceremony of the Orchard Building as the new administration and teaching space. Bards of Passion and of Mirth was composed by Nicholas Gleed, Director of Music, for the occasion and performed by the chamber choir and orchestra.

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Opening ceremony of the Orchard Building as the new administration and teaching space. Bards of Passion and of Mirth was composed by Nicholas Gleed, Director of Music, for the occasion and performed by the chamber choir and orchestra.

“Winner of a national architectural RIBA design award, the collaborative nature of the Orchard Building project resulted in an outstanding school building with a design that stimulates education. The new development consists of two south-facing, three-storey blocks: teaching to the east and administration to the west.  They are linked by a two-storey social and circulation space, topped by a roof terrace, that runs north-south from the main reception area.  In all there are approximately 50 rooms.” (Mark Taylor, Bursar, 2009).

2005

England regain the Ashes from Australia.

2006

Twitter social media platform founded.

2006

Bedales Assessed Courses are introduced as a more interesting and challenging alternative to some of the GCSEs offered. 

2008

The US elects its first black President of the United States, Barak Obama.

2008

Boris Johnson elected London Mayor.

2009

Carol Ann Duffy is named the first woman poet laureate.

2010

David Cameron become Prime Minister.

2011

The first beneficiary of the John Badley Foundation (JBF) joins Bedales on a fully funded bursary. The JBF is founded to provide transformational opportunities for young people to attend Dunhurst or Bedales who would not otherwise have been able to consider an independent school education.

2012

Jay Green, then Head of Drama at Bedales launches the Petersfield Shakespeare Festival. The first outdoor productions of the festival, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night,  took place adjacent to the Sotherington Barn.

2013

The Sam Banks Pavilion, in memory of OB Sam Banks, opened. Students and Old Bedalians built the structure with support by specialists.

2013

Dr Shahidul Alam of Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography delivers the first Global Awareness Lecture, now established as an annual event in the school’s calendar.

2013

Pope Benedict XVI resigns and Pope Francis becomes Pope.

2014

Dunannie perform an outstanding production of The Mousehole Cat.

2014

The Kadian Observatory, in memory of OB Kadian Harding, opened. The Observatory formed part of students' BAC Outdoor Work coursework. The structure was completed in April by a group of five students with the help of a few of their friends in tribute to Kadian, and with the support of Peter Coates (then Head of Outdoor Work).

2015

Four curly-tailed Oxford Sandy and Black piglets join the Bedales family.

2016

The new Art & Design Building opened.

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The new Art & Design Building opened.

“September 2016 will hold its place in the school’s history because of the new Art & Design building coming into use.  Sometimes buildings work best in the architect’s imagination or even as impressive artefacts from the outside.  The real test comes when people start to work in the building: do they love being there?  Is it an inspiring place to be?  In this case feedback has been very positive indeed.  Given that all our (permanent) buildings should be physical embodiments of the school’s ethos, I think it meets the test well. Of course, this new creative hub of the school just would not have been possible to build without philanthropic support from the Bedales community for which we are immensely grateful” (Keith Budge, End of Term Letter, Autumn 2016)

2016

Donald Trump is elected President of the United States.

2016

Dunhurst is awarded a level 5 Royal Horticultural Society gardening award in recognition of its programme of horticulture, conservation and outdoor crafts.

2016

Bedales holds a conference, ‘Liberating Leaders’ for teachers and students in partnership with King Edward VI School (Bury St Edmunds) and the Times Educational Supplement. Speakers include the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, former minister of state for schools Lord Jim Knight and Professor Barbara Oakley of Oakland University, US.

2016

Brexit referendum.

2017

Magnus Bashaarat is appointed to take over as Headmaster when Keith Budge finishes in summer 2018 after 17 years.

For more information 

Or to submit material for the timeline, please contact archive@bedales.org.uk