Fun, stimulation and learning for Bedales students…in the holidays
Students from Bedales School enjoyed learning in new and stimulating environments over the recent Easter break. The 6.2 (Upper Sixth) historians visited Moscow and St Petersburg and the junior classicists visited Rome and the Bay of Naples, while others learnt to dive in the Red Sea, speak French in Nice, and write creatively at the Arvon centre in Devon.
The History Department’s visit began in Moscow and included Red Square and access to the inner sanctum of The Kremlin and the fabulous gilded state rooms of The Grand Kremlin Palace. Lenin’s tomb, The Tretyakov Gallery, The Russian Circus and the Armoury with Tsarist Relics and Fabergé Eggs made the Moscow section of the tour very full. An overnight sleeper then swept the students to St. Petersburg where their tour included The Hermitage and an evening of Russian folk music, as well as a visit to Kirov’s apartment.
Classicists from Blocks 2 and 3 (Years 8 and 9) enjoyed a tour of Rome and the Bay of Naples packed with amazing experiences: coin tossing at the majestic Trevi Fountain; glimpsing the Pope in Vatican City; the Villa Oplontis; the ascent to the reassuringly smoke-free Mount Vesuvius and its breathtaking views; the pungent smell of Solfatara; ancient Herculaneum, the life of the people of Pompeii so clearly evident in the remains and artefacts; the villa of Tiberius and the spectacular Island of Capri; visiting Santa Maria Maggiore church and the Colosseum; and the final evening where they experienced the Good Friday procession. Despite being just a taste of the culture of modern Italy founded by the ancient world, this incredible trip was driven by the love and enthusiasm of Latin, Greek and the Classical civilizations.
14 of the more adventurous students spent six days on board MV Whirlwind diving in the Red Sea. During the week the confidence of these students increased as they were exposed to wrecks, stunning reefs, super fast drift dives, night dives, jumping off the back of the boat and diving from RIBs.
Meanwhile, 23 French students from Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11) visited Nice where, in contrast to England, the weather was hot and sunny! The students stayed with host families to help develop their French, and participated in daily lessons and excursions. Visits included The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, a tour of “la vieille ville”, and a half-day trip to Monaco.
Back in England, 14 students took the long journey to the Arvon centre in Devon for a week’s creative writing course where they participated in creative writing workshops in the morning, tutorials in the afternoon and poetry readings in the evening. Hannah Pool, a journalist for The Guardian, led workshops in prose writing, journalism and memoir; Caroline Bird, a mesmerizingly talented and inspirational poet led the poetry activities; and The Times journalist, Sathnam Sangheram answered questions about how he wrote his first novel, and his experiences of it being adapted into a BBC film.
Keith Budge, Headmaster Bedales Schools, commented:
“Students benefit greatly from the willingness of teachers to run visits that extend and stimulate what has been learnt at school. It is always heartening to have a series of conversations with colleagues and students after such visits which reflect the fun, stimulation and learning of these ventures with the sense they always bring of how much there is to learn about new places and people.”
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