John Badley, one of the founding leaders of the school, wrote in his ‘Memories and Reflections’ (1955): ‘education has a twofold purpose: it can be thought of as directed to the personal development of the individual, or to their contribution to the community of which they are a member.’ Badley’s ideals are as important to us today as they were when the school was set up in 1893, reminding us that Bedales is a school built on profoundly communitarian principles. In keeping with the school motto, the individual work of students or staff must be taken in the context of their impact on ‘all’, whether that be fellow students, the local community, the environment or the world. We aim to be true to the school’s traditions while ensuring they remain pertinent for the next decade.
Bedales is a school with a pioneering educational tradition. This strategy aims to ensure that we continue to lead the way for other schools nationally and internationally. At the heart of our approach is the principal that an education must be holistic and creative: that we should ensure young people learn to develop their ‘head’, their ‘hand’ and their ‘heart’. We believe that the development of self is as important as skills and knowledge. The freedoms we enjoy as an independent school, our charity’s mission and the urgent and ongoing need for educational reform drive us to challenge norms and strive to provide an exceptional experience for all the young people in our care. We are aware of our privilege and believe in using that responsibly for the wider community, to contribute actively to educational reform and improvement.
Honouring the boldness of our founders, we welcome this opportunity to renew our core purpose and philosophies, reaffirm our commitment to excellence in teaching and build upon our distinctiveness. This will ensure Bedales’ relevance for our students and leadership within the educational community for the next generation.