Spring 2019 Admissions Bulletin

Welcome to this admissions bulletin for parents with children joining the Bedales Schools or those that have expressed an interest in the schools. It brings a selection of news, activities, events and articles written by staff and pupils as well as key dates for open days, taster days and assessments. 

For more information about joining Bedales, Dunhurst and Dunannie, and to contact the Admissions team, please click here.

Key Admissions dates

Key dates are now fixed for admissions to Bedales in 2020 and 2021. Please get in touch to take forward your application.

  • Sixth Form assessments (entry 2020): Saturday 19 October 2019
  • Sixth Form scholarships (entry 2020): Saturday 9 November 2019
  • Residential assessments for 10+ and 11+ (entry 2020), 13+ (entry 2021): 2-4 January 2020
  • Music and Art scholarship assessments for 13+ (entry 2021): Monday 27 January 2020
  • Academic scholarship assessments for 13+ (entry 2021): Wednesday 18 March 2020
Coming Up
Open Days
  • Saturday 11 May 2019 - Bedales Open Morning, 10am
  • Saturday 18 May 2019 - Dunhurst (Prep) Open Morning, 10.45am
  • Saturday 14 September 2019 - Dunhurst (Prep) Open Morning, 10.45am
  • Saturday 21 September 2019 - Sixth Form Open Morning, 10am
Dunannie Family Morning - 11 May

On Saturday 11 May, 10.30am-12.30pm, Dunannie is hosting a Family Morning. Set within the Orchard, there will be a range of outdoor activities for children and adults alike – Scavenger Hunts, Trim Trail Challenges, Miniature Worlds and a not-to-be-missed tractor ride around the grounds. We will also have lambs and sheep for the children to meet. We are holding this event to have some fun and to nurture the sense of community at Dunannie, and we would also like to welcome any prospective families to come and see the school and its facilities at leisure, and to meet staff and pupils from Bedales Schools. You can find out more and book a place here.

To find out more about attending an Open Morning, and to register, click here.

Next Taster Day - 15 May

We have one more Taster Day taking place this academic year on Wednesday 15 May: Classics Taster Day (for Year 6 pupils). Reserve a space here.

On 11 March, Dunhurst welcomed 13 Year 5 pupils to our creative Storyteller Taster Day. Our Taster Days are always fun and are designed to give children an experience of the teaching at Dunhurst. They also provide an excellent opportunity for children to meet others who are looking to apply to Dunhurst. The children settle in quickly, fully absorbed in activities and by the end of the day they feel like current Dunhurst pupils and not first-time visitors.

The Storyteller day involved a session with a professional storyteller and the children used the animal themes from the story to create vivid animal masks in the Art department. Later the children brought these masks to life in a Theatre Tales drama session. A superb day and the children took home their wonderful mask creations.

Other Bedales Events

For the full programme of exhibitions, productions and concerts, and to book, please visit Bedales Events.

Dog Show and Fête - 11 May

The Dog Show and Fête returns to Bedales on Saturday 11 May 2019 in aid of the John Badley Foundation. For humans of all ages and dogs (not compulsory!) – everyone is welcome to join us for an afternoon of family fun with food, stalls and activities. No need to book - £2 entry per adult and £2 to enter a dog class. Parking at Dunhurst entrance on Alton Road, GU32 2DR. Doors open at 12.30pm and the event ends at 4.00pm. For more information please see here.

Bedales news
Oscar Wilde experience for 6.1 English students

Following February’s John Keats experience day for 6.2 students, it was the turn of 6.1 English Literature students to be transported back in time as they marked the end of their study of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest by taking part in an experience day designed to cement their understanding of the play. One of Wilde’s most renowned comedies, The Importance of Being Earnest tells the story of two bachelors and friends, John ‘Jack’ Worthing and Algernon ‘Algy’ Moncrieff, who create alter egos named Ernest to escape their everyday lives and win the hearts of two women who claim they are only able to love men called Ernest. As the play progresses and the pair struggle to keep up with their yarns, they become embroiled in a tale of duplicity that ridicules the sensibilities of the Victorian era in which it is set. Read more...

Bedales and Bohunt come together for 'Question Time' style event with Damian Hinds MP

Damian Hinds, East Hampshire MP and Secretary of State for Education, participated in a high-level ‘Question Time’-style panel discussion on 1 February 2019, which gave over 100 sixth form students from the local area the opportunity to engage on topics involving education and their local area. The Education in an Uncertain World panel discussion was based on the popular ‘Question Time’ format. It was hosted by Bohunt Sixth Form, which is part of Bohunt Education Trust (BET), in conjunction with Bedales School as part of an ongoing education collaboration. The afternoon was attended by over 120 Politics, Economics and History sixth form students from Bedales, Bohunt and Churcher’s College.  Read more...

Rock Show raises over £6k for the John Badley Foundation

By Neil Hornsby, Head of Contemporary Music

Twelve months ago, after the congratulations had died down following a hugely successful Bedales Rock Show 2018, the most common phrases I heard included “What are you going to do next year, with so many amazing 6.2s leaving?” and “The Rock Show will never be the same again!” True, 20 of last year’s 30 songs were sung by 6.2s, and after hearing these comments so frequently, I started to feel a little worried myself. However, I was aware that a backbone of very promising talent remained at Bedales, so we set out on the herculean journey towards the Rock Show 2019. I challenged Block 4 students to play like sixth formers, sixth formers to perform like professionals and we all worked harder than ever before to see if we could come close to matching our 2018 effort. I still can’t believe how spectacularly our amazing group of students pulled off such a successful show.  Read more and click here to see a captivating performance of Sarah McLachlan’s ‘Angel’ by one of our Block 4 (Year 10) students.

Digital Game Design course to launch September 2019

By Ed Mason, Deputy Head (Staff), Head of Digital Learning

It seems that barely a day goes by without a public plea from business, government and educationalists for greater emphasis on coding, computing and future jobs, while others warn of the significant risks of the fourth industrial revolution to jobs, health and society. The development of artificial intelligence, machine learning and ever greater automation, as well as increased global competition as barriers to entry diminish in an increasingly borderless online world, makes this a hugely dynamic and rapidly changing arena. A growing part of this sector is the Games industry: Newzoo Analytics estimates that there are currently 2.3 billion gamers across the world who will spend $137.9 billion this year. The UK is one of the leaders in computer game design, with significant software houses as well as 450 courses currently available at universities in the UK, ranging from specialisms in programming, concept art and interactive audio, to degrees studying the industry. In September 2019, a new Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) in Digital Game Design is being introduced to inspire the next generation of programmers and designers.  Read more and also find information about our new A Level in Digital Photography here.

Pi Day and Intermediate Maths Challenge

By Martin Hanak, Head of Mathematics

The Maths Department celebrated Pi Day in style on 14 March. Activities included making our own Pi Day bunting, displaying the first 100 digits of Pi, and exploring convergent series resulting in Pi. Some of our Block 4 students tried to turn the Nilakantha series into a computer programme for calculating Pi but came to realise the limitations of computing with very small decimals. Eben Macdonald (Block 3, pictured) was the proud winner of a Pi-themed competition, winning a homemade apple pie. Meanwhile, Bedales students who took part in the Intermediate Maths Challenge in February received their results. Block 3 students achieved one silver and three bronze certificates; Block 4 students picked up one gold, two silver and five bronze certificates; and Block 5 students achieved six gold, nine silver and three bronze certificates. Well done to Raef Macnaghten (Block 4), Maggie Luo and Cameron Dejahang (Block 5), who qualified for the next round of the competition, the European Kangaroo, which took place on 21 March.

School Music Day

By Mary Wang, 6.1

On 11 February, the musicians at Bedales helped with the first Schools Music Day and enjoyed a busy day with pupils from Bohunt, The Petersfield School, Prebendal and Dorset House. The day started with Doug McIlwraith leading the pupils doing a series of fun vocal exercises, followed by learning When the Saints Go Marchin’ In with Giacomo Pozzuto. Afterwards, we split into sections and rehearsed orchestral pieces. Jonny, Sampson and I had a great time teaching the pupils how to play percussion instruments. Although it was their first time trying out these instruments, they progressed quickly and performed McIlwRave, a piece composed by Doug, with the orchestra in front of the parents at the end of the day.

The pupils had a samba session with Simon after lunch, experimenting with different instruments and complex rhythm patterns. Later, the pupils listened to a few songs performed by the musicians involved in this year’s Rock Show. Claude also played one of Schubert’s beautiful Impromptus, which the pupils enjoyed a lot as well. After a final rehearsal, the orchestra was ready for a presentation to the parents. Even though there was not a lot of time for them to practice, the pupils still did an outstanding job, and the parents were very impressed.

Praise for Bedales teacher's book

A book co-written by Bedales Director of Learning and Innovation Alistair McConville has been named as one of the top 10 education books of 2018. Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens by Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski with Alistair McConville was included in a list of last year’s top books on education as selected by TES editor Ann Mroz. The book, which is written for children, gives an accessible account of how our brains work along with activities that can be put into practice immediately. TES describes the book as “a landmark”, noting that it goes beyond traditional teacher injunctions to communicate directly with the pupil.  Read more...

Encouraging lifelong interest in sport

By Spencer Leach, Director of Sport

In 2017 a survey by Women in Sport found that only 56% of girls in secondary school enjoyed participating in sport compared with 71% of boys, and only 45% of girls saw the relevance of PE to their lives against 60% of boys. The gender split is worrying, but in truth none of these figures are good enough – at Bedales, we want all students to leave the school having enjoyed sport in some way, and minded to continue some kind of participation in their adult lives. Something I think we’ve done particularly well at Bedales is to help students who have arrived feeling that sport isn’t for them to find something they enjoy. No matter the student, they will always get a warm reception from us, and we will try to find something for them that is suited to their abilities and preferences – for various reasons.  Read more...

Dunhurst news
Dunhurst take part in the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Pupils at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst had the opportunity to get closer to nature last week, as they took part in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Schools’ Birdwatch for a fourth consecutive year.

For the entire week commencing 28 January, pupils spent their Outdoor Work Lessons learning about birds, birdwatching around the Bedales estate, making bird feeders and studying the action from cameras installed in the school’s bird boxes.

Pupils at Dunhurst took part in the ‘official’ birdwatch on Friday 1 February and confirmed sightings of blackbirds, blue tits, coal tits, dunnocks, great spotted woodpeckers, great tits, house sparrows, long tailed tits, robins and woodpigeons.

Head of Outdoor Work Ryan Walsh said that Dunhurst’s outdoor offering provides pupils with an extensive opportunity to explore nature.  “The Big Schools’ Birdwatch is a popular national event with lots of schools taking part, but at Dunhurst we’re fortunate enough to be able to dedicate a full week of lessons to it in Outdoor Work, with every pupil in school making a bird feeder and taking part in bird-related activities. It was great to see every pupil involved in helping birds through the tough winter months and they were all very enthusiastic about supporting the RSPB.”

Dunhurst shortlisted for Global Canvas Art Competition

The artistic efforts of a group of pupils at Bedales Prep, Dunhurst, earned the school a place in the final of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition 2019.

Tasked with producing an imaginative and creative entry that represented this year’s theme – ‘Habitats of the World’ – Group 3 (Year 6) pupils at the school worked together to create an art installation focusing on the plight of the orang-utan in Sumatra and Borneo due to deforestation. Head of Dunhurst Colin Baty said: “In a year when the Global Canvas Children’s Art Competition has received a record number of entries, Dunhurst’s achievement is testament to the hard work and dedication of both pupils and staff at the school.”

In a notably successful week for Dunhurst, it was also revealed that pupils Sophie Spencer and Izzy Russell had been selected as winners of the University of Cambridge’s Make Your Myth Competition 2018. Dunhurst’s Head of Art and Design, Susan McFarlane, added: “This is wonderful news for our school. Art is a subject open to all. Whether classics or global issues, pupils at Dunhurst are encouraged to explore cross-curricular themes in Art and Design as creatively and imaginatively as possible. It’s such a wonderful achievement for pupils to be recognised for their hard work and talents.”

Raising funds for international education charity

Runners at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst who took part in the Great South Run last October presented Cecily’s Fund with a cheque for £2,171 on 7 March, when the charity’s founder, Basil Eastwood, joined pupils for assembly.

After talking to pupils about the work of Cecily’s Fund, Basil was presented with the cheque by Dunhurst pupils Benny McNeill, Madeleine McNeill, Annabel Rowell and Dare Cross – as well as Bedales staff, Rob Reynolds and Karen Wood – who were among a team of 32 runners from Bedales who took part in the Great South Run.

The Bedales team raised £4,342 to be split between two charities: Cecily’s Fund, which helps Zambian orphans access an education to give them a better future in adulthood, and the John Badley Foundation, which provides transformational opportunities for young people to benefit from a Bedales education through fully funded bursaries.  Read more.

Dunhurst pupil makes opera debut

A pupil from Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst made his professional debut over the weekend in an opera production directed by a former Bedales student.  Block 2 (Year 8) pupil Harry Hetherington appeared in The Turn of the Screw at Bury Court Opera in Farnham, Surrey, on Saturday (9 March), and is set to appear in two further performances on 14 and 16 March.  Based on the Henry James’ novella of the same name, The Turn of the Screw has been a regular in operatic repertoire since the 1950s, recalling the story of a young governess who has been hired to look after two young children at a remote estate, where she becomes convinced the grounds are haunted.  Read more.

Dunhurst footballers crowned School Team of the Year

Footballers at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst are celebrating after being crowned School Team of the Year at the East Hampshire Sports Awards 2019. After reaching the final three shortlisted in their category, Dunhurst’s U13 football team were invited to a prestigious awards ceremony at the Old Thorns Hotel in Liphook on 14 March, hosted by former Olympic athlete Roger Black and featuring former England cricketer Charlotte Edwards as guest speaker.

The win comes after a successful season for the team, having won every match during the 2018 season, scoring 62 goals and conceding only 22. They were crowned Hampshire League winners and came home with silverware from all three tournaments they entered. Head of Dunhurst Colin Baty said: “We are all very proud of the team, not just because of their strong season performance, but also the way they upheld the qualities of sportsmanship and the spirit of sport throughout each match. They were wonderful ambassadors for themselves, the team and the school – wonderful to see!”  Head of PE Will Bray added: “It has been such a joy to coach this group throughout their incredible season. They are such a cohesive team, who work hard for each other on the pitch, showing fantastic determination, commitment and teamwork. They are a real asset to the school and set a fantastic example to the younger pupils.”

Sugar awareness week at Dunhurst

After cutting the sugar content in school meals by 50 percent over the last 12 months, Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst marked Sugar Awareness Week with an engaging programme of events for pupils and parents. The week kicked off with a school assembly from Dunhurst’s Head Chef Matt Potts, who quietly reduced the amount of sugar in meals when he joined the school a year ago – and says no one noticed the difference. Matt has honed a series of recipes, including sticky toffee pudding sweetened with dates and a granola bar made with honey and dried fruit, meaning Dunhurst pupils enjoy nutritionally balanced meals and snacks throughout the school day.

The issue of children’s nutrition is particularly relevant, after figures published in 2018 revealed that one in three 10/11 year-olds are classified as overweight or obese. Parents were invited to Dunhurst for a coffee morning on 15 November to celebrate Matt’s initiative, where they were able to sample reduced sugar treats over a hot drink, and even take away their favourite recipes that Matt provided for them to replicate at home.  Read more...

'Impressive' new Block 1-4 play

By Samuel Vernor-Miles, 6.2

Having heard about the play – new for this academic year – that would combine Dunhurst’s top two years and Bedales’ lower two, I didn’t know what to expect. However, after going to see it, I was certainly glad I had. The student directed, led, acted and written production featured growing talents from both schools, and they performed brilliantly. Performed on the Lupton Hall stage and adding an equally impressive homemade time machine – with very impressive effects when used – the audience was captivated, laughing and connecting with the characters in front of them. All of those involved should be incredibly proud of themselves, especially those who put it together behind the scenes. Overall, it was a really lovely production that I’m glad to have seen and I can’t wait to see what the collaborative students do next.

Dunannie news
Drums signal call to act on climate change

By Clive Burch, Head of Block 3

Last Monday’s senior school assembly brought together the Three Schools under the banner of Action Against Climate Change. Percussion teacher, Kristian Bediiako, opened proceedings with a group of over 20 drummers from Block 3, calling forth collective action through audience participation, with dancers of all ages taking centre stage. At some point in their time here, Kristian has taught almost every student in the three schools, so who better to lead the charge? Afterwards, Anouk Szpitalak and Freddie Robinson from our youngest Eco-Team stepped up to share Dunannie’s action plan to combat climate change at a local level. Neither were daunted by the assembled masses and both spoke with a touching sincerity. They were followed by Dunhurst’s Eco-Team who, along with Head of Outdoor Work, Ryan Walsh, shared the steps they are taking to achieve Eco-School status as well as the topics they are focussing on, namely Biodiversity, Energy, Global Citizenship, Litter and School Grounds. Read more

Sculpture unveiled at Bedales Pre-prep School

Children at Bedales Pre-prep School, Dunannie were excited to unveil a sculpture they worked on with two local artists this term. The insect abacus sculpture is the finished result of a project the children began working on last summer with local sculptor Cara Wassenberg and artist Madeleine Alison.

Children at the school were inspired by studying a range of insects under microscopes and helped to design the sculpture by drawing insects onto templates, which were later cut out in copper, with patterns etched onto them to create texture. Head of Dunannie Victoria Homewood said: “The sculpture is a stunning new addition to our playground, and now captures the light beautifully. We were fortunate to work with Cara and Madeleine, and the children thoroughly enjoyed creating this unique piece.”  Cara, who created the piece from her workshop on a nearby farm at the foot of the Southdown Hills, was delighted to collaborate with Dunannie on the project.  She said: “This piece is especially significant as it is one of the last school commissions I am taking on for a while. Thank you to all the children for their great ideas and creativity.”

Lion King Workshop and macro photography workshop

In February, Year 3 children took part in an energetic Lion King dance workshop, which was hosted by a current cast member of the West End show. They also had the opportunity to participate in a photography workshop with professional photographer, Chris Darmanin. The children took close-up macro images of plants, flowers and other interesting things around the school, experimenting with different lighting effects, as well as using different layers in their images.

Marvellous Mothers' Morning at Dunannie

The Marvellous Mothers’ morning at Dunannie was a wonderful way to end the spring term. The mums and children enjoyed working together in various activities including jewellery making and designing a photograph frame and some mums were also treated to a manicure by their loved ones! There will be time to spoil the dads in our Fabulous Dads’ day in June.

Reading to Dunannie children for World Book Day

It was World Book Day on 7 March and pupils from all three Bedales schools took the opportunity to take part in reading related activities. Children at Dunannie arrived at school for the day dressed as characters from books, while pupils at Dunhurst enjoyed a range of activities – including reading to staff members’ dogs and the Dunhurst Outdoor Work chickens – during the school day. Bedales Head of English, David Anson, and a group of Bedales students got involved in the fun when they too dressed as characters from books and visited Dunannie to read to the children. World Book Day is a national charity event which has been held annually since 1998 as a way of encouraging children to explore the pleasures of books and reading.

Little Bedales sessions - Wednesday mornings

On Wednesday mornings, 10.00am to 11.30am, we welcome new families to our baby and toddler group. Little Bedales is a very informal session for mothers and fathers to bring their toddlers (babies or bumps) to. It is a chance to integrate with other parents over a slice of cake and a cup of tea so please do join us if you have a little one.