All students who join Bedales in Block 3 (Year 9) are assigned to a Badley Tutor and are in a tutor group of around 12 students. Badley Tutors and 6.2 mentors - known as Badley Mentors - support Block 3 in settling into the school.
Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11) are in tutor groups together, as are Sixth Formers, who normally have a subject specialist in one of their A Level subjects as a tutor.
All students have Tutor Time with their tutor every morning from 9.25am until 9.45am, except for Tuesday. Tutors review each student's academic work, as well as reviewing their co-curricular activities and supporting them with any administration work needed. One-to-one tutoring occurs at least every fortnight as arranged by tutors.
Bedales offers a rich and exciting environment with a considerable range of activities on offer that go far beyond the scope of the normal school curriculum.
All academic enrichment is underpinned by two aims:
- To make sure that all students are adequately stretched by the opportunities they get in and out of the classroom
- To open opportunities to everyone who would like to stretch themselves
We want to get away from 'fixed mindset' thinking - the belief that some are able, and some are less able. We believe there is much more to be said for 'growth mindset' thinking: the belief that we become more able by engaging, working, persevering and improving.
Instead of talking about 'Able, Gifted and Talented' students, we have the 3i programme. This nomenclature comes from our founder, John Badley, who said Bedales aims at "intelligence, initiative and individuality".
All Academic Scholars are automatically part of the programme, and individual departments can identify suitable students within their own subject areas during the year. Importantly, any other student in the school can also nominate themselves for the programme.
Students in 3i receive a weekly e-newsletter, which might encourage them to attend a lecture by an outside speaker, or take part in a national competition for poetry translation. There are also logic puzzles, articles, and notices about all the enriching events taking place at school. 3i also runs a series of talks, which students can sign themselves up to deliver. They can be on any topic of academic interest, and are a great opportunity for academically engaged students to socialise.
In the Sixth Form, students benefit from the Bedales Enrichment Programme, which encourages them to develop their interests, go beyond their courses, work independently and - importantly - love learning.
‘TopUP’ sessions in the Summer Term for 6.1 (Year 12) and Autumn Term for 6.2 (Year 13) prepare students for applications to the most competitive universities. The sessions are run by individual departments and students may choose to attend TopUP sessions in more than one subject if appropriate (for example, a student wishing to apply for PPE should consider attending TopUP in Politics, Philosophy and Economics).
Suitably qualified and interested Sixth Formers are encouraged to consider applying to Oxford and Cambridge and are supported by the school in their preparation and application. The Head of Academic Enrichment is in charge of this process, which begins in the Spring Term of 6.1 (Year 12) and involves advice on making a strong application, encouragement to undertake wider reading and extension work, interview practice and the opportunity to go on trips to open days and a student conference.