bedales News

The school with the arts at its heart has opened its eagerly awaited new Art & Design building. On Saturday 25 June, Bedales’ new two-storey timber clad building opened to cheers from parents and students in a ceremony incorporating an orchestra and choral singing as part of its annual Parents’ Day celebrations. The building combines all the Art and Design disciplines taught at Bedales under one roof – painting and fashion, industrial design and sculpture, woodwork, jewellery, ceramics, print-making, sculpting and drawing. A large oak tree dominates the development and the building backs onto the Outdoor Work department, which the school hopes will encourage collaboration between disciplines and engagement with the outdoors.
Posted on 01 July 2016
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Colin Baty has been announced as the new Head of Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst (Steep, Hampshire) from September 2017. He will succeed Jane Grubb who has decided to stand down next summer after six years to pursue a new business venture. Colin taught at Dunhurst between 1999 and 2005 and his wife Debbie taught at Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie, from 1996 to 2005 and grew up in Steep. They were also both house parents at the prep school.
Posted on 22 June 2016
In a recent article for Insight magazine (the magazine of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference), Keith Budge discusses the crucial importance of the head to a school’s success, and offers some thoughts on how to pursue what he describes as “a great calling”. Keith explains that the head’s leadership influences and shapes not only how teachers lead but also how students lead, and that such influence occurs through the way in which heads go about their day-to-day business. For all that, the position of head is seen as lonely, and having the right people in the right places can ensure a team effort involving the governing board and senior leadership team.
Posted on 20 June 2016
At the ‘Liberating Leaders’ conference recently held at Bedales, Chief Inspector of Schools and Head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw lamented the lack of maverick leaders in state schools, and called for more flamboyant, colourful and slightly strange characters. In the face of an inadequate education system this is little more than papering over the cracks, argues Bedales chemistry teacher Scott Charlesworth in his latest blog for the Huffington Post. ‘Liberating Leaders’ was staged as part of the Bedales series of ‘Leading Independent Thinking’ events. Two years ago the subject was innovative education, whilst this focused on leadership. These are the two most important issues that the sector needs to address in the early 21st century, says Scott, who believes that traditional educational models are breaking down and that the authorities appear unwilling, too slow, or unable to make the necessary changes.
Posted on 10 June 2016
In a recent blog for the Independent Schools Council, Headmaster Keith Budge argues that government’s commitment to the academisation of grant-maintained schools, drawing on independent sector educational approaches, may require a reassessment of current orthodoxies. Government’s recent U-turn on its plans for a blanket conversion of state schools into academies has been subjected to conflicting interpretations – evidence of chaos say critics, or the result of a welcome willingness to listen on the part of the Minister, according to supporters. Keith Budge’s take on the concession is that conversion will be less a case of ‘if’ than ‘when’, with the government keeping as its aim full-scale conversion.
Posted on 10 June 2016
On Wednesday 25 May, 275 delegates from independent and state schools gathered at Bedales for an event with a difference.
Posted on 31 May 2016
This year’s Dog Show & Fete was a hit with both two-legged and four-legged friends on Saturday 7 May on the sports pitch at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst. The annual event is hosted by the Friends of Dunhurst (parents’ association) and this year raised funds for the John Badley Foundation (JBF), which provides full bursary support for pupils to attend Bedales Prep and Senior Schools. Categories included: Cuddliest Dog in The World, Best Rescue Dog and Dog Most Likely to Catch a Rabbit. The Dog Show was part of the JBF Big Weekend which included a quiz night and lunch with special guest and Old Bedalian Kirstie Allsopp; in total the weekend raised £6,500.
Posted on 13 May 2016
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Ahead of the Liberating Leaders conference at Bedales on 25 May, the TES has published an article on school leadership by Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales School
Posted on 10 May 2016
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Earth Day was celebrated by the Bedales school community this week. The first Earth Day was held in April 1970 and it is an annual reminder for us to be better stewards of the earth. A number of activities took place all over the school including workshops, poetry, cycle-powered demonstrations and discussions on issues of sustainability. Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture Magazine, delivered Jaw and Catie Jarman, who works at the Bristol Skipchen, a café that makes healthy meals from donations of food that would otherwise be wasted, led a discussion about ethical consumption. Bedales was also active on social media during the day (follow @GBedales for great insights), and the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett even sent a message of encouragement to students:
Posted on 22 April 2016
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Bedales Parents’ Association has great pleasure in inviting you to the inaugural John Badley Foundation Big Weekend on 6, 7 and 9 May. Parental engagement is a vital part of what we do and this weekend is all about fostering the fruitful partnership between School, students and parents.
Posted on 22 April 2016

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