Groton School is a five-year co-ed boarding school with a curriculum designed to prepare students for "the active work of life”. Founded in 1884, it is located on a 400 acre campus a mile outside a village in Massachusetts, New England. Groton is one of the world's top High Schools for preparing students to enter elite American universities. The student body is small but diverse. There are 372 students, 87% of whom board. 14% of students are from outside the US, 37% are students of colour, and 38% are on financial aid. The exchange is a simultaneous exchange, with 2 students from each school ‘stepping into each others’ shoes’ for the month of October. The Groton exchange allows Bedales students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the life of a top New England boarding school - to become part of the school for 4 weeks, attending lessons, joining in activities, sports and community service.
The Putney School Vermont
The Putney School in Vermont, USA, is a 4 year co-educational boarding and day school. It was founded in 1935 on the principles of the great education reformer John Dewey – making it one of the most interesting schools in the US. Putney shares a lot of the same values and ideas as Bedales, but they go even further – being based on a 500 acre dairy farm. Students milk the cows, organise recycling, work in the vegetable gardens and even sit on the board of Trustees.
There are 215 students at the school, 170 of whom are boarders. Classes are small – 11 students on average – and there are 35 full-time and 24 part-time teachers. More than 50 students hold leadership positions. The student body is diverse, with nearly half receiving some sort of financial aid. The Bedales - Putney exchange is asymmetric - A small group of Block 4 goes to Putney in October half term, then two Putney students come to Bedales for the first half of the Summer Term. View photos of the 2016 visit here.
Six Bedalians attended Dubai College as part of the exchange programme in 2016 and enjoyed collaborating with the students on a 'Play in a Day', read their blog here and view the film below.
Over the past 13 years, students from Bedales have raised money to assist rural schools in Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Every year, a group of sixth form students has visited Eswatini to see how this money has been spent and to help with installation of water systems, agriculture facilities and, most recently, solar energy.
Bedales also visits Woodstock School, India and Chuansha High School Shanghai, China as part of its partnerships programme.