The Putney School, Vermont
The Putney School in Vermont, USA is a four-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 students go 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.
Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Working with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC), we have partnered with individual schools in Havana, along with the Cuban Student Federation, and the Defence of the Revolution committee.
LHA Charitable Trust, India
The LHA Charitable Trust is the largest volunteer host and coordination organisation in the Tibetan refugee community of Dharamsala, India. We have developed this partnership to enable students to work with Tibetan refugees, teaching English and exploring cultural identity.
Link Ethiopia set up, support and help manage links between schools in the UK and Ethiopia, in both the primary and secondary sectors. The core value of their system of links is one of equal partnership and shared learning. Many of the schools Link work with in Ethiopia are severely under-resourced. They aim to assist schools in identifying, implementing and managing projects to improve the quality of the schooling they offer. Our trip to Gondar, Ethiopia planned for October 2020 is currently postponed.