During the last weekend of September, the Bedales community came together to work on creative projects across the estate, embodying the spirit of the school motto Work of Each for Weal of All.
This year’s celebration was the busiest to date, with over 30 different workshops taking place over the two days. The diverse activities were chosen to reflect the theme of Building International and Global Awareness, and ranged from Bollywood dancing to Chinese calligraphy, world poetry to sushi making. Students were also given the opportunity to try their hand at Venetian mask making, origami and Capoeira, as well as guided meditation sessions led by a Buddhist monk.
An important Badley tradition is the Whole School Effort which involves students, staff and parents contributing their time and energy to transform areas within the school. At Bedales, each tutor group planted hazel trees and bluebells on the banks near the tennis courts, and helped to fence off an area for a chicken coop – the aim is to reintroduce chickens to Bedales early in the New Year.
Sixth formers also worked hard on their own project – clearing overgrowth and creating space for a seating area with fire-pits near the large pond, to provide a space for supervised study groups. As part of the Global Awareness workshops, there were five student-led sessions on subjects as diverse as the Ebola crisis and the ethics of meat eating.
At Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst, pupils, staff and parents helped to clear large areas of shrubbery, brambles and nettles to make space for an enlarged vegetable plot and prepare the ground for the next range of crops. Throughout the school, tutors worked with their classes to fill terracotta planters with pansies and bulbs, weed and tidy, dig and hoe. They also walked up to the Hangers, marking the ascent by touching Edward Thomas’ memorial stone and reading poetry.
At Bedales Pre- prep school, Dunannie, children and parents brought along their gardening gloves, loppers, secateurs and spades to dig out and remove a holly hedge, and prepare an area to be sewn with wild seeds. There were also fun games on the playground and an Orchard treasure hunt.
Commenting on the weekend, Keith Budge, headmaster of Bedales Schools, said: “Students, staff and parents came together to celebrate the values that lie at the heart of Bedales. I think John Badley, who founded the school in 1893, would have been very cheered by what went on over the weekend.”