Commenting on the students’ participation, Richard Wilding, project manager at Stonepillow Restore, said:” It has been an absolute pleasure working with Bedales students and staff over the weekend. The students worked extremely hard, they showed fantastic initiative and great enthusiasm. The presence of the students brought about a lot of positive vibes amongst our customers.”
Also over the same weekend, Bedales Design students from Block 3 (year 9) to sixth form enjoyed refurbishing tools at the school destined for Africa with charity, Tools for Self Reliance. The charity refurbishes and ships tens of thousands of tools and sewing machines to help African people out of poverty by giving them a livelihood and means to earn a living. During the workshops the students were shown case studies of the people the charity aims to help. They then got to work sanding, oiling and sharpening tools to create a carpenters pack consisting of items such as, chisels, planes, hammers and screwdrivers. The tools, donated by local people, were predominantly hand-tools for use in places with no electricity. In addition to helping with the refurbishment, Bedales design department also donated three large boxes of various tools, all of which were shipped out to Tanzania on the following Monday.
A workshop with Global charity Amnesty International was the focus for students in Blocks 3 – 5 (year 9 – 11). The weekend featured a meeting with Holocaust survivor, Eva Clarke, courtesy of the Holocaust Education Trust. Eva was born at a concentration camp in Austria and was saved when the Americans liberated the camp. Eva spoke to the students about the story of her parents’ persecution and their journey through the atrocities of the Holocaust. The student body is now planning to support a number of Amnesty campaigns through lobbying and fundraising.
Students, teachers, staff and parents worked on various practical projects within the school grounds in respect of the school’s motto ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’. Everyone was involved in helping to re-surface the ‘Hangers Way’ path that runs from Steep Church to the top of Tilmore Road along the border of the Bedales estate. While the students were working, dog walkers and ramblers made appreciative comments about improvements to the path.
In Art, students painted murals of architecture inspired by photos they had taken of the Bedales estate. The murals will be mounted on the black boarding that is screening the building work of staff housing along Church Road in Steep.
Students in 6.2 (upper sixth form) worked in the Bedales outdoor work department remaking and redesigning ‘Cecily’s Garden’, an area dedicated to the memory of Cecily Eastwood, a former student who died in a car accident while on a gap year helping a charity in Zambia. The garden provides a silent space of contemplation and thought for all in the school’s community.
The weekend also featured various elements of the arts including a mass African drumming and dancing experiment with Sewabeats, performance by cabaret duo Bourgeois and Maurice , music by singer/songwriter Daisy Chapman and student performances in folk, dance, music, poetry and Greek drama in the school’s Olivier Theatre.
At Bedales Prep, Dunhurst, pupils, teachers and parents planted trees and dismantled an old greenhouse in readiness for another one. Parents in waders dredged the streams and pond, bulbs were planted and holes dug for a new apple orchard. Approximately 30 yew trees were planted in the school’s reception area and new gardens were designed and planted. The day finished with a walk to the Poet’s Stone followed by poems and songs for ‘Peace One Day’ performed by children at the local landmark.
At Bedales Pre-Prep, Dunannie, parents got together to create a new sand-pit for the children to enjoy. Pupils, staff and parents all took part in a nature treasure hunt around the Bedales estate searching for letters that were hidden in the Theatre, on the Bedales farm, in Outdoor Work and the Library. The children collected autumn treasures along the way, which they used to create a face pattern in the playground of Dunannie.
Commenting on the Badley weekend, Headmaster of Bedales Schools, Keith Budge said: “This is an important time of year for the school as we reflect on Badley’s ideals of learning through head, hand and heart and the motto ‘Work of Each for Weal of All’. The weekend gives us, as a community, a chance to celebrate what we do as a school by helping to enhance our environment and that of the local community. It was a pleasure to help with charities that work on both a local and global level. I personally enjoyed assisting the students with the work at Stonepillow, which is an excellent example of a social enterprise.”