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Sport Clubs are Back!

It has been a wonderful week for extracurricular sports in the Prep School. 

Under sun-drenched, late-summer skies, boys across the school have been enjoying running, tennis, athletics, badminton, ball games, swimming, table tennis, cricket nets, hockey and rugby skills, water polo and even rowing.

To see what clubs are up and running either before school, over lunchtime or after school, follow the link below.

Sports Extracurricular Activities (Firefly)

Superhero Surprise

Y5 and Y6 enjoyed a surprise when they welcomed a special guest to their assembly on Tuesday: Batman!

The caped crusader popped in to share a few words of wisdom and to wrap up the boys’ assembly on ‘People we admire’ and the attributes that make us feel respect for them.

Watched by Y5 in the Erskine May Hall and Y6 via Teams (the two year groups switch locations each week), Batman: the creation of Mr Affleck’s personal hero, DC Comic writer Bob Keane, was just one of many heroes discussed. Others included:

  • Sportsmen Alex Stewart, Andy Murray and Jos Buttler, who have all earned admiration for their talent, tenacity and humility.
  • Chadwick Boseman for his bravery – working hard despite his pain – and his kindness to all.
  • Jane Tomlinson who, despite having terminal cancer, ran the London Marathon and raised millions for charity.
  • Malala Yousafzai, who has stood up for the rights of girls around the world.
  • NHS workers who have worked hard to help others throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Parents, brothers and sisters also got a well-deserved mention!

Magnificent Merits

Boys are already proving what Future Skills heroes they are after getting off to a flying start this term with numerous merits awarded.

With Captain Kindness, Man of Integrity, Responsibility Raptor, Professor Curiosity and Endeavour Eagle to inspire them, the boys are working hard to achieve Future Skills merits (which replace academic and conduct merits). The merits are awarded whenever the boys display super skills or behaviour, for example, for focus in a lesson, excellent behaviour in assembly, helping out at an open event or making a real contribution to learning. 

Some boys have already amassed 15 merits for bronze certificates (certificates are also awarded for 40 merits – silver, 75 – gold, 125 – platinum and 175 – diamond). The merits are not only an excellent incentive for the boys to do their best, but also help them to reflect upon the values learned, and the skills and understanding they have developed. 

The boys are also collectively working hard to achieve merits and points for their houses and the honour of seeing their house flag flying outside Mr Silk’s office each week – there is great excitement each Friday as the winner is unfurled – not to mention the highly sought after termly and annual house cups. Last year it was a very green affair, with both the term and annual cup going to Whitbread. However, a new year brings with it a new competition and a chance to shine both individually and, with equal pride, by house.

 

Amazing Art

We are delighted to say that our art studios are busy once again and buzzing with creativity.

As we wait to see the amazing artwork boys will no doubt create this term, may we whet your appetite with a selection of the incredible art created by the boys during lockdown. 

These exemplary works of art, created in lessons, as part of enrichment sessions or personal art time, clearly show the resourcefulness and talent of our boys, whatever life may bring. 

Year 8

Year 7

Year 6

Year 5

Year 4

Year 3

Uncovering the Mysteries of Egypt

Always curious, our Y3 boys were excited this week by the challenge of uncovering a mystery: their topic for the term ahead. 

Their clues, hidden in a mysterious cave in their classroom, were a camel, an eye and a strange flag.  It did not take our super sleuths very long to figure out that their mystery topic was Egypt.

Mr Whitbread then gave the boys a brilliant introduction, sharing not only his experiences of the country but also a fabulous costume. 

We look forward to seeing the boys’ excellent work as they explore the fantastical world of the Ancient Egyptians – always a topic that fires the imagination!

New Faces

Mr Paul Dennis

Mr Paul Dennis is our new Head of History. Before joining us at Bedford Prep, Mr Dennis taught at Wellingborough School. An avid sports fan and player he enjoys rugby (he plays for Wellingborough RFC), cricket (playing for the Old Leysians in the village cricket leagues) and skiing. He also loves to travel, especially spending time in the Lake District and North Norfolk.  

Fun fact: at school, he was taught by both Mr Silk and Mr Studd!

Mr Ben Gibson

Mr Ben Gibson joins us this term to teach English, and will also be helping boys with special educational needs in the New Year. Mr Gibson recently moved back to the UK from Hong Kong where he taught English at Harrow International School, and his two young sons join us this year in the Prep School. Mr Gibson is also a sports fan. At his last school, he coached rugby and football and was part of the school choir and chamber choir. Unsurprisingly for an English teacher, Mr Gibson loves reading and is currently enjoying the work of John le Carré. 

Mrs Patsy Turton

Mrs Patsy Turton is our new Prep School Speech and Drama Co-ordinator and joins us from St Andrews’ School and Rushmoor School. Mrs Turton is also Artistic Director of her own performance company as well as a teacher of dance, and even choreographed and directed a piece for the 2015 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony! She has two daughters who also love to dance. Mrs Turton also enjoys reading and travelling. 

Destinations

While the cancellation of exams, marking algorithms and various U-turns may have dominated the headlines of late, there is another side to the story which we are pleased to be able to share. 

Our Upper Sixth boys’ careers at Bedford ended abruptly this summer as a result of the pandemic, which also took with it their opportunity to show all the knowledge and understanding they had amassed. It was a wretched way for this lovely year group to end their time here. Nonetheless, thanks to their dedication, perseverance and hard work, they have achieved some incredible results in terms of university destinations. 

An impressive 87% of boys will go on to either a Russell Group or Times Top 30 university this autumn. The most popular destinations this year were Durham, Nottingham and Loughborough, and the seven boys who received Oxbridge offers will all take up their places this October, four at Oxford and three at Cambridge. Equally exciting is the range of degrees that they will read, which range from Aerospace Engineering to Architecture, Construction Engineering Management to Medical Physiology and Therapeutics.

Outside of the UCAS system, the range of futures is equally exciting with boys earning places at top universities across the world, including Columbia, Emory and the Christian Brother universities in the States, Hong Kong University and Keio University in Japan. Boys have also gained places on degree apprenticeships with leading firms, professional premiership sports academy contracts and direct employment with leading firms, while others have opted to take gap years. 

James Hodgson, Head Master, told us, “I am incredibly proud of all the boys and all they have achieved, academically and otherwise, in the years they have been here. I stand steadfast in the belief that academic results themselves only matter in so far as choice over the next stage is concerned; far more important is that each boy leaves us as a good man, secure in his values, happy and with the self-knowledge and self-worth to take the next step in his journey. The resilience and determination shown by the boys shown over the last few months has been a great credit to them all. They are a wonderful group of boys who have strong and exciting futures ahead of them. I am confident that their university places and the other pathways chosen will, ultimately, enable them to continue to shine.”

Back to School

It has been a delight to see all our boys back at school this week and welcome our new boys to the school community.

While there may be many new procedures in place to help to keep everyone safe as possible, these have done little to diminish the joy of being back, catching up and making new friends, learning and playing together (in bubbles).  The sound of laughter and the many smiles on boys’ faces has been wonderful to see.

Headmaster, Mr Silk, commented, “I have been so impressed by the tremendous spirit of both boys and staff.  With great positivity, they have taken on board and adopted our new safety and hygiene steps to keep everyone as safe as possible, and have also leapt back into school life with great enthusiasm and positivity.  It is wonderful to see everyone so clearly relishing and making the most of being back at school!”

 

2004unk: A Space Odyssey

If you are looking for some entertainment this weekend, you need look no further than the latest musical from Mr Groom. As ever, it is a fun rollercoaster of a ride, this time set in space. However, what makes it even more impressive is that it was all recorded during lockdown, with every boy in our wonderful choir recording his tracks remotely.  Mr Groom then worked his magic to blend them all into this fabulous radio production. It is a true sing-along production – with the music and lyrics on screen, there is no excuse not to join in!

Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing the show to life. Enjoy!