It was the turn of our Y7 boys to enjoy an action-packed day of team building activities on Friday, 24 September, and what a wonderful sunlit day it turned out to be.
During their ‘off curriculum’ day, the boys enjoyed a whole range of activities. They put their construction skills to the test by building waterproof survival shelters – which were rigorously tested for effectiveness, with much excitement, by simulated downpours showers – aka a bucket of water!
The boys also used teamwork and ingenuity to construct stretchers out of poles and fleeces, which needed to be strong enough to transport a fellow pupil, while orienteering challenges—some even blindfolded—tested the boys’ reading and communication skills as well as their trust in each other.
A new game— think dodgeball crossed with tag archery (with foam-tipped arrows and protective headgear, of course)—was met with great excitement. It truly was a sight to see the arrows flying across the Inky pitch as the boys competed in teams to take the prize.
In a slightly more relaxed session, boys also enjoyed the chance to reflect on the excitement of the day while enjoying freshly toasted cheese sandwiches and s’mores, all cooked over the firepit.
Head of Y7, Mr Rob Heaney, explained, “We welcomed some 30 boys to Y7 this year, so today offered the perfect opportunity for them all, along with their Tutors, to truly get to know one another outside the classroom. Through the fun activities, the boys also built upon their teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills – all of which are transferable to the classroom, the sports field and beyond.”
Michael Peppiatt, who is described by the Art Newspaper as ‘the finest art writer of his generation, is our speaker for the first art lecture of the academic year. Michael Peppiatt will be discussing ‘Giacometti’s Studio’ in this exciting online talk on Thursday 7 October at 7.30pm.
Alberto Giacometti’s studio is one of the most fascinating spaces in 20th-century art. In this broken-down, chaotic, little space behind Montparnasse in Paris, the great sculptor created an entire world devoted to his art. Giacometti’s studio became the artist’s refuge where he not only made and stored his greatest achievements but fashioned a whole microcosm for his art, even including the walls which bore everything from telephone numbers to elaborate, cave-like drawings. Michael’s fascination with this space began when he first tried to visit Giacometti there in 1966, carrying a letter of introduction to him from Francis Bacon.
Michael Peppiatt is a well-known author and internationally respected authority on 20th-century art and has curated numerous exhibitions, notably, retrospectives of Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti in Europe and the US.
Learning about the many machines and tools we have in our Design and Technology workshops and understanding how they are used is important for the boys. This week, our Y6 boys put their knowledge and their teamwork skills to the test with a sorting game. Working together, they pieced together the puzzles to match machines and tools to the correct description of their use.
Wow, what an amazing event last Saturday’s Macmillan Fun Morning turned out to be! A huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to its success in so many ways. The Prep Guild added a new twist to the classic coffee morning, with an array of fete-style games for the boys and their families to enjoy. The Café Bar hosted the most delicious selection of cakes imaginable and there was an enticing display of raffle prizes to be won. Thank you so much to everyone who so kindly donated cakes and prizes. Particularly impressive were the cakes baked by the boys themselves for the ‘Bake Off’ competition; Show Stoppers and Family Favourites. Well done and thank you, boys!
Outside in the sunshine, the sounds of children laughing and cheering on their friends were so good to hear. The Queen’s Lawn was the perfect setting for everything from shuffleboard to name the teddy, hoop the bottle and bean bag toss, to name but a few. However, the real stars of the show were the Prep School teachers, who braved the boys throwing (pelting!) wet sponges at them! All in all, it turned out to be the most wonderful morning; our fantastic community coming together and enjoying some good old-fashioned fun for a great cause.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported this first Prep Guild event of the year, with a total of £2,500 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Did you know that it is National Coding Week? A week for learning new digital skills and sharing stories to inspire and motivate.
Therefore, it seemed the perfect opportunity to share the experience of our boys in the Prep School, who jump at the myriad of opportunities to learn digital skills. For example, when we joined boys from Y4 – Y7 at Coding Club at lunchtime on Thursday, the boys were busy creating code in a fun Angry Birds game. Almost without knowing, the boys were learning the basic concepts of coding using visual blocks that can be dragged and dropped into place before snapping together like pieces of a puzzle.
With plenty of encouragement from Mrs Dale, a selection of on-screen digital heroes, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg, NBA’ Chris Bosh and most importantly, each other, the boys were enjoying and being exposed to key computational thinking skills while creating code by breaking down the challenge at hand into bite-size chunks (decomposition) and thinking each through logically.
Mrs Dale told us, “I love the skills that the boys learn through coding. It teaches them persistence, ignites their curiosity, and is also great for teamwork; all of which are integral to the school’s Futures Skills curriculum. While boys can code independently and at their own pace, we typically see the opposite: collaboration. More often than not, the boys work together to solve problems and support each other.”
The school’s Coding Club is open to all boys from Y4 to Y8, and all are welcome to give it a go during Coding Week. As Mrs Dale explains, “It is easy to get caught up in the technology, but at its core coding is simply communication and problem-solving. Not to mention great fun and highly rewarding!”
We think coding is brilliant and pretty much a superpower!
September can only mean one thing: the return of rugby (and, possibly, some quite muddy kit!).
We are delighted to say, just two weeks into the term, there has been plenty of rugby for boys of all ages to enjoy. Fresh and raring to go from their pre-season training, the boys have jumped at the opportunity to represent the school in the first inter-school rugby matches since 2019.
With fixtures against Spratton Hall, Stamford, Witham Hall and a block fixture against Wellingborough School, not to mention the Dragon School Festival, there has been no shortage of opportunities for boys to play, with matches for U10, U11, U12 and U13 teams. This weekend our U8 and U9 will have their chance too.
The results have also been excellent, with some tremendous score lines and great wins. However, it is the boys’ sportsmanship, commitment and enthusiasm of which we are most proud. From the youngest to the oldest, they have represented the school wonderfully and always with smiles on their faces.
Well done to all the boys who have played so far, and good luck to those playing this weekend!
Hayden Grattan (Y7) is the proud medal winner of this year’s British Computer Society’s Junior competition, which aims to cultivate young computing leaders.
The competition tasked entrants from schools across the UK with creating a resource to show how computers can help save the planet. Hayden jumped at the chance to enter the competition after hearing about it from Dr Wallace, our Director of Digital Learning, as it intrigued him. He cleverly combined his knowledge of computers and technical skills to create an eye-catching poster showing how computers can track surges and floodwaters, generate cheaper and more reliable energy, track water equality and collect and analyse information about our trees and forests.
Hayden explained that he enjoys the challenge that computing offers and even sets himself challenges outside of school to push him even further. He is also keeping his fingers crossed for a second computer science competition he entered, this time on cyberbullying.
Headmaster, Ian Silk, commented, “My congratulations to Hayden – what a great accolade! We are proud as a school to have a strong focus on digital learning and work hard to equip all our boys with key skills for life. We are equally proud to provide those with a passion in this area with the chance to fly.”
Our Y5 boys enjoyed a fantastic team building day on Friday, 10 September. In between showers, they enjoyed playing archery tag and fun team games on the Inky pitch, hunting down minibeasts by the nature pond, and building dens and toasting marshmallows in amongst the lush foliage of the Quarry Theatre gardens.
It was wonderful to see all the boys together and enjoying the great outdoors. We are sure that new friendships have been formed and old ones rekindled.
At the start of every term, it is always wonderful to see and welcome our new boys and find out all about them, and this goes for new staff too.
This year we warmly welcome Ms Charlotte Heywood, Mr Greg Thomas, Mr Sam Powell, Mrs Kashta Dale, Ms Rania Kashi, Miss Molly Orme and Mr Daniel Mason.
Ms Charlotte Heywood
Ms Heywood is our new Deputy Head who joined us last June from St Matthew’s Academy in Blackheath, where she was Assistant Headteacher. Ms Heywood has a keen interest in theatre and dramatic arts (she is also LAMDA Speech and drama qualified to Grade 8). Outside school, she enjoys playing netball and tennis.
Even though Ms Heywood was only with us for a few weeks at the end of last year, the warmth and friendliness of the school clearly made an impression, as she told us, “Bedford School is a really special place to work because of the wonderful community that has been created here between staff, pupils and their families.”
Mr Greg Thomas
Mr Thomas is our new Director of Studies and is in charge of the development of teaching in the Prep School, with the aim of improving the learning experience of pupils. Mr Thomas was previously at Swanbourne House School, where he was English Faculty Leader, and Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator. He also coached rugby, cricket and football at Swanbourne House. Outside of school, he plays football and cricket for local teams and played badminton to a high level in his teens.
Mr Sam Powell
Mr Powell is Head of Year 3 and Year 4 in the Prep School and oversees all elements of the school’s provision for boys in those year groups. Mr Powell joins the school from Dulwich College, Singapore, where he was a Head of House and a Y4 and a Y5 class teacher. Beyond the classroom, he is a Level 2 cricket coach and represented Cambridgeshire up to Under 25 level; he also coaches rugby and hockey and plays golf off a nine handicap.
Mrs Kashta Dale
Mrs Dale joins us as a computer science teacher and Y8 Tutor from Spring West Academy in Feltham. Not only has she been an ICT subject leader, but Mrs Dale has also taught literacy, KS3 English and art, been an NQT mentor and a diversity and equality team member. Outside of school she has an interest in art (particularly printmaking and digital art from photography to more illustrative styles), languages (she is currently learning German, Farsi and Spanish!) and sport (she plays in a local netball team).
Ms Rania Kashi
Ms Kashi joins us as a maths teacher and Y7 Tutor from Ark Academy in Wembley. Her interests include modern history and international politics, in particular Middle Eastern and South Asian. She is also fluent in Arabic and Hindi, an expert sugar-crafter and cake decorator, and is looking forward to sharing some of those interests with the boys in the form of activities.
Miss Molly Orme
Miss Orme joined us in June to cover for Madame Comani while she is on maternity leave. Miss Orme has a degree in Classical Studies and Creative Writing and a masters in Antiquity with Ancient Greek Language and teaches Latin. Outside of school, Miss Orme enjoys all things creative, from embroidery to knitting to crochet, as well as Greek mythology and film.
Mr Daniel Mason
Mr Mason joins us as a science teacher and Y7 Tutor from Hitchin Boys’ School, where he was also their Director of Cricket, Head of Radcliffe House and EPQ co-ordinator. Outside of school, he coaches the Ladies’ 1st and 2nd XI at Bedfordshire Hockey Club. Mr Mason is also an excellent sportsman, having played National League Hockey at Cambridge, Bedford and Belper Hockey Clubs, not to mention a club cricketer and a squash player. Mr Mason is looking forward to getting involved with both curricular and extra-curricular sport.