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Making an Impact

Just when we thought that we couldn’t be more impressed by our boys, even more of them uploaded the wonderful activities they have undertaken to make a real difference to their communities as part of our ‘Make an Impact’ challenge.

Henry Whitfield (Y8) has been helping his dad raise funds for the MSA Trust, which supports people with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), researches its cause and is working to find a cure. Henry’s dad suffers from MSA and can only walk a short distance each day. However, he is on a mission to walk 5km between the start of the year and his birthday in April using a walking frame like the one that the late Captain Sir Tom used for his record-breaking walk. To date, he has raised over £31,000 through his challenge. In addition to supporting his dad with his walk, Henry has also been busy baking Cornish pasties and brownies for a special village church lunch today on St Piran’s Day (St Piran is the patron saint of Cornwall, hence the Cornish pasties) to raise funds for the MSA Trust.

If you would like to support Henry and his dad, please visit their JustGiving page

Sam Barnes (Y8) has been busy clearing out an overgrown area of woods near his home. Over time, he hopes to impact the environment by introducing wildflowers to the site to encourage insects and wildlife. His local Parish Council is behind him to do this and are paying for seeds. It promises to be a real treat in spring and summer when the flowers bloom. His endeavours even made the local newpaper!

Harry Townsend (Y8) has been hosting bingo games for boys in the Prep School to raise money for the Harpur House charity, the SMART Prebend Centre. Each boy had to donate £2 to enter, and games took place online on Friday lunchtimes. Harry had hoped to raise £200 but raised close to £900, thanks to the school community’s kindness and generosity. Thank you also to Mr Whitbread for helping to organise the games.

Ben Long (Y4) and Thomas Mahony (Y7) both helped clear up their respective local neighbourhoods by clearing large amounts of litter.

Rory (Y4) and Thomas McDonald (Y3) helped to grit the lane on which they live during the cold weather to prevent their 85-year-old neighbour and other neighbours from slipping.

Charlie Tillison (Y4) helped his neighbours by collecting their cardboard in his wheelbarrow before taking it to the recycling bank. Like most of us, they all had more card and boxes from deliveries that would not fit in their bins. 

Ollie Cochrane (Y7) helped his local primary school by delivering hot chocolate and cards to the local community, ready for a whole school hot chocolate assembly. The PTA were happy for his help, which saved them a lot of time and effort. Meanwhile, George Shirley (Y4) helped to deliver the village magazine.

Jonathan Pugsley (Y4) donated lots of books to his local ‘free library’ so that other children can enjoy them as well. 

Henry van Rensburg (Y3) has been spreading kindness by making cards and bookmarks for the residents in the care home near his house. He also sent them some chocolate biscuits to have with their tea. Kuba Kopec (Y3) decided to send uplifting messages and sweets to his neighbours to brighten their day on Wednesday, 7 February: Random Acts of Kindness Day. Joseph Lucas (Y5) took time out to put pen to paper and write to his Grandma to make her day.

George Millar (Y6) set himself the challenge of running 5k every day for 14 days to raise funds for The Captain Tom Foundation. So far, he has raised over £1,200. If you would like to support George, please visit his JustGiving page.

Joshua Edmondson (Y5) ran or cycled every morning in February before school to raise money for Cancer Research UK, a charity that means a lot to his family. So far, he has raised £315, and you can support him via his JustGiving page

Noah Silk (Y8) is running or walking 5km a day every day in March with his mum to raise money for Cancer Research UK to mark ten years since she recovered from cancer. So far he has covered 25km (only another 130km to go!). If you would like to support him, please visit his JustGiving page.

Jake Woodrow (Y5) ran 28 miles this month during February ( a mile a day) with his dog, brother, mum and dad to raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer UK. They aimed to raise £500.

Harry Townsend (Y8) and Josh Lincoln (Y7) have been collecting reading books and school shoes for Cauldwell School.

Austin Reddy (Y4) made a thoughtful care box for NHS staff at Bedford Hospital containing lip balm, hand cream, water bottles and snacks. He has also been busy litter-picking too.

Aryan Sohanpal (Y7) has been baking sourdough loaves to give to his elderly neighbours who are shielding and has plans to bake more loaves for other vulnerable neighbours and NHS nurses and doctors his family knows. Meanwhile, Joseph Ram (Y3) decided to bake cakes, pack them into boxes and deliver them to friends and neighbours.

Wonderful World Book Day

World Book Day is always one of our favourite days of the spring term.  We just love reading, as do our boys, and we love sharing in their favourite stories and characters. 

This year, the fabulous fictional characters spilt from the pages of their books and took up residence on our screens. From pirates to The Grinch, Slime to Oompa Loompas and everything in between, the boys embraced the day wholehearted, despite not being here in person. 

We were also delighted to receive some wonderful pictures of boys reading in unusual places for our fun ‘reading somewhere creative’ competition.

In addition, our Y4 boys enjoyed a special treat: a workshop with our excellent and highly entertaining Patron of Reading, Steve Skidmore. Even the most reluctant reader cannot help falling in love with reading and storytelling after one of his sessions!

We even spotted a few fantastical characters dancing their way around the school. As ever, the Headmaster and the teachers brought a smile to the boys’ faces as they, too, joined in the fun on World Book Day.

“Be awesome! Be a book nut!”

Dr Seuss

ISA Shakespeare Monologue Competition Finalists

This week saw the Key Stage finals for the ISA Shakespeare Monologue Competition for our Prep boys.  

The competition started last half term, when boys from Y3 to Y6 enjoyed a brilliant workshop specially prepared for them by the Royal Shakespeare Company and led by Old Bedfordian Ollie Lynes and his colleague Emma. During the workshop, the boys learned about intonation, expression and understanding the circumstances of their chosen monologue. 

Over half-term, the boys chose a Shakespeare monologue to learn by heart or even created their own based on a Shakespeare character. Class competitions then followed to select the finalists for the Key Stage Finals. 

We are now delighted to announce that Major Grewal and Dylan Uppal won their finals and now represent the school in the national Key Stage 2 finals, and Henry Gilham and Elio Leopore won their finals to represent Bedford Prep in the Key Stage 3 finals. 

Since then, the winning boys have been busy filming their recitals to submit to the ISA and compete with schools across the country. 

Miss Bamber told the boys, “I would like to say thank-you to all of you for your terrific performances. You were engaging, self-assured and passionate in your delivery of Shakespeare’s words. We were utterly blown away by the quality of each performance and by the commitment you have shown to this endeavour.”

Our congratulations also go to all the boys who took part for their creative efforts at home, on Teams and on film. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage”, but we wonder if he ever realised how apt his quote would be!  

One Mile Challenge Successes

Our Prep boys have an excellent history of success in running events, and we are delighted to say that this has continued this term. Just before we broke for the half-term holiday, the boys competed in the ‘Roger Bannister One Mile Challenge’ with great results.

The event, which gave boys (and their parents) the chance to race virtually against St Anthony’s Prep and Hereward House, proved highly popular, with an impressive 35 Bedford Prep boys taking part in the one-mile challenge. When the results were published, there was even more to celebrate as our U13s and U11s dominated the leader boards.

In the U13 competition, Isaac Raddan (Y7) took first place, with Sam Barnes (Y8) in second place. In the U11 competition, we had three boys in amongst the top four places. Berkley Barnicoat (Y6) took the top spot with Oliver Featherstone (Y5) in third place and Ollie Jackson (Y6) in joint fourth. Our congratulations go to them and all the boys who took part. Congratulations also go to Isaac’s dad, who finished in second place in the parent and staff competition and, most importantly, St Anthony’s Prep for kindly organising the virtual event.

“At a time when it is all too easy to let fitness and exercise fall away, we are incredibly proud that our boys are doing quite the opposite. They have taken on numerous physical challenges with great enthusiasm and commitment, whether that be the Roger Bannister One Mile Challenge or our own weekly tutor group and house sports challenges. We even had families climbing the heights of mountains by going up and down stairs over half term! Well done to all the boys and their families for their continued, brilliant efforts.”

Mr Phillips, Director of Sport
*Photo from before the pandemic.

Brilliant Bake Off

Like the programme that inspired our Great Bedford Prep School Bake-off, this lockdown club has helped fire the imagination, creativity and enthusiasm for baking this term. 

We have so enjoyed seeing the boys’ brilliant bakes over the last seven weeks as they have tackled cupcakes, biscuits, pizzas, bread, European and Chinese foods, and even a Valentine’s Day themed bake. We only wish we could have tasted them all as well—but at least we know that almost 60 families have had this pleasure.

“I have been incredibly impressed by the response to this challenge. It has been fantastic to see so many boys involved, learning new skills, and showcasing their talents.”

Ms Bowis

With the final week to go—’showstopper’ celebration cake week—we hope that they will get ready, set and bake one last time, but will also keep going afterwards, just for fun.

Here are just a few of the many brilliant baking moments.


Medieval Castles

Our Y5 boys have been busy learning about Medieval times in history this term, from the successful Norman invasion of 1066 to how William and the Normans established control in England, including their castle building.

In their lessons, the boys learned about all the different kinds of castles: from the first motte and bailey castles (from the French words for mound and enclosure), which the Normans built en masse all over the country to control their newly won territory, to the stone keeps and concentric castles that followed.

The boys then set about creating their own castles, and judging by their incredibly detailed models, the boys enjoyed the project immensely and gained an in-depth knowledge of the topic.

Y4 and Y5 Creative Designs

We are always impressed with our boys’ creativity, and this half term, our Y4 and Y5 boys have truly excelled themselves.

In art, our Y4 boys, inspired by George Seurat’s art, have been exploring pointillism – a painting technique that uses small, distinct dots of colour in patterns to form an image – also referred to as ‘peinture au point’ (painting by dots). The boys’ meticulous artwork, full of pure bright colours, is a joy to see.

Our Y4 boys have also been creating bird feeders made from recycled materials in DT. With all the recent snow and cold weather, we do not doubt that the birds are very grateful for their inventive, ‘green’ and well-stocked feeders.

In RE, our Y5 boys have turned their creative talents to creating stained glass windows. This half term, the boys have been learning about Jesus’ teachings and, in particular, the Sermon on the Mount. After discussing each of the Beatitudes: the eight blessings recounted by Jesus, the boys were invited to create their own stained-glass window to represent one of them. The finished results are beautiful pieces of art for their families to enjoy!

Big Bedford Prep Bird Watch 2021

The Bedford Prep School Big Birdwatch is always a popular event at school, and so we were delighted to see 32 boys sign up this year to take part from home.

Ahead of the birdwatch, the boys prepared themselves by taking quizzes to help them identify common garden birds and their calls, making simple bird feeders to attract the birds to their gardens and even learning how to set up a bird hide. A big thank you to Mrs Chaillou-Kindred for all her top tips and advice.

Their hard work clearly paid off as, between 29 – 31 January, the boys spotted red kites, a sparrow hawk, robins, blue tits, coal tits, wood pigeons, crows, chaffinches, collared doves, blackbirds, sparrows, magpies and even a barn owl!

James gives our Prep Boys a Brilliant Biology Talk

A group of Prep boys enjoyed a fascinating talk from Lower Sixth Former, James Deardon on Wednesday 3 February as he took time out of his studies to introduce them to the world of reef keeping.

While James adapted his presentation (originally given to the Upper School’s Biology Society) for his younger audience, it still gave the boys an excellent scientific introduction into corals, water chemistry, organisms and ecological relationships—all of which can be discovered by keeping a reef aquarium.

James explained, “I originally performed the presentation to the Upper School and felt that a Prep School audience could also very much benefit from it. As well as it being one of my personal hobbies, I feel that this topic is a perfect example of the application of science, and how what is learned in lessons can be applied to real-life situations outside the classroom. For me, this is vitally important for students to start developing passions for certain subjects, which hopefully sticks with them throughout their time at the school.” 

The boys left the talk buzzing with excitement about the many fascinating facts they had learned: from polyps to the algae that colour the coral to how reefs are dying out, and how you can help replenish your own corals through fragging. A highlight of the talk was the many incredible creatures discussed, from the ‘clean-up crews’ of hermit crabs, cleaner shrimps and sea snails that are a vital part of the reef’s ecosystem to the ‘nasty hitchhikers’, such as the pistol shrimp who fires bullets of bubbles at its foes. The bang that this incredible creature creates is, for a split second, 4800oC, nearly as hot as the surface of the sun, and is louder than the call of a blue whale.

Speaking afterwards, the Prep boys who had signed up for the lunchtime online talk commented, “Wow, that was amazing!” and that it was full of “good advice” for getting started in reef keeping.

Mr Mallalieu, Head of Science in the Prep School, told us, “We are enormously grateful to James for his brilliant talk. Talks from our Upper School boys and their involvement in many of our enrichment activities play an important role in enhancing the boys’ education. They are wonderful role models and inspire so many boys to follow in their footsteps.”