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Charlie to Play in England Cricket Tournament

Lower Sixth Former Charlie Mumford’s excellent season in the crease has been recognised with a call up from the English Cricket Board (ECB).

Charlie has been selected to play in the ECB U19 ‘Super 4s’ competition, which will take place at the National Cricket Centre at Loughborough University on 26 July. The ECB select approximately 50 of the best young cricketers in the country and places them into four balanced teams to play in the tournament, which plays a big part in the selection of the England U19 squad.

Charlie has had an excellent season for the school, and he has continued his good form for Hampshire’s youth and 2nd XI teams, and so his selection for this tournament is very much deserved.

Gary Steer, Director of Cricket, told us, “Charlie has been outstanding for the school at all age groups both as a batsman and wicket keeper, and it comes as no surprise that he has been selected for the ECB super 4s. He has worked very hard on all areas of his game, and as a school, we are very proud of what he has achieved for Hampshire and us. We wish him all the very best at the tournament.”

Tom Brett, 1st XI Coach, added, “Charlie has led from the front for the 1st XI this season as a batsman and wicket keeper, and on many occasions he has demonstrated what a class act he is. However, his crowning glory was, without doubt, his superb hundred against Eton, which was one of the reasons he was deservedly awarded his major cricket colours. Charlie has developed into a very talented cricketer, and this is a fantastic opportunity for him to play in such a prestigious tournament with all the very best U19 players in the country.”

Farewell, Upper Sixth

Speech Day always fills us with a heady amount of pride and emotion as we bid farewell to our Upper Sixth boys and their families. While this year the celebrations were appropriately scaled back, it was still a wonderful celebration of the many incredible achievement of the boys. If you have not the chance to watch the live stream, it is available to watch through the link below:

After prizes were awarded, families enjoyed watching the Upper Sixth XI and the 2020 Leavers XI compete in a game of cricket, while enjoying picnics and soaking up the summer sunshine. 

We wish our leavers the best of luck for the future, and of course, their journey at Bedford isn’t over – they are now fully-fledged Old Bedfordians and brand new members of the OB Club!

We hope the photos below capture the ambiance of the day. 

 

Boys Teach Mandarin to Primary School Children

Helping children in the community to read and learn new skills, has been just one of the projects forming part of the school’s Community Partnerships initiative since it began in 2019.

Keeping the momentum going during COVID times has proved a challenge, but nothing stopped two Upper Sixth Formers, Andy Wong and Seong Wan Pai, from their campaign to educate children across Bedford in the language of Mandarin. On Thursday 1 July, the two boys, got together via Zoom with Year 4 children at local primary school, St James’ Primary.

What was particularly impressive about this session, was that Andy conducted his part of the lesson from his hotel room in Hong Kong, where he is currently isolating. Seong, dialled in from school, to deliver an outstanding lesson – the children were engaged, curious and participated superbly.   

Maria Soulsby, Head Teacher at St James’ Primary was delighted with the lesson and told us, “The children really enjoyed the session, and what was really lovely, was that our two native Mandarin speakers were able to become experts and help their classmates, especially when the technology was a bit iffy. It really gave them a confidence boost and added value to their heritage.” 

The boys have been visiting children in local primary schools over the last couple of years – initially doing so in person, but latterly online. Working with our community schools is so important as it gives more children access to wider extra-curricular learning.

It is not just the primary school children who benefit – our boys have learnt so much too, as well as the satisfaction of seeing lots of children willing and eager to learn.

Seong explained, “Something I have learnt is that teaching is not an easy job. It requires a lot of skills and preparation beforehand. During the three months of lessons last year, Ms Geneva was helping us to improve. For example, introducing little games to our lessons (circle and crosses) to create an exciting atmosphere in the class.”

Delivering the sessions by Zoom has not always been easy. Andy said, “Teaching from Hong Kong with connection issues was hard. However, this shows how hard it was for the teachers during the lockdown – when you can’t approach the students.

It is vital for us to work with primary schools, as this builds confidence and communications skills for us – we get a lot from this.”

Open Air Summer Music Concert

The annual Summer Music Concert has always been one of the highlights in our school calendar – the sounds of our orchestras reverberating from the windows of our Great Hall on a summer’s evening really is wonderful to experience – whether you are strolling past outside or in the audience.

Restrictions this year, meant that we had to rethink how to host such an event, and thanks to the creativity of our music department, they have come up with something which will go down in the history books.

As it was not possible to bring all the boys together for a live event, we instead filmed each year group bubble during their rehearsals. Music teachers were keen to give the boys an experience to remember. So, all boys were brought together outside on the school field, with all appropriate social distancing observed, to have one final run through of the piece that they had been rehearsing in their separate year groups.

All rehearsals have been filmed and are currently being edited into a ‘Summer Music Concert’ highlights video for everyone to enjoy. This should be ready next week, so look out on the school’s social media channels and website for the link.

Director of Music, Jonathan Sanders, said, “Both boys and staff were obviously disappointed when it became clear that it was not going to be possible to bring all of the separate year group bubble ensembles together for a combined performance in the Great Hall at the end of term. It was quite an experience to have boys spread out across the grass in front of the main building playing extracts from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – possibly a first for Bedford School! Members of the Chapel Choir also gathered on the Chapel steps to sing together for one last time before the end of the academic year. Extracts from these two events plus footage from recent rehearsals will be included in a highlights video which the Music Department will be releasing on social media channels next week.”

Drama and Music Showcase!

Two quintessentially British summer evenings were enjoyed by audiences who gathered to watch some of our talented drama and music students perform in our first ever Drama and Music Showcase held in the stunning surroundings of the Quarry Theatre gardens.

The rain managed to hold off on both nights, allowing the boys to perform extracts from famous plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blue Remembered Hills and Lord of the Flies on an outdoor stage. With music provided by our Jazz Band, and Pimms and lemonade served to the audience in their seats, it was a real treat for theatre lovers to sit back and enjoy a live performance with such a magical ambience.

Fifth Former Will Roberts provided impressive compèring, introducing the evening and chatting in between each item to ensure the audience was kept engaged and entertained throughout. 

Head of Creative Arts, Antoinette Keylock, said, “I have really enjoyed bringing the drama and music departments together and I am very keen to have regular joint creative arts events in the future. It was a wonderful evening – the mixture of drama monologues, group pieces and musical interludes was delightful. The Quarry Garden setting is a unique space and I have never directed anything in the garden before, so it was great to see the pieces in a different venue.”

It is perhaps also rather fitting to know that Wednesday’s performance was actually the 1000th show in our Quarry Theatre since it opened in 2015!

The event was live streamed on YouTube for those unable to attend in person, and is still available to watch here. Alternatively, why not hear an account of the evening from the compère himself, Will Roberts!

“It was the first time this year the current Fourth Formers have been able to experience as close to a production as we can get in these times, and all of the Fourth Formers involved grabbed at that opportunity. Tanay Rai opened both nights with a light comedy monologue The Lost Crutch and on both occasions he aced his comedic timing and tone to set a real standard for the evening. This standard was then matched by the cast of Blue Remembered Hills, who threw themselves across the stage in what is a physically demanding, yet fun piece to perform. The boys encapsulated the idea of playing younger children and once again provided some comedic moments. The musicians across both nights were on point, from Hugo Hodgson and his flashy suit playing some lovely jazz pieces as people arrived, to the mellow sounds of Alfie Gandesha and Alex Olleson who sang note perfect performances of O Holy Night and Summertime respectively. The string quartet on Wednesday performed like clockwork with their two Baroque pieces and Michael Robertson also gave a lovely rendition of Consider Yourself from Oliver on the opening night. Will Hayward left the audience in stitches after his breath-taking performance of Jonesy, all about a boy with asthma attempting to play rugby in his GCSE PE. Once we had all caught our breaths (including Will) Elio Lepore from the Prep School put on his rendition of The Date. It was great to see such talent from an actor with so much time still ahead of him at the school. Joshua Cooke and Max Pearson also performed monologues and definitely showed their experience as they both enveloped themselves in their comedic characters. Max rounded off both nights with some of the biggest laughs of the night as he donned a rather flamboyant persona! Once Charlie Eggleton had made his fourth costume change of the night after a reading from the Demon Headmaster, he was quickly ushered on to deliver what was one of the highlights of both evenings: Lord of the Flies. A short scene delivered from the Golding classic was professionally delivered by the Fourth Form actors who, with only a few weeks to prepare, gave a topping performance. It’s so exciting to see such artistic talent beaming through the lower year groups in the school.”  

Entrepreneurial Thinking

As part of a week-long induction into the Sixth Form, our Fifth Form boys enjoyed a day filled with challenges and goals all designed to help them think entrepreneurially. A core focus for the school is to teach boys to not only generate ideas, but also to have the ability to bring them to fruition, and our first ever E-Day (Entrepreneur Day) was designed to do just this. Run by our Entrepreneur in Residence, Zubair Junjunia, the day was centred around finding solutions to tackle the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) developed by the United Nations.

To help get the boys thinking differently, they were randomly assigned a SDG target and a focus of either a local or global lens. Over the day, they were guided using frameworks through stages of empathising with people affected by their specific global challenge, generating ideas and developing a prototype to solve it, before finally pitching to convince their peers of their solution.

The boys came up with some wild ideas: developing a high-speed, never-stopping global train network to deliver clean water throughout the world, collecting rainwater in giant boxes floating in the Atlantic, and even thermal-electric generators that would recycle all lost heat energy. However, the winning pitch went to #LoveGreen for a Pokémon Go-style app that encouraged locals to pick up litter and reward them for doing so.

Mr Junjunia said, “Collaborative learning, design thinking and enterprise planning – with the support of frameworks, the boys were able to apply these critical skills in developing a solution to solve our global challenges. Speaking to the groups, one thing that blew me away was their depth of perception as they took a broad global goal and drilled down to identify a specific group affected and empathised with their needs and challenges.”

Cooking Around the World

Getting together with family and friends over good food and conversation is, arguably, one of the greatest joys of life, and it was this simple pleasure that united nationalities in our boarding houses in a special ‘Around the World’ cooking week. This was just one of the many activities the boys enjoyed as part of The Boarding Schools’ Association’s National Boarding Week.

Chinese Co-ordinator and language teacher, Dr. Aurora Chen was the inspiration behind the week of international cuisine, aiming to showcase regional, and seasonal, food to boys in our boarding houses.

Dr Chen explained, “I feel that our boys are fortunate living and studying along with peers who come from different cultural backgrounds. Apart from receiving a first-class education in Bedford School, it is critical that prior to university boys gain some life skills such as cooking.”

Dr Chen was delighted when several members of teaching staff jumped at the chance to lend support and cook up some dishes from their own cultural backgrounds. The idea was also expanded to encourage them to talk about the cultures behind the cuisine and about the boys’ experience as UK boarders while they cooked.  

First up was School Chaplain, Mr McCleery and Lower Sixth Former Jason Ni who, cooking their dishes simultaneously in the kitchen at Burnaby House, prepared dishes from their respective home countries. Mr McCleery, who is from Edinburgh in Scotland, cooked up baked egg made with crab from the Orkney Islands. This was followed by Scottish Tablet, which is similar to fudge, made from sugar and condensed milk – all washed down with lashings of Scotland’s popular pop, Iron Brew. Jason cooked up Cantonese Pork, a traditional recipe in which the pork is left to marinate in ginger, garlic, spring onion and sugar.

In Pemberley House, English Teacher Ms Bassa paired with Head of School Andy Wong to share culinary delights. Ms Bassa showed Andy how to cook Patiwala cakes, which are traditionally made to celebrate Eid after the long period of fasting during Ramadan. They are made from pastry, cake batter and jam, and served hot. Eid is enjoyed with friends and family, and a lot of delicious baked food! In return, Andy, who is a quarter Thai, prepared the most delicious mango sticky rice whilst sharing fond memories of house barbeques and Friday evenings in the boarding house. He said, “It’s great the way we always praise each other in the house. ‘Man of the Week’ is something we all look forward to.”

Pao de Queijo, a Brazilian cheesy bread was on the menu for maths Teacher, Mr Jones, who explained that he has spent a lot of time in Brazil with his Brazilian wife and her family. Mr Jones told us, “I love learning about other cultures and this cooking session highlights to me how lucky we are in the boarding houses to have such a diverse group of staff and students with such differing life experiences. I know how life-changing living and working in a different country can be and it makes me smile thinking about what our boys are going to experience together during their time here.”

Mr Jones was joined in the kitchen by Lower Sixth Former Kolia Sorokin from Russia. Kolia wanted to take part, because he enjoys exploring other cultures and comparing how different their lives are to his. He also really enjoys cooking. He told us, “Sharing recipes enables you to really understand other people’s cultures, as food provides a great insight into their customs and traditions. Apart from learning to make some excellent Brazilian snacks, I also learnt a lot about the Brazilian culture and how different it is to the English and the Russian ones.”

Finally, Mr Ruta, who is half Italian, shared his grandmother’s Tiramisu recipe in exchange for the most scrummy looking omelette rice cooked by Remove Former, Shiryu Oshiro. Shiryu, who is from Japan, enjoys boarding as it gives him the right balance of down time and study time, which enables him to focus better and this has taught him to become a much more independent learner.

We captured the four cookery sessions in this short film, which was shown to all boys across the school during assembly, which we hope inspired them to try a few of the recipes themselves and hope that you will enjoy watching too – but be prepared to be very hungry afterwards!

To celebrate National Boarding Week, the four boys involved would like to raise money for Bedford Foodbank. If you would like to show your support, you can contribute here.  

Who Won the Boarders’ Games Trophy?

The summer equinox earlier this week made way for an evening of sunshine and warmth, and what better way to make the most of the lovely long days than by holding our inaugural Boarders’ Games.

After a difficult year for the boarding community, we wanted to give them a fun-filled evening to bring the boarding houses together safely and end the academic year on a high. And so, after consultation with the boys themselves, the first ever Boarders’ Games was born.

The concept was based around “It’s a Knock-Out” – if you are old enough to remember this – although minus the foam! Boys competed in their houses in games such as Bucking Bronco, Vortex Throw, Inflatable Hoops and Rugby Darts.

Of course, no games competition would be the same without some of the more traditional events such as the three-legged race and good old egg and spoon – some very dubious techniques were witnessed. The boys also competed in a tennis ball catch with balls thrown by the Head Master, and a sack race using mail sacks courtesy of the Bell Room!

There were some sterling performances on display too. Rugby Scholar James Neal won the rugby darts (with enviable style), and Danny Champion won the Vortex Throw with one very impressive throw.

At half time, the boys enjoyed a delicious barbeque cooked up by our catering team and sat eating and chatting on the grass as the sun began to set.

Chris Bury, Senior Boarding Housemaster told us, “To help celebrate National Boarding Week, we wanted to introduce an event which would be fun and bring the boarding community together safely after this difficult year. The idea of ‘The Boarders Games’ came about through discussions with the senior boys and with the help of many colleagues through school we managed to put on an event that hit the mark perfectly, where all boarders could participate and contribute. It certainly created some good and long-lasting memories. After its success, we will definitely be looking to make this an annual boarding event.”

After an incredible effort by all, and a whole heap of fun, it was Sanderson’s House who were crowned the victors and awarded a big shiny trophy for their efforts.

Then it was back to their boarding houses just in time to watch England beat Czech Republic 1-0 in the UEFA European Championships.

A great night indeed!

“This is hilarious!”

Eagle House Boarder during the three-legged race.

“I’m just very proud of my house. It’s just what I expected of them really.”

Ethan Ofosu, Head of Phillpotts House

“Outstanding! The boys loved it.”

James Marriott, Housemaster Redburn

“The boys were buzzing – top effort.”

Richard Midgely, Housemaster Sanderson’s

 

 

Freddie Joins the Next Generation of Talented Creatives

We are delighted to hear that Upper Sixth Former Freddie Peacock has joined an elite group of young creatives as part of Guap magazine’s ‘21 under 21’ initiative in collaboration with Instagram.

Freddie, who was awarded an art scholarship when he started in the Upper School, decided to enter his work after seeing the scheme advertised on Instagram. Its idea is to identify a list of emerging and trailblazing creators to help drive culture forward. The scheme is split into five categories: music, sport, art, fashion and make up, each represented by an industry expert. With a talent in all these areas, Freddie’s showreel of work impressed the organisers so much that he was put forward in both the fashion and art categories.

As a result Freddie, along with a small number of other young creators, will receive entrepreneurial support to help him find his audience and turn his passion into a living. Freddie has already been interviewed by Guap magazine and recently attended a networking event in London where he was able to meet inspirational creatives such as art curator, James Lewis.   

He explained, “It’s really important for me to meet other like-minded creators so we can share ideas and create opportunities. Things are just starting to happen with ’21 under 21’ and it’s a very exciting time. It feels good for my work to be recognised and I love being able to explore different creative fields.”

Freddie has been at Bedford School since he was seven years old, and has no doubt that the school has played a fundamental part in his art and design career so far. In particular, he thanked Mr Croker for recognising his talent early on and nurturing it, making the most of his strengths, while also giving him plenty of autonomy in his work. “Mr Croker’s teaching style matches my way of learning perfectly.”

Director of Art, Michael Croker told us, “Freddie is our first art scholar to progress all the way through the Upper School. He has been an exceptional student who has made the most of every artistic opportunity available to him it highlights his drive and ambition that he has got involved in this prestigious and exciting competition. That he has also just been accepted on to the Foundation Art course at Central St Martins in London speaks volumes about his ability and potential. Freddie is definitely someone to look out for in the future.”

Freddie standing next to his exam piece which was inspired by contemporary artist George Condo.