Dear Parents

I suspect that you, like I, will be wondering just where another academic year has gone! This is just a short note, with very long links, to say thank you for all you have done for the school this year, both directly and through your sons. It has been a strong year for the school and I attach copies of my end of term assembly and Speech Day talks, which highlight a number of the special moments, and curiosities, of the term and year gone by. 

Head Master’s Speech, Speech Day 2017

Head Master’s Final Assembly

Interestingly, this first week of the school holidays has contained a number of items already which may provide a different insight into understanding the richness of life at the school. I had an exciting meeting with a Milton Keynes based company to look at how we take forward the teaching of coding at the school. Currently, there is a good timetabled provision in the Prep School and we have ICT days, Robotics Club, and A Level Computing in the Upper School, but we feel this is an area we can improve upon; and there is certainly demand for it amongst the younger boys in particular – over 40 Fourth Formers signed up for a coding morning on the last Saturday of term.  Then I attended the launch of the HEART Academies Trust, a new Multi-Academy Trust set up by the Bedford Academy, which itself has a sole sponsor in the Harpur Trust. Bedford School has recently had far stronger links with the State sector via a partnership with Mark Rutherford School, who approached us four years ago to see if there might be mutual benefit in linking more closely. There certainly has been!  We have learned much from each other and shared in some exciting initiatives, both at boy and staff level; the latest involved my signing a contract this morning for some Sixth Formers to be involved in some frontline science research (on worms!) via IRIS (the Institute for Research in Schools).

Various OBs have been back in to school this week, emphasising the lifelong nature of a boy’s association with Bedford. One was looking for careers advice; another (on his way to take up a Golf Scholarship in the States after a GAP year) wanted his paintings back from my office wall! We have been interviewing – it seems an all year round project in a school with c.400 employees (full or part-time) on its books – and we have had several meetings concerning the Estate, addressing both short-term summer projects and longer term issues. 

It is also IB results day, as I write. I am always acutely conscious that the individual stories are far more important than the collective sum, but nevertheless as a cohort this year’s boys have done extremely well and I have released a statement to the website here. Two years ago on results day, we had an average IB score of 34.7 (out of a possible 45 points); last year was 36.1; this year it is 37.2. I am pleased by this progress, as I am with the academic progress of the school more generally – I do think we are heading in a good direction, whilst being sure to maintain and enhance the extra-curricular offer of the school and the things that ‘really matter’.  There is always plenty to do, which is what makes this such a fun place to work, and I greatly look forward to next year already!

Before that, though, a break. I wish you all a very happy July and August and some wonderful time with your boys.

With kind regards

James Hodgson
Head Master






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