Well, what a term and what a year, boys! I cannot tell you how proud I am of all you have achieved this year, but also the way in which you have achieved it. Everyone has tried so hard to make this term the success it has been. To those of you who have joined for the first time this year, a particular well done. It is hard to settle in at the best of times, but the challenges this year have been tougher than normal. The Fourth Form deserve particular mention for their excellent start as a year group – please do maintain your mutual support and kindness to each other throughout the school. The range of activity has been astonishing, from cricket and rowing to tai chi and three legged-races, Duke of Edinburgh and CCF to drama and music; and there has been barely a day at school when we have not laughed. So, well done to all – and, once tomorrow is finished, I wish you all a good few hours’ sleep and then a fine summer holiday!

I am going to start today with prizes, as we do not normally have these at Final Assembly, and I have no real idea how long things will take today. These are prizes that would normally be awarded on Speech Day, but with the restrictions this year, only the Upper Sixth boys will get them tomorrow. It struck the Deputy Head (Academic) and I yesterday, now that we have struck the U6 prizes out, that this is rather a random collection – usually as a result of somebody historically donating a prize; so, we are going to review this for next year, to see if we can get some greater consistency across the board. Nevertheless, huge congratulations go to the following boys, whom Mr Baldock will now call forward. As you take them, you may leave here to go back to join your tutor group….

Fourth Form winners


Archie Wellbelove Prize

Ruben Jacob

David Stanbridge History Prize

Tanay Rai

John H Buck Prize for Consistent Effort

Eric Breslin


Remove Form winners


Lejeune Prize for French

Tom Cameron-Fraser

School Prize for Enthusiasm and Commitment to Chinese

Aaron Berman

School Prize for Music Junior

Max Leung


Lower Sixth Form winners


Talalay Science Prize

James Deardon

Phillpotts-Sargeaunt Prize for Spoken English 

Ethan Whitlock

Lower VIth Modern Languages Essay

Tom Herbert

Heald Prize for German  Senior

James Cutler

R. Baker Prize for German

Sami Haroon

Godber Prize for Organ playing

James Watson

Barford Prize for Woodwind playing

Christopher Sporton

Fanshawe Divinity Prize

Sami Haroon

School Prize for Religious Studies

James Moffat

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

David Adeyemi-Abere

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Alexander Aellen

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

George Ashcroft

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

James Cutler

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Sami Haroon

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Harry Hine

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Anish Katechia

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Krish Nair

Norris Prize for Outstanding GCSE results

Dylan Swain

Bedford School Independent Project Prize

James Cutler

Tristam Yarde Prize

Harry Hine

The Headmaster Prize for Social Entrepreneurship – runner up

Joba Thomas

The Headmaster Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

James Cutler

The Headmaster Prize for Social Entrepreneurship

Harry Hine


We also traditionally award the House Cups today. 




  • Junior House Cricket: St Peter’s    
  • Derek Randall Catcher’s Cup: Archie Houghton             
  • Redburn Cup for most contribution below the 1st XI: Piratheesh Karunakaran                                                               


  • Upper Sixth House Tennis: Paulo Pontine                                                   
  • Lower sixth House Tennis: Crescent
  • Fifth Form House Tennis: Crescent
  • Remove Form House Tennis: Crescent


  • House Shooting: Ashburnham                                                     
  • Best Shot: Daniel Lumley-Wood                     
  • Best Junior Marksman: Jack Aldridge                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Overall House Cup (truncated this year)

 The final points are:

  •  6th – Ashburnham- 20pts
  • 4th =  Bromham and St Peter’s – 22.5pts
  • 3rd – Paulo Pontine – 24.5pts
  • 2nd – St Cuthbert’s – 28pts
  • 1st – Crescent – 29.5pts       

Bedford School Independent Project

It has been especially difficult to judge the Bedford School Independent Project (BSIP) competition this year, given the large number of high-quality entries from Lower Sixth boys. BSIP projects, mostly consisting of extended essays of 2000-3000 words in length, were submitted on topics ranging from Nanotechnology, AI and Neurology to East Asian politics, the health benefits of music, decolonising museums, and the impact of peer pressure on ideologies of perfectionism. Boys went to considerable lengths to complete their work to a high standard, taking creative approaches to gathering data and presenting their findings. Ethan Galbraith’s photographic essay charted a family walk along the Greensand Ridge, Maxwell Martin made a documentary video on the impact of streaming on the film industry, and Sebastian Peacock deconstructed the engine of a classic Fiat 126. In all, fifteen boys were highly commended for their projects. In addition, runners-up awards go to Anish Katechia, for a report on the coronavirus job retention scheme, and to Alex Aellen, for an investigation into the consequences of Artificial Intelligence. The overall winner of the BSIP Prize 2021 is James Cutler, for ‘A study of Chinese neomercantilist policy and its effects on domestic economic development’. Many congratulations to all.    

BSIP Results 2021

Overall Winner:

  • James Cutler, A study of Chinese neomercantilist policy and its effects on domestic economic development. 


  • Anish Katechia, How has the coronavirus job retention scheme implemented by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, otherwise known as the furlough scheme, reduced unemployment in the UK?
  • Alex Aellen, The Consequences of Artificial Intelligence

Highly Commended:

  • Olaoluwa Apesin, The Uses and Impacts of Nanotechnology for Medical Purposes
  • Ian Chan, The Political Spectrum of Hong Kong
  • Jack Chaplin, Music: How does it affect a person’s physical and mental health, and is that effect good?
  • Tyler Choga, The Impact of Streaming on the Film Industry
  • Mal Crook, How AI is revolutionising the Transport and Delivery industry 
  • Ethan Galbraith, To what extent is the landscape of the Greensand Ridge Walk totally influenced by people? 
  • Benjie Ingram-Moore, Social/peer pressure influences the ideology of perfectionism that largely impacts teenage mental health.’ A discussion of the major players and their effects.
  • Thomas Jenkin, Do Plastics Have a Future as a Sustainable Project?
  • Ciaran Kilbane, Are Brain Machine Interfaces Beneficial to Neurological Medicine?
  • Maxwell Martin, Analysis of a Mars Ice Home
  • Robert Menhart, The Beauty of Mathematics: A Study of Fractal Geometry and Chaos Theory
  • Charlie McCutcheon, Should the West return cultural artefacts to their former colonial territories? 
  • Arun Nanda, Evaluating the motivations of the economic agents involved in the GameStop Saga 2021, with reference to Behavioural Economic Theory
  • Henry Oldham, How far do you agree with the argument that the UK constitution should be codified? 
  • Sebastian Peacock, Deconstructing a Combustion Engine
  • Miles Radcliffe, A study of stellar evolution, black holes and beyond: What is a black hole, how are they formed and how has our understanding of black holes changed over the years?
  • Yonathan Sileshi, Do The advantages of using Military Robots outweigh the Disadvantages?
  • James Watson, Dmitry Shostakovich: How his Life was Impacted due to his Relationship with Stalin and the Soviet Union

Academic Merit awards

  • Jason He (Fourth Form) – 75 Academic Merits
  • William Baker (Remove Form) – 75 Academic Merits

Head Master Commendations

  • Alexander Olleson (Fourth Form) for a superb set of end-of-year assessments and achieving a gold medal in the Biology Olympiad.
  • Ra’ed Rizwan (Fourth Form) for sustained excellence in both his hazards learning and independent research project in Geography
  • Ivan Iankov (Remove Form) for a superb set of end-of-year examinations and producing an excellent video about global resource allocations.
  • Blake Swift (Remove Form) for his commitment to Physics, completing almost 1000 additional problems independently.
  • Harry Hine (Lower Sixth) for an exceptionally detailed and incisive English essay exploring horror in Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’.
  • Maldwyn Crook (Lower Sixth) for having one of his solutions published on the University of Cambridge Mathematics Faculty website.

Summary report for sport for the summer term 2021 


In March, we all received the wonderful news that we would have as close to ‘normal’ cricket season as possible and, considering we are still very much in a worldwide pandemic, most teams managed to get a good amount of cricket, at all age levels. 

For the 14-year-old age group, without doubt, the highlight of the season was the ‘double’ wins over Eton and Harrow by the A team. This was very closely followed by a superb win over a very strong Stamford team off the last ball of the game. The B team had a very strong season with winning 5 out of 6 games and the C team also performed very well winning 4 out of 7 matches; the Ds will have to wait another year to get off the mark!

In the Under 15 age group, the A team performed well and even managed a very good win against Harrow with a team that was somewhat depleted. There are a number of very promising cricketers in the age group and no doubt we will see some of them playing in the 1st in coming seasons. The B team won 3 out of 5 of their matches and there was plenty of enjoyable cricket for the Cs and Ds.

Overall, the senior teams have done well this season, especially as (below 1st team level), we continued to play in year group bubbles whilst the majority of the opposition was selecting from three age groups. However, what this did do was create a fantastic atmosphere in each of our teams as boys were playing with friends who they have grown up with and it was clear to see, the boys were thoroughly enjoying their cricket.  

The 1st XI started the season with a bit of a wobble, however, following plenty of hard work from the boys in the nets with Mr Brett, the team started to grow and quickly turned the corner with excellent wins against Berkhamsted, a very strong Stamford side and a superb win against Eton. At the time Eton had played more than double the amount of matches we had played and had only lost one game, so this was a win to be proud of. A number of boys have performed well in the 1st XI this season, Archie Houghton with bat and ball, Dilan Sheemar with the new ball, Rohan Mehmi kept it tight in the middle of the innings and Henry Warren captained the side with great skill. However, the standout player has been Charlie Mumford who has scored over 500 runs (including a superb hundred against Eton) and has also kept wicket very tidily. There should also be a mention here for the Under 17C (4th) team, who for much of the season played other schools 3rd XIs and always put up a very good fight and managed to win two of their games. 

Whilst it has been a stop-start season, the cricket staff and the boys have been magnificent. Everyone has continued to work hard, make the best of a difficult situation and the main success of the season was seeing boys playing competitive teams sports again. 

Awards for Cricket for this season: 

Major Colours: Charlie Mumford, Archie Houghton, Ashlesh Chandrapu, Dilan Sheemar, Henry Warren, James Worker, Rohan Mehmi     

Minor Colours:    Alex Aellen, Anish Katechia, Ben Barnes, Piratheesh Karunakaran, Benjie Ingram-Moore, Callum Wallis, George Mansell, Ibrahim Hassan, Jacques Wildon, Jonathan Huggins, Nick Challacombe, Raoul Flora, Sami Haroon, Simeon Gay, Ted Walker, Tom Herbert, Zane Haroon  


The season like no other finally delivered some racing this term, in the form of the National Schools Regatta, held at Dorney, which can be a barren place even with spectators, but this year was even more so without them. Each year group had a day to themselves to preserve the bubbles and the overall numbers of events were limited. 

On limited water time this summer, all the boys battled well to compete in the B finals, mostly finishing in the middle of the pack. The most notable battle being in the Championship eights event, where the race for 10th between us and Dulwich came down to the last 10 strokes, with both crews leading at various times down the track; unfortunately for us, Dulwich lead across the line, and we settled for a very creditable 11th in the country.

The main event of the term, as far as the 72 Fourth Form boys were concerned, was the Peterborough Championship, where the 4 Octos and 2 Quads entered would find out if the coaches had managed to select them in the right order. The A and B crew coaches were patting themselves on the back after the time trial – A crew 4th, B crew 6th – but the Cs and Ds came out the opposite way round. The OB, James Zhang, coaching the C Octo, shuffled his pack before the final and after another thriller, the Cs overturned the Ds by 3.4 seconds. 

The last Saturday of term saw us back at Dorney for a fixture with Reading Blue Coat School and Eton which was predominately a J15s event. Eton boated 6 eights, one of which included the son of multiple Olympic Rowing gold medallist Sir Matthew Pinsent. The school sent 2 eights, with the A boat having to be reduced to a four, after boys were lost to contact tracing. The racing was over 1km in a handicapped format, which produced some very close racing on the line that all the boys and parents enjoyed. 

Thank you to everyone involved in the Boat Club this year and let’s all hope we can resume normal regimes from September both on and off the water. 

Awards for Rowing for this term 

Major Colours: Aaric Timms, Alex Gates, Max Lusty, William Garner 

Minor Colours: Austin Ward, Blake Ayling, Charlie McCutcheon, Gabriel Davis, Gabriel Mann, Henry Tyrer, Jack Beighton, Jacob Bailey, James Deardon, Matthew Lousada Blaazer, Orlando Williams, Oscar Whitcombe, Seb Iles  


With very few fixtures in the calendar this year, we had the opportunity to run some internal team competitions. These proved highly competitive and very successful. With a multi-events format and the score of each competitor counting for their team, there was much action and excitement. There were twists and turns along the way, and the competition could easily flip on its head with three no throws or foul jumps, which happened on a few occasions. This meant that the final 4 x 100m relay race always had something to play for, not just the bragging rights of winning it. 

We took a team to the Radley multi-events and the Achilles Relays. The team had some success at the Achilles Relays event at Iffley Road (home of Sir Roger Bannister’s sub-4-minute mile) as they saw off the competition of a number of very strong schools. Specifically, the Lower Sixth 4 x 100m relay team of Feyisayo Okusanya, Maxwell Martin, Jake Pattison and Alex Edun and the 4 x 400m relay team of Ellis Morgan, Alex Edun, Alex Moffat and Maxwell Martin came a very respectable 3rd. Thank you to all the boys for your effort and commitment to training and competition, it has been a very enjoyable season. 

Minor Sports Colours for Athletics were awarded to: Thomas Allen, Felix Barth, Lewis Butterly, Samuel Dicks, Harry Dowrick, Gurkaran Johal, German Nikolishin, Nathan Oluwatoba Romeo, Ashwin Santos Kumar, Stephen Simmons, Arthur Sowerby, Alfie Warnock  


Fives has continued into the summer term for the first time in recent memory. Boys have been preparing to enter the Rugby Fives Association National Schools Championship which has (inevitably) been delayed to later in the summer. A special boarders’ fives session was also offered. And the courts continue to see investment with new signage up on each court. 


The golf season seems to have been condensed into the summer term; back in April, we had not played our first-round matches of the ISGA National Knockout competition. Both the A and the B team defeated The Perse in our initial matches, before seeing off New Hall and Brentwood respectively in the area semi-finals. This set up Bedford ‘A’ vs Bedford ‘B’ for the right to represent the school at Worsley Park in the final – Lawrence Jeffreys, Alex Robins and Freddie Tucker were the champions elect, narrowly overcoming the ‘A’ team of Finlay Cummings, Jack Peters and Ed Wade. There were some magical moments on their run to the final – most notably Lawrence’s performance against Brentwood; he had made an up and down out of the greenside bunker on 18 to halve both his match and the overall match, forcing a play-off hole which he duly won. 

To Worsley Park, Marriott, we went. We travelled up on Monday for a practice round, which gave us great insight into the course (and the pin positions, which oddly were not changed). Lawrence struggled compared to his usual high standards, and things still were not clicking in his warm-up prior to the main event. Unperturbed, he made par on the 1st from just off the left-hand side of the fairway and never looked back on his way to a +1 round of 72, good enough for 9th place individually on the day. It would be fair to say that Alex’s experiences of the practice round and the first hole of the event were quite the opposite. Having been metronomically hitting fairways and greens the day before, Alex found the trouble down the right of the 1st hole not once but twice, making a dreaded 8. From there, he showed incredible mental fortitude to wipe that from his mind, bouncing back on the 2nd with a birdie. Indeed, this fight back continued all the way round – Alex shot a +5 round of 76, which was only +1 after his horror start. Their combined score of +6 meant that we placed 8th overall. Freddie also had an eventful round; a couple of unfortunate bounces on a cart path, which can quickly blot the scorecard, mixed in with the odd poor shot selection saw Freddie shoot +10 on the front nine. He, too, steeled himself and fought to the bitter(sweet) end – finishing with birdies on 17 and 18 for a +1 back nine and a round of 82. 

In the other, more prestigious, national event – the HMC Foursomes – we had won our first-round encounter against Uppingham back in the autumn, the only match we had been able to play prior to Christmas. The rest of the knockout competition had been scrapped, and a different format for the broadened finals event proposed for this Thursday at Huntercombe GC. We had planned to take the maximum three pairs, but with recent COVID troubles in the Remove Form, we are now restricted to two – Lawrence and Alex, and Fin and Ed. As I write, the finals are in progress.

I am pleased to report some individual successes, also. Fin Cummings represented Bedfordshire in the England Schools’ Event held at Belton Park earlier this week. He was called up late the night before the event, as another competitor was struck down as a close contact of a positive COVID case, so his preparation was limited. Despite this, Fin shot rounds of 72 and 74 to finish 9th overall individually – only narrowly missing out on selection for the home internationals to follow. And Alex Robins qualified to represent the UK in the IMG Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, California, USA in July, having won the IMG World Qualifier over 18 holes at St Ives (Hunts) Golf Course in April. 

Special thanks must go to Holly and Mr Waterhouse, who have both given their time selflessly all term, but also to Mr Midgley, Mr Taylor and Mr Bury who have all looked after the social golf at Stagsden, but also stepped in to cover at Woburn at different times. I would also like to congratulate Fin Cummings on a wonderful Bedford School golf career; he has been an exemplary captain this year. Hopefully, he can sign off with a win for the ages at the HMC finals later this week. Fin hands the captaincy over to Alex Robins next year who, I am sure, will continue in much the same fashion. 


It has been lovely to see the boys back playing tennis this term. They have benefitted from high-quality coaching and have made significant progress with their tennis. We have had fixtures against Stowe, Kimbolton, Rugby, Oakham, BMS, Cedars and Haileybury. The highlight for the juniors was a convincing win against Kimbolton, as well as winning the Regional Division LTA Championships.   

This term we held the inaugural Bedford School Tennis Championships. The competition was open to all boys and there were many competitive matches, on a superb evening of tennis. The winners were as follows:   

  • Fourth Form – Clement Rahwangi Gough   
  • Remove Form – Barnaby James   
  • Fifth Form – Josh Stewart   
  • Lower Sixth – Tom Webb    
  • Upper Sixth – Josh Kerton   

Minor Sports Colours for tennis were awarded to: 
Tobias Todd and Hamza Noor 


Once again(!), it has been an unprecedented term for music-making at Bedford School. The boys have been fantastic, but it would be true to say that boys and staff alike have found the ongoing COVID restrictions to be a challenge; nonetheless, a challenge that has been good for all of us to face! At the beginning of term, we were planning to bring all the different year group ensembles together for a combined live performance at the end of term and to live-stream an end of term concert. Sadly, this has not been possible, but the Music Department staff will be pulling together a compilation video of rehearsal footage taken in the last few weeks to celebrate everything that you, the boys, have been contributing to this term. Keep your eyes peeled on social media for this video which will be released next week.

One of the interesting things about COVID is that it has challenged us all to think afresh about the things that we do, and this has in some cases pushed us into making changes which we wouldn’t have otherwise done. This was certainly the case with our annual instrumental and singing competitions which were recast in year group bubbles this year. Doing it in this way meant that all of the adjudicators were able to listen to all of the performances, and we were, therefore, able to add an extra award to both our junior and senior competitions. We were therefore delighted to be able to award the Bedford School Junior Young Musician of the Year to Max Leung for his performance of Green Hill by Bert Appermont on his euphonium, and the Senior Young Musician of the Year to Nat Otley for his performance of In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington.

A huge thank you to all the boys for remaining good-humoured throughout all of these challenges and we very much hope that we will be back to ‘normal’ in September!

Duke of Edinburgh

This term is normally a busy one for Duke of Edinburgh and this year, amazingly, was no different.

At the start of the half-term break a Bronze Expedition was completed for those Fifth Form pupils who needed this to complete their Bronze from the previous year. At the end of the half-term break, there was a training day for those Remove Form pupils who are doing their expeditions in the coming months. In the penultimate week of term, the Upper Sixth completed their Gold Expeditions, doing their practice and then assessed expedition back-to-back – a feat in itself! The attitude and enjoyment the boys have shown this term has been commendable. The final expedition of the term will take place in the first week of the summer holidays with the Lower Sixth Gold boys completing their practice and assessed expeditions in the Lake District. My thanks go to all the staff who have helped with the award this year.

Rifle Club

This summer term has been busier than normal with the BSSRA Junior and Association Championships having been postponed from previous terms. Dan Lumley-Wood and James Lumley-Wood made the cut for the second round and James finished a very impressive 4th overall. This was then followed by the House Shooting competition. The course of fire for this is 2 five-round groups per team member with the winner achieving the smallest aggregate size. This is a true test of shooting skill, where one slip can spell disaster, and the standard of shooting was very high, with the smallest group just 7.97 mm across. Bromham finished 3rd, with Crescent in 2nd and Ashburnham the winners, who receive the Doig Cup. 

The Cup for Best Shot in the Shooting XIII is awarded to Daniel Lumley-Wood with an impressive League average of 97. The Abrahams Cup for Best Junior Marksman is awarded to Jack Aldridge. 

Minor sports colours are awarded to: 
Jamie Norris, Oscar Terry, James Hine and James Lumley-Wood. 

We say goodbye to thank our Upper Sixth leavers who, having joined in the Fourth Form, have been the mainstay of the league teams for five years. They are Blake Ayling, Will Garner, Dan Lumley-Wood and Jamie Norris, and we hope to see them in the opposition in the OB Match in November.


This term marked another step towards a return to normal for the CCF as we were finally able to start training for Fourth Form recruits, whilst training for the other years continued on an alternating year-group basis. We were also able to welcome the girls of Bedford Girls’ School back to training again, even if they had to do it in a separate session on Monday to maintain segregation between the schools.

Sadly, Annual Camp was cancelled for a second year, despite many hours of planning against a continuously evolving situation.

The Corps did, I am glad to say, manage to stage a very successful Recruits Field weekend in the last week of term, allowing the recruits to experience their first night in the field.

The COVID precautions, alternating year group training weeks and additional Monday evenings for the girls placed a significantly greater burden on the CCF staff; however, they rose to the challenge magnificently and I am very grateful for their work in keeping the Corps running through this difficult time.


Mr Croker got the term underway with a talk at the Art Society about the different techniques that artists through time have used to capture a likeness of reality in paintings. Tracing images is not new, as the boys discovered by looking at the work of Vermeer and Canaletto in particular, who are known to have used camera obscuras in their work. Even Warhol used a projector to trace.

Ben Wilshaw Quinn (OB) is just completing his Fine Art degree at Loughborough, so we were delighted that he was able to find time to talk at the Art Society. Ben talked about the course and opportunities at Loughborough (he has clearly made the most of his time there), which was timely as our current Lower Sixth are beginning to make decisions about where they want to study for their degrees.

Three of the Upper Sixth boys Simeon Gay, Freddie Peacock and Sami Shameem have chosen a one-year Art Foundation course as the next stop on their artistic journeys. All three of them were able to explain to the Lower Sixth boys the advantages of this particular route as an opportunity to expand their art experience before committing to the exact art degree to follow. They were also able to show the portfolios they submitted for their applications and talk through the process.

Andy Wong (U6) gave a talk to the Lower Sixth architects about the application process for degrees. Having been through the experience himself this year he was able to explain the reasons for his choice of specific courses and highlight things to look out for and anticipate.

Matt Mitchell, Interior designer, graduated in 1996 with a Furniture and Related Product Design degree and has been working within a creative environment for 25 years. He has worked as a furniture designer, kitchen designer, office interior designer, workplace consultant, and space planner. Since his career began, he has worked on hundreds of successful projects across a variety of disciplines. He currently works for Canary Wharf Group as a Senior Space Planner. Matt explained that it was an Art Foundation course that crystallised his future career path so that now ‘My role is as varied as my career path which makes it exciting, challenging and above all, creatively satisfying’.

Henry Flatt (L6) gave a very informative talk to the Architecture Society about the controversial Tulip building designed by Fosters and Partners. Having contacted the architects, Henry was able to show some very detailed plans for the building but, despite his very assured presentation, the overall opinion of those listening was that this was not a building that London needed!

Austin Ward (L6) chose the subject ‘What is Modern and Contemporary Art?’ as the subject for his talk to the Art Society. Austin included works by Duchamp, Koons and Gormley to make his argument that art has to constantly change and evolve but did question the extraordinary prices some works demand. What did impress was the inclusion of his own interpretations of Jackson Pollock and Maurizio Cattelan, although those watching were not totally convinced that he had matched the quality of the originals. This talk did generate some interesting conversations and debate.

OB James Skirrow left Bedford School in 2014 and then went on to complete both an Art Foundation course and then an Accounting and Finance degree at the University of Bristol. This unique blend of creativity and numbers has led James to pursue a career in the world of advertising as a Media Planner, where he has spent the last three years working on his craft at independent agency Goodstuff.

Charlie McCutcheon (L6) volunteered to do his third talk of the year but this time focusing on film and ‘How film has been influenced by artworks’. In his well-researched and knowledgeable presentation, Charlie showed stills from films alongside the artworks so, amongst others, Magritte and da Vinci were shown alongside stills from ‘The Truman Show’ by Peter Weir and ‘Inherent Vice’ Paul Thomas Anderson respectively.

Tom Jenkin (L6) chose to talk about NFTs asking the question will this be the way forward for Art of the future. Using Beeple’s work ‘5000 days’ and the extraordinary price realised at auction and referencing David Hockney’s iPad work along the way Tom convincingly explained why he thought that technology will have a huge impact and be the preferred choice of medium for artists moving forward.

Harry Taylor (L6) talked about ‘The fundamentals of Interior Design’. As someone looking to pursue this as a career option, Harry talked knowledgeably about the subject explaining what the role of Interior designer is and what led him to this specific career choice.

Three of our Lower Sixth architects, Henry Flatt, Samson Lok and Chris Sporton, participated in the AHMM online architecture model-making workshop where they were asked to construct a room interior of their own design. AHMM are one of the most successful London architecture practices, so this was a fantastic insight into the whole process of designing. Over the two-hour session, the boys created some exciting and ambitious models.

Michael McCormack (L6) talked about the ‘Art of Forgery’ exploring exactly what the key components to making a convincing copy are. He used Han Van Meegeren as an example, the famous Dutch forger who copied the work of Vermeer.

Will Maltby (L6) gave an informative talk on Rembrandt, an artist he has been looking at for his A-Level coursework project, to conclude the term.

It has been really impressive that, in such a busy term, so many Lower Sixth boys have been so keen and eager to do talks; very well done to them.

We were delighted to be able to host a Student End of Year exhibition to conclude the term. This year’s A-Level exhibition was particularly strong, so it was a daunting task for me to choose the Head Master’s Art prize. However, I was immediately taken by the versatility and range of media used by Boris Song, singling out his big portrait of Mr Croker as technically accomplished and particularly striking. It is indicative of the quality of the Upper Sixth work as a whole that he also wanted to award a second prize for the exciting self-portrait by Freddie Peacock. Well done to them both.


This term has been really exciting for extra-curricular drama, and it has been great to see the theatre so busy with students rehearsing for productions, assessments and workshops. Boys have been rehearsing for a Music and Drama showcase, which took place this week. Students from all year groups, including the Prep School, entertained audiences in the beautiful Quarry Theatre gardens. Particular thanks go to Will Roberts who was the compere for both evenings, writing and delivering the links that maintained a flow from piece to piece. Many thanks to the following boys who took part in the drama pieces:

  • Eric Breslin
  • Josh Cooke
  • Charlie Eggleton
  • Max Pearson
  • Arthur Proctor
  • Tanay Rai
  • Thomas Taylor
  • Rufus Thwaite
  • Millan Verwoert
  • Hugo Wilson

This new event was Mrs Keylock’s first organised event as Head of Creative Arts and she hopes to develop more collaborative evenings between the respective departments next year. Any students who have ideas on new events (either House or competitive), please drop Mrs Keylock an email.

In addition, we also had a Lower Sixth Greek play, directed by Dylan Swain – he comments:

EuripidesHeracles is a play that can often be difficult for a modern audience to understand. Filled with themes of violation of sacred places and divine intervention, our increasingly secular society fails to capture much of the horror of this play’s godlike protagonist. All of the boys involved in this production had never studied or performed Greek Theatre before, aside from myself. However, to their immense credit, they were able to quickly grasp every single one of the concepts and themes within this ancient tragedy, and deliver a final product that was spectacular – and during Summer term exams as well!

The help and support of Ms Bassaly also cannot be overstated, stepping out of her usual role as my Classics and Latin teacher, and working on every aspect of the play. From the arrangement of the script translation to the prop making and set design, she was truly omnipresent. 

The commitment of the boys who came to rehearsals during the period of ‘relaxation’ after exams was brilliant. They showed their adaptability after isolations and restrictions meant that we lost some key cast members a few days before the performance, and even though we might’ve called the whole thing off, they showed perseverance and delivered a stellar piece of theatre. I hope they are all as proud of their own performances as I am.”

OB David Barrett has been working closely with the drama department this term. He has taken specialist workshops on stage combat to every Fourth Form group and inspired many of the students. He will be coming back to Bedford School as Movement director on the next major school production in the autumn of 2021.

Bedford School’s Academic online Drama Society has continued to flourish through the summer term. Dylan Swain, our president, has continued to support the society and we regularly get 15 – 20 members attending each week. Dylan commented.”Drama Society this year has faced a unique challenge when compared with other societies. Academic drama as a subject can often rely on the physicality of the speaker, and the advantages offered by being in the theatre and demonstrating complex ideas. For me as president, this year was perhaps my favourite period throughout my whole time as a member of the Drama Society. The commitment of the plethora of boys who joined, every Monday, and sat in their homes to learn about something new in the world of theatre, was always astonishing to me. The quality of questions and engagement was great to see. I am very proud of the boys this year, both those who spoke eloquently and those who consistently attended.”

Dylan’s name has been added to the New Drama Society board in the Quarry Theatre and we wish to thank him for all his support and passion for drama.

One of the highlights of this term was a lecture by OB Jamie Williams who spoke about how to craft and write a play. His playwriting techniques and advice were fascinating for all involved. We can only hope that we will be back in the theatre with cake and sandwiches as soon as we are able! We are delighted to announce that our new president and vice-president of the Drama Society for 2021-22 will be Max Pearson and Will Roberts, respectively. Both students have some exciting plans for the society, and indeed drama links with the community and Prep School.

We wish to congratulate all the LAMDA students that have performed their exams this term and look forward to the results when they arrive.


This year has seen the continuation and development of two opportunities for our Lower Sixth students to develop self-leadership. The Ready2Lead? conference brings together young people who, whilst not necessarily convinced of their ability to lead, are nonetheless determined to make their own unique and positive impact on the world around them. This year was the second-ever Ready2Lead? conference, which was held across four virtual twilight sessions between October and December. It brought together around 80 delegates from across nine local sixth forms in the borough. As part of the conference, school groups planned and recorded a video pitch of a project idea aimed at helping to meet the UN’s sustainable development goals. A final celebration event saw awards presented to individuals and school groups by a number of local dignitaries. From our own school, projects included the promotion of healthy eating, the proposal of a charging point for electric vehicles on the school site, as well as the DROP project that has aimed at reducing infant mortality in South Sudan. Congratulations to all the boys who presented some outstanding ideas and particularly to those involved in the DROP project who have not only implemented their plans impressively and continue to do so but also submitted their project to the international Global Goals Competition and were highly commended for their collaboration with external partner organisations.

The second initiative is The Ivy House Award. The award combines digital content that includes thought-provoking and instructional short videos, a series of quizzes and psychometric tools with bespoke exercises and discussion topics. Over two terms, learners explore who they are and the life they want to create, before starting to develop critical professional expertise to support them in achieving their goals. So, over the last two years, around 50 Lower Sixth boys have completed the award, including two students from Mark Rutherford School who have joined each session virtually. The impact of the award has been really significant, with a recent survey showing that 96% of respondents using their learning either “frequently” or “all the time”. The boys taking part have mentioned many ways in which it has helped them including: taking opportunities, engaging more in lessons and with others, maintaining a positive mindset during lockdown, developing a life plan, setting goals and staying motivated. Last week, nine members of this year’s cohort prepared and delivered a series of lessons – based on the award – to the Prep School Y8s as part of their post-exam programme. These were very well received. Congratulations to these boys, and to all those who have completed the award this year.

Both the Ready2Lead? Conference and the Ivy House Award will be running again next year for the Lower Sixth. Boys who are interested in getting involved in these should contact Mr Everitt about the Ready2Lead? conference or Mr Prior about the Ivy House Award.

Head Master’s scarves

The first boy to win this award this year joined us in Year 3, but is easily overlooked, in part because his sport is not one which is easily observed, but mostly because of the great humility with which he conducts himself. Despite reaching elite standards in golf (and a fine hockey player to boot), he has never drawn attention to himself and instead has quietly, kindly and wisely supported his peers and staff. Just as impressive is the transition he has made from relatively modest academic performance to steely diligence and a determination to use the most of his academic potential. This year he has been a superb Deputy Head of House, has contributed strongly to Movember, and played in the National Schools Golf Championships. This in itself was quite a story. Initially named as a reserve, he was called up at 9.30pm the night before, travelled to Lincolnshire to play two rounds on a course he had never seen, and shot 72 and 74, placing him ninth in the country. He was typically modest about this; and has undoubtedly portrayed just the qualities deserving a Head Master’s scarf. Well done to Finlay Cummings.

In terms of time spent at the school, the second boy is at the complete opposite end of the range to Finlay, having joined us in the Lower Sixth – and his award is partly for showing us all what is possible in a such short space of time. He has shown exceptional application and a true love of learning, and this has led him to become one of the top students in his IB cohort, intellectually voracious, with a phenomenal work ethic. 

He has taken an effective leadership role in a number of events since joining the school, having played an integral part of the planning committee for a student leadership conference in the borough and having taken part in the original Ready2Lead? in his first year, before helping to organise it in 2020.

He has recently applied and been accepted as a fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce); and has been awarded the Barlen Leaving Exhibition for our top history student, a subject which he has pursued with passion and a genuine joy of scholarship, but also a generosity of spirit; despite having effectively left school with the other IB boys after a couple of weeks this term, he has continued to source guest history speakers for the younger boys to enjoy in History Society.

After finishing his IB he also threw himself into new projects, such as preparing and delivering a Drama Society lecture on Bertolt Brecht. He has a strong social conscience, as seen in his extended involvement with the Bedford Foodbank and with community projects. One of these involved writing family histories for residents of a local care home, which were beautifully written and researched, providing a novel means for a young person to engage with the older generations.

He has a kindly and considerate nature, and nothing is too much trouble for him. His emotional intelligence is impressive for someone so young. He is ambitious, determined, and keen to bring out the best in others. He simply embodies all the values of the school. Well done to Ciaran Zanna.

Finally to the staff…

We will say goodbye tomorrow to:

  • Mrs Harbison
  • Mr Waterhouse
  • Mr Dawson
  • Mrs Middleton
  • Mr Nicholson
  • Mr Watson
  • Mr Kay
  • Ms Patel
  • Rebecca Nemorin and Leonard Karl
  • Zubair Junjunia
  • Anna Steiger

Particular thanks to all they have done for the school over the years; but a special thanks this year for every single staff member’s dedication to you, boys. This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for teachers and support staff, and I do hope that you will all heap thanks upon them over the next 24 hours or so – they have been magnificent and have been thoroughly dedicated to making your own experience through this pandemic be as happy and successful as it possibly can be. Well done to them all.

Well done to you all on a great term; and all best wishes for an equally good holiday!

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