Bedford School is probably unusual as a Senior Public School in that (in addition to a weekly Chapel service) the Head Master holds two full school assemblies in the Great Hall each week. Each assembly starts with a hymn (the school loves singing!) and ends with school notices. However, at its heart is a talk from the Head Master (Monday) and from another member of the community (Friday); often a staff member, but sometimes a current pupil or old boy or indeed visitor.
The aim of the assemblies is to encourage boys to think; but talks also promote groundedness and a sense of gratitude for what we have. Topics are regularly values based (not only our four core values of integrity, responsibility, endeavour and curiosity; but also kindness, empathy and so-called – though misnamed – ‘old fashioned’ values of duty and respect). However, speakers will also draw on current affairs, ethical issues, our sense of shared history and (as part of our wider UK educational duty) ‘fundamental British values’.
The Head Master’s assemblies give an idea of his own values and interests, whilst also providing something of a record of weekly affairs in the school and the wider world.