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Gold Medals for Combat Cadets

Following weeks of training and preparation, on the 23 March a group of nine cadets from our Combined Cadet Force, embarked on a trip to compete in the annual Combat Cadet Competition. 

The first day was an early start for the cadets, waking up at 5.00 am to start the day’s activities. During the course of the day, the team partook in numerous pursuits to test their military knowledge and skills. The activities included the tactical stands of withdrawal under fire and casualty evacuation, and a planned section attack. However, one of the highlights of the day had to be the house clearing stand as this is a skill the cadets seldom get to practice. The morning was challenging but the afternoon brought even more stands including a weapons familiarisation stand which was much enjoyed by the cadets. The last stand of the day was the 1.6 mile run whilst carrying their rifle. The Bedford School team excelled at this and a special mention must go to Fifth Former Ben Giles who flew round the course in a mere 10 minutes! After which everyone collapsed into their beds anticipating another hard day.  

On the second day came the most exciting part of the exercise where every team took part in a joint attack on the village.  The teams were graded either Bronze, Silver or Gold dependant on how they have scored over the weekend. When the prize giving ceremony came, they hoped to have improved on last year’s silver and were thrilled to be awarded gold; not only that but they came third overall, a truly great achievement.  Well done to Felix Hill and Izzy Horsfall, and the team for all their efforts.

The Detweiler Competition 2018

The Detweiler Art prize is named after Dr Alan Detweiler, the Canadian composer and friend of former Director of Art Rob Campbell.  Alan was an enthusiastic and passionate supporter of both education and the Arts in general. Until his death a few years ago, he always made the trip to Bedford and helped judge the prizes which he generously provided.

The competition, which takes place every year, is an exciting exhibition of work by Bedford School students, presented by the Bedford School Creative Arts Faculty.

Prizes are awarded in four different categories: Art, Music, Drama and Creative Writing, and each year it’s given a theme. This year the theme was ‘Growth’ and all entries were of an extremely high standard.

Art

All year groups from Fourth Formers to Upper Sixth Formers were represented in the Art category. Printmaker Dale Devereux Barker RE was the invited judge and he explained at the prize presentation that his initial shortlist had originally consisted of 18 works due to the range and quality of entries, however this had to be cut down to just seven. Leo Chiu, Elmar Cheung and Finn Cassell in the Fifth Form, Dominic Blore and Ivan Golosov in the Upper Sixth were all awarded highly commended. Christian Noble in the Upper Sixth produced a powerful and thought provoking video about gender and sexual identity and this was awarded the 2D first prize, while Harrison Burgoine in the Upper Sixth was awarded the 3D first prize for his beguiling but impressive sculptural installations.

Music

There were a good number of musical entries into this year’s competition. Three boys’ compositions were shortlisted: Ollie Graham from the Upper Sixth who wrote an orchestral piece, Silas Sanders in the Lower Sixth who wrote a song for voice accompanied by piano and cello, and Alex Watson in the Lower Sixth who wrote a piece for harp. All pieces were highly praised for their inventiveness and ambition, but in the end Ollie Graham’s piece ‘Celestial’ won the first prize with Silas Sanders coming runner-up.

Drama      

There were several dramatic entries in this year’s competition. Four boys’ creative pieces were shortlisted. Runner up in the senior category was Upper Sixth Former Conor Hilliard for his monlogue entitled ‘A Look to the Future’. The winner of this section was Jamie Williams in the Fifth Form, whose monologue was entitled ‘Fearful Symmetry’.

The runner up in the junior category was Fourth Former Harry Hine with his monologue entitled ‘Why do I have to be so Small?’ And the winner was for a duologue, also by a Fourth Former, Krish Nair and was entitled ‘The Tree’.

Both winners were praised for their innovative concepts and imaginative use of language and both winning entries were performed effectively on the evening.

Creative Writing

The shortlisted entries for this year’s Creative Writing Prize were varied and extremely engaging.  It was particularly pleasing to see five Fourth Form entrants, (James Deardon, Raoul Flora, Krish Nair, Ethan Ofosu and Archie Tomblin), included alongside Conor Hilliard and Benjamin Wilshaw-Quinn, both in the Upper Sixth.  Ethan Ofosu was runner-up for his compelling poem ‘A Flicker of Hope’ and Jamie Williams of the Fifth Form won the competition for his spectacular piece ‘Those Charred Remains’.  This was a poignant and deftly-expressed reflection on the Grenfell Tower fire. 

 

South Africa Cricket Tour

Our Prep School cricketers jetted away over half term for an exciting 10-day tour of South Africa, and what an experience it turned out to be for the 26 boys aged 11 to 13.

Cricket was, of course, at the forefront of the trip, and the boys played some great cricket to win 9 of their 10 games, including fantastic wins against Paarl Boys and Curro Durbanville. They also enjoyed a superb day of four T20 matches at Sunningdale CC, which was well supported by a host of Old Bedfordians.

The boys also gained a real taste of South African culture, as well as a wealth of new friends, as they enjoyed being hosted by local families for four of the nights.

During the action-packed tour, the boys also found time to cuddle (!) crocodiles and pythons, check out rhinos, cheetahs and lions on an amazing game drive as well as ostriches, monkeys and a wealth of underwater wildlife, hit the beach and the pool, sightsee at Table Mountain, visit the Springbok Rugby Museum, eat some great food (including the best burgers (EVER!)) and, of course, watch Cape Cobras play cricket. They were busy!

Well done to all the boys (and staff) for a very successful tour. The boys represented the school brilliantly and indeed returned to England as better cricketers, and more importantly a little more experienced and mature. Thank you also to the 30 parents and extended families who supported us on the trip.

 

Viva Valencia!

Over the half term week, thirteen boys enjoyed a trip to the stunning city of Valencia, which lies on Spain’s southeastern coast. Mr Huxford, Señor Sánchez and Señora Caro accompanied the boys and taught them Spanish lessons in the mornings. The boys then took part in a range of activities in the afternoons and stayed with local families in the evenings to gain extra language practice and immerse themselves in Spanish culture. 

The boys are now experts on the local festival – ‘The Fallas’ (pronounced ‘fa-yas’), which takes place next month. They also enjoyed the Oceanographic Centre and saw everything from jelly fish to a dolphin show.  Another highlight was playing football on Valencia’s impressive beach.

The boys were well behaved, excellent company and a credit to the school. 

 

  

Happy Chinese New Year

Our Chinese Society welcomed in the year of the dog in traditional Chinese style with delicious culinary treats, hand-painted calligraphy and festive flute music.

The boys ate Chinese New Year cakes; sweet cakes in the shape of fish, and radish savoury cakes. The fish cakes included both the head and tail of the fish as Chinese people believe that it’s important that the whole fish is eaten, as the word ‘fish’ in Chinese mean ‘surplus’ and therefore they must eat a ‘surplus’ at the end of the year. The theory being that if they manage to have something leftover at the year end, then more can be made in the new year.  

The word ‘cake’ in Chinese sounds like ‘doing better in a new year’ or ‘implying promotions or prosperity year after year.’ For this reason, cake is a popular gift during the festive period.  

The boys handed red envelopes out to each other. The colour red symbolises good luck and wards of evil spirits. Red envelopes are usually given out by married couples to unmarried couples.

The boys also enjoyed Chinese calligraphy, which is a fun and festive activity usually undertaken at this time and is an important part of the New Year decorations. A brush is used to write ‘happiness’ or ‘spring comes’ on red paper and then these are stuck on doors and walls.

 

ARTiculation Success for Christian

Upper Sixth Former Christian Noble was this year’s school representative at the regional final of ‘ARTiculation’ on Tuesday 6 February which took place at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich. This national public speaking competition, invites sixth form students to give a short presentation on a work of art, artefact or architecture of their choice.

Christian’s presentation was about the fashion designer Rei Kawakubo in which he talked eloquently about her work for the fashion label ‘Comme Des Garcons’. With seven very impressive presentations to choose from, judge Lady Sorell OBE, co-founder of the Saturday Club Trust, awarded Christian second place – an impressive achievement. 

Pictured in the photo is Christian on the left, with the judge and other contestants.

 

Rugby Season Round-Up 2017

This year, the 2nd game teams set the standard with their impressive win ratio.  The U14 C and D teams led the way with unbeaten records, a clear demonstration of the positive culture and commitment throughout the Rugby Club.  Pleasingly, with the strength in depth of the U14 teams this year, there were enough boys to continue an U14 E team after the October half term.  They had three more fixtures and were highly competitive against the big boarding schools who can boast more than five teams.  They only lost to Harrow and that was by an agonising two points.

The 1st XV had a mixed campaign, although still had more victories than losses.  Highlights were the performances against Dulwich College where fast flowing and expansive rugby put the XV out of sight in the 1st half and Abingdon in the final game of the season, where all their hard work came together to treat those watching with scintillating attacking rugby and a committed defensive effort.  Throughout the season, the XV continued to play a highly entertaining brand of rugby as recognised by many OBs who returned to show their support of the school. A true testament to the culture of the Rugby Club was evidenced by George Seward’s actions post injury where gave up his time to help coach the U14 A side. The time and effort he put into it made a genuine impact on the side’s development and showed he has the makings of an impressive coach. 

The U15 A and B teams demonstrated a 23% improvement in win ratio from the previous season.  Indication of genuine development in a tough campaign; an exciting future lies ahead for this group of players.  In fact, the entire U15 group had an impressive season with the U15 C and D teams only losing 5 games between them.  All teams exhibited tremendous resilience, often against the odds.

A demonstration of the inclusiveness of the Rugby Club is no more apparent than with the U16 teams.  A number of boys new to the school and to rugby were selected each week for the U16 D team.  It was a challenging season for them but a great experience none-the-less as the boys played with full commitment and real progress was made.  The U16 A team faced uncharacteristically strong opposition across the board but still produced quite brilliant expansive rugby to beat the much-fancied Uppingham and Warwick teams.

Summary of results, per cent win 1st XV – 64%. 2nd XV – 30%. 3rd XV – 56%. 4th XV – 30%. 5th XV – 14%.  U16A – 33%.  U16B –  67%. U16C – 70%.  U16D – 0%. U15A – 56%.  U15B – 80%.  U15C – 80%.  U15D – 88%.  U14A – 80%. U14B – 36%.  U14C – 88%.  U14D – 100%.  U14E – 66.7%.  Overall: Played, 169, Won 99, Drawn 2, Lost 68, Win = 59%

Team photos  

 

 

Prep Guild ‘Mad Hatters’ Ball

What a night!  The Prep Guild would like to thank all those who came and enjoyed the Mad Hatters Themed Ball in the Great Hall on Saturday 17th June.  

The room was transformed with crazy colour, the cocktails were amazing and we danced the night away to a fantastic band.   We have had such wonderful feedback from those that were there. Thank you.

This is a great night in The Prep School Calendar, the next Prep School Ball will be in 2019 – don’t miss out on all the fun!