Olivier Theatre hosts the Darlings

Dunhurstians put on extra performances of Peter Pan in The Olivier Theatre recently after the snow forced cancellations. Children from Blocks 1 and 2 worked tenaciously in rehearsals to get the production ready for the first performance on Thursday just before the snow struck. Although the bad weather initially halted plans, the production returned to a packed audience on Monday for two shows to make up for lost time. Jane Grubb, Head of Dunhurst, said: “The children and staff put a phenomenal amount of effort into making the show spectacular. From the lighting and music to the script and the costumes, the event was captivating. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces around the school transformed into sprites and members of the Kickapu tribe and Darling family.” Read more. View photos.

Peter Pan

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Bedales Prep takes to the West End Stage

Pupils from Bedales Prep, Dunhurst, took to the stage at Les Misérables in London the week before last in a series of acting workshops organised by the theatre company. The activities involved pupils from Block 2 (Year 8) acting out a student revolution in costume and re-creating the barricade scene in Les Misérables in slow motion.  They also experienced fun acting warm-up techniques such as seeing how big a balloon could be blown in one breath.

Pupils then enjoyed watching the actual show. It was made all the more interesting because of their backstage experience learning how the props and mechanics worked on stage.

Later that week, pupils took part in an urban art experience learning about urban culture through specialised workshops with professional artists in drama, art, music and dance. The day culminated in a show of their newly discovered skills to parents.

The artists who worked with Block 1 and 2 pupils (Years 7 and 8) included: the talented human ‘beat box’ artist Vid Warren; professional break dancer Sasha B; and the urban art group ‘Soulful Creative’. Dunhurst drama teacher Simon Kingsley-Pallant helped pupils explore the urban concept in a series of small plays.

Commenting on the pupils’ performing experiences, Jane Grubb, Head of Bedales Prep, Dunhurst said, “Les Misérables is a powerful and moving musical. Our pupils were given the chance to combine inspiration from watching the show with techniques learnt in the acting workshop to perform their own on-stage ‘revolution’. An important part of our academic syllabus is in learning through doing. Children learn better that way and retain information that is more meaningful to them. The urban culture experience was a cross-curricular activity in the arts, giving pupils the chance to develop a whole range of skills while learning about contemporary culture. Their showcase at the end of the day was a fantastic display of their achievements.”

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Art bus visits Bedales – marking retirement of Head of Art after 34 years

Bedales School was fortunate recently to host the CAA Art Bus, a mobile work of art designed by Sir Peter Blake which is also a mobile art gallery. The visit of the bus marked the retirement of George Hatton after 34 years as Bedales Head of Art.

Sir Peter designed the bus in a pop art style, with the aim of creating a rock ‘n’ roll tour bus for art and artists which visits schools, communities, festivals, galleries and art events. Bedales students were able to climb aboard and experience the art of some of the UK’s finest contemporary artists first hand by seeing their work in the bus gallery space.

Art Bus

George and his wife Serena, mounted a small exhibition entitled ‘Hat’s Off!’ to mark George’s retirement. Both have remained committed makers of art since leaving Corsham Court (Bath Academy of Art) in the early 1970s, from where they both received a BA in Fine Art. George has continued to make paintings and prints based on his response to the landscape of the South Downs and its wildlife, especially focussing on rooks and crows.

Keith Budge, Headmaster of Bedales commented:

“George joined Bedales as Head of Art in September 1978.  Not only was he, at 27, alarmingly young to be Head of Art, but George was also prepared to challenge the status quo. He has been hugely influential in raising the status of Art over his 34 years in post. The current standing of Art at Bedales, the take up of Art in the sixth form, the results and the numbers going on to do Art Foundation and even directly into Art-based degrees all speak for themselves.  Throughout his time George has, devotedly and with a quietly steely determination, encouraged students to take part in and enjoy what the subject has to offer.  Above all, he has combined the fine artist’s conviction in the power of observational drawing with a determination that students should be able to bring their own individuality and creativity to bear on their work.  The school owes a huge debt of gratitude to George for all that he has done for Bedales Art and he leaves with our best wishes for what we trust will be the next happy and productive phase in his creative life.”

George Hatton

The end of term also marked the retirement of Fran Box, Head of Learning Support at Bedales Prep School, Dunhurst, after 28 years. She joined what was then known as ‘The Middle School’ at Bedales in 1981, and after a short break, returned to Dunhurst in 1984.

Jane Grubb, Dunhurst Head added:

Fran has brought so much to the school. Through her diligent work she has helped children grow in confidence, enjoy their lessons and achieve great things. Pupils and staff will miss Fran immensely.”

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.