As the new Head of Partnerships at Bede’s, I am eager to build upon the strong relationships already formed within our local community and nearby schools and the mutual benefit that it will provide for all.
Research has proven time and time again, how important it is for children and young adults to share altruistic values to help and support the community that they live in. We feel that by providing pupils with a wide range of opportunities by which they can help others, they can develop a strong moral compass and a solid framework from which to help and consider the needs of others throughout their school careers and well beyond.
I am hugely excited about growing both our partnership and outreach programme over the coming years. If you would like to be involved in one of our many projects or would like more information then please email me at email@example.com or visit the Schools Together website. The Schools Together Group is a nationwide group of those in state and independent schools with an interest in inter-school partnerships: “Harnessing the power of partnerships for the benefit of children”.
Head of Partnerships and Social Responsibility
Partnering with local schools
Our main partnership is with Parkmead Primary School, which we have built upon over the last few years.
As part of the Sixth Form Bede's Diploma, Lower Sixth students use free periods to offer support in lessons, listening to children reading as well as offering Maths knowledge.
Science staff and A Level Science students teach children in Years 5 and 6 in the afternoons one day a week.
We run a range of sports activities for the school including swimming lessons, PE lessons, sports coaching days, as well as a day of events to raise money for Comic Relief.
Over two and a half days are spent organising cricket and rounders tournaments for the school.
We often bus the children on their various school outings and trips.
BTEC Business students have been raising money to help refurbish the school playground, which involved baking and selling cakes with the children.
BTEC and students participating in the Sports Leaders Award regularly lead PE lessons and host Key Stage 2 events.
Broomhill Bank Special Needs school have used our kilns in the ceramics room to fire their work, and the Head of Ceramics teaches a pupil from Farnham GCSE Ceramics on a voluntary and remote basis (three face-to-face lessons per term) due to the fact that she is unable to access the ceramics curriculum in her local area.
Bede’s Zoo has opened its doors to numerous schools in the area, providing hands-on experience for up to 100 children, including Phoenix Academy, two local beaver and cub groups, as well as St Christopher’s and Skippers Hill prep schools. Feedback from pupils who have visited included the comments, “I learnt about different animals and their habitats and it was really fun” as well as “I didn’t realise there were so many animals at the zoo.”
The Animal Management Unit supports the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and The Sussex Wildlife Trust in monitoring the population of Hazel Dormice. The unit also supports other captive breeding programmes, working alongside Drusilla’s Park, Paington Zoo and ZSL. The zoo has provided work experience for pupils from a range of local state schools, including Willingdon School, Hailsham Community College, Ratton School and St Catherine’s College.
First Year Senior School Drama students have performed productions to Langney Primary Academy and Parkmead Primary School.
During the 2018-19 academic year, the Geography Department supported a research project carried out by a teacher at Eastbourne Academy. This has involved hosting one of their teachers over the course of two mornings, observing lessons and helping with their research. The focus of the research was to better understand the progression of children from Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5, a project that will have a direct pedagogical benefit to the school.
The Music Department runs regular orchestral and choral days, which involve children from a number of local schools spending a day with our staff and senior student musicians to learn some classical orchestral pieces. These are then performed to an audience of parents and the wider school community at the end of the day.
The Prep School invites local primary schools to participate in a Curriculum Enhancement Day for local primary school children in Year 4, as well as a CSI challenge day for Year 6 children. They also organise a local Design and Technology competition “Eastbourne Young Engineers Challenge” in the Prep School hall.
The Senior School hosted and organised the Bede’s Galactic Challenge event for Years 6 to 8 (pictured top), and the UK Space Design Challenge for Years 10 to 13, involving 198 students from local prep and state schools. Expert coaching provided helped these students to progress to the National Finals.
12 Bede’s Sixth Form students helped to run the Galactic Challenge for around 80 students from local primary schools at Blatchington Mill School in Hove in 2018-19. Staff also visited Riddlesdown Collegiate to assist with a Galactic Challenge held in July for around 150 local primary school children.
The Bede's Sports Department hosts the qualifying round of the IAPS Swimming Championships (pictured left), involving approximately 150 Year 5 and 6 children from eight schools.
The Prep school hosts the local Lions Charity Swimathon, and runs two football tournaments for local primary schools at U11 and U13 involving up to 40 children. They run a Cricket Academy during the Summer Term, and coaching is offered to all girls from Years 4 to 11 in the local community on a Saturday morning, and host a 5-a-side football tournament every year (The Elspeth Pyemont Shield) for local primary schools including Ocklynge, West Rise and Tollgate, as well as the Lady Taverner's Cricket competition.
In the past year, we have also held a Tough Mudder, 7-a-side football tournaments, Junior and Senior triathlons, hockey, netball, cricket (including the Lady Taverner's Cup), tennis tournaments including Sussex County Championships and the LTA Championships. The Trust also runs a local Football Academy on a weekly basis using the facilities and coaches at the Senior School. The Senior School also hosts a girls’ football competition involving eight schools in the area from Year 5.
The Senior School has continued its relationship with the England Physically Disabled Lions Cricket (pictured right) by hosting a match. It also hosts training for Sussex Cricket Juniors and operates as a hub for Sussex Cricket Academy, which includes children from state and independent schools.
The Trust has hosted a number of charitable sporting events including the Matthew Hobden Trust game, ‘It’s a special Knock-out’ charity event, sports sessions for Looked after Children as well as providing work experience placements for children from St Richard’s School and sport apprenticeships. Staff from the Senior School use their coaching qualifications for the benefit of local clubs, including Lewes FC U12 and U13. These teams have also enjoyed access to coaching and fitness sessions.
Dr Carroll is the school’s key member of staff who is co-ordinator for Looked After Children (LAC) in our care. We work closely with the Foster Placement Support Service, providing respite care for foster carers, as well as the Royal National Springboard Bursary Foundation.
Homefield Cottage has an open invitation for children to attend Bede’s on Saturday mornings at our Animal Management Unit, owing all LAC to gain access and experience of working with animals.
We host the annual East Sussex Children in Care Awards which includes dinner and an awards ceremony. The Senior School also hosted an anti-bullying event led by the Diana Trust in June 2019, which was attended by eight other school in the area.
A number of schools including Polegate School, White School Academy, Phoenix Academy, Firle School, Step Academy along with Parkmead have made use of our school minibuses, saving a total of £1,667 from their budgets.
Several members of staff act as governors for local primary and secondary schools including Parkmead, Catsfield Church of England Primary, Blatchington Mill, Polegate Primary School and Ratton School in Eastbourne, as well as Vice Chair for St Luke’s Primary School in Brighton.
Careers and Further Study
The Senior School continues to support the village and local charity groups through the provision of sports staff and facilities.
The School allows public use of the swimming pool and multi-purpose hall. Local residents also have access to the gym and squash facilities.
The School maintains services to the village church, including repairs and tending to graveyards, cutting hedges and tending to the football pitches and verges. The School gives car park assistance at busy events such as funerals or weddings, and Parkmead Primary School parents use the Bede’s car park during drop off and pick up times.
As part of the village Christmas celebrations, the Trust provides the village with their Christmas tree and provides funds towards refreshments for the evening as well as presents for every child who takes part in the annual Dicker Carols on the Green. During the winter months the school grits paths, especially around Parkmead Primary School.
The School provides equipment for the Dicker Day Fete, including tables, electrical cables, games as well as musical entertainment in the form of a staff and student band. Bede’s students also give up hours of their time face painting. The school offers administrative support for both Upper Dicker and Hellingly Parish churches. Bede’s also provides emergency support within the village from time to time, especially when water supplies to the village are cut off for a considerable amount of time.
We provide funds for the annual Hailsham Festival Cinema event and The Charleston Festival and have run both IT and cookery courses for the local community.
The Prep School sang at the local Meads Christmas event ‘Meads Magic’ as well as the Langley Shopping Carolathon. The Senior School sing at Chichester Cathedral. A number of dancers took part in the dancethon for Delmelza charity in the Beacon Shopping centre and contributed to the Chinese New Year parade as one of the lead dragons.
The Prep School Grounds team looks after St John’s Meads football pitch, cutting the grass and doing the markings. The Senior School Grounds team help out at Hailsham Town Football club carrying out general maintenance on their floodlights annually. They repair and replace old equipment as and when necessary and furniture is given to the Mohair Nursery Centre near Laughton.
Eddie Izzard has performed on a couple of occasions, providing a free and much valued opportunity for his local fans to see him perform. The senior school funds the Eastbourne Festival Annual Tea party and hosts the University of the Third Age Tea party. The Drama department loan out costumes to local schools and allow them to use their facilities.
In developing links with the local community, the Headmaster of the Prep School is Vice Chair of the Eastbourne Education Business Partnership. The Beachy Head Marathon uses the schools’ facilities as part of their event in November and we operate an alternative wet-weather venue for Friends of Helen's gardens event. The Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus also use the dining room for their Christmas disco.
Local Charity Work and Volunteering
Pupils at Bede’s have a strong sense of civic duty and a clear understanding of charitable fundraising and volunteering. During the year, pupils devote considerable time and energies in raising money for local charitable projects.
As part of our Co-Curricular Programme, Bede’s offer a ‘Knit and Natter’ activity in which pupils knit all sorts of items of clothing which are then given to local hospitals or homeless centres. Students have been spending time in local care homes such as Berry Pomeroy and Bowes care home in Hailsham as well as at the Scope charity shop in Hailsham and the Hailsham Foodbank. Students have helped out at Willingdon School homework club assisting in a variety of subjects. Students have been cooking a selection of food to give to the homeless in Eastbourne. Students have been doing some gardening for local residents as well as developing our own Beden project.
In collaboration with Wealden County Council, we collect litter along the Cuckoo Trail and have trialled some ideas as to how we can make the Cuckoo Trail more user friendly. We have a new activity called ‘cooking in the community’ with food going to ‘Warming Up The Homeless’ on a regular basis.
Both the Senior and Prep Schools have undertaken various beach and park cleans in the past year, working closely with Plastic Free Eastbourne and Surfers against Sewage.
All junior pupils participated in ‘Make a difference day’ which involved students in a variety of activities, including helping in local primary schools, animal rescue centres, special schools, visiting various care homes and supporting the community in Upper Dicker village.
Our main Senior School charity for this year is Holding Space, whose mission statement is: "To empower parents and families to make it normal to talk about mental health and to support those going through mental ill health."
We have also held a Mental Health Week, raising awareness and funds for related causes.
At the Prep School, a total of £11,727 was raised for a range of local and national charities. Local charities supported include the Demelza Children’s Hospice, Lion Eastbourne Local Good causes, Eastbourne Foodbank, Beachy Head Chapliancy and Ramble for Raystede. In addition the Prep School has raised money for a number of national charities, including the Royal Marsden Hospital, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, Royal British Legion, Comic Relief, NSPCC, CORAM and Save the Children.
Our parents’ association, the Friends of Bede’s Prep held their biennial Spring Ball in support of Ronald McDonald House in Brighton. The Friends also ran a number of coffee mornings, ice-lolly sales, an exceptional Christmas Fair and a television and movie themed quiz night. The total amount raised during the year by the friends for this charity was £17,000.
Every house at the Senior School supports a charity. This year the house charities included local charities: Chailey Heritage Foundation, Demelza, Hailsham Food Bank, ABC Fund, Eastbourne Food Bank as well as national and International charities such as The Quicken Trust, Save the Children, Cancer Research, War Child, St Wilfred’s, Plan International, the ME association and the Indonesia Earthquake Appeal. In total the Senior School last year raised £23,467 for charity.
Pupils and staff collected over 1,000 Easter eggs for a number of local charities, including Hailsham and Eastbourne Food banks. Lost property is sent to local Scope shops.