With change comes challenge and with challenge comes the need to adapt. A long, illustrious history is not stopping Bedford School from leading by example in the most progressive ways possible.
Established in 1552 and located in the centre of Bedford, England, this all-boys boarding institution has pulled out all the stops to solidify its current areas of strategic focus — they are a result of a series of discussions with its governors, who were delighted to share critical skills they felt would be essential in the next few decades.
Pairing their insights with a reading list of topical subjects and resource to the World Economic Forum’s ‘Skills for Your Future Paper’, two facts emerged. Firstly, it is clear that the working world that the young men of Bedford will be entering is becoming ever more technologically-driven. Secondly, human skills will be more critical than ever for the next generation.
These findings have resulted in a strategic focus by the school in three key areas: digital technology, community partnership and entrepreneurship. The plan is in motion and boys have already thrown themselves into countless projects learning important life skills along the way and enriching the lives of others in the community and around the world. These stories are proof:
To Year 12 students Troy Arora and Jamie Wallwork, making a difference meant teaching primary school children at Goldington Green Academy the art of dribbling a ball, passing when necessary, and shooting legendary shots.
Last term, they taught a group of Gifted and Talented children. This term, they are teaching children in a low ability learning group to improve their social, emotional, and mental development. In the process, Arora and Wallwork also learnt a few things themselves.
“I have become a lot more organised and I feel more confident leading the children and showing them what to do,” Arora explains. “As we have got to know the children, it has been great to see their game develop, and, in particular, watch them grow as a team and see how they communicate better with each other.”
Goldington Green Academy is just one of the schools happy to partner with Bedford School students. A total of 1,000 pupils from 15 local primary schools and 17 upper schools are proud to reap the rewards of their weekly commitment to giving back — whether through teaching students to dunk, read, or speak Mandarin. The boys of Bedford School have even developed a care package project and fundraised to help African mothers give birth safely.
Technical skills are one thing, and digital mastery is another — the latter develops technologies used in outer space, which is exactly what Kevin Xu and Vincent Tang did as Year 11 students.
The two jumped at the chance to participate in the Raspberry Pi Mission Zero project run by the European Space Agency. The goal was to design a programme that could detect moisture from the International Space Station (ISS) and indicate whether it was wet or dry through the Astro Pi computer.
Dr. Albin Wallace, Bedford’s Director of Digital Learning and a driving force behind their 21st century curriculum adaptations, was always a shout away to help the boys comprehend their task, develop a solution, and submit their findings.
Recently, Xu and Tang have found out that their code has been accepted and will be sent to the International Space Station (in an Astro Pi) to take a humidity reading. It will be launched in May, and the programme will run on the space station later that month.
Wallace describes their win as “truly an exciting achievement that is, quite literally, out of this world”.
Through entrepreneurship, the 1,115 boys of Bedford are merging everything they’ve learned about community needs and technological advances to turn ideas into reality. The accomplishments of Year 13 artists Henry Cudjoe and Alex Edun are proof.
When the duo first set up their custom design business, “Two Customisers”, they had no idea their designs would decorate the boots of Team GB rugby sevens star Dan Bibby at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo. They’ve even designed for Welsh rugby international Luke Treharne and several other top players.
They have a curriculum and environment that integrates entrepreneurial thinking and the real-world skills of problem-solving, teamwork, empathy, resilience, risk-taking, creativity, innovation and collaboration to thank. Without such traits, they would have never been able to create a successful business with global exposure, and run make a profit to boot.
Bedford has been producing students with vibrant stories and shows no signs of slowing down. If you seek an academic experience that will thoroughly, yet holistically, prepare your son for the world of work, Bedford School warmly welcomes you to inquire further.