Bedales was founded to be different from the schools of its time. Where others imposed conformity, Bedales nurtured individuality, initiative and an enquiring mind.
True to its roots and founding principles the school places emphasis on collaboration and care for others. Our students are naturally ambitious and competitive, and build strong relationships with each other and their teachers based on mutual respect; everyone, staff and students, is on first name terms. This approach enables students to concentrate on the complex business of learning, developing and becoming their own person.
Bedales continues to be an innovative school; we led the country in replacing many GCSEs with our own more interesting and more demanding Bedales Assessed Courses. Our students move on comfortably to university and beyond because they are self-disciplined, are already used to organising their own time, to studying in depth and to mixing and debating with their elders.
In the Bedales Assessed Courses (BACs), GCSEs and IGCSEs, 62% of grades in 2018 were A*/A (or equivalent grades 9/8/7), the school's highest ever performance at this level. BACs create a rigorous, imaginative and enjoyable curriculum, as well as preparing students for A Level study and subsequent application to university. In the 2018 A Level results, 69% of grades were A*-B, enabling Bedales students to secure places at the most prestigious educational institutions in the world – including Oxbridge, Yale, and a number of leading music conservatoires and art colleges.
The school became fully co-educational in 1898; students were given a formal voice by 1916, when the School Council was formed. Located in 120 acres of farmland, woods, orchards and playing fields, students still follow John Badley’s ideal of educating ‘head, hand and heart’.
The Memorial Library and adjoining Lupton Hall (the original assembly hall) are Grade-1 listed arts and crafts buildings. The Bedales Theatre (1998) and Orchard Building (2005) have both won awards for the quality and originality of their architecture. We opened a new and award-winning Art & Design building in 2016 to create an artistic heart of the school adjacent to Outdoor Work where creativity, ingenuity and intelligence can flower. A focus on the development of intelligence, initiative and individuality remains strong to this day, with students studying a broad curriculum across the schools.