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Bedales School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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Bedales School Overview

Bedales School, known for its unique educational ethos, places a strong emphasis on personal relationships among students and between students and staff. This emphasis on informality and respect for the individual sets Bedales apart. The school encourages intellectual capacity, determination, and enthusiasm, enabling students to make the most of the diverse academic and extracurricular opportunities. Bedales does not adhere to any religious denomination but accommodates students’ individual religious observances. With a significant proportion of boarders, the school also accommodates a considerable number of international students, fostering a diverse learning environment.

Bedales School 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

The process for applying to Bedales School for 16+ entry is characterised by several key stages. Prospective families are encouraged to visit the school, either on an Open Day or by arranging a visit, to get a true sense of what Bedales offers. This is an important step in ensuring that the school is the right fit for the student.

The application process involves the submission of a completed application form along with a registration fee. Following this, students are entered onto the lists for entrance tests at the appropriate time. It’s important to note that being on these lists does not guarantee a place at the school, as this is determined by the entrance tests. These tests are usually conducted in January of the year of entry.

For Sixth Form entry, key dates include an Open Morning in mid-September, a deadline for bursary applications by the end of September, entry assessments and interviews in early November, with scholarship exams and interviews a week later. These dates are indicative of the school’s structured approach to admissions, ensuring a thorough evaluation of all applicants.

Bedales School’s admissions process reflects its commitment to finding students who will benefit from and contribute to its distinctive educational environment. The school looks for students with diverse interests and talents and those who can thrive in its unique setting.

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Bedales School 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join Bedales School?

I am drawn to Bedales School for its innovative approach to education and its commitment to fostering a creative and open-minded learning environment. Founded in 1893 by Amy Badley and John Haden Badley as a progressive alternative to conventional Victorian schools, Bedales’ co-educational and secular ethos resonates with my educational philosophy. The school’s picturesque 120-acre campus in Steep, with its blend of historic and contemporary architecture, provides an inspiring setting for learning. I am particularly attracted to the school’s arts and crafts heritage, exemplified by the Grade I listed Lupton Hall and Memorial Library. The emphasis on a holistic and liberal education, combined with a strong focus on arts, crafts, and outdoor activities, aligns with my interests and aspirations. Joining Bedales would offer me not just academic rigor but also a unique opportunity to develop creatively and personally in a diverse and nurturing community.

What do you know about the history of Bedales School?

Bedales School has a rich and distinctive history, beginning in 1893 with its founding by Amy Garrett Badley and John Haden Badley. Their vision of a more liberal and co-educational approach was revolutionary at the time, offering an alternative to the restrictive Victorian education system. The school has been at its current site in Steep since 1900 and has expanded to include a preparatory school and a primary school, reflecting its commitment to progressive education at all levels. Bedales was known for its secular teaching, attracting a diverse group of students including non-conformists and liberal families. The school’s reputation for academic and creative excellence was enhanced by European influences in the 1920s. Over the years, Bedales has maintained its commitment to innovative education, with a focus on the arts and outdoor learning, while modernising its facilities and curriculum to meet contemporary educational needs.

How do you plan to engage with Bedales School's unique blend of traditional and progressive educational practices?

At Bedales School, I plan to fully engage with its unique blend of traditional and progressive educational practices by immersing myself in both its academic curriculum and its extensive creative and outdoor programs. I am excited about the opportunity to participate in the school’s strong arts and crafts tradition, taking advantage of facilities like the contemporary Art and Design Building. I also look forward to contributing to the school’s dynamic outdoor education program, which aligns with my interest in environmental studies and hands-on learning. Academically, I am keen to explore the diverse and liberal curriculum offered by Bedales, particularly in humanities and sciences. I believe in the importance of a balanced education that nurtures both intellectual and creative development, and I see Bedales as the perfect environment to achieve this balance. My goal is to actively participate in the school community, embracing its ethos of innovation and tradition in equal measure.

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Bedales School 16+ Past Interview Questions

Individuality and Self-Expression

  • How do you express your individuality and creativity in your current school or community?
  • Can you share an experience where you pursued a project or interest that was driven purely by your personal passion?

Intellectual Curiosity and Critical Thinking

  • Describe a topic or issue you have independently researched or explored outside of your school curriculum.
  • How do you approach solving complex problems, and can you give an example?

Community Involvement and Global Citizenship

  • What does being a global citizen mean to you, and how do you embody this in your daily life?
  • Can you discuss an experience where you contributed positively to your community?

Creative and Practical Skills

  • Have you engaged in any artistic or practical activities (like gardening, animal husbandry, or theatre) that have helped you develop new skills or perspectives?
  • How do you balance your academic pursuits with your creative or practical interests?

Adaptability and Open-Mindedness

  • Describe a situation where you had to adapt to a new environment or challenge. What did you learn from this experience?
  • How do you stay open to new ideas and different viewpoints?


For more questions like this, all with model answers, see our 16+ Online Course.

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