Good news Friday: Coracle boat races at Bedales, Lord of the Flies production at Dauntsey’s and at Hymers College

The Telegraph, 10.07.15, this week's Good News Friday column features HMC member schools Bedales, Dauntsey's and Hymers College 

1. Coracle boat races at Bedales

In Hampshire, pupils at Bedales School took to the water for the annual coracle race.

The event took place on the school pond during one of the hottest days so far this year, with temperatures soaring well over 30 degrees.

The coracles, traditionally used as a means for fishing or transportation, were crafted by the students themselves. To create the vessels, the pupils constructed a basketwork frame made by coppicing local willow and hazel during their Outdoor Work lessons.

In the Outdoor Work Bedales Assessed Course, students get to plan a practical project that demonstrates their effort and enthusiasm in overcoming any challenges that arise.

Other projects undertaken this year included the restoration of a wedding cart, making traditional oak gates, and the construction of a chicken coop.

Andrew Martin, Bedales' Head of Outdoor Work, commented: “The coracle race is an enjoyable way for our students to utilise the skills they have learnt during their Outdoor Work lessons, and test the final product in the last week of term. Despite the temptation to cool off and jump into the pond, some great teamwork came to the fore and all the coracles made it back in one piece.”

4. Dauntsey's Lord of the Flies production well received

Pupils from Dauntsey’s School in Wiltshire put on a performance of Matthew Bourne’s dance show adaptation of 'Lord of the Flies', which was met with rave reviews.

The production was the centrepiece of the school’s inaugural Summer Festival, and featured an all-boy cast of 30, ranging in age from 11 to 18.

In Bourne’s version of the story, a group of schoolboys find themselves abandoned, not on a desert island but in a deserted theatre instead. With no adults around they make up their own rules and create their own civilisation but soon everything breaks down into chaos, confusion and anarchy, as the mild-mannered schoolchildren descend into savagery.

James Mackenzie-Blackman, Executive Director of New Adventures, said: “The whole performing arts team at Dauntsey’s School did a fantastic job of realising our production of Lord of the Flies. The talent, storytelling and staging were exceptional.”

Rikki Jackson, Director of Drama at Dauntsey’s School, commented: “The show certainly proved to be a highlight of the Summer Festival. The boys conjured up a truly remarkable performance full of intensity, malice and raw energy.

"Together with the superb set, dramatic lighting and soaring temperatures this was an outstanding production which captivated sell-out audiences over three nights.”

5. Newspaper scale models bring history to life

This week, students from Hymers College Technology Department took part in an annual tradition in which the whole of Year 9 are taken off timetable and challenged to undertake non-curricular tasks.

This year, students decided to design and construct a model out of newspaper. Not just a miniature house or boat, as one might presume, but a quarter scale model of a fabled historical glider.

The Year 9 students were inspired by the ‘Colditz Cock’, a glider built by British prisoners during World War II, to attempt an escape from Colditz Castle, Germany.

Working in small teams, the students raced against the clock, using detailed plans to help them build the separate sections of the aircraft, some constructing wing sections, others the fuselage.

The models were manufactured using newspaper donated by the Hull Daily Mail and each team member had to first roll and compress a number of sections using a ‘Stixx’ newspaper rolling machine before fastening them together with cable ties.

The finished products were then either left as a skeletal structure, or had a skin applied to give a more complete appearance.

Read the full article © The Telegraph