School report on Bede’s Senior School in Upper Dicker - A+ Education magazine Spring 2014
PUBLISHED: 11:21 15 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:26 15 April 2014
The school is renowned for its holistic educational philosophy
Name of school: Bede’s Senior School
Address: Upper Dicker, East Sussex BN27 3QH
Tel no: 01323 843252
Number of pupils: 750
Age group: 13-18
Day/boarding: The Senior School offers day, weekly and full boarding
Person interviewed: Dr Richard Maloney
When was the school founded?
Bede’s was founded in 1978 by Peter Pyemont, the charismatic headmaster of St Bede’s Prep School (founded 1895). We blossomed throughout the 1980s and 1990s to become one of the largest and most successful new independent schools of the post-war period.
What would you say that you are most renowned for today?
Our genuinely holistic educational philosophy, excellence in arts education and, of course, sport. Academically, we are one of the country’s leading schools for value-added and enjoy the most beautiful location in the south-east of England.
Do you have a school motto and, if so, what is it?
We don’t have a motto as such but the Bede’s philosophy of breadth and excellence inspires young people to achieve in every facet of their educational experience.
What do you think are the most interesting changes taking place in the education system?
Much is presently being re-engineered in the maintained sector, all of which will have significant long-term impact, most of which is probably unforeseen and unintended.
Who are your most famous alumni?
Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard, the late great cricket journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Olivier Award-winning theatre director Jamie Lloyd and England Rugby’s Rob Buchanan, to name but a few of our best-known alumni.
And have you got any stars of the future currently attending?
Anna Moody, Georgia-Mae Ellis, Sian Walsh and Sally-Ann Wild are all virtuosos, having performed variously in the National Youth Choir and at Verbier and Glyndebourne. In addition, we currently have over 30 pupils representing regional and national sports teams.
Tell us the most surprising story about the school?
The school’s site was originally built by Horatio Bottomley, erstwhile MP, First World War recruiter, newspaper tycoon and founder of the Financial Times, who bred racehorses here during the early part of the 20th Century. Latterly, Bottomley was imprisoned for fraud, which left him penniless, allowing the St Bede’s School Trust to eventually purchase the site and found the school.