Teacher Talk

Hilary Moriarty is headmistress of Bedgebury, a girls' boarding school in Kent, which charges £17,625 a year for senior girls
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As an independent school, what does Bedgebury do to support the local community?

As an independent school, what does Bedgebury do to support the local community?

We are part of a consortium of four local schools - ours, a comprehensive, a primary and a prep school. The idea was to get all the Year Sixes together from the two junior schools and all the Year Nines together from the big schools, for various projects promoting citizenship, including visiting old people, tree planting and even carol singing and a dog show! We were initially doing it because we had government money for it and now we are doing it because we really believe in it.

You encouraged exam boards to show candidates their marked papers. How did this come about?

About four years ago I saw an article about Ireland deciding that kids should see their exam scripts after they are marked. I thought this was a brilliant idea and wrote an article about it myself. Then the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority invited me to take part in a seminar. Candidates can now get their papers back. It has forced examiners to be more careful and boards to be less arrogant. I am proud that helped to get the ball rolling, but would like to see all papers going back to candidates.

How do you make sure that the girls eat properly?

By offering the best meals we can - appetising and attractive food. We offer a hot main course, a vegetarian option and salads at lunch and dinner. We also register pupils at breakfast and supper, and keep an eye on everyone. We raise awareness in health education classes about the severe risks associated with losing a lot of weight.

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