Why Badger?

Bedales School

One of the first questions I asked when I first met Andrew and Nick from Meadow House Systems Limited was, why Badger? Why is it called Badger? And why would we want to use Badger? Let me expand.

The name reminded me of Badger from “Wind in the Willows”, i.e., the wise council, the sage that ‘the Heroes & Wild Wooders” run to and from when in trouble. There are some comparisons that can be made between House-staff and their houses full of “Wild Wooders”. We may not always be able to tame the Stoats and Weasels with a Cudgel, but by using Badger we can tame the paper work and record keeping that can often make our job untenable.

Why would I want to use it? It quite simply changed my working life. I find it quite addictive ‘poop-poop’ the sooner I can write up a conversation with a student, a telephone conversation with a parent, an incident in the mixed kitchen - the sooner I can forget it. The system can hold carefully crafted essays on student behaviour, or in my case, quick bullet-point aide memoires.

In the past my record keeping took the scatter-gun approach, using notebooks & spread-sheets that never quite gave me what I wanted, my email in-box, and other school systems always felt disorganised. What Badger gives me is what it says on the cover – Student centred information; easy to find and easy to use records that map a student’s academic and pastoral path through school.

As Head of Boarding it is my job to ensure consistency in record keeping across the Boarding houses. Badger allows and encourages that consistency, and means the spectre of Inspectors descending with two days’ notice is not a problem.

As part of our staff training we tested Badger’s suitability for recording to National Minimum Standards, the system more than exceeded the minimum.

Badger, like its literary name sake allows me to “sat (sit) in his arm-chair at the head of the table, and nodded gravely at intervals as the animals told their story; and he did not seem surprised or shocked at anything, and he never said, "I told you so," or, "Just what I always said," or remarked that they ought to have done so-and-so, or ought not to have done something else.” In other words spending time with my students, listening and advising, and not in front of a computer.

Jenni Brittain

Head of Boarding

Bedales School

#BedalesSchool #Badger

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