Our ethos

To ensure that every student has the motivation and self-belief to enjoy learning the subject; they develop a sound understanding of our number system and are able to transfer skills to other areas of the curriculum and everyday life in preparation for their future.

Our aims

Our primary aim is to stimulate, develop and maintain the students' curiosity, interest and enjoyment in mathematics and in so doing encourage positive attitudes towards the subject in an environment that encourages creative, independent thinking and enquiry.

The following objectives are fundamental to achieving this aim:

  • To encourage the students to engage in mathematical thinking rather than merely absorbing mathematical thought.
  • To develop students’ familiarity of and confidence in appropriate mathematical concepts, principles and methods.
  • To allow students to develop transferable skills and informed opinions about maths and support them with reasonable arguments.
  • To enable the students to appreciate that there are relationships between the different aspects of maths and other subjects. 
  • To encourage pupils to show initiative and flexibility of mind.
  • To allow the students to appreciate that maths is a means of looking at the patterns that make up our world and the intricate and beautiful ways in which they are constructed
  • To develop  the understanding of maths in its widest context and to see how it relates to themselves and the outside world
  • To challenge all students at a level appropriate to them, including adequately stretching gifted students whilst enabling all students to experience success in their work in their day-to-day school life as well as in public examinations.
  • To provide support for students who have difficulty in manipulating number and help them to relate abstract mathematical concepts to concrete ideas.


This is where the magic happens. At Dunhurst the pupils are taught the processes of calculations, the procedures and steps needed to work out questions. However alongside this the pupils are encouraged to think mathematically. This enables the pupils to deal with any problem set before them. It gives the pupils control of the mathematics. The subject becomes something they understand rather than do. The pupils are guided to see the interconnectedness of the subject; that the topics areas are a beautiful web not a series of separate blocks.

The wonderful way this exciting curriculum is delivered leans heavily upon the investigative approach and the search for patterns. Getting stuck in and discovering the maths whether looking at the relationship between the circumference and the diameter of a circle in the classroom or finding the splendour in the symmetry of leaves outside, we aim to make the pupils’ maths lessons enjoyable, memorable and enlightening.

The mathematics curriculum enables students to:

  • Use number, algebra and measures in practical tasks, in real-life problems and to investigate within Mathematics itself
  • Understand number and number notation
  • Understand number operations and make use of appropriate methods of calculation, develop a feel for number and recognize the significance of results obtained
  • Estimate and approximate in number
  • Recognise and use patterns, relationships, sequences and make generalizations
  • Recognise and use functions, formulae, equations and inequalities
  • Use graphical representation of algebraic functions
  • Estimate and measure quantities and appreciate the approximate nature of measurement
  • Recognise and use properties of two and three-dimensional shapes
  • Recognise location and use of transformation in the study of space
  • Handle data and use shape and space in practical tasks, in real-life problems and to investigate within Mathematics itself
  • Collect, record and process data
  • Represent and interpret data
  • Understand, estimate and calculate probabilities

Academic support

The key to success in Maths is getting the level of challenge right.  Too much or too little and the pupils lose interest.  Maths as a subject is set by ability, and this enables staff to really stretch the more able pupils in this subject.

In every lesson there are a variety of tasks which benefit students of all abilities giving them the choice of challenge and extension tasks.

Alongside this the pupils have the opportunity to work through maths investigations and take place in national maths competitions.

If a pupil does show signs of weakness or gaps in understanding, the initial response is to identify the barriers to learning and address them through differentiation and support.  If this does not fully support the pupil then there is the opportunity for one-to-one lessons where we drill down to discover where the problem starts and we can address it in much more detail and focus.  


Extra-curricular activities range from maths clubs exploring the magic in pineapples and puzzles for Einstein’s 2%, games which require logical thinking, lateral thinking problems and fun intra-school competitions such as the Fantasy Football League and Fantasy Stock Exchange.    

Progression to Block 3 at Bedales

The Mathematics departments of Dunhurst and Bedales have developed a scheme of work running from 11 – 14 which enables students to progress to Block 3 and beyond with the minimum disruption.  The continuity between the schools enables students to benefit from a shared ethos and drive for enjoyment of the subject.

Head of Blocks' MathsDarran Kettle

Head of Groups' MathsSu Robinson