In Blocks 1 and 2 (Years 7 and 8), all subjects are taught by specialist teachers. Pupils are placed in small tutor groups with a tutor who looks after their pastoral needs and has a broad view of their academic requirements.
The strong pastoral support system, including weekly one-to-one tutorials, helps pupils to become independent in managing their work and to feel supported and part of the Bedales community through all their commitments to the academic and extra-curricular life of the school.
All pupils have 'Green' periods, when they can complete prep in the library or pursue other activities such as further academic studies (including additional Modern Languages, extra Maths or English), the arts (such as individual instrumental or vocal lessons and LAMDA classes) or sport (for example, tennis). The number of 'Greens' increases as pupils progress through the school and take greater responsibility for themselves, learning skills such as time management in preparation for Bedales Senior.
Dunhurst offers an environment unlike any other school. Creativity, respect for others and enjoyment of school are given equal weight with academic achievement
Like Bedales Senior, where the School Council was one of the first in the country when it was established in 1916, Dunhurst has a long tradition of listening to pupils’ views. Pupils have a say in a range of matters - including academic, social and facilities - through the School Council, which comprises representatives from all age groups. The school's Equality and Diversity Council also helps influence and shape the curriculum so that it represents a broad voice.
Every pupil in Block 1 and 2 is also expected to contribute to the community service programme, where they give time to help others both within and beyond the school.