Martin Jones
Martin Jones
Teacher of Maths, Bedales

BA Oxford (St Edmund Hall)
PGCE Durham
MSc Sussex
MA Chichester

What makes a good teacher at Bedales?

Authenticity and integrity.

What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?

The meaning gained from connecting ideas. Through the process of linking new concepts to our existing view of the world we start to make sense of the unfamiliar. Through looking for pattern in apparently diverse – and perhaps mundane – phenomena we start to recognise common underlying structures, as well as identifying what makes things distinctive. “Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height.”

Apart from your teaching role, what else do you get involved with at the school?

I am a Sixth Form tutor and I enjoying playing violin in the school orchestras. My wife, Lele, comes in to school periodically to talk with the A Level History students about her experience of growing up and living under apartheid – modern South African history is now studied as part of the History course.

In your opinion, what makes Bedales special?

For me, the fact that it is the quality of the human relationships that we forge being more important than the roles we have. Consequently, we can be more sensitive to what we feel and more open about what is important to us. Which in turn lead to authenticity and integrity.

Who or what inspires you?

Jacob Bronowski – his Ascent of Man documentary series which I saw as a teenager when it was first shown on BBC2 is a significant influence. For him, Mathematics is entwined in our culture. As well as being a leading mathematician Bronowski authored books on William Blake.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you.

By chance, back in 1993, I came across Wynton Marsalis playing at a late-night prom on the BBC – I was mesmerised and captivated! Here’s a link to his septet playing a section from the same piece that year (In This House, On This Morning).

We were lucky enough to see Wynton Marsalis playing live some 10 years later at the Brighton Corn Exchange.

I write occasional articles and book reviews for the Mathematical Association's magazine, Mathematics in Schools. My latest article is Finding Beauty, published January 2022.