Su Robinson
Su Robinson
Teacher of Maths, Bedales Prep, Dunhurst

BA Open University, PGCE Manchester Metropolitan

What makes a good teacher at Dunhurst?

To be a good teacher at Dunhurst, it is incredibly important to remember that learning and teaching are neither unidirectional nor finite.

As educators, we are committed to ensuring that we have outstanding subject knowledge in our own specific subject to enable us to deliver inspirational and creative lessons, and it is the sharing of that knowledge that is at the root of what we do.

That said, receiving knowledge is equally important and so every day is a new opportunity to learn more, and there are so many ways in which we can do this. Via professional courses, from our colleagues, but more often from our pupils – they are amazing and have all sorts to teach us!

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

As a teacher of Maths, I try to encourage my pupils to have a positive attitude towards the subject and instil in them the fact that it is perfectly fine to make mistakes. They need to be prepared to learn from mistakes to enable them to really secure mastery of any given topic. 

I also try to encourage the pupils to be kind to one another in Maths and to be patient and supportive if a member of the set needs bit of extra time to pick up a new concept, with no fear of judgement from peers.

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

I have two dogs, Gertie and Usha, who I bring to school with me. Gertie is a registered Pets As Therapy dog and she and I visit Bedales Pre-prep, Dunannie and Group 1 (Year 4) here at Dunhurst to listen to readers as part of the Pets As Therapy Read2Dogs scheme. In addition, they come with me when I visit tutor groups for Wellbeing sessions. Both dogs are regularly in the library ‘listening’ to readers and are always available for a cuddle if any pupil is feeling a bit wobbly, or just wants some quiet time. 

In your opinion, what makes Dunhurst special?

For me, the thing that makes Dunhurst special is the genuine camaraderie between everyone. I have never worked anywhere else where everyone is so kind, understanding and supportive to one another.

What is your best memory of Dunhurst?

My best memory of Dunhurst was my very first JAW at the school. Ben had arranged for a jazz quartet to come and perform and it was an incredible end to my first week as a member of staff in the school. 

Who or what inspires you?

The sea inspires me – its beauty, power and strength never cease to amaze me. I have the utmost respect for the sea and and I gain a lot of both personal calm and inner strength from being near it.

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

In 1978, I was one of the first female Venture Scouts in England – I belonged to Salamander Venture Scout Unit in Macclesfield. We had to make our own uniforms by adapting the Girl Guide uniform pattern and using the fabric they used for the Venture Scouts’ uniforms because they hadn’t produced any yet (and it was a miracle that my uniform lasted as I can’t sew very well!)