The Dawnay School Careers Site Eteach (13256)



The Dawnay 


Our mission is for every member of our school community, adults and children, to achieve the highest standards possible.  This means that we care about the development of each individual and seek to equip them with the skills they need to become skilful, confident and successful.

This cannot be achieved without the support of every member of staff in 'Team Dawnay' and if you become a member of The Dawnay School team, whatever your role, you can expect the support of the leadership team so that you can be the best that you can be!

We are passionate about giving all children the best possible educational experiences, from Reception through to when they leave us in Year 6.  We endeavour to be excellent in all that we do as adults so that we can provide excellent role models for the children in our care.  If you join us, whatever your role, you will have access to high quality professional development to enable your own continuous improvement.

Although we are dedicated to ensuring that we have a culture of achievement, we also believe it is crucial to balance that with developing creativity, a love of learning and pride in achieving high standards.  Our children embody enthusiasm and a zest for life in all areas of the curriculum, they are a joy to work with.

Would you be able to contribute to our aspirational, friendly, caring school?
If so, we would love to hear from you. 


About Us

The Dawnay has a long history in Bookham and could be said to be the original village school.  The Dawnay family donated the land in 1856 so that the first school could be built. As such we are very much part of the community and pride ourselves in taking part in as many village activities as possible, such as village day, visits to Keswick House (care home for the elderly) and Bookham Open Gardens. 

The school is organised into three phases - Infant, Lower Junior and Upper Junior.  Each one led by an experienced teacher or phase leader, who monitors the standards in each of the parallel classes in that phase (see staff list).  Our Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Hewitt-Lee ensures that provision matches the needs of each child across Key Stage 2 and supports with additional provision for individuals or groups where necessary.

Our cross-year organisation in the junior phases, unique to the local schools, means that we can be more flexible in deploying our teachers and in grouping and teaching your child.  Each child’s personalised needs are taken into account we are therefore able to teach children according to ability rather than age within a strong adult team.

Our structure also breaks down traditional year group boundaries so that children get to meet and befriend children from across the school.  Socially and academically this model works, and we believe is the best structure for our school. This is a forward thinking approach and one which is favoured by many educationalists

There are three classes in each phase:

  1. The Infant Phase - Reception (4-5 yrs), Year 1 (5-6 yrs) and Year 2 (6-7 yrs)
  2. The Lower Junior Phase - three parallel classes (7-9 yrs)
  3. The Upper Junior Phase - three parallel classes (9-11 yrs)

The Infant Phase is Key Stage 1 (KS1) and the Lower and Upper Junior Phases together make up Key Stage 2 (KS2).  The Reception class is part of the Early Years and Foundation Stage.

Our school is small and nurturing; we pride ourselves on each member of staff knowing every child’s name.  We have one class entry of 30 pupils at reception and currently have the capacity to admit an extra 15 children at the beginning of the Lower Juniors (traditionally Year 3), which we are delighted to be able to do.  Our current class sizes in the Junior Phases are between 25 and 30 pupils.

At the end of each Key Stage i.e. at 7 years and at 11 years, children are formally assessed against National Curriculum levels in the core subjects (reading, writing and maths).  The results of these National Curriculum tests are published on the Ofsted web-site and this year’s results are on the website, under 'Our Results'.

We are very proud of the progress that all our pupils make whilst with us.  When compared with other Surrey schools our results are favourable.


Local Area

Great Bookham is a village in Surrey, England, one of six semi-rural spring line settlements between the towns of Leatherhead and Guildford. The Bookhams – Great and Little Bookham – are part of the Saxon settlement of Bocham, "the village by the beeches", the latter being a very narrow strip parish. They are surrounded by common land. Little Bookham in the west has the Bookham railway station.

The villages are astride the A246, which is the non-motorway and direct route between the two towns. Once two distinct villages, the Bookhams have long been interconnected with residential roads that give the impression of one large village.

Polesden Lacey

The village is well known as the location of Polesden Lacey, a country house on the southern edge of the village, surrounded by more than 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of grounds, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public.


The school possesses a wonderful learning space both inside and out.  Outside we have a large playing field which is used for outdoor games, football, rounders and athletics; a wooded environmental area; a pond and three additional playgrounds with play equipment for specific age groups.

As well as the classrooms, we have junior and infant libraries; two school halls; an art and design technology studio with a kiln; the ‘Dawnay Den’ with a kitchen area; a well equipped ICT suite; a dedicated music room; a language/drama room and a special Year 6 study area.

The location of the school makes it ideal for field studies to Bookham village and the surrounding countryside.  Both Bookham Common and Norbury Park/Polesden Lacey are easily accessible on foot. Where possible, visiting workshops enhance learning and give children first-hand experience. Recent visits include The Natural History Museum, Wildlife Centre and Walton Firs Activity Centre.

Vision and Values

Create a love of learning

Our mission is for our school to be viewed as making excellent provision for all its community, knowing and celebrating the strengths of all individuals  and having high aspirations for everyone.  We aspire to a culture of successful high quality outcomes within a supportive, stress-free environment as well as being progressive and outward facing in terms of the curriculum and the wide ranging opportunities that the school offers.

The children who are currently in our school are the citizens of the future.  The world of tomorrow is likely to be a very different place than that of today and we have no idea what knowledge will be most appropriate to them.  It is likely that when our children enter the workplace, many of them will be doing jobs that haven’t yet been invented…

therefore, it is more important that we teach children the purpose of learning and HOW  to learn not WHAT to learn.

We know that the world is a stressful place and that mental well-being is as important as physical well-being in order to lead successful and fulfilling lives.  In order to be successful, we believe that it is important for young people to be able to manage their feelings and emotions and develop their own sense of worth.  We aim to make this a feature of the opportunities offered to all members of our school community. 

In preparing our children for their future, and indeed in preparing us all for the future, we know that being numerate and literate is essential but other skills are also prized above all others.  Key employers such as John Lewis and Unilever ask  for so-called ‘soft’ skills above the more tangible exam grades when they are recruiting.  Rightly they believe that it is more important that their employees are: creative thinkers; have and maintain good relationships; can work as part of a team and have a ‘can do’ mentality…

Our school environment therefore, has to be:

  • safe and secure, encouraging children and staff to question and encouraging a culture of trial and error
  • a place where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities
  • a place where striving towards personal excellence is actively acknowledged and praised
  • motivating and encouraging, praising the effort rather than outcome
  • outward facing, showing what is on offer in the wider world and giving opportunities for experimenting
  • able to provide a range of experiences to inspire as many children and staff as possible in whatever area that interests them
  • Ultimately our school should be a place where successful learners; responsible citizens and confident individuals are developed for the future whatever that future may hold!

The core values we promote in the school focus on this:

            P – Positive attitudes to everything we do

            R – Respect for ourselves and for each other

            I – Independence of thought and of action

            D – Difference, we celebrate the uniqueness of each individual

            E – Excellence in all we do.