Dulwich College Prospectus

Dulwich College Prospectus

The Master’s Welcome

Welcome to Dulwich College, an academically selective independent boys’ school in south London. It is an exciting time to be here and a great honour to be leading the College through its 400th anniversary in 2019 and into the 2020s. Dulwich has a distinguished tradition of inspired teaching and genuine scholarship; it benefits from historic buildings and green open spaces in a delightful environment. Boys proceed from Dulwich to the most competitive of universities, in the UK and in the world, and thereafter into all the major professions, with a high number choosing to work in Medicine,

Engineering and the Law. But we are also alert to the changing nature of work in the 21st century; We expect our alumni to take up a number of jobs not yet dreamt of and to have more than one career. The College has a long standing reputation for producing some of the finest actors, musicians, sportsmen and writers; we foresee a future in which our students go on to engage in entrepreneurial, technological or cybernetic and innovative enterprises too. Our primary duty is to ensure that all our pupils are engaged in good learning, both in the classroom and beyond it; both in working towards examined syllabuses and in their free learning.

“When I’m asked to define the College in one sentence I often say that it is a ‘doing’ school, which suits boys who want to get involved with everything – whether they have a natural aptitude for a given activity or are simply enthusiasts. ”

Dr JAF Spence The Master Dulwich College

Our principal objectives are:

It is also our responsibility to enable Alleynians to be thoroughly well prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. This is a challenging Mission Statement. My responsibility is to ensure that we fulfil our aims and build on our achievements. I am delighted to invite you to read the most recent Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) reports about the College on our website.

to ensure that all our pupils feel equally secure and valued; to offer academic challenges that enable each pupil to realise his potential; to provide sporting, cultural, charitable and adventurous engagement for all our pupils to enjoy and through which they can learn to work co-operatively and to lead; to nurture a supportive community that encourages a sense of social responsibility;

Dr JAF Spence The Master


Dulwich College Prospectus

Established in 1619.


Bursaries and Scholarships

Edward Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift – the original name for Dulwich College – was established in 1619 and was a foundation for ‘12 poor scholars’ , three drawn from each of four parishes. The College of God’s Gift also educated fee payers drawn from Dulwich Village (paying an admission fee of 2s and a quarterly fee of 6d) and Alleyn further established four boarding places.

From the outset there were clear foundation principles by which the College should be governed: sound learning; strong artistic pursuits; and good manners. We hope you recognise these in the College boys you meet today. The other essential Alleynian attribute we still proudly uphold is our accessibility for what the founder referred to as ‘poor scholars’. In other words, that a full education might be available to all, irrespective of social background and financial resources. Our ambition is that we will be able to offer financial assistance for up to 50% of our pupils, whose parents are unable to meet the cost of the full fee. Bursaries are available at the point of entry.

Scholarship is core to our identity and attracting the brightest local boys, boys from farther afield in London and beyond and boys overseas will mean we will continue to realise Edward Alleyn’s vision. incontrovertibly individualistic and from many different backgrounds – economic, religious and ethnic. It is this social mix that makes Dulwich College a special place – it is often remarked upon that College boys are down to earth, are able to fit in everywhere and can talk to anyone. If you would like to know more about our Bursaries and Scholarships please speak to our Registrar. www.dulwich.org.uk/admissions Alleynians are intelligent and enthusiastic; they are also

Edward Alleyn


British School, Edward Alleyn, 1626, oil on canvas, DPG443, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Dulwich College Prospectus

The Dulwich Spirit


Thoroughly modern, absolutely traditional

Over its four centuries the College has established a tradition of inspired learning, genuine scholarship and free thinking. To a boy we might describe Dulwich College as a place where he can be what he wants to be, and to his parents, as a place to give their son a vision of the world. Our heritage is rich with stories of inspiration, courage and resilience, yet while history is something to learn from, our boys have an openness to the future and how they might contribute to it. They feel that they are part of a family that helped explore, pioneer, discover and celebrate the world we have today. They want to give back what they receive. That is the Dulwich spirit.

“Every single element is designed to help you excel. The teachers support you, build your confidence. Pupils are at the centre of everything. Here you really can become your own person.”

Sixth Former


Dulwich College Prospectus

The Schools

Dulwich College comprises the Junior School (Years 3-6), Lower School (Years 7-8), Middle School (Years 9-11) and Upper School (Years 12-13), together with DUCKS, our co- educational Kindergarten and Infants’ school (age six months to Year 2).

6 8

Strong sense of identity


Junior School

Each school has its own Head, as well as Deputies, Year Heads and Form Tutors who have daily contact with the boys in their care. These teams oversee the academic and pastoral welfare of the boys and ensure that close links are fostered and maintained between parents and the College. This structure enables many subjects to be taught in form groups and encourages a strong sense of identity within each school.

For information about DUCKS, our Kindergarten and Infants’ school of 230 girls and boys, please refer

While the Junior School is very much part of the College, care is taken to provide boys with an environment appropriate to their age. Boys join Year 3 at seven years old and make increasing use of the College’s extensive facilities as they move through the school. We help the boys to achieve high academic standards while also nurturing their individual interests and encouraging their talents to blossom. For more information please refer to our separate prospectus: www.dulwich.org.uk/junior-school or call the Registrar on +44 (0)20 8299 8432.

to our separate prospectus: www.dulwich.org.uk/DUCKS or call the Registrars on +44 (0)20 8693 1538.


Dulwich College Prospectus

Lower School

Everyone can try everything

Between 70 and 80 boys enter the Lower School in Year 7 (age 11+), joining around 50 boys from the Junior School. We provide a stimulating and stretching academic challenge while also ensuring the boys feel secure and confident. During Years 7 and 8, all subjects are taught by specialist teachers and we place a strong emphasis on developing sound academic and organisational skills. Outside the classroom a broad range of co-curricular activities encourages boys to make the most of College life.

Forging friendships

During their first term, Year 7 boys spend a week at the College’s Outdoor Centre in the Brecon Beacons where they get to know each other in a relaxed environment. Activities include climbing, caving, gorge-walking, waterfall exploration, mountain-walking and map-reading. This trip is hugely popular and lasting friendships are made.


“A Dulwich education encourages boys to be brave in their thinking; to have the confidence to answer their own pre-conceptions; to be comfortable in not knowing all the answers, yet thoroughly enjoying the process of finding them out.”

Sameer Tanna Head of Lower School


Dulwich College Prospectus

Middle School

Discover, develop, achieve

There are around 620 boys in Years 9 to 11 and we welcome up to 75 new entrants into Year 9 (age 13+) to join those moving up from Year 8. The curriculum focuses on establishing a sound knowledge base and developing the boys’ study skills to enable them to fulfil their academic potential and to grow as confident, rounded individuals. Boys usually study ten GCSE/IGCSE subjects in Year 10 and 11 and transfer to the Upper School at the end of Year 11. There is early public examination entry for boys who demonstrate a particular aptitude for languages or mathematics.


“Curiosity is everything. ‘How do you reconcile Marxism as linear, economic determinism with his comment that History repeats itself?’ I don’t know, I’ll have to go away and think about that one. That is the reward of teaching here.”

Dr Nick Black Head of Middle School

Life-long learning

The libraries at the College cater for the specific needs of different age groups, between them housing 32,000 books, CDs and DVDs. These resources support our ambition for all boys to develop into independent, self-motivated, life-long learners. The Raymond Chandler library is popular with enthusiastic Lower School readers and regularly hosts literary quizzes and author events. The Wodehouse Library provides a comfortable

space for quiet study, while the conversation area buzzes with discourse, debate and chess. With borrowing available from the British Library, and College membership of JSTOR (the digital library) there is no area of learning which the boys cannot access, while the periodicals room, hung with paintings from the Dulwich Picture Gallery, allows the boys to read newspapers and periodicals in a traditional library setting too.


Dulwich College Prospectus

Upper School

Upper School Symposium The Symposium has become the Upper School’s keynote academic event when all boys in the Upper School are taken off timetable for one day to explore academic areas beyond the curriculum. The Symposium director works with Year 12 and 13 students to select the theme, and guest speakers are chosen with the aim of promoting intellectual curiosity and stimulating debate. Afternoon seminars give pupils the chance to experience their teachers exploring subjects about which they are most passionate and knowledgeable. The Symposium also helps inform boys’ choices of university courses and career considerations. Each year 40 new students enter Year 12 (16+) to join those moving up from Year 11. Boys select three A level subjects in addition to an ‘A level plus’ course which aims to deepen knowledge and prepare pupils for undergraduate study. Through the Dulwich Diploma , which requires boys to work beyond the A level syllabus, we encourage self-motivation and independent thinking, enabling them to take responsibility for their academic and moral development in preparation for university and their working lives.


“The Upper School provides an inspiring environment to help all boys find their passion, develop their character, and to prepare to lead. The academic and co-curricular programme is personalised and challenging, designed for the demands of 21st century study and the workplace.”

Andrew Threadgould Head of Upper School


Dulwich College Prospectus

“If your child is gifted in one area, they will soar here. If they are a good all-rounder they will be encouraged to be a great all-rounder.”

Parent The Good Schools Guide


Academic Life

Education is lived, not just learned

Our philosophy is based on a commitment to teaching and genuine outward-looking scholarship. All our pupils are ambitious academically and we want each to find their areas of interest. Examination results are key, yet it is vital that boys also develop their own intellectual interests and learn to think confidently for themselves. Boys are curious and need space during their lessons and beyond to explore the questions their subject studies suggest to them. It is often in learning for its own sake, and in leading others, that the most significant progress is made. Each year we provide a cross curricular Free Learning Week that takes a different focus centred around a theme. In 2017 it was Dulwich Political, 2016 Dulwich Linguistic, in 2015 Dulwich Inventive and in 2014 Dulwich Creative. Other examples of free learning at the College include: the Upper School Symposium; the Extended Essay; national and international competitions including Debating, the Free Learning

Spanish poetry recitation and translation competition, the Weizmann Safe Cracking competition and a plethora of

music competitions; our extensive Union of societies and clubs; and the learning and debate we engender from important Dulwich anniversaries such as the centenary of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition in 2014-16.


Dulwich College Prospectus

The Dulwich Campus

Set in 70 acres of leafy grounds, the College is a continually evolving campus. We are committed to providing stimulating learning spaces that are conducive to communal and independent thinking, reflection and socialising. The combination of our historic buildings with contemporary facilities creates a distinctive environment, providing many opportunities for learning, with indoor and outdoor areas that encourage innovation, initiative, the exploration of ideas and creativity.


“There is a sense that Dulwich is bigger than us. It is in the walls. There is a real pride that we are part of that. There is a sense that we are becoming part of that history.”

Sixth Former

A new home for Science

The Laboratory is our most ambitious building project since the completion of the Barry Buildings in 1870. Designed by Grimshaw Architects to bring together the twin cultures of the Sciences and the Arts, this landmark building is central to the life of the campus. Art has been integrated into the fabric of the building itself and pupil artists have worked closely with some of our distinguished Old Alleynian (alumni) artists. The building is conceived as a true

laboratory: where boys can embark on their own adventures in science, and where science is brought to life and shared globally through experiment, creative thinking and inspirational teaching. As well as being a home to OA Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lifeboat, James Caird, the Laboratory’s exhibition and performance spaces make it a place in which the whole College and the wider community are able to come together.


Dulwich College Prospectus


“These lessons are so good. No-one talks about these things – but we do.”

Year 11 pupil


Beyond pastoral care

Our pioneering wellbeing programme underpins school life. Designed to promote self knowledge and build emotional intelligence, boys learn about physical and emotional wellbeing. The programme comprises six strands: emotional health, spiritual health, physical health, living in community, healthy living and preparation for the future. Boys are prepared for the world of work, provided with mentoring opportunities and encouraged to get involved with local and international communities. They learn about friendships, family relationships and mindfulness, and are taught tactics to encourage resilience, handle stress and prepare for examinations.

The wellbeing team is extensive and includes Form Tutors, Heads of Years, Day House Masters, wellbeing teachers and co-ordinators, the College counsellor, the Chaplaincy team, and boarding and medical centre staff. These people form a far-reaching network of support accessible to all boys in the Junior, Lower, Middle and Upper Schools. While we are a Christian foundation with our own Chaplain, the College values that its pupils are drawn from a wide variety of faith traditions.

“I like wellbeing lessons because

they prepare us for life. We learn about the real world and how to handle realistic situations.”

Year 9 pupil


Dulwich College Prospectus


Boys can board from age 11 in Old Blew and The Orchard. These beautiful period properties are located at the edge of the campus and give boys the opportunity to ‘leave for school’ and ‘come home’ to relax in the enormous gardens and common rooms. Senior boys continue here with their extended family or move to one of the two on-site houses, Blew and Ivyholme. Younger boys share bedrooms, typically with two or three in a room, while seniors have their own study bedrooms.

Communal space is at the heart of each of our houses although it is the people that provide the pulse. Housemasters and boarding staff take considerable care with the wellbeing of every boy and work with tutors to ensure academic potential is fulfilled. Our proximity to central London enables us to enrich our students with cultural events and social outings, and also makes travelling to and from home easy, whether it be via the airport or simply to another part of the city.


Weekly Boarding

Monday to Friday, with the option of staying for the week-end, weekly boarding is the best of both worlds and a great option for many boys who enjoy the fast pace of a high energy day school along with the support, ease and community that boarding life brings.


Dulwich College Prospectus

Confidence, resilience, teamwork, leadership


These are the hallmarks of our sports programme and the values we promote through Sport and PE. Every Dulwich boy is encouraged to try as many different sports as possible. Through sport we want to encourage all boys to lead a healthy and active lifestyle at the College and beyond.

and honesty


Dulwich College Prospectus

Sport for All

An integral part of the school curriculum, we believe that Sport and PE have a direct impact on our boys’ wellbeing. From running a mile regularly to representing your country, the link between positive, resilient mind-sets and physical activity cannot be ignored. The Sport and PE programme aims to unlock the potential of each student by providing opportunities and experiences to help them reach desired goals. Specialist teachers and coaches deliver at every stage and implement a curriculum to challenge each pupil.

The aim of the Sport and PE programme at Dulwich is to ensure a high-quality sporting experience for all pupils, leading to a lifelong involvement in physical activity and sport, regardless of level. There is support for those who play and aspire to play sport at a high standard through our High Performance Programme, and currently we have many Alleynians playing at an international level. We organise over 2,000 fixtures each year, helping to generate a strong sense of community and pride in playing for the College.



Dulwich College Prospectus


Art at Dulwich College encourages all pupils to be curious, courageous and original. In doing so it enlivens and complements the academic life of the College in a way that exists beyond the art studios. At the forefront, we strive to secure academic excellence and have developed strategies and training to ensure teaching and learning is of the highest standard. Art exhibitions are central to the boys’ development. We hosted no less than eight exhibitions in the past academic year – a combination of student shows and practising

artists’ work to further stretch and enrich boys’ experience and provide them with a deeper level of cultural free learning. It is important to challenge students beyond preconceived ideas of what it means to ‘do art’ – mixed media, cement and plaster casts, and experimental film are all experiences that Alleynians can explore at GCSE. ‘Break-out’ exhibitions operate in transient spaces, challenging students to problem solve, be flexible and take risks, with GCSE boys exhibiting their work twice in the course.

Teaching Art at Dulwich College supports the idea that while many of our students will go on to art colleges, design courses and architecture, what we want our students to do is use the subject to learn skills that are transferable in a wide range of professions, to make them ready in an ever-changing world, to prepare them to challenge, change and to be prepared to never stop learning. The Art department equips boys with the skills to learn rather than learning only skills.


“The arts define our culture, our identity and our national conversation.”

Sir Peter Bazalgette OA



Dulwich College Prospectus


Spirit of invention and daring

In the theatre, we encourage boys to be fearless and experimental with new performance concepts and ideas, fostering their instinct to play and invent. Drama & Theatre Studies is popular at AS and A2, and external moderators often commend boys’ work as being of the highest dramatic order. Our pupils have the opportunity to act, as well as to direct, design, build, and work technically within the creative team on sound, lighting and stage management. With a pedigree of OAs forging careers in the creative industries including Sir Peter Bazalgette, former chair of the Arts Council England and now chairman of ITV, and Oscar- nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, it is no surprise that many of our boys look to extend and explore their love of drama and theatre beyond what they have experienced at school. Careers in the creative industries

“I’m still on a high from the creativity and talent that abounds in the Edward Alleyn Theatre; it oozes from every nook and cranny and from every person connected to it.”

Lesley Sharp Actress



Dulwich College Prospectus


Deeply rooted and treasured

Music is here for all the boys and it flourishes in the academic curriculum. As a large school we benefit from substantial numbers of boys committing to orchestras, choirs and bands, from string quartets to rock bands, chapel choir to House choirs, from Baroque style to contemporary music technology. As many boys are Grade 4-7 in standard, we can be ambitious in our choice of repertoire and venue, with performances at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, King’s College Cambridge, St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall and Southwark Cathedral.


Music Scholarships

Superior stringed instruments are made available to boys as part of a Music Award where appropriate, and state-of-the-art technology facilitates the study of ambitious and contemporary composition techniques. The College has an enviable record of entry to higher education including scholarships to Oxbridge, and the London conservatoires.

Our focus is specialist musical talent, nurturing those boys who are highly gifted. Scholars are assigned a mentor to ensure their progress is nurtured and maintained. Our aim is to teach Music Award holders what a professional musician does through a programme of performing, composing, history and analysis.


Dulwich College Prospectus

The 40+ clubs and societies at the College represent much of what is best here – enthusiasm, diversity, innovation – and provide a forum for boys of all ages to share their interests and ideas. Clubs range from Frisbee to Japanese Animation, from Poultry to Politics, from Classics to Cookery. Although teachers are involved, many of the societies are run by the boys for the boys; they are the driving force. From Robotics to Debating College Life

Many societies have become an integral part of College life, with boys playing a role far beyond the confines of a weekly meeting. Chess comes into this category as does Debating, with College teams competing successfully in national and international competitions.

House system

A thriving House system offers boys from Year 3 the opportunity to take part in a wide range of competitive activities including art, chess, poetry, general knowledge, debating, sport, drama and music.

Activities and excursions

We encourage boys to take part in expeditions as well as community- based activities such as the Combined Cadet Force, Scouts, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and Community Service. More than 280 academic, cultural and sporting outings, trips and expeditions take place throughout the school year to multiple destinations, including to Dulwich College International Schools in the Far East.



Dulwich College Prospectus


Beyond Dulwich

Life lessons

Almost all our boys go on to higher education, the majority to the most competitive universities in the UK, to the US and to other global destinations, and thereafter into all the major professions, with a significant number working in Engineering, the Law and Medicine. The College also has a long standing reputation for producing some of the finest actors, musicians, sportsmen and writers in the country.

Upper School boys receive practical guidance on how degree course choices might influence future careers. They benefit from our professional insight programme which draws on links with hundreds of external contacts including Old Alleynians who lend their expertise via advice and opportunities for students. assist boys in planning their futures. Careers education and guidance is freely available in the careers suite, and boys and their parents attend the annual Courses and Careers Convention to consult with representatives from the major professions and around 25 leading universities. Our professional networking evenings bring together external sector specialists from among our contacts. Boys with relevant career interests meet and network with the professionals, establish links and can then create their own opportunities. Specialist College staff and a network of external contacts

“You feel ready to go into the world

because the College does an excellent job of preparing you for the future. Teachers don’t want this to be the high point for you – they just want you to carry on and get better.”

Sixth Former


Dulwich College Prospectus

Global Community

Connecting to a wider world

From the moment boys arrive at the College, our role is to help them develop the tools to face the challenges of life in the 21st century. We help boys find their own answers during their time here. We prepare them in their transition from boyhood to adulthood, part of which is ensuring they leave with a strong appetite for what comes after Dulwich College.

Within our community, a generosity of spirit is nurtured and the deep loyalty between Alleynians is matched by their interest in the wider world. Edward Alleyn’s legacy has not only endured here for four centuries but has, in recent years, spread overseas in the form of our international schools, adding an international dimension to the significance of being an Alleynian in this global age.


“If I do come to England, the only place I really want to see is Dulwich.”

PG Wodehouse Old Alleynian

Old Alleynians

Eminent OAs include explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, former Bank of England Governor Lord George of St Tudy, and authors PG Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler. More recent OAs include artist Jeremy Deller, cricketer Chris Jordan, England rugby players Andrew Sheridan and Nick Easter, actors Rupert Penry- Jones and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chairman of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette and Director of the National Gallery Gabriele Finaldi.

Founded in 1873, the Alleyn Club is a flourishing alumni association with some 10,000 Old Alleynian (OA) members living in more than 90 countries throughout the world. We seek to foster beneficial life-long relationships between OAs and the College through social, sporting and professional networking opportunities. The Club also provides support to pupils at the College through bursaries and prizes, and many OAs support the work of Careers.


Contact us

Further information on all aspects of College life can be found on our website: www.dulwich.org.uk. Guidance on visiting the College, the registration process, boarding, fees, scholarships and bursaries is contained in the supplement to this prospectus. Separate prospectuses and supplements for DUCKS, the Junior School and Boarding are available online, and on request in printed form.

For enquiries regarding admission, including arranging a visit, please contact:

Entry into Year 7 and Year 9 (ages 11 and 13) The Registrar Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 9263 Email: the.registrar@dulwich.org.uk Entry into Year 12 (age 16) The Upper School Registrar Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 9281 Email: upper.school@dulwich.org.uk Entry into Years 3-6 (ages 7-10) The Junior School Registrar Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 8432 Email: junioradmissions@dulwich.org.uk

DUCKS co-educational Kindergarten and Infants’ School (ages 6 months to 7 years) The DUCKS Registrars

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8693 1538 Email: ducks@dulwich.org.uk

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