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Dulwich College
Junior School

Junior Prospectus

From the Master

When I’m asked to define the College in one sentence, I often say that it is a ‘doing’ school, which suits pupils who want to be involved with everything – whether they have a natural aptitude for a given activity or are simply enthusiasts. We learn through confident and selfless engagement.

The provision of excellent teaching and learning is our priority and to this we add an exciting array of co-curricular activities which we believe results in a first-class holistic education.


Our mission is to: offer academic challenges, which enable each pupil to realise his potential; create an environment that promotes an independent work ethic and encourages all pupils to acquire a love of learning; provide sporting, cultural and adventurous engagement for all our pupils to enjoy and through which they can learn to work co-operatively and to lead; nurture a supportive community that encourages a sense of social responsibility and spiritual and personal development; ensure that all our pupils feel equally secure and valued. Our responsibility is to ensure that we fulfil these aims and build on our achievements to enable current and future Alleynians to be well prepared for the exciting challenges of life in the 21st century.

Dr Joe Spence
Master, Dulwich College



At Dulwich College Junior School, we seek to create a stimulating environment in which boys can enjoy learning. Every boy is treated as an individual and encouraged to develop his own talents and abilities to the full. It is vital that our boys feel good about themselves as learners, as people and as part of a community, and we work hard to nurture a positive, challenging and happy atmosphere.

The Junior School is an integral part of Dulwich College, sharing the same aims and values but having the distinctive and special qualities of a Junior School. Our boys are bright, interesting and full of boundless enthusiasm for the opportunities around them. We provide pupils with an academically challenging curriculum while also encouraging them to explore their creative potential through Music, Drama and Art. As well as the many sporting opportunities the College provides, we have an extensive co-curricular programme to help boys develop and pursue their own interests and talents.

As teachers, our work begins by nurturing the boys’ qualities and skills which have been fostered at home. We believe in working with you to encourage your child to achieve high academic standards, to be confident, courteous, responsible and independent. We will help to instil a sense of right and wrong, respect for others and self-discipline.

Please explore our website to discover more about life in the Junior School and where you will find our page Equality and Respect with details of our plans for the future. If you think this might be the right school for your son, we warmly invite you to visit us and look forward to meeting you.

Dr Toby Griffiths
Head of Junior School, Dulwich College


The Dulwich Spirit

My favourite thing in lessons is the level of challenge.


The Dulwich Spirit

Dulwich College has established a tradition of inspired learning, genuine scholarship and free thinking. We describe the Junior School as a place where boys can ‘be and do everything’, where they will be challenged inside and outside the classroom, and where they can have fun and play. Access to so many opportunities means that boys know how it feels to ‘be’ a scientist, an actor, a mathematician, a rugby player, a singer, a philosopher and more.

There is a warm and vibrant atmosphere here and we encourage boys to participate in all aspects of school life. By the time they move on to the Lower School, pupils will have been given the chance to explore, to be curious and to ask questions. We want to motivate our boys to take ownership of their learning, helping them to build a solid foundation for life in the Senior School and beyond.

The Junior School

There are around 220 boys in the Junior School. Most join us at seven years old (Year 3) but we also have a small number of places at 8+ (Year 4) and 9+ (Year 5). We are academically selective and celebrate the diverse range of schools and backgrounds from which our pupils come.

The Dulwich Campus

The Dulwich Campus

The Dulwich Campus

The Junior School is a bright, purpose-built building situated within the College’s 70 acres of leafy grounds and extensive facilities. We are a ‘small school in a big College’. This gives the boys the best of both worlds: a safe and nurturing environment from which to venture forth and enjoy the benefits of a larger school.

The College campus is continually evolving, its historic buildings combining with contemporary space. The Laboratory is our most ambitious building project since the completion of the Barry Buildings in 1870. Its exhibition and performance area make it a place in which the whole College and the wider community are able to come together, as well as a home for boys to embark on their own adventures in Science.

Teaching and Learning

A commitment to teaching and effective learning lies at the heart of all that we do. We teach our boys the skills that will stand them in good stead when they move to the Lower School in Year 7. As well as acquiring knowledge, we want them to learn how to engage in critical thinking, to be able to organise themselves, be confident and articulate, to take responsibility for their own learning and to be aspirational.

The Curriculum

In Years 3 and 4, boys receive most of their teaching from their Form Teachers. They are also taught by specialist staff for French, Art, Design Technology, Music and Games. While Form Teachers play an essential role in the boys’ holistic education, from Year 5 pupils are increasingly taught by subject specialist staff. We believe that teaching Junior School pupils is a specialist area itself and children are best taught by those who understand the specific needs of this age group.

Boys are taught Mathematics, English, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Science, French, Art, Design Technology, Music, Computing, Dance, Philosophy, Wellbeing and Citizenship.

Read all about it

With a full-time Librarian and a stock of over 8,000 books and audiobooks, the Junior School Library is open from 8.30am-5pm. The Library is at the heart of the school, whether hosting lunchtime Year 3 storytelling where boys can relax as they are read a story aloud, or Year 6 Book Club for those who enjoy talking about books and making recommendations to each other. The Library supports the boys’ learning by providing opportunities for research, (both online and through the huge book collections), assisting in the development of information-handling skills and promoting a reading culture throughout the school.

Lessons are planned to encourage boys to be active participants in the learning process. We want boys to think confidently for themselves and to be excited about coming to school.

Free Learning

Philosophy is my favourite lesson because there is no right or wrong answer.”


Free Learning

Free Learning is central to the ethos of the Junior School and the College as a whole. This is learning that is free from a syllabus, free from teaching just to the test, and free to challenge pupils about thinking for its own sake. It is fed by intellectual curiosity, often supported by the interest and enthusiasm of a teacher, and takes place both within subject lessons and without.

All our pupils are ambitious academically and we want each to find their areas of interest. Challenges, projects, investigations and problem-solving are built into our curriculum and enriched by a range of trips, visits, workshops and performances. Our ‘supra-curriculum’ extends these opportunities further. For instance, all the boys have Philosophy, Current Affairs and Citizenship lessons as part of the timetable.

The Junior School Symposium, a joint venture with our sister school JAGS Junior School, is a day off timetable that focuses on discovery, encompassing the physical, creative, cognitive, scientific and mathematical. The aim of the day is for every child to experience something new, exploring themes such as Movement, Pattern & Chaos, and Time.

The Junior School also takes part in the school-wide Dulwich Creative Weeks. Themes in recent years have included Dulwich Inventive, Dulwich Linguistic and Dulwich Political when boys watched a formal debate, participated in a daily vote, hopped up on a soapbox to express their views, engaged with refugee artists at work and designed their own protest art.

The culmination of our Free Learning programme in the Junior School is our Year 6 Great Exhibition where each boy completes a large project, made up of smaller mini projects, based on a question around UN global goals. Recent topics include racism in sport, sexism in the workplace, coral bleaching, and homelessness in London. Each project has an ‘action’ such as a petition, charity fundraising or letter to an MP, and is part of an exhibition to which parents and the whole school is invited.


We meet children from different Forms and make new friends.



Our pioneering wellbeing programme underpins school life. The programme comprises six strands: emotional health, spiritual health, physical health, living in the community, healthy living and preparation for the future.

In the Junior School the boys learn about friendships, family relationships, citizenship and mindfulness. We use circle time and a shared language based on positive feelings and kindness to develop their emotional literacy. This journey is continued throughout the whole College where the boys are taught tactics to encourage resilience, handle stress and prepare for examinations as well as being prepared for the world of work. They are provided with mentoring opportunities and encouraged to get involved with local and international communities.

The extensive wellbeing team includes Form Tutors, Year Group Co-ordinators, Housemasters, the College Counsellor, the Chaplaincy team, and Medical Centre staff. These people form a far-reaching network of support accessible to all boys in the whole College. 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.

The Creative Arts

Engaging in the Arts is a vital part of the College’s philosophy and we ensure Junior School boys can explore and develop their creative potential, whether it is in an art studio, a music room or the Edward Alleyn Theatre.

Art & Design Technology

In Art lessons we aim to stimulate the boys’ creativity and encourage them to use their imagination, working across different materials and techniques. By Year 6 some will already have developed the beginnings of a personal style. Weekly lessons in Design Technology help them develop strong design and creative skills on a variety of projects. Pupils are taught by specialist subject teachers in our dedicated Junior School Art and DT Rooms, and outside the classroom we arrange trips to galleries to study the work of artists.

The boys’ work is celebrated with regular displays and through House competitions. There is a range of art, drawing and DT co-curricular options, one of the most innovative being French Aviation Club where boys learn to make and fly foam radio-controlled planes while developing French-speaking skills at the same time!


Music is an integral part of College life for Junior School pupils and every boy who learns an instrument at school is invited to participate in an ensemble. In Year 3 all boys are taught a stringed instrument and in Year 4 they all play brass or woodwind during their music lessons.

There are lots of opportunities to perform throughout the year either as a member of the Year Group choirs where all boys sing, or as a member of the College choirs (Madrigal and Chapel), or in one of the many Junior or whole College ensembles and orchestras. Co-curricular clubs are popular too; trumpet ensemble, guitar club or Samba band are particular favourites with the boys.

Drama & Performance

All boys in the Junior School participate in regular class assemblies and perform in a Year Group play or drama event at several points in their Junior school careers. Year 6 productions in the Edward Alleyn Theatre have included ‘ Peter Pan‘, ‘ Joseph’, ‘ The Lion King’ and ‘Seussical.’ Theatre visits are organised for all Year Groups and theatre groups visit us regularly.

All classes are taught dance as part of the curriculum with the College’s full-time Dance teacher. LAMDA speech and drama classes are available as a co-curricular option with classes at lunchtime or after school. LAMDA gives boys an appreciation of poetry, prose and play text and a chance to develop their communication and performance skills.

Physical Education and Games

Physical Education and Games

With 70 acres of grounds, a PE Centre, tennis and squash courts, a swimming pool and a boat-house on the Thames, there is plenty of Games provision at the College.

The Junior School has an inclusive ethos. We believe each boy should have the chance to experience a range of games and to play in a team, in an atmosphere which seeks to encourage good sportsmanship and a healthier lifestyle through physical activity. During the Michaelmas and Lent terms, the programme contains rugby and football, while cricket and athletics take place in the Summer. There are hockey and swimming lessons throughout the year.

In every Year Group there are many opportunities for all boys to compete in matches against other schools in all the major sports. Boys are also entered for local and national competitions and have enjoyed numerous triumphs in rugby, hockey, football, cricket, triathlon and swimming. We regard sport as part of the boys’ overall wellbeing; it contributes to their fitness, their ability to work in a team and their capacity to deal with both success and failure with good grace.

The Outdoor Centre

There are amazing trips! You go to Wales, France and seven junior boys, including me, went to China. You really bond with your friends and classmates because you share dorms together.


The Outdoor Centre

Dulwich College has its own Outdoor Centre in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. All boys in Years 4 and 5 go away for four or five days with their Form during the Summer Term. While there, they take on physical challenges such as hill walking or climbing, whilst putting their geography lessons to practical use. In addition our Year 6 boys go away to a PGL camp for a week and even our Year 3s have a two day, one night residential trip.

The Outdoor Centre provides our boys with the opportunity to be away from home in a secure environment. They learn life skills such as being responsible for their own belongings, stepping out of their comfort zone and learning to live happily with others even if they do not do things their way. But most of all, it provides boys with the opportunity to have great fun; they take away memories that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Co-curricular Activities

The Junior School’s wide range of clubs is regularly adapted and designed to keep pace with the boys’ diverse and evolving interests – from card games, debating, gardening and sewing, to cycling, playing guitar, fundraising, Lego and French Aviation. Clubs run for half an hour at lunchtime and for an hour after school and include Homework Club and after school care until 6pm every day.

Our Community

An awareness of the needs of others and an appreciation of the capacity to help are promoted through charity fund-raising and 'service learning' at the Junior school. The boys experience giving back to the community and give their time as well as fund-raise.

House System

On joining us, each boy is allocated to one of eight Day Houses which he will belong to throughout his time at the College. As part of his induction, he will be paired up with an older boy from his House who will act as his buddy. The House system enables all boys to participate in a wide range of sporting and cultural competitions.

We also start each academic year with a House Teambuilding Day, where boys tackle physical, mental and practical challenges. This provides the boys with the opportunity to work co-operatively, to recognise the contribution of others and to utilise their own strengths for the good of their team, which is invaluable.

Serving Others

Boys are encouraged to develop a sense of moral responsibility and an interest in the world beyond their immediate environment. We select community service projects and integrate them into our curriculum so that all the boys give their time and experience working in the community. Recently we have built direct links with the Brixton and West Norwood Foodbank where the boys take the contributions on the P13 bus and help sort and label the food.

We have also supported AFRiL (Action for Refugees in Lewisham), where the boys are helping with the children at the Rainbow Club Supplementary School, local alms houses, Shelter, Roald Dahl’s Children’s Charity, and the NSPCC.

Beyond the Junior School

Our expectation is that all the boys transfer to the Lower School (Years 7 and 8) and we prepare them for the same assessment that will be taken by external applicants in the January of their final year with us. Following that assessment, Junior School boys progress smoothly to Year 7, the Lower School, and beyond.

By the time the boys leave us they will have experienced all the facets of their abilities; finding their own strengths and understanding their weaknesses. When they transfer, they will be encouraged to pursue their passions and talents and to set their own personal goals.

Contact Us

Further information on all aspects of the Junior School can be found on our website: Guidance on visiting the Junior School, the registration process, fees, scholarship and bursaries is contained in Information for Applicants.

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

Entry into Years 3, 4 or 5 (ages 7-9)
Mrs Polly Twisk, Junior School Registrar
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 8432

Entry into Year 7 and Year 9 (ages 11 and 13)
Mrs Sarah Betts, Registrar
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 9263

Entry into Year 12 (age 16)
Mrs Jo Foster, Upper School Registrar
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 9281

DUCKS co-educational Kindergarten and Infants’ School (ages 6 months to 7 years)
Mrs Emma Millett, Infants’ School Registrar
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8693 1538