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Dulwich College

Senior Prospectus

The Master’s Welcome

Welcome to Dulwich College, an academically selective independent boys’ school in south London with excellence and access at its core, instilling in every pupil an aptitude for work and study and a sense of service so they have the potential to make a positive difference in the world.

Dulwich has a distinguished tradition of inspired teaching and genuine scholarship; it also benefits from historic buildings and green open spaces in a delightful environment.

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.

Our ethos at Dulwich is one of equality, our values are founded in respect, and our principal objectives are:

  • 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, diverse and inclusive community that encourages a sense of social responsibility.
  • It is also our responsibility to enable Alleynians to be thoroughly well prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.

    Pupils leave Dulwich to go on to the most competitive of universities, in the UK and in the world, and thereafter into all the major professions, with a high number following careers in engineering, the health services 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 jobs in a range of innovative and creative arenas and to have more than one career; we foresee a future in which our students go on to engage in entrepreneurial, technological or cybernetic enterprises too. We believe that more and more will commit to work which will define them as community and service leaders.

    I am delighted to invite you to explore our website where you can take a virtual tour of the campus, discover more about College life and about free learning, learning beyond the examined curriculum. You’ll also find details of our partnerships and community engagement, and our means-tested bursary programme; this academic year 214 pupils are in receipt of a free or subsidised place.

    Should you and your son wish to visit, please contact our Admissions team whose details you will find on the final page of this digital prospectus.

    Dr Joe Spence
    The Master

  • Vision and Values

    Our vision is to be an outstanding school inculcating in every pupil an aptitude for work, study, and a sense of service so they have the potential to make a positive difference in the world.

    A Dulwich Education

    What makes a Dulwich education?

    What is distinctive is the balancing of the Primacy of the Classroom (academic challenge and excellent teaching to the test) with Free Learning (engagement in learning beyond the curriculum, for its own sake and in preparation for life after Dulwich).

    A Dulwich education:

    • offers academic challenges that inspire each pupil to realise their potential;
    • fosters a spirit of independent thought and curiosity that extends beyond the classroom;
    • provides sporting, cultural, entrepreneurial, charitable and adventurous engagement for all pupils to enjoy - and through which they learn to work co-operatively and to lead;
    • nurtures a supportive community that encourages social responsibility and that has service and sustainability at its heart;
    • ensures that all our pupils feel equally secure and valued.
    Our Values

    Our Values

    Through our values of Equity for all, Respect for all, and Service Engagement of all, we seek to encourage:

    • curiosity and creativity;
    • compassion and open-mindedness;
    • resilience and integrity;
    • a collaborative outlook and an appreciation of how we all benefit from living and growing in a diverse and inclusive society.

    What is Dulwich College’s social mission?

    We retain a commitment to our foundational mission: to facilitate social mobility through education. Social diversity is our great strength. We have a responsibility to play an active role in our community – and have much to learn from our partners. We educate our pupils in social responsibility and promote a culture of philanthropy.

    “There is a distinctiveness to a Dulwich education based on the balance of academic rigour with a commitment to finding time and resource for holistic learning.”

    Dr Joe Spence
    The Master

    Our Aims

    Our Aims

    We aim to offer an education which inculcates a lifelong aptitude for learning
    We look to balance traditional and innovative approaches to learning.

    We aim to be an outstanding school of access
    We are at our strongest when we are socially diverse and working in partnership with others.

    We aim to ensure that our pupils develop talents that enable them to make a positive difference
    We hope to inculcate in all our pupils a sense of service.

    We aim to be a sustainable school
    Our duty is the stewardship of the school for current and future generations of pupils and alumni, balancing environmental care, social well-being and growth.

    Our Strategy

    Our Strategy

    The Dulwich College community is outward facing and embraces change; our resilient and talented teaching and operational staff take measured risks that support and encourage creative thinking - in and beyond the classroom and on and beyond our campus. Excellent teaching and learning lies at the heart of all we do, as does a realization of our social responsibility as good citizens - locally, nationally and globally.

    Pedagogy and Pastoral care
    Exceptional academic attainment and the best possible preparation of our pupils for life after school are the fundamental objectives of a Dulwich education which comprises an inspiring curriculum, a rich Free Learning programme, excellent pastoral care and a rich co- and supra-curricular experience.

    People and Partnerships
    We look to recruit and retain skilled and conscientious, diverse and talented teachers and operational colleagues. Working alongside our peers in partnership schools we benefit from the sharing of experiences and best practice and make a positive difference locally and globally.

    Overseeing our practice
    Our professional processes in Operations, Admissions, Finance, HR, Development and Communications, scrutinised by committed governors, ensure we can deliver our ambitions in relation to good teaching and learning, charitable endeavour and social responsibility, sustainability, technological innovation and enterprise.

    Free and Subsidised Places

    Dulwich College was established in 1619 and was a foundation for ‘12 poor scholars.’ From the outset there were clear principles by which the College should be governed: sound learning; strong artistic pursuits; and good manners. We hope you recognise these in the College pupils you meet today amongst our welcoming community from many different and interesting backgrounds.

    Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we are now able to give over £4.4 million every year to support 214 bursary awards.

    Independent School of the Year 2022 for Contribution to Social Mobility

    Free and Subsidised Places

    Coming to Dulwich had a major impact on me. I developed a sense of self-confidence and self-worth … if you have a particular gift or affinity to something it is really nurtured and developed further.

    Donald Nartey OA (2002-09) Bursary award holder and former School Captain
    Independent School of the Year 2022 for Contribution to Social Mobility

    It is our ambition that a Dulwich education might be available to all, irrespective of social background and financial resources and 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.

    We warmly welcome applications from parents with academically strong boys who need full or partial financial support to send their son to Dulwich College.

    Bursaries - free and subsidised places - provide financial assistance with school fees and are available at the point of entry. Whilst the majority of bursaries are offered on entry to Year 7 (11+), we also award bursaries to boys joining in Years 9 (13+) and 12 (16+).

    Scholarship is core to our identity and attracting the brightest local pupils, pupils from farther afield in London and beyond and pupils overseas will mean we will continue to realise Edward Alleyn’s vision.

    Alleynians are intelligent and enthusiastic; they are also incontrovertibly individualistic and from many different backgrounds. It is this mix that makes Dulwich College a special place – it is often remarked upon that College pupils 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 get in touch with our Registrars.

    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

    The Dulwich Spirit

    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.


    We believe that mutual benefit comes from engaging in partnerships. Across the College pupils and staff voluntarily contribute their time and expertise to a wide range of community activities which are carried out under the umbrella of the College's whole-school strategic development plan.

    In an average year there are more than 45 volunteering projects run as part of the College’s Community Action programme. These opportunities take place outside of the College, as well as within, but all opportunities fall under the headings of Educational, Social and Environmental.

    We are thrilled that over 300 of our boys will actively engage with these opportunities. Examples of the kind of volunteering that will take place include: providing extra support for pupils at local primary schools and our partner school, City Heights; tutoring at homework clubs and Saturday Schools; visiting and helping residents at a number of local Care Homes; preparing food parcels at the Brixton and West Norwood Foodbank; and helping with gardening in Dulwich Park and West Norwood Cemetery.

    Volunteers find the activities hugely rewarding; they play an important role in the personal development and wider education of the boys and forge important links with our wider community. Whilst the educational element underlying the importance of community engagement is conveyed across all age ranges of the school, the practical projects are available to boys in Year 10 upwards; the boys volunteer for approximately an hour each week during the first 2 school terms – either at lunchtimes, after school or on Saturday mornings.

    The Schools

    Pupils of all ages develop excellent knowledge, understanding and skills benefitting from well-structured, engaging lessons.

    ISI Report, Nov 2021

    The Schools

    Pupils of all ages develop excellent knowledge, understanding and skills benefitting from well-structured, engaging lessons.

    ISI Report, Nov 2021

    Strong sense of identity

    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.

    Junior School

    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 information about DUCKS, our Kindergarten and Infants’ school of 230 girls and boys, please explore the DUCKS website and separate prospectus.

    The Senior School

    Pupils in the senior school are characterised by their enthusiasm for learning, an ability to embrace opportunities beyond the curriculum and to think creatively.

    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. 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.

    “Intellectual curiosity is at the heart of a Dulwich education in the Lower School, where boys are free to discover new talents and to explore new ways of thinking. We provide a nurturing environment where boys learn how to be responsible, empathetic and to have a strong sense of their own identity.”

    Fran Cooke
    Head of Lower School

    Middle School

    Discover, develop, achieve

    There are around 620 boys in Years 9 to 11 and we welcome up to 85 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 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.

    “The Middle School Years are crucial in helping boys develop their identities both inside and out of the classroom. We encourage the boys to question everything, to be as empathetic as possible and strive for excellence in everything they do. These are the years when life-long academic passions are formed, co-curricular skills are developed, and friendships that last a lifetime are made.”

    Sameer Tanna
    Head of Middle School

    Upper School

    Each year approximately 40 new students enter the Remove (Year 12; 16+), joining those moving up from Year 11. Pupils select three A level subjects from the 30 or so offered at the College. Many also opt to undertake an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), an independent research programme, equivalent to half an A level.

    Committed to the ‘good learning’ envisioned by our Founder, the College also runs a wide range of bespoke courses, designed to ensure that all pupils benefit from the full breadth of a truly liberal education. Those in the Remove take Advanced Electives in subjects like Law, Finance, Climate Change, and Astrophysics; these are designed to complement and extend core, A level learning, and to prepare pupils for university life and the world of work. In the Upper Sixth, pupils take two Liberal Studies courses – topics range from ‘Evolution and the Mind’ to ‘Gender in 60s Cinema’ – designed to broaden horizons and pique curiosity. (These courses are run in conjunction with local partner schools: James Allen’s Girls’ School and Sydenham High.) From the classroom to the lunchtime society meeting to the annual Upper School Symposium: across the two years of the Sixth Form, we aim both to prepare our boys for academic success, and to nurture in them a love of the life of the mind. As they plan the next stages in that journey, extensive support is made available to those applying to universities in the UK, USA, Canada and elsewhere; and a wide range of courses, conventions, and networking events is run by the Careers Department.

    The two years that pupils spend in the Upper School are challenging but rewarding, with the aim of building the personal and academic self-motivation and independence needed for life beyond Dulwich.

    “The Upper School provides an inspiring environment to help all pupils find their passion; build confidence with integrity and humility; and become faithful leaders of their country and to their world. The academic and co-curricular programme is personalised and challenging; it’s designed for the demands of the 21st century, but draws on a rich tradition of 400 years of scholarship and community.”

    Colm O’Siochrú
    Head of Upper School

    Life-long learning

    The Wodehouse Library is the heart of the College. It's the place I go to ask a question, do some work, or pass the time - it's where I'm most at home on campus.

    Year 13 pupil

    Life-long learning

    The libraries at the College cater for the specific needs of different age groups, between them housing 32,000 printed and audio-visual materials along with subscriptions to more than 30 online resources and ebook libraries.

    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.

    Academic Life

    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.

    Free Learning

    Free Learning

    Free Learning is multifaceted education that goes beyond the syllabus. It enriches and nurtures intellectual curiosity. For pupils it provides strong foundations for a lifelong love of independent learning. Interdisciplinary in its very nature, it stimulates light bulb moments and creative connection making. At its best, Free Learning marries academic and emotional intelligence in equal measure, and weaves into many aspects of school life, in the classrooms to the lecture theatre, and through clubs and societies and events, including those with our wider partnership programmes.

    Other examples of Free Learning at the College include: the Upper School Symposium; the Extended Essay; national and international competitions including Debating, the Spanish poetry recitation and translation competition, the Weizmann Safe Cracking competition and a plethora of music competitions; and the learning and debate we engender from important anniversaries, including LGBTQ+, Black Lives Matter, International Women’s Day, Refugee Week, and Dulwich anniversaries such as DC PRIDE month.

    Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

    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

    Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

    Our wellbeing programme underpins school life. Designed to promote self knowledge and build emotional intelligence, boys learn about physical, creative 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, healthy 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.

    College Life

    Dulwich College pupils are reflective, curious and engaged with the world. Our aim is to nurture a supportive community that encourages a sense of social responsibility.

    “Pupils are respectful and thoughtful about the needs of others who are less fortunate.”

    ISI Report, Nov 2021

    The Dulwich Campus

    Set in 70 acres of leafy grounds with more than 1,000 trees, 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.

    The iconic Barry Buildings are home to the Wodehouse Library (after OA PG Wodehouse) and the Great Hall for assemblies and performance while The Laboratory and its auditorium for visiting speakers and events, brings together the twin cultures of the Sciences and the Arts, and is home to OA Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lifeboat, James Caird; both are central to the life of the campus.

    “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

    Co-educational opportunities at Dulwich

    At Dulwich College pupils enjoy all the benefits of a single-sex education, with the additional opportunity of learning and networking in a co-educational environment.

    From the Junior School upwards, College pupils enjoy a wide range of joint initiatives with local girls’ schools. The Young Enterprise Programme enables pupils to work in partnership with students at Sydenham High School, developing entrepreneurial skills and working as a team to set up a small business. Girls at Sydenham and at James Allen’s Girls’ School (JAGS) also have joint rowing training sessions at the College during the week and on the Thames at weekends.

    There is a rich programme of activities with JAGS throughout the year, which is shaped by a group of Prefects from both schools. Pupils have the opportunity to collaborate regularly on academic matters, for example at the Junior School Symposium; the shared Free Learning afternoons in the Lower School; at collaborations days in the Middle School, where charity and service provide the source of inspiration; and through Advanced Electives and Liberal Studies courses in the Sixth Form, which take place in, and are delivered by teachers from, both the College and JAGS. In addition, these events are complemented by joint co-curricular activities, such as the Combined Cadet Force in Year 9; a variety of music concerts; Upper School Drama productions; and fundraising events organised by Prefects from both schools. All of these ventures are underpinned by a strong pastoral emphasis, where there is a focus on the positive interactions between the pupils from both schools, and the friendships which ensue.

    A diverse range of year-round events, across a range of disciplines, is also offered with our eighteen partner schools as part of SSLP (Southwark Schools’ Learning Partnerships): this also affords our pupils many opportunities to meet other students across the borough and beyond.


    A deep sense of social responsibility is rooted in our ethos and we are committed to a programme that reflects our responsibility to the environment, with practicable, enduring actions and measurable targets. Our aim is to progressively reduce our carbon footprint, achieving long term and lasting improvements that address core issues of sustainability and enhance bio-diversity across the whole College campus.

    Prefects with particular responsibility for sustainability and pupil eco-reps in each year are energetic in championing environmental issues and leading behaviour change. They are encouraged to challenge and engage with senior management on environmental issues and there is a close collaboration between pupils and managers in developing initiatives that will work for the whole College – from small steps such as banishing plastic bottles on campus and building bike racks to encourage sustainable travel to school, to larger initiatives such as this year’s Free Learning Week which focuses on sustainability.

    This symposium on sustainability will engage the entire community, further developing practices and processes as part of our accountability to defined targets. Our international schools are amongst the leaders in pursuing a truly integrated approach to the environment in education.

    Our broad-reaching Sustainability Action Plan targets all areas of College life and activity; the first independent annual ESG Impact Report of the College reported favourably on the plans in place and the progress made.

    We know there is much more to do but with consistent effort and clear monitoring of realistic actions aligned to the active engagement of the whole community, we are confident of continuing acceleration towards net zero goals and a cleaner, greener future for the school and wider community.


    Pupils can board from age 13 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.


    Honesty, humility, commitment and ambassadorship. 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.

    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.

    The Creative Arts

    Creative thinking runs through the Dulwich DNA and the creative arts provide the opportunity to excel.


    Art at Dulwich College encourages all pupils to be curious, courageous and original. It is important to challenge students beyond preconceived ideas of what it means to ‘do art’ – mixed media installation, cement and plaster casting, alongside digital and experimental film, are some of the experiences Alleynians will explore at GCSE.

    Art exhibitions are central to our pupils’ development: a combination of student shows and practising artists’ work stretch and enrich pupils’ experience and provide them with a deeper level of cultural free learning.

    While many of our students will go on to pursue creative careers at art colleges or design and architecture schools, we support the idea that art comes with its own portfolio of skills and attributes, whether practical, technically based or expressive. Along with problem-solving skills, critical and analytical understanding, these are transferable creative-thinking abilities, fit for purpose for the future of our students within the fast-changing world of the twenty-first century.

    Design Technology

    Our extensive DT resources support workshop learning using traditional woods, metals and plastic, complemented by electronic and graphic studios. Computer technology is central - CAD enables pupils to design and develop new ideas which can be realised through our suite of CAM machinery including 3D printers, laser cutters and a CNC router. We recently opened our Virtual Reality suite which will enable real time collaboration in the virtual realm.

    Sustainability is pivotal. We source timber locally which is seasoned and processed on site, reducing our carbon footprint. We challenge pupils to rethink the concept of broken within our consumer society, providing the opportunity to repair and reuse everyday products.

    Enterprise is a common thread that knots together all aspects of DT. Specific projects focus on manufacturing and selling products which provides an understanding of how time and effort has a financial value, and also enables us to contribute to charity.

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

    Sir Peter Bazalgette OA

    Drama, Theatre and Dance

    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 is very popular at GCSE and A Level, and external moderators often commend students’ 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.

    Recent productions have been staged at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe Theatre and the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank. Actors and technicians perform regularly at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

    Our Dancer in Residence has introduced skills way beyond the familiar and conventional in lessons, and in the rehearsal room, resulting in a thrilling new physical vocabulary from Year 3-13.

    Careers in the creative industries

    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, Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, and UK Theatre award-winning director Ned Bennett, 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.

    We celebrate our reputation as “a renowned drama department”. The Daily Telegraph


    Music is here for all the boys and it flourishes in both performance and 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, from Chapel Choir to House choirs, from Baroque style to contemporary music technology. Our ensemble programme gives opportunity to all levels of ability. As many boys are Grade 3 to Diploma level 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, The Hideaway, Pizza Express Soho, Cadogan Hall and Southwark Cathedral.

    Music Scholarships

    Our focus is specialist musical talent and potential, nurturing those boys who are highly gifted. Scholars are assigned a mentor from the Music Department staff thereby ensuring that development and progress is maintained. Our aim is to provide and teach Music Award holders a range of skills and techniques that will enhance their love of Music and enable them potentially to continue their studies beyond the College. Recitals, masterclasses, composing, history and analysis, harmony, Alexander Technique and conducting are all offered. A small number of fine stringed instruments are made available to boys as part of a Music Award where appropriate; state-of-the-art Music technology facilitates enable the study of ambitious and contemporary composition techniques. The College has an enviable record of entry to higher education including scholarships to Oxbridge, Russell Group Universities and the London Conservatoires.


    While the classroom remains central to College life, we believe co-curricular activities are vital to a rounded education.


    Union of Societies

    There are over fifty societies in the Union at the College and 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. Societies range from Astronomy to App Development, from Dance to Dismantling, from Classics to Comics. Although teachers are involved, many of the societies are run by the boys for the boys; they are the driving force. 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. There are over 300 outings and expeditions each year, from cultural exchanges, to sports tours and educational trips.

    Beyond Dulwich

    “You feel ready to go into the world because the College does an excellent job of preparing you for the future.”

    Life Lessons

    Almost all Dulwich students 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. Those who decide to enter the workplace after leaving have gained apprenticeships with EY, PwC and Rolls Royce. The College also has a long standing reputation for producing some of the finest actors, musicians, sportsmen and writers in the country.

    The Higher Education team assists boys in planning for the future. Students take part in a scheme of work focussing on CV writing, employability skills and post-A level options. A vibrant international programme includes speakers from many top overseas universities, and specialist sessions support students in competitive applications, applying for apprenticeships, learning about the graduate job market and interview skills. Students benefit from the professional insight programme which draws on links with many external contacts, including Old Alleynians, who lend their expertise via advice and opportunities for students.

    Careers and HE events are held throughout the year. The annual Courses and Careers Convention enables students and their parents to consult representatives from the major professions and over 30 leading universities. Our professional networking evenings bring together external sector specialists: boys with relevant career interests network with the professionals and establish productive links.

    Old Alleynians

    Founded in 1873, Dulwich College has a flourishing alumni association with some 10,000 Old Alleynian (OA) members living in more than 90 countries throughout the world. It seeks to foster mutually beneficial life-long relationships between OAs, the College and the wider community through social, sporting, and cultural events, and through professional networking opportunities.

    Eminent OAs include explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, former Bank of England Governor Lord George, and authors PG Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler. More recent OAs include artist Jeremy Deller, cricketer Chris Jordan, England rugby players Beno Obano, Andrew Sheridan and Nick Easter, Olympic rower Kieran West, actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chairman of ITV Sir Peter Bazalgette and Director of the National Gallery Dr Gabriele Finaldi.

    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 pupils find their own answers during their time here. We prepare them in their transition from childhood 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 over four centuries but has, in recent years, spread overseas in the form of our international schools. This forward-looking partnership between Dulwich College and Dulwich College International offers our pupils the opportunity to forge a network of friendships, adding an international dimension to the significance of being an Alleynian in this global age.

    Contact Us

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

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

    Entry into Year 7 and Year 9 (ages 11 and 13)
    Mrs Alison Williams and Mrs Polly Twisk, Registrars
    Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 9263

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

    Entry into Years 3, 4 or 5 (ages 7-10)
    Mrs Cara Norfolk, Junior School Registrar
    Telephone: +44 (0)20 8299 8432

    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