For our boys, their time at school is about more than preparation for exams, it is preparation for life. We believe that an education rooted in teaching character, is what sets our boys apart.
The eight values that we uphold were originally identified by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values, ‘a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focussing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing…’ because that is exactly what we want – for our boys to flourish.
Through Justice, Gratitude, Self-Discipline, Love, Honesty, Humility, Courage and Service we teach our boys how to be kind and offer help where it is needed; to play fair and tell the truth no matter who is listening; to join in and play their part whilst letting others be heard; to appreciate the world around them and how valuable their contribution is and always to have a go.
In addition to underpinning social and emotional development a Values-based Education creates the environment where learning flourishes.
HUMILITY. Recognising the contribution of others and being proud of their success are crucial life lessons to learn and ones we try to teach from a young age.
We encourage our boys to support their peers in all areas of life. We want each boy to realise that he is a tiny but very important part of a much bigger world. Our boys experience the pleasure that is derived from the success of others.
Winning with modesty, losing with good grace…it’s about ‘playing the game’. HONESTY. Honesty is a value children understand from a very young age and one we know they will carry with them on their journey through life. It is having the integrity to look others in the eye and the confidence to look inwardly at themselves.
As early as Year 1 our boys are taught to assess their own work and to comment honestly and constructively on the work of their peers. LOVE. From the very outset of the journey we teach our boys the value of love, in the form of kindness and gentleness.
As the boys move through school they develop a deep understanding of friendship, trust and respect, never forgetting the need for kind and considerate behaviour.
Our extensive co-curricular programme provides our boys with numerous and varied opportunities to build lifelong friendships, delight in their shared experiences and care for those around them. JUSTICE. ‘It isn’t fair…’ Why? By asking our boys to think about right and wrong, their sense of justice is heightened.
Our pupils learn to reason with each other, explain, question and discuss moral outcomes and differences of opinion. In the early years this is as simple as learning to share and as boys progress through school their minds are opened to issues in the wider world.
Justice stems from independent thinking, that’s why we teach philosophy from Year 3. By Year 8 our boys are able to debate on a wide range of subjects. “Should voting in national elections be made compulsory?” – Taken from King’s Scholarship Examination at Eton College. SERVICE. At every stage, we encourage our boys to look out at the world beyond them – working for the benefit of the younger boys in other sections of the school, finding ways to get involved in our local community and sharing their experience, knowledge and good fortune with others.
What does service look like at the Prep? It’s working for others whether as a Year 8 pupil listening to a younger pupil read, or serving food to London’s homeless at the Cardinal Hume Centre. Our boys learn the joy of helping others choosing sixteen charities to support last year. SELF-DISCIPLINE. Organisation, self control, patience, listening. . .self discipline means something different at every age as the boys move through the Prep and a healthy, active lifestyle is something we promote.
We encourage every boy to recognise that the right choice is not always the easiest and to enjoy the fulfilment that comes with determination and dedication.
Wonderful opportunities can lead to difficult choices…jazz band rehearsals, or playing with friends at the fields? By learning self-discipline, our boys are able to find their way at the Prep and then in the world. COURAGE. Courage takes many guises in the life of a young boy growing up. Facing a challenge, overcoming a fear, performing in public or handling disappointment. Courage is not innate, and we strive to teach our boys the need to be courageous. Singing a solo in front of 1,000 attentive parents and peers at Speech Day, or climbing to the top of the 95’ mast on one of the 72’ Challenger Yachts…that’s courageous. By teaching our boys courage, we are giving them the opportunity to try, to fail and then to try again. GRATITUDE. As parents, ‘thank you’ is one of the first things we teach our children to say, and at Dulwich Prep London we uphold family values. A sense of respect and an appreciation of everything we have and are able to do provides the boys with a deeper insight into their own lives and the lives of those around them. Visitors often comment on the open and relaxed relationship between boys and staff. This is built on simple expressions of gratitude: ‘Thank you boys.’ ‘Thank you for the lesson, Sir.’