At Dulwich Prep London we operate in Sections, each with two year groups of pupils. This arrangement enables us to tailor our pastoral care, curriculum and co-curricular provision to the specific needs of the children at each phase of their educational development. Transition between Sections is carefully managed to ensure that pupils are ready for the changes in emphasis and arrangements described below.
Lower School: Years 3 and 4
In the Lower School the boys accelerate on their journey towards greater independence and self-organisation. Whilst the timetable remains focused on Maths and English the atmosphere buzzes with a stimulating and boy-friendly curriculum, complete with exciting trips and events.
The class teacher looks after the boys pastorally and teaches most subjects. From this secure base, the boys branch out to experience the myriad of opportunities and resources the school has to offer with specialist sports, drama, music, art, design technology, computing and language tuition. The boys learning is also enriched by the availability of one to one iPads; their use integrated across the curriculum
Life in the Lower School is purposeful and the day varied. Boys may be found writing a script ready to edit and present, or carrying out a science investigation. You might come across the Lower School String Orchestra in rehearsal, a rugby practice in full flow, a boy curled up with a book in the library, or engaged in a lively philosophical debate.
The majority of Lower School boys will learn to play a musical instrument and so be able to enjoy playing in one of the many musical ensembles from the ukulele club to the full Lower School string orchestra. The boys delight in opportunities to represent their tribe or the school in sporting fixtures and the thrill and challenge of residential trips are also launched in Lower School.
The Lower School is housed in the most recently refurbished section of school when, more often than not, two classrooms became one and so provide the boys with the luxury of space, alongside tailor made storage and state-of-the-art digital screens.
Years 3 and 4 are often the years in which each boy’s real strengths inside and outside the classroom come to the fore; we support and encourage them in this process.
Middle School: Years 5 and 6
The Middle School is an exciting time for the boys at Dulwich Prep; whether they are entering Year 5 and moving onto the main school site for the first time, or continuing their journey into Year 6 with confidence and anticipation.
Specialist teaching is extended in and a wider range of academic subjects are taught in sets, in order to recognise the strengths of every individual. The boys also have access to their own iPad, which is used in lessons when it is deemed an appropriate tool to support their learning. Much of the academic work is rightly focussed on preparation for various senior school pre-tests and / or 11+ tests which take place in Year 6, although the curriculum is of course so much broader than that too.
We build on the structures, attitudes and aptitudes of Year 4, supporting the boys as they develop their independence. We encourage them to assume greater responsibility for themselves, their possessions and their work and ultimately our aim is to have happy, confident, well-rounded boys. The school values are central to all we do and boys are regularly celebrated for demonstrating them.
The co-curricular life at Dulwich Prep is second to none and the opportunities available to the boys in Middle School are exceptional. Whether a budding cook or rock climber, chess enthusiast or keen to sample LED Light Sabre training for the first time, there are clubs to suit every taste. The boys can also aim to collect the All-rounder badges, one each year through the Middle and Upper Schools, that celebrate their commitment to our broad extra-curricular programme. Musical groups and sports teams are extended, with more concerts and inter-school fixtures arranged, and slightly longer residential trips take place in both Years 5 and 6 providing an opportunity to take learning out of the classroom.
In the Middle School the boys are challenged in the pursuit of excellence whilst embracing the full range of facilities and opportunities that Dulwich Prep London has to offer.
Upper School: Years 7 and 8
Years 7 and 8 are known as the Upper School and are the final two years for the boys at Dulwich Prep London. Fantastic opportunities await as they become our senior boys; they become the role models for the younger boys and there is also an expectation that they will begin to give something back to the school community. Programmes exist where they are encouraged to mentor younger pupils and assist with, or perhaps lead, clubs and activities in other sections of the school. Senior boys also perform duties that help with the day-to-day running of their school.
Building on the independence fostered in Middle School, we encourage your boys in the Upper School to take on responsibility for all aspects of school experience and ultimately our aim is to have happy, confident, resilient boys ready for their transition to senior school. The school values continue to be core in all we do and boys are regularly celebrated for demonstrating them.
The broad curriculum continues in the Upper School, with a balance being struck between the preparatory nature of our school and ensuring that all boys are academically ready for the final exams that are usually required, which usually take place in the spring and summer terms of Year 8. Whether your son is aspiring to transition to senior school with recognition of excellence through some form of scholarship or exhibition, or trying to win a place at one of the excellent local or national schools to which our children depart, the tailored programme of pastoral and academic support helps the boys to progress through this challenging and exciting period.
The boys continue to take advantage of the excellent and inspiring co-curricular programme that is offered at Dulwich Prep London, as well as numerous senior sports teams, music groups and opportunities in drama which we actively encourage the boys to pursue alongside their studies. The boys in the Upper School continue to have the opportunity to build on their collection of All-Rounder badges, with one available in each year celebrating their commitment to the broad extra-curricular programme.
In both Years 7 and 8, boys tackle week long challenging residential trips and they also enjoy a series of cultural and educational visits, lectures and projects. At Dulwich Prep London, the Year 8 leavers experience a post exam programme which is second to none and includes opportunities to learn and develop new skills and prepare for their transition to senior school.
Boys finish their time at Dulwich Prep London fully equipped for a seamless and happy transition to the next stage of their educational journey and we hear countless stories about how successfully they have begun their time at the diverse range of senior schools to which our boys depart.