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Dulwich College 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

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Dulwich College Overview

Dulwich College, a prestigious boys’ day and boarding school in London, was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn. Known for its strong academic ethos and inclusive educational environment, Dulwich College has a global reputation with several international branches. The school caters to over 1,600 students and partners closely with James Allen’s Girls’ School. Dulwich College offers education at different entry points, including Year 7, Year 9, and Year 12, and is celebrated for its outstanding performance in both academics and co-curricular activities. The school boasts excellent facilities on its 70-acre site and is located just 12 minutes from central London by train.

Dulwich College 16+ Application Process & Interview Format

Each academic year, Dulwich College admits around 35 new boys into Year 12, with most being international boarders. The year group typically consists of around 250 students.
The 16+ entrance process for Dulwich College involves an Assessment Day, where boarding applicants at schools in the UK sit entrance examinations at Dulwich College in November. Applicants for day places have their examinations in January.

The assessment includes written examinations in each of the subjects the candidates wish to study at A level, with some subjects requiring assessment by interview. For non-native English speakers, an English as an Additional Language (EAL) examination is also required.

The Assessment Day provides an opportunity for candidates to be interviewed by senior staff members and spend time with current pupils. This interaction is crucial in evaluating candidates’ academic strengths and potential contributions to the college community. The interviews offer a chance for candidates to discuss their interests and demonstrate how they might fit into Dulwich College’s ethos. Successful candidates are informed of the results within three weeks of the examination or interview.

Academic scholarships for entry into the Junior School (Year 3), Lower School (Year 7), and Middle School (Year 9) are available, awarded to those who perform exceptionally well in the examinations and interviews. At 16+, music and sports scholarships are offered.

Dulwich College is highly selective, and its admissions process is competitive due to its academic reputation and attractive location. The school has a long-standing tradition of producing successful individuals in various fields, including the arts, sports, and academics.

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Dulwich College 16+ Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to join Dulwich College?

I am eager to join Dulwich College due to its exceptional blend of academic rigour, historical heritage, and a comprehensive approach to education. The college’s impressive academic achievements, particularly the recent A-Level results with a high percentage of A*/A grades, align with my own academic aspirations and commitment to excellence. Additionally, Dulwich College’s rich history, dating back to 1619, offers a unique educational environment that is steeped in tradition yet forward-thinking. This blend of the past and the present in an educational setting is something I find deeply inspiring.

Furthermore, I am drawn to the college’s extensive co-curricular offerings, from debating to sports, which I believe will provide a well-rounded educational experience, fostering both my intellectual and personal growth. The opportunity to be part of such a vibrant and dynamic community is something I look forward to with great enthusiasm

What is the history of Dulwich College?

Dulwich College’s history dates back to 1619, founded by the Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn, under the patronage of King James I. Its original purpose was to educate 12 poor scholars, which reflects Alleyn’s commitment to providing quality education and his philanthropic spirit. The school’s evolution is deeply rooted in its foundational principles of scholarship and charity. Over the years, Dulwich College expanded significantly, especially from 1857 onwards, and moved to its current premises in 1870. Despite numerous challenges, including financial difficulties and internal strife, the school upheld its educational mission. Significant milestones include the separation of the College of God’s Gift into an “Upper” and “Lower” school in 1857, and the later division into Dulwich College and Alleyn’s School in 1882. This period marked a significant transformation, with Dulwich College becoming an independent public school. The school’s rich history is not just a testament to its longevity but also reflects its adaptability and commitment to educational excellence through changing times.

How does Dulwich College's curriculum support student learning?

Dulwich College supports student learning through a well-rounded and diverse curriculum designed to cater to the varying interests and academic needs of its students. The curriculum is structured to provide a broad base of knowledge in the early years, followed by more specialised study as students progress. Key subjects include sciences, humanities, arts, and languages, reflecting the school’s commitment to a comprehensive education. The school’s notable success in A-Level results, with 64.8% of students achieving A*/A grades in 2023, is indicative of the rigorous academic environment and the emphasis placed on high academic standards.

In addition to core academic subjects, Dulwich College offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, arts, and clubs, allowing students to explore and develop their interests outside the classroom. This holistic approach ensures that learning is not just confined to academic pursuits but also includes personal development and life skills.

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Dulwich College 16+ Past Interview Questions

Academic Interests and Critical Thinking

  • What A-Level subjects are you interested in pursuing at Dulwich College, and what motivates these choices?
  • Can you discuss a recent academic project or topic you’ve explored that particularly interested you?
  • Share an instance where you had to use creative thinking to solve a problem.
  • How do you approach challenges in your learning or personal projects?


Personal Development and Future Goals

  • Describe an extracurricular activity or hobby that has significantly contributed to your personal growth.
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time, and how do these activities reflect your personality or interests?
  • Why are you interested in attending Dulwich College, and how does it align with your future goals?
  • Discuss a skill or quality you hope to develop during your time at Dulwich College.


Social Responsibility and Community Involvement

  • How do you engage with your local community or contribute to social causes?
  • Can you share an experience where you worked with others to achieve a common goal, and what did you learn from it?


For more questions like this, all with model answers, see our 16+ Online Course.

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