Dulwich College Interview Questions and Key Information

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Overall Guide to Dulwich College

Dulwich College, known as DC to those in its community, aims to ‘encourage Alleynians to be diligent, capable, self-motivated and collaborative learners who are able to read broadly, research accurately and communicate clearly.’ Alleynians, of course, is a term that also covers the pupils of all-girls James Allen’s Girls’ School and the mixed Alleyn’s. Dulwich expects pupils to embrace opportunities outside of the curriculum, be creative, and work diligently. The curriculum is designed to be ‘broad and balanced’ and emphasises ‘creative thinking based on practical knowledge and conceptual understanding.’ Free Learning is a concept that the school has embraced, and it’s clear that there’s a progressive atmosphere. Despite the modern attitudes, the school is old – founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn – and has since risen to become a national leader, a far cry from its first shape as a place providing ‘education and lodgings for 12 scholars.’ Unlike the majority of London schools, DC offers boarding – there are currently 140 boarders, and they are seen as being at the very heart of the college.

To emphasise the breadth of offerings at the school, and its age and prestige, you might note that the archive has a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, whilst more recently a group of musicians at the school were part of a team from leading independent schools who put on a performance of all 32 of Beethoven’s sonatas in celebration of his 250th birthday.

Dulwich College Ranking & Results

In 2019, 97 pupils achieved 3A or better at A Level, and 99 pupils achieved all 7s or higher at GCSE. To put this figure in context, there are roughly 200 pupils per year.

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Dulwich College Curriculum

The GCSE years are designed to offer ‘considerable flexibility’ so that boys have a range of courses at A Level as well. As well as their academic subjects, boys have one Games session per week, and a Wellbeing course which includes PE. All boys must study English Language, Mathematics, English Literature, Physics, French or Spanish, Chemistry and Biology. Additionally, boys are able to choose from groups of subjects, which are as follows:
Group 1: History, Geography, Religion and Theology.
Group 2: German, Design & Technology, Latin, Religion & Theology, Spanish, Chinese, Geography, French, and Art.
Group 3: Geography, Art, Music, PE, Greek, Religion & Theology, Design & Technology, Computer Science, Drama

All boys study three subjects for A level, or four if they study Further Mathematics.

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What is the admission process at Dulwich College?

Around 70 boys will enter at age 11, and they will move into Year 7 of the Lower School – the Senior School starting at 13+ Common Entrance. There are a total of 125 boys in Year 7 – 70 new boys and 55 from Dulwich College Junior School. Boys will sit exams in Maths, English, and Verbal, Non-Verbal & Spatial Reasoning. 160 boys are then invited to interview. Those invited to interview are those who show promise in written papers – the interview aims to provide ‘a friendly atmosphere… during which the candidate will be allowed the opportunity to give further evidence of his academic strengths and some indication of interests and abilities with which he might make a contribution to the general life of the College.’

What kind of questions are asked at interview at Dulwich College?

Academic Strengths
What is your favourite subject?
What subjects are you most interested in? Have you done any extra learning in them, outside of school?
Do you take the time to read up on some of your favourite subjects?
Do you read non-fiction books? What are some of your favourite books that you’ve read recently?
What do you think about this poem? Can you tell us what you think it is about, and about the way it is written? [Provide a poem to study]

What’s your favourite sport to play?
What is your favourite sport to watch and follow?
What do you do in your free time?
What do you do on a typical weekend?

Contribution to the life of the College & Interest in the College
How do you think you’ll be able to give back to the school while you’re here?
What are you most looking forward to about studying here?
Have you spoken to anyone else about what it’s like to study here?

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