Alleyn’s School traces its roots back 400 years, to Edward Alleyn and the College of God’s Gift, established in 1619. The school today describes itself as a ‘progressive, kind and happy learning community with a unique buzz, dedicated to playing a positive role in the world around us and to widening access through our transformational bursary scheme.’ There are around 1300 pupils, from age 4 through to age 18. The school is part of the Dulwich Foundation, in the heart of the borough, close to the centre of London. The school is used to academic success, routinely ranking as one of the top independent schools in the country.
Edward Alleyn was an Elizabethan actor and a contemporary of Shakespeare, as wel as being the ‘Master of the King’s Bulls, Bears and Mastiff Dogs, an appointment which brought him vast wealth. In order to seek atonement, he created a charitable foundation in 1605, ‘Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift’, the purpose of which was to help poor scholars. The original foundation building is still in the centre of Dulwich Village, and was made up of a Chapel, almshouses, and a school. It opened on Edward Alleyn’s 50th birthday. The school became co-educational in 1976, one of the first schools of its prestige in the UK to do so. The Junior School was opened in 1992, and is a fully co-educational linked school, sharing the site of the senior school, as well as its facilities.
Alleyn’s recorded 72% A*-A grades at GCSE in 2019, the latest year for which results are available, In the same year, students achieved 69% A*-A at A Level.
The school’s vision is ‘Co-educational excellence for all, in a caring, friendly, welcoming community’ and the curriculum is designed to fulfil this. At GCSE, core subjects are English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and one Modern Language. Additional option subjects are French, German and Spanish; Classical Civilisation, Greek, and Latin; Geography, History and Religious Studies; Art, Dance, Drama, Music, Food & Nutrition, Design Technology and Computer Science.
Alleyn’s aims to make the admissions process smooth, with the admissions team available for parents to help and guide both them and children. The process is seen as initial interest – visiting the school – registration – assessment – confirmation of the outcome. The assessment phases are designed to gain an ‘understanding of the whole child’ which combines assessing academic ability and potential with working to understand what the individual will ‘take from the co-curricular life of the School.’ There are around 150 places offered per year, and two thirds of these are children joining from other prep or state schools – ⅓ come from Alleyn’s Junior School. All candidates, bar those from overseas, will be asked to attend Alleyn’s in early January for written assessments covering Reasoning, English, and Maths. If a child receives good assessment results and a positive school report that illustrates their potential to flourish at Alleyn’s, then they will be invited for a group activity and one-to-one interview. The assessment process is designed to allow children to ‘demonstrate what they are capable of and, above all, to offer an enjoyable and rewarding experience to all candidates.’
Why do you want to come to Alleyn’s?
What’s your favourite subject?
What hobbies do you have, beyond sports or music?
Do you play any team sports? Which is your favourite?
Do you do any solo sports, like cross country, tennis or climbing? If so, which is your favourite?
Can you tell me about a book that you read recently?
Do you play any musical instruments?
Do you do any drama or public speaking?
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Personal Qualities & Values:
Do you like playing as part of a team?
What do you know about the word diversity?
What do you think that you will be able to add to our school community?
How do you deal with conflict and difficult situations?
What is your greatest weakness?
What are you most excited by at Alleyn’s?