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DCPS (DulwichPrep) or DulwichCollege

(27 Posts)
Emsmom Mon 17-Oct-11 14:37:14

i am new to the schools search and new to the area and am considering these schools for my DS. Can anyone give me any feedback on either school? Which has a better local reputation? I have visited both but would like to hear from current or former parents on the school environment. My son is sporty and energetic. Any advice at all is greatly appreciated.

EdithWeston Mon 17-Oct-11 14:42:39

I'm an ex Londoner, so may be a bit out of date.

Everyone I knew at Dulwich College (whatever age their DS started) has been totally positive about the school. It's a really good place for sporty boys, and academic ones do very well too.

I knew two families who left DCPS (won't go into details, as it's hearsay), but the range of boys it suits seems rather narrower.

icancancan Mon 17-Oct-11 17:26:11

do you mean academically or socially EdithWeston - I'd be interested to know too ...

EdithWeston Mon 17-Oct-11 18:31:01

There are plenty of bright boys in London, and a good range of schools which will educate them very well. What you make of the ethos of a school is a personal decision.

Emsmom Mon 17-Oct-11 22:34:03

I appreciate your reply EdithWeston. I Guess I am trying to find out the differences in approach by both schools. I have found them both impressive but that is on the open day and I am interested in what the day to day atmosphere is like at the school and what kind of student would thrive in each environment.

EdithWeston Tue 18-Oct-11 12:01:39

IIRC, there are some DCPS parents on MN. Maybe they'll spot this and be able to give first hand views.

2marys Tue 18-Oct-11 19:25:05

what age? DS went to DC at 11 from neither school. I don't know what it is like preparing DSs for schools other than DC - many of them came up into the school. If you are thinking about 13+ entry to other schools - Westminster etc - then I would probably suggest DCPS simply because not many people leave DC to go elsewhere at that age so you have to do the work on top of the normal round.

LemonPeel Wed 19-Oct-11 06:18:57

Is dulwich college prep in london connected to the dulwich college prep in Cranbrook?

EdithWeston Wed 19-Oct-11 07:35:01

Dulwich College (which includes a prep department) has been around for centuries, sponsors an academy, and has international offshoots.

DCPS, or even more confusingly, Dulwich Prep as it now calls itself, is a much newer school which for some reason chose a name very similar to a well-established school.

I have no idea whether the one in Kent is affiliated to DCPS - and I wouldn't rely on similarity of name, seeing as the London DCPS is an example of a poached name, it would hardly be able to complain if similar happened to theirs.

Emsmom Wed 19-Oct-11 07:45:21

I am actually looking at the pre preps at this stage. Ducks, which is a coeducational "part" of Dulwich College, although at 7 my son would need to sit the 7+ and then get admitted to Dulwich College. The school is lovely and as a bonus my daughter could attend as well. But it does mean sitting the 7+ and dealing with that stress. DCPS, yes now DulwichPrep, would run until my son is older and then he would have to take the 11+ and decide to go on to Dulwich College, Alleyns or one of the other secondary schools. It is hard for me to make a decision as I guess I don't know what will suit him in a few years. And I have a daughter to consider. So I guess I am trying to consideer many factors. I am wondering, for those boys starting Dulwich College after the 7+, where do most of them do pre prep? do most go to Ducks? I know there is Herne Hill school and Rosemead but I visited both and feel the facilities are a bit cramped for my son. Sorry for the lengthy post, I am just trying to get as much info as I can before making a decision that impacts so many years of my sons education.

basildonbond Wed 19-Oct-11 08:36:53

Bear in mind that DCPSaswas is a prep school and so goes up to 13 so I don't know how well they would prepare for the 11+. Certainly we've had friends who've been less than happy about the amount of preparation their sons have had for the non-CE 13+ exams for day schools in January ...

DCPS is a big, very sporty, highly competitive school which I don't think caters particularly well for the shy and retiring as far as I can see (not had a child there but know plenty of boys who've gone there)

We know lots of boys at DC too and on the whole they seem very happy - although spending their entire school career in one place isn't necessarily always the best choice, however easy it might seem at your children's ages

Emsmom Wed 19-Oct-11 13:22:37

I meant to write 13 in my post. I am trying to figure out if it is better to send my son to ducks, then have him try for entry into dc, and then stay at dc. OR, go to ducks, then dcps, then another senior school either dc or elsewhere Or, go to dcps then move at 13. He isn't one to settle anywhere easily, it took 6 months to get him settled at nursery two mornings and I still only have one occasional babysitter. I know this can change as he gets older, but he is certainly sensitive. I think both school seem to offer a lot to their students. Are there any negatives to DC? Is the curriculum Less rigorous than DCPS? Or is the pressure just less in the way it Is presented? It's hard to tell when the focus is just the pre prep but I am trying to look long term

kizzy4kids Thu 20-Oct-11 14:54:18

I have had a number of children go through DCPS - now known as Dulwich Prep.

I do have reservations about it as it didn't serve either of my boys well. One ds was academically strong but quiet and as a result was entirely overlooked by the school. Another DS with dyslexia struggled badly with unsympathetic teachers and out-dated teaching methods.

I did laugh though at Edithwestons interpretation of the naming of DCPS. DC may have been around for centuries but DCPS has recently had its centenary celebrations so hardly new and named with the permisssion of DC so long ago. In addition DCPS Cranbrook took its name when DCPS London evacuated there during WW2. The schools no longer have a close connection but there is nothing 'sinister' about having the same name, just a bit confusing.

EdithWeston Thu 20-Oct-11 14:58:35

They're still the newbies who used the name of a well established school, some 400 years older.

Dulwich College is approaching its quincentenary.

LemonPeel Thu 20-Oct-11 16:48:35

So the kent one is not a prep to the London school then?

Emsmom Sun 23-Oct-11 20:50:37

Thanks kizzy4kids. I appreciate your candor. I am perhaps leaning toward starting him at Ducks. I am weary of the 7+ however. My son is certainly spirited and lively and yet also very sensitive and shy. I just want him to be in an environment where he feels encouraged and appreciated for who he is. If anyone else has any feedback on Ducks and the transition to Dulwich College I w ould appreciate it.

sugarfoot Tue 25-Oct-11 15:38:32

I would check how many of the boys from Ducks fail to get into the prep school - I have heard they are not well prepared and it can be high, but this may be out of date.

catelyn Thu 03-Nov-11 20:12:01

My son is at Dulwich Prep. He started this term, coming from another prep. He sat DC, Eltham and DCPS. We didn't tutor him for the 7+ and he's bright but not a genius. He passed them all. There were no surprises in the testing. He is an average boy - likes sport (but not rugby, football, more like karate, cycling), into Deadly 60, quite shy possibly because he is very petite. We picked DCPS because to us, it seemed to have the best atmosphere of all the schools - really buzzy. Now we are there, it is lively, friendly, integrative, everybody has the chance to get stuck in to practically anything they want to. The range of activity seems enormous. The Headmaster seems to know all the boys by name - even took an interest in my son's birthday celebrations, the teachers are all accessible and helpful, very warm. It's a nurturing environment. The boys are well mannered and friendly and are taught to have a social conscience. The homework is set out to in a fun way and I don't know how the teachers do it but there is no issue getting my son to do it - total change from old school. DCPS is definitely the best move we made and I would thoroughly recommend it.

Emsmom Sat 05-Nov-11 14:06:18

Thanks catelyn. I really appreciate a positive view of dulwich prep. I happened to drive by recently at the school pick up time and saw a lot of positive things happening. I also have met the head and found him very friendly and engaging. I also went to view alleyns on Thursday. The facilities were terrific, but I have to say I thought the classrooms were very cramped and the reception area was extremely tiny. I am sure I won't have the luxury of too much choice, however I am hopeful that we have at least two options. Thanks again.

Prerna Sun 05-Feb-12 22:38:13

Hi any views on DCPS vs. Alleyn's?
DS has passed the exams for both. Not sure which one to go for

dcordp Mon 27-May-13 10:05:14

Hi. I am consider sending my son to either DUCK infant school or dulwich prep when he is 3 years old. saw you had the similar ptoblem two years ago. can you please tell me which school you finally choose? I am thinking to save every penny to send him to the private prep, then hopefully he will do well when he reach 7 and get good result on the assessment to go to Dulwich junior school. Any advice eould be much appreciated. Thanks.

Zigster Mon 27-May-13 10:49:41

We used to live in Dulwich and looked at most of the pre-preps there for DS1. We picked DCPS in the end, although have subsequently moved.

Rosemead felt too happy-clappy (not meant to be an insult, although I appreciate it might sound a bit like one) for DS1. DS1's personality is too (parental euphemism alert) big for a school without a lot of space to run around. Rosemead tut-tutted at him not being able to sit still and be quiet when we went for an open day (he probably wasn't even three at that point).

Oakfield was higher on the list - it had quite a nice feel to it (for example, it was very mixed racially which felt right for a school in such a cosmopolitan area).

But, in the end we narrowed it down to DCPS or DUCKS.

DUCKS is quite small. It also has seemed to lose its (effective) guarantee of entry into Dulwich College at a later date, which would have been a big positive for us. Its classrooms felt very cramped.

DCPS is a bigger, pushier school - a lot of children from there do go on to Dulwich College but a lot also go on to other, very well-known schools - which can be a positive or a negative depending on your outlook. Our neighbours at the time sent one of their children to Tonbridge after DCPS; the pupil who escorted us on the open day was going to Marlborough at the end of that year.

For us, it was the greater apparent flexibility of DCPS (i.e. not so committed to a senior school) that was a key factor. Also, the first two years (Nursery and Reception) are mixed sex and at a separate site (by Belair Park) which felt like a nice introduction for those first two years.

Bear in mind that DCPS can be quite hard to get into. At somewhere between age 2.5 and 3.0, DS1 had an assessment (without parents present) following which he was offered a place. But I understand only about 1 in 3 children who had the assessment who were offered a place.

dcordp Mon 27-May-13 11:56:48

Hi Zigster. I am thinking of DUCKs as I thought it had more chance to go into Dulwich junior school which I thought if he is doing well he might get scholarship. Because it is hugh amount of money for us for us to pay him from 3-6. We literally have to save every penny. So there is no way we can support him from 7+. But i am not aware that DPL has the option for scholarship.

burberryqueen Mon 27-May-13 12:03:15
I heard about this from a friend who was an ex pupil

basildonbond Mon 27-May-13 19:56:34

Erm - different school ...

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