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Dulwich Prep London - your opinions, please!

(27 Posts)
ridinghighinapril Thu 21-Jan-16 15:11:51

My son has had his assessment at DPL for entry to nursery this September. We love the feel of the school but would be grateful for opinions from those with experience of the school, particularly in the pre prep and prep.

innocuoussocks Thu 21-Jan-16 16:09:33

Congrats to your DS. Mine is in yr 3 and we couldn't be happier with the school. He absolutely loves it, is doing brilliantly and they get so many opportunities to do amazing things.

ridinghighinapril Thu 21-Jan-16 18:39:35

Thank you, innocuoussocks, that's great to hear!
We are yet to find out whether DS has a place, the letters go out mid Feb - he was quite happy at the assessment, so fingers crossed. We are after some experiences so we can make a quick and well informed decision.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 21-Jan-16 21:39:53

One of DD's friends brothers goes to the school and is in the preps. He joined in Y3. He is quite musical as well as being super bright in maths. He is surrounded by lots of very able boys and the school seems to bring out the best in them. It is very academic as well as sporty and musical so DSs seem to need lots of energy to be able to do it all. I went to the Christmas market this year and I must say it puts most schools to shame. I went with £10 in my pocket expecting a traditional school raffle and tombola and odd stall but it is massive, enormous, gigantic. Impressive. I couldn't afford anything there except two coffees and a hot chocolate and that was my money gone. Good luck.

ridinghighinapril Fri 22-Jan-16 08:05:59

Sounds amazing! Obviously, it's difficult to know what my 2.5y will be like at age 5 or 8 or 13 (and all in between!) or how he will cope but if he gets a place then we will give it go.
I remember reading quite some time back that some parents had moved the DSs as they felt they were overlooked because they were quieter or not stellar pupils. I may have misremembered and certainly don't know the details so I would be grateful for anyone's options regarding that even if it is to refute it. Feel free to message me, if you prefer. TIA.

innocuoussocks Tue 26-Jan-16 15:16:49

So far we haven't seen any sign of that ridinghigh. My DS is fairly quiet - not really shy just not one for putting himself forward but school seem to make sure he gets stuck into everything e.g. he had a big part in their last play although I can't imagine he'll have been an obvious choice. Sports wise there are lots of teams from A all the way out to G so everyone gets a chance to play. Academically, DS is quite good but those who don't find things so easy get lots of targeted support.

We've only got as far as year 3 so I suppose there may be more of a squeeze further up as they do more competitive sport against other schools and start to identify the boys who will make up the scholarship stream.

I'd be very surprised if it were a big issue though. It is such a big busy school with the boys doing such a range of things that they all find something they excel at.

ridinghighinapril Tue 26-Jan-16 19:35:42

Thanks for posting, innocuoussocks, that's good to hear. The school sounds wonderful and I think it'll suit him well. Hopefully, he will get a place, if not we will try again next year.

WiseDad Fri 12-Feb-16 13:11:16

DPL is brilliant. My boys are now in their third year there (Y6 and Y8) so we have more experience than those for the pre-prep.

You can buy peace of mind This school has helped our boys wherever possible, is responsive to parents, has a fantastic leadership team under the CEO/head master and I can't praise it highly enough.

PM me for more personal detail or response to queries but just send your son there if you can. My boys love the school and they have to commute an hour to get there. It is worth it.

WiseDad Fri 12-Feb-16 13:12:23

Oh and if your son didn't get an offer keep trying as spaces will open up in higher years.

LocalEditorWandsworth Fri 12-Feb-16 15:08:45

Yes it is a truly brilliant school - not a single complaint here. It's so good I contemplate cutting DD's hair short and dressing her as a boy so she can go to.

ridinghighinapril Fri 12-Feb-16 17:53:34

It's great to hear such positive reviews - we received an offer of a place yesterday and DH and I are thrilled and have accepted!

firsttimer08 Fri 12-Feb-16 20:34:36

Congrats. It's an amazing school. I have found no fault with it during our time at the school so far. The HM is excellent and has brought about many positive changes during his time there. The facilities are second to none. Finally because it's a big school, all boys are able to settle in well and there is no typical DPL boy.

Elephant78 Mon 15-Feb-16 11:29:21

My son is starting Reception at DPL in September. We're going to be commuting from Catford to get him there and we both work full time, wondering if anyone else makes that journey and has any tips to cope with the traffic! We'll be using the before and after school care....

ridinghighinapril Mon 15-Feb-16 16:28:58

Are you near any railway stations? I think school also has a mini bus service, school run scheme and a walking bus - see link:

Elephant78 Tue 16-Feb-16 08:46:48

thanks ridinghighinapril, this helps a lot!

WiseDad Tue 16-Feb-16 13:43:28

@Elephant - congrats. Hope your son enjoys it. We will be down to a single boy there from the summer.

No idea about Catford to DPL except for what Citymapper tells me but... our experiences of travel follow.

Bus - 202 drops off at the top of Dulwich Wood which is a very steep hill up from Sydenham Hill station.

Driving - The route from Catford probably won't be that bad given my rare experiences driving to school. The issue will be parking. There are plenty of people dropping off in the morning so Bowen drive gets packed out. Alleyn Park is a parking lot for Sydenham Hill station as well I think so don't expect to park close or easily.

Sydenham Hill - very close to the school - just a short walk down the hill (steps out of station are no fun though!). Roughly 5-7 mins - you have to walk all the way around since they closed the gate on Bowen Drive. Probably the closest public transport.

Sydenham - Overground station - 450 bus drops off near to Sydenham Hill station but bus is very erratic in schedule and you still have a walk to do. You can't rely on it imho. We take a taxi from the firm at the station three days a week when the boys are not boarding, we book 20 mins in advance and they have rarely let us down.

Gipsy Hill - a long walk but doable with a scooter, except for uphill going home.

For me half the fun is the drop off over an unhealthy breakfast and coffee so perhaps get there early and have a moment to sit together?

ridinghighinapril Tue 16-Feb-16 14:41:39

Is Reception in the Early Years Dept on Gallery Rd? In which case, West Dulwich station is close by and I think there is parking opposite the school. However, I will bow to WiseDad's superior knowledge on this and whole heartedly agree on his take on the school run - it's a state of mind!

LARK2013 Wed 23-Mar-16 10:29:30

Big Congrats to all the Mummies whose DSs got into Dulwich Prep! We started thinking of sending our DS to DPL a bit too late, so missed this year's assessment for entry this September. However i was wondering if the assessment for 4+ entry is along the same lines as 3+? Can anyone shed any light on what the assessment at DPL consists of or provide any tips. Was any alphabet / numeracy / reading involved? Thanks so much! I'm already nervous, and the assessment's not until November!

Plipe Wed 13-Apr-16 15:58:07

Elephant78, Hi, I've name changed for this, but can tell you some of the ins and outs of travelling from Catford.

First of all, which side of the railway bridge do you live on? It makes a difference if you have to get through that bottleneck.

If you are the St Dunstans side, it is not too bad if you leave early. There is one particular rat run I take when traffic is slow or stopped, through Honour Oak. Coming back also. Also when they are in the main school, you can have breakfast with them from 7.30/40am.

It is a very good school and will nurture your child's strengths and give an all round education.

If you are the far side/Bromley road side of Catford, you can drive to Beckenham and park in Waitrose or get train to Beckenham. Train 10mins to West Dulwich. Depends where you have to go on to work after, though.

stressymummy1 Sun 25-Sep-16 20:34:46

if you live in catford why not go to colfes or st dunstans, there are far too many parents travelling from mars taking up places for local people. Why put all that stress on your child and not be able to socialise to the full extent.

suun Thu 29-Sep-16 09:59:01

Does anyone know if places become available in year 7 or have any experience in getting their child in the last years of education . Thanks

PettsWoodParadise Fri 30-Sep-16 08:12:54

Y7 as one of the three main points of entry is very unlikely to have a space. Dulwich is highly highly oversubscribed. There is a chance a boy will get a late offer for a grammar and decide to take up that free space rather than Dulwich but as the standard is so high anyway at Dulwich that scenario is less likely then for other independents. If a place came up it would most likely go to someone already on the waiting list. Another main point of entry in the later years is Y9 so again competition for the later years will be fierce. I don't know how flexible they are about moving day boys to boarding but I know of at least one boy who moved from day to boarding when his parents had to take up a job elsewhere so again one of the reasons for a place coming up - people moving away - is less likely to affect Dulwich. Best people to ask would be the school admission office. DD got a place at a selective girls school out of the usual round (part way through Y3) a school which gave every appearance and air of never having spaces - about eight girls sat a test for the one space that came up and DD got it. So it can happen.

eeyoresgrumpierfriend Fri 30-Sep-16 09:24:52

I think you've confused Dulwich College and Dulwich Prep Pettswood. DPL runs to 13 so ends at yr 9.

eeyoresgrumpierfriend Fri 30-Sep-16 09:36:01

Suun - DPL usually has a couple of spaces each year for Yr 7 - it's not a main entry point but people do move away. They have to do an assessment. No experience of what that involves personally, but given that a boy joining at 11 would only have two years before moving on, I suspect the standard they are looking for is very high.

suun Fri 30-Sep-16 09:47:30

Thanks eeyoresgrampier it's worth to try as you said sometimes places become available at year 7 ,I guess not everyone is staying up to year 9 ,they are moving into seniors schools ... and prettywoods I think you are talking about Dulwich Collegesmile

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