Dulwich College 11+ 2017 Entry(51 Posts)
I think we have narrowed down our Indie applications to Dulwich College and Alleyns. Ds did very well in the recent grammar school tests in another area. Is this an indication that he would be of the right academic standard for these schools? Ds is quite sporty and also plays a slightly unusual orchestral instrument to Grade 4. He is very shy so I'm worried about the interviews should he get through as we'll need financial support for him to go and he is not the sort of boy to 'sell himself' despite his achievements.
We also liked one SS grammar but won't find out the results until March. If Ds is lucky enough to be offered one of the coveted places, can an indie financial support offer be improved/negotiated?
There is some recent info on here about Alleyns but can anyone update on what DC is like. It seemed to have some very confident boys when we looked around on the Open day.
Yes i'd say the grammar tests are a good indication.
One thing to bear in mind is that DC has two big intakes for the senior school with about the same number joining at 13 as at 11. Alleyns on the other hand is far more focused on 11+ entry with a much smaller number of places available at 13.
If your son is shy then the sudden addition of a whole load of new boys 2 years down the line might not be ideal (especially as about half of the 13+ intake comes from DPL and will have been together since age 4).
I've never heard of a scholarship offer being negotiated and I know plenty of kids who've had lots to choose from. I'm not sure about bursaries though although suspect not.
A somewhat shy/quirky boy I know well is flourishing at DC. He didn't get an offer at Alleyn's and his parents had some reservations about an all-boy environment for him, but a few years in it seems to have been a great success. There is room for every type of boy, and he soon found like-minded souls.
I suspect he also would not have been the type to sell himself very strongly in interview, but they know what they are looking for and no doubt rely also on references from the previous school.
Sorry for the late reply and thanks for the advice. Can you shed any light on whether passing well for the grammars would be an indication of the right academic standard for the 11+ at DC? I'm worried about the written comps in particular!
Both Alleyns and DC pitch themselves as suitable for the top 15% of pupils, and I think that's broadly in line with the standards for grammar school.
All the Dulwich Foundation schools (these two plus JAGS) have offered generous bursaries in recent years - they can exceed 100% (to allow for uniform purchase, lunch, compulsory extras and foundation coach service).
No you don't get to negotiate as such, but yes you would get a chance to talk it through.
DC is a superb school to be in at the moment - their headmaster is simply excellent. I find the boys to be confident in a good sort of way.
Sports excellent (facilities easily the best for any central London school,men pet for the weird athletics track) and they do take minor sports seriously too. But you don't have to be a jock to flourish there. Musicians, artists, nerds, geeks and debaters would all thrive there too.
Unless you are very wedded to co-ed, I would - right now - choose DC for a boy.
Thougn Alleyns is also a fantastic school, with particular strengths in drama and art.
My DC entered as a artsy kind of boy so the sports part wasn't that much of a deal breaker for us, but they have managed to bring out a keen sportsman in him which none of us is aware of. They really try to get as many boys as possible playing in teams against other schools, rugby for example, even has a G team. Definitely not jocksville but more a place where they seem determined to encourage talents and participation. Huge amounts of choirs and orchestras, and really high quality extra curricular clubs. A very diverse, inclusive, friendly, enthusiastic school with high expectations for it's students. Every kind of boy kind find his place and purpose there, DS is very happy there. Best of luck.
an artsy ... was aware of – written in haste – apologise for terrible grammar!
And apologies for my terrible typing too.
No petting on the athletics track, by men or anyone else! I meant to write 'except for'
If it helps with the academic standard question, our son passed the Sutton Grammar schools SET and was offered a place at Wilson's, he also received a very good scholarship offer from DC. We took the place at DC and our (geeky, non-sporty) son couldn't be happier. It is a wonderful school.
it's not actually a problem, the 13+ entry; after a bit if swaggering both sides, they settle down. They do take a rigorous look at GCSE results and some have to leave if they don't get the required points, but there's usually four warning befire then. There's another entry therefore in the sixth form, usually outstanding mathematicians...
If you can get into eg St Olave's you'll have no problems at DC. Even if you can't, you won't have problems, they're good at bringing boys on.
The scholarships go up to about 30% of the fees. Thereafter you apply for bursaries, up to about 95% but it is done case by case and yes, some get more. They are quite rigorous and you need to declare all your income and assets; they are v keen to avoid parents gaming the system which in effects removes resources from other needy children. I think about 30% of the school gets some support; you can look it up in their annual report.
They are v good at rugger and chess...and debating.. they used to have a hen club...I mean a poultry club...if you want music I'd prob aim for Trinity if ds is a v good musician, or a music school; for acting Alleyns. DC isn't bad, just it plays less if a part in the thinking imv. That said, they encourage the boys to audition left right and centre and quite a few do fit their school round eg filming. I think their art is rather good. It's the sort if school where if you want to start a new activity or society they say why not rather than no.
the Headmaster has, in my view, a v balanced view of the world. It comes out in how he deals with the inevitable issues. It means that I think they emerge quite emotionally mature usually quite nice young men. He's been working to push standards up but there is, in my view, still some way to go in a few areas. But one of the joys of the school is that it is hugely inclusive, across the social spectrum, wealth, religion, class, background, housing, nationality. It is so not a school for just one or two types of parent or boy.
Pastorally, although it's a huge school, they divide it up into lower, middle and upper. Lower is in its own area. So you never feel it's so huge. It's an excellent way of doing things; basically when you are a small unconfident new shrimp you don't get trampled on by huge hairy monsters.
The poultry club fell
fowl foul of urban foxes.....
Only about 3-4 boys a year are not allowed to proceed to sixth form - which isn't that many out of a year group of 250 or so. How does that compare to grammars? The current requirement is 14 points on GCSEs (A*=3, A=2, B-=1).
A lot of the new arrivals for sixth form are boarders from abroad.
another one with a non sporty boy at DC. And the sport has been so all inclusive that even he quite looks forward to the weekly rugby matches despite being in one of the lowest teams. The music has also been very inclusive with a huge range of choirs and ensembles for boys at every level.
the interview process seems designed to bring the best out of each boy - although they do some reading aloud and answer a few academic questions, it's also to discover what makes them tick. AFAIK DC still doesn't go in for any of the group problem solving exercises which Alleyns and a few other now do - I imagine those would be pretty scary for a shy individual?
Also agree that if he has done well in the grammar teststhen he will do well in the DC test - the VR/NVR results were s surprisingly good indicator of how kids will do in the written papers.
Thought it was 16 or 18 points? But your statement that only a few leave is the thing to focus on, I agree.
Many thanks for the replies and I'm encouraged to hear that DC is a school for all types of boys. For some reason it seems to be attracting applicants from our school this year of the 'jocks' kind that someone mentioned and I know ds would be miserable among those sorts of boys. He's a bit quirky. We liked Whitgift too but would basically have to pass DC to get there do we ruled that out.
Now for the small matter of getting through the exam well enough to be considered for assistance. No mean feat - basically told he'll need to score in the top 5%!
DS2 is going next year at 13+ because of the sport. Dulwich is the school to beat at all team games and it is the fixture most looked forward to by DS's school who devoted a whole page of a recent brochure to a rare victory over them. DS went for a tour with DS2 recently and is very jealous! it has a wider academic intake than DS's school but I am 100% confident that DS2 will do as well there as he would at DS's school.
Word of caution, DC's 13+ is a competitive exam. A fallback option is prudent.
The academic standard required for entry has been rising under the current head, simply because so many people want their boys to go there. So they pick the talented. The top sets are highly academic (essentially indistinguishable from those in other highly academic establishments).
Ds has an interview this week and we meet with the head in mall groups. What sort of questions should we be asking? I can't think of anything!
Numbers of boys leaving (managed out?) after GCSEs, and numbers of boys coming new into the school for A levels, especially bright boys from overseas designed to boost the school's exam results. Not saying DC do this, but it is a known tactic used by some schools to suggest the value added is greater than it really is.
Can't advise on what to say, but do try to have something up your sleeve - the head does ask each couple in turn if they have a question. Good news is an interview at Dulwich is a VERY good sign. Unless they changed things this year, they normally only interview the kids they'd like to offer a place to and a handful of waitlisters (about 20). Unusual, as many schools interview twice the amount they intend to offer to, but very reassuring for you I hope.
I agree that DC interview only those they intend to make an offer to, plus a few who will be very top of the wait list.
I would want to ask Joe Spence how long he intends to stay at Dulwich (pretty clear that it'll not be before the 400th anniversary in 2019, but what then?) Also what he wants to do with the school next - vision, facilities, revamps. What has he been most proud if since he joined? And what would he most like to achieve over the next 5 years?
That is interesting about number interviewed. Anyone know if the same applies to Alleyn's (i.e. ratio of interviewees to offers)?
The DC interview is confirmatory (IYSWIM). Alleyns is still selective as invite all who have achieved a specified mark (varies from year to year) with the expectation that they all are academically suitable, and the interviewers are picking those they want in the school.
It is much more common to have no offer even after an interview from Alleyns than it is from DC (where is is rare)
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