Dulwich College and The Community
Edward Alleyn built his College of God's Gift as an act of thanksgiving to God for his theatrical skills and his success in business. Since then Christ's Chapel, at the heart of the original site, has been in use continually as a spiritual focus for the three Dulwich Schools of the Foundation: Dulwich College, James Allen's Girls' School and Alleyn's School.
The Dulwich Estate was formally established by the Founder Edward Alleyn in 1619 and until 1995 was known as Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift at Dulwich. Now an independent registered charity it is governed by a scheme approved by the Charity Commission and whose beneficiaries include the three Dulwich Foundation Schools, Central Foundation Schools of London, St Olave’s & St Saviour’s School Foundation, Christ’s Chapel of God’s Gift at Dulwich Charity and the Dulwich Almshouse Charity. The entirety of the annual income distribution gratefully received by Dulwich College from the Dulwich Estate and income from the College’s own Bursary Appeal Fund together fund a growing number of College bursaries each year for families who might not otherwise be able to afford the full fees.
The Foundation schools' connection through the Chapel, and their welcoming of members of the local community, is nowhere better exemplified than in the weekly lunchtime concerts which enable boys and girls from the three schools to give free public performances which have been widely celebrated. Another close neighbour is Dulwich Picture Gallery which has hosted numerous College arts events, notably in 2011 a celebration of the Arts at the College and of our 200 year connection with England's oldest public gallery.
Our connection with the community includes a close relationship with local state schools. There are links with Southwark Council through schemes like ‘Paired Reading’, which is operated through the College’s Community Action programme, and participation in the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership, which involves eight Southwark secondary schools along with the College, JAGS and Alleyn’s. Teachers and pupils meet to share ideas and good practices. ‘Saturday school’ is another aspect of our current links, where Year 6 pupils from Southwark come to the College to participate in an enhanced learning programme. This scheme is part of the Southwark Community Education Council.All of our community activities are an important part of our pupils’ development and wider education.