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Parenting Matters Articles

A series of articles written by teaching staff with advice about issues ranging from IT, teenage mental health and choosing a university.

Social networking

A Parent Guide to social networking NEW Feb 2017

For most families, the acceleration of the ‘digital age’ in the 1990s was evidenced by trailing internet cables across living room floors and patiently waiting for the end of the crackles and hisses of the dial-up tone, signifying that a precarious connection to the World Wide Web had been secured. At this time, young people primarily required this facility in order to access Microsoft Encarta... Read the article
Adolescent development

Adolescent Development

During adolescence the body and brain go through a physical and emotional journey, transforming a child into a skilled, independent and self-controlled adult. Due to our improved diet and living conditions, puberty begins early now than in previous generations, in some cases as early as 9 years old, with hormones causing growth spurts and body changes ... Read the article

University choices

Choosing a University

Choosing what to study after life at Dulwich can be a daunting experience, and the biggest pitfall for students is that they are afraid to go against the majority of their peers, or that they follow advice that is out of date. There are a vast range of courses and options out there and this article suggests some ways in which you can help your son navigate this complex landscape ... Read the article

Choosing the right A levels

Choosing the right A-Levels

One of the most difficult decisions pupils are asked to make when they join the Upper School is to select the subjects they would like to study in Year 12.  With A levels it is always helpful to have an eye ahead to the next stage, which for most Dulwich boys will mean a university course. The entrance requirements for the vast majority of courses at prestigious universities ... Read the article


Failure – Is failure a bad thing? NEW Feb 2017

Failure isn’t a topic that we naturally want to bring up. Schools and parents love the opportunity to celebrate a student’s successes, but often there is a reluctance to discuss failure. However, one cannot discuss success without any recognition of how often success is achieved off the back of some degree of failure along the way. An education reformer called John Dewey said: ‘Failure is instructive... Read the article
Teenage mental health

How we Learn

How do we learn? A new world record for solving the Rubik's cube, breaking the elusive 5 second barrier, was set last year by a 14 year old boy from Kentucky. Lucas Etter achieved the feat in 4.9 seconds: which is not only astonishing but made even more impressive if the video is watched in slow motion. One Dulwich science teacher has always been impressed by those who are able ... Read th article

Independence learning

Independent Learning

A key skill in both education and the workplace is the ability to be an ‘independent learner’. However, it can be difficult to define and even more difficult to implement! There are myriad discussion forums on what constitutes an independent learner and how to become one. The rhetoric can be confusing so hopefully this short article will help clarify a few things. So what is independent... Read the article

Homework and Independence

Managing Homework

Homework can be a source of real stress and tension between pupils and parents and establishing a healthy balance between support and independence can be tricky. As boys get older, they can grow increasingly reluctant to discuss the details of their school life with parents, and homework may be completed in school or straight after school without parents knowing ... Read the article

Teenage mental health

Mental Health

In recent years the mental health of adolescents has attracted a great deal of media attention, and, in the light of such reporting, one could justified in believing that we are on the cusp of an epidemic. The degree of apprehension and, on occasion, a sense of helplessness amongst those of us who look after and work with young people can be compounded further by the uncertainty ... Read the article

Degree apprenticeship

New degree apprenticeships NEW Feb 2017

The effort of considering new degree apprenticeships (DA)
Many families will be wondering whether and how to commence the research involved in exploring the brave new world of Degree Apprenticeships. One of the key difficulties is that because Degree Apprenticeships are so new, there are few examples of successful graduates making career progress... Read the article
preparations for exams

Preparing for Exams

How to help your son prepare for examinations. Boys respond to examination pressure very differently. Experience tells us that support at home is as important as the preparation and teaching boys receive while at school. If your son is feeling anxious ahead of an examination, it can interfere with success and feelings of wellbeing; being prepared will help reduce those feelings ... Read the article
Internet trolls

Protection from internet trolls NEW Feb 2017

How to protect your son from internet trolls. Once your son is active on social media, there’s a good chance he will be exposed to a form of cyber-bullying known as trolling. Protected by online anonymity, internet ‘trolls’ seek dissonance by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting insulting, threatening or off-topic comments often for their own amusement. If your son falls victim... Read the article
Out of the ordinary

Realising Potential

Deeply embedded in articles on what makes a good school you may find a sentence or at most a short paragraph on its provision for the ordinary pupil, but that genus deserves further attention. Some of the hardest work a school has to undertake is to care for the pupils who are seen or perceive themselves as “nothing special”. That is, schools need to work hard to ensure they care ... Read the article

Relationships and sex education

Relationships and Sex

All boys at the College have a weekly Wellbeing lesson and many of these lessons focus on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Boys are encouraged to think about how to form healthy relationships, about why people have sex and how to ensure it is safe and enjoyable when they decide the time is right. They learn about the law, discuss sexually transmitted infections and contraception ... Read the article


Resilience NEW Feb 2017

At a time when the mental health of our young people appears to be under threat as rarely before, we understand that the capacity to deal with disappointment, difficulty and distress is as important as it ever has been. Educating young people to understand themselves, particularly in recognising when they are undergoing experiences that can undermine their wellbeing, is an essential part... Read the article
You, Your Son and Technology


Computers are now a part of everyday life for nearly all members of our society. Adults and children alike have access to internet-enabled devices at every turn; whether it be a mobile phone, computers at school, our televisions or gaming consoles. This article explores questions posed both as a teacher and as a parent and the answers suggested serve as guidance only... Read the article


Technology – using it for good NEW Feb 2017

Technology – Can we train the students to use technology for good? Over the past 10 years, the use of technology and social media in our day-to-day lives has become something of the norm. Every year new technologies are changing the way we communicate, the way we work, and the way we play. As teachers, we are all too aware of how the use of technology and social media can impact... Read the article
Importance of sleep

The importance of sleep NEW Feb 2017

Anyone who has experienced tiredness knows how bad it can make one feel. Not only do we feel less able to focus, more short-tempered, forgetful and generally overwrought, but we are lethargic and far more likely to experience headaches, colds and other physical ailments. Equally, we can all hopefully identify with the joy of a long and uninterrupted sleep and the feeling of waking... Read the article

The right side of the line - conduct on the touch line NEW Feb 2017

The sporting arena is arguably one of the most powerful and versatile classrooms a school has. Where else do you have your work judged by so many different measures and people? Where else do you experience such emotion, learn to be empathetic and resilient, develop your ability to lead, communicate and listen? When we get it right, we create an incredibly powerful learning environment...Read the article
Working abroad

Working abroad NEW Feb 2017

In the decade after leaving school, many young people are given the chance to live and work abroad. If they do not think too hard about the idea, it is likely to be a chance they will jump at. What could be better for the soul than spending time outside of one’s comfort zone and acquainting oneself with a different culture, before returning home with a greater understanding of the world... Read the article