The Junior School accommodates around 215 boys from Years 3 to 6 in bright, purpose-built accommodation on the Dulwich College campus. In line with the Senior School, the Junior School is academically selective. We ensure that the boys are inspired to become interested and interesting learners in the classroom and have plenty of opportunities to develop, have fun and be challenged in every area beyond the classroom too.
Boys usually enter the Junior School at the age of 7+ (Year 3) but there is a small entry for boys at 8+ (Year 4) and 9+ (Year 5). There are twelve ‘forms’ in the Junior School, three in each of Years 3, 4, 5, and 6. The smallest classes are in Year 3 (about 16 pupils) so that we can give our youngest boys that extra special attention as they join us from their various infant schools. Class sizes increase as we take a small number of boys into Year 4, 5 and 6, rising to approximately 20 boys in each form in Year 6.
The boys come from a wide range of Pre-preps and local primary schools and we celebrate this diverse range of backgrounds. All boys are required to go through entrance assessment process which involve written papers in Mathematics, English (reading and writing), Non-Verbal reasoning. Then a proportion of the candidates are then invited back for a second round Activity morning when they will do a variety of fun events which will include a chat with a member of staff (which will assess their potential, academic sparkle, literacy, numeracy and teachability).
Junior School Facilities
We have our own school hall, computing suite, art room, design & technology room, science laboratory, separate campus entrance and five dedicated Junior School playgrounds. Junior School boys are taught music in the College’s music school, while Games and PE are taught by specialist sports staff making full use of the College’s extensive playing fields and impressive Sports Centre. We believe that the Junior School is the chance for the boys to ‘be and do everything’ where all the boys are taught in an age-appropriate way but all the time having the benefits of high academic expectations, all the college’s world class facilities, expert teachers and very nurturing pastoral care. We aim to inspire the boys to have a passion for academic learning both within and beyond the classroom and the curriculum, a wide range of extra-curricular talents, a well-developed sense of self and emotional literacy which will fully equip them for the Lower School and well beyond.
Junior School Staff
The role of the form tutor is vital; they get to know their pupils very well indeed and are quick to deal with pastoral and academic issues that may arise. The deployment of excellent subject specialist teachers, who are well-equipped to teach this age group, enhances the teaching provision significantly. A boy’s Form Tutor is, in the first instance, responsible for his pastoral care and he/she will communicate regularly with his parents. Parents are encouraged to contact Form Tutors if they have a concern as we believe it is far better to address issues as they arise, and find that things can often be resolved relatively easily if we keep the lines of communication open. The most common method for this is by email (via the office or directly), or in person after the school day. In addition, there is also a weekly newsletter from the Head of Junior School which celebrates boys’ achievements and gives notice of forthcoming dates and events.
The management structure of the Junior School consists of the Head of the Junior School, a Deputy Head (who is in charge of pastoral care), a Deputy Head Academic (who is in charge of the academic side of the school) and a Deputy Head Co-Curriculum (who looks after all the clubs and co-curricular activities). Each year group has a Year Group Coordinator who coordinates the teaching and pastoral care within that year group.
Developing happy, engaged, emotionally literate and positive children is at the heart of our learning ethos. We believe that we are in a positive, supportive partnership with parents as we share the concern for the wellbeing of their sons. The Junior School aims to promote a safe and caring community. Boys are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and show consideration and respect for people and their surroundings. They are expected to demonstrate good manners and show tolerance towards people from a wide range of ethnic and social backgrounds. The pastoral aims of the Junior School are supported by our ‘core values’ (which were generated by the boys).
Settling in and Progressing
To ensure that boys settle in happily, we have an Induction afternoon in the Summer Term prior to their arrival. They will meet their new form tutor and new classmates. Before arriving at the College, all boys will be paired with a ‘buddy’ from his Day House. This older pupil will write to him introducing himself, show him around the school during Induction afternoon and will help with the settling in process.
As boys progress through the Junior School, they are given increasing responsibility. Each form elects a Form Captain who represents his peers on the Junior School Council and all the Year 6 boys become prefects for half a term and house representatives (house captains or vice captains). Year 5 and 6 boys are also given an opportunity to be guides on Open Morning.
The Junior School employs a system of rewards and sanctions. Boys are rewarded with House points and Commendation in Years 5 and 6 and House points and Certificates in Years 3 and 4. These are given for high academic achievement and effort, particular acts of generosity, helpfulness, care and concern for others and good manners. Boys’ achievements are celebrated in our whole school Celebration Assembly on a Friday morning.