Master's 400 Newsletter


Spring Choral ConcertDear all

This half term has been memorably industrious both in and out of the classroom for pupils and staff, epitomising the rich depth and breadth of a Dulwich education.

On Friday 22 March Southwark Cathedral (where Edward Alleyn was a Sidesman) filled with parents, staff, Old Alleynians, family and friends to enjoy the Spring Choral Concert. Under the leadership of the Director of Music, Richard Mayo, the music chosen was Haydn’s Creation, which was performed by over one hundred Dulwich College pupils who played in the orchestra and sang in the Madrigal Choir. The musicianship amidst such a splendid setting was a significant highlight of the year.

Dulwich Olympiad 2019

Last weekend we welcomed 566 students (Years 7 to 12) and 80 staff from our international partnership schools for Dulwich Olympiad 2019, one of our showcase events this 400th anniversary year. They and our Alleynians have, after just three days, found new connections and friendship through their sporting competitions, music and drama rehearsals, and their art workshops and masterclasses. At our opening ceremony yesterday morning, the Olympiad Torch was exchanged. Dulwich College Beijing student, Isaac said said: “This is the torch that, at the inaugural Dulwich Olympiad in Beijing in 2015, we lifted to signify our friendship and commitment to building bridges across the world.”  And James from Dulwich College responded: “This Olympic torch is a symbol of human achievement – for us it is also symbolic of the shared values of the Dulwich schools: integrity, kindness and respect.” As we progress through the week, incorporating Dulwich Creative across the College and its mass co-created Mark Your Mark exhibition, it is a pleasure to witness the vitality, enthusiasm and mutual support of our students. For photographs and films of the week, please do visit our Gallery and its daily sections More details of the days’ events and other College activities can be found on our news pages and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Pissarro's Dulwich College

Next half term Camille Pissarro’s Dulwich College (1871) will arrive on special loan from the Fondation Bemberg, Toulouse, for an exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first time the painting has been in Dulwich since its creation. The painting will be on display from 30 April until 4 August and Bell House, in College Road, will be hosting a small exhibition looking at changes happening in Dulwich around that time. This is a free event on 8, 9, 15 and 16 June from 10am to 5pm and between 10 and 14 June by appointment.

Quatercentennial Black and Blue Ball

Preparations are well underway for the Quatercentennial Black and Blue Ball to be held here at the College on 11 May. We look forward to welcoming over 800 guests, from across the Dulwich community, to an evening in support of the Dulwich College Bursary Fund. The Ball Committee is delighted with and grateful for the generous contributions received for the auction and Ed Sheeran gig Grand Draw (open now), both of which are open for bidding by everyone, not just those attending the Ball. The auction will be going live on Monday 29 April. If you would still like to contribute to a prize, please contact the Ball Committee at More details in the lead up to the event can be found

The Lent term has been one of which the community can feel rightly proud, for collective and individual achievements and for the support shown to each other. May I wish you and your family a very happy Easter break.

Dr Joe Spence


The College Roll

Dear all

Last year we looked forward to our quatercentenary celebrations with anticipation. Now, as we reach the end of the first half of the Lent term, it would be true to say that it has already exceeded our expectations with the pleasure it has given our youngest Alleynians and our Old Alleynians.

We launched our 400th anniversary with the unveiling of the Dulwich Roll at DUCKS where the children and staff were wonderfully outfitted in Elizabethan and Jacobean dress to greet their guests, Queen Elizabeth, Edward Alleyn and their entourage of a juggler and acrobat, all played, very convincingly by spirited older pupils.

Ned Alleyn talked about his life and the College and explained that he wanted every member of the College community - in the UK and further afield - to sign a specially commissioned Dulwich Roll which would be a record of all the events of the coming year.

Every child signed the Dulwich Roll, the youngest with their handprints. It is not inconceivable that some of our Ducklings will be showing the Roll and their signatures to their families at our 500th celebrations in 2119.

Alleyn Club Sports Dinner

Tickets for the Quatercentenary Black & Blue Ball went on sale in January and were sold out within a rather astonishing five minutes. The Ball was re-configured to offer an additional 100 seats for a good proportion of the waiting list, but we appreciate that many will be disappointed. I hope that we’ll see many of you at the significantly expanded Founder’s Day Evening with its outstanding fireworks display.

January also saw the splendid Alleyn Club Sports Dinner, a spotlight of over 50 years of Old Alleynian and Dulwich College sporting excellence. Guest speakers included Olympic gold medal winning oarsman Kieran West and former England rugby players Andrew Sheridan and Nick Easter and it was a delight to see the black tie evening bringing together OAs of almost every age and clearly enjoying each other’s company.

London Winter Run - Dulwich runners

At the beginning of the month, a team of over 200 College staff, parents, pupils and Old Alleynians participated in the 5th annual London Winter Run, raising £17,785 in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Dulwich College Bursary Fund. Thank you and congratulations to all those who ran, as well as the many who have donated and turned out to support our runners on the day.

Still to look forward to this Lent term are the GE Moore Lecture, entitled Restoration and Innovation and the Dulwich Olympiad 2019 when we will welcome some 600 pupils from our ten Dulwich College International educational partner schools for a tremendous week of sporting competitions, music and drama performances and art workshops and exhibitions that will celebrate our international unity and our genuine diversity.

More details about all our quatercentenary events can be found on the College website, including the handsome timeline of the College’s history

May I wish you a good half term break.

Dr Joe Spence

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