All boys study three subjects for A level, or four if they are studying Further Mathematics. Most subjects follow the A level courses but Classics and German follow the Pre-University (Pre-U) Diploma course. To guarantee some breadth of study, all boys also take part in our own Liberal Studies programme in conjunction with James Allen’s Girls’ School during the two years of the Upper School. Liberal Studies is a non-assessed course, to develop boys’ broader knowledge and to help them in their preparation for life beyond school. It incorporates a number of lectures given by visiting speakers and a choice of courses in a wide range of subjects. It provides an introduction to the key ideas in Philosophy and Critical Thinking.
In addition to their chosen subjects, all pupils will follow an A Level Plus programme in the Remove. Boys will choose two courses over three terms that provide an opportunity for them to fire their enthusiasm, and become experts in areas that lie just beyond the reach of the normal curriculum. The A Level Plus block will enable boys to take courses that complement their subject choices and deepen their knowledge, often to near-undergraduate level. Courses are designed to introduce boys to the subjects they want to study at university and the professions they might pursue afterwards, providing the opportunity for them to see how their chosen subject relates to the world at large. We appreciate the intellectual excitement that takes place where the traditional subjects overlap. Therefore, many courses are also interdisciplinary in nature, involving, for example, Art, Literature, Music and History being studied in unison. All courses will explore an area of study in more depth than standard A level courses and will provide opportunities for boys to participate in competitions, such as the Weizmann Safecracking Competition in the Engineering course, or Target 2.0 in the Finance course.
The skills and knowledge developed in both Liberal Studies and A Level Plus courses will be used by boys to help them plan and write an extended essay of 2000 words, starting at the end of their Remove year and drafted over the summer holiday. This is an internally assessed piece of work and it encourages them to develop their own academic interest ahead of a university application. It is also a key component of our Dulwich Diploma, which recognises the academic and co-curricular aspects of a Dulwich education, and is awarded to boys when they leave the College.
Details of the wide range of subjects currently available may be found in the Upper School Curriculum booklet which the College publishes annually. The boys may choose freely from these; the timetable is designed afterwards, to incorporate pupil choice.
There is, in addition, a Games afternoon for all boys and time for private study.
Some additional lessons are organised to assist those boys preparing for competitive university entry including Oxbridge, Medicine and American Universities.