It may only have been open a few short years, but Dulwich College (Singapore) has already expanded, celebrating the official opening of the Senior School and Performing Arts Centre earlier this year. The brand-new Senior School (which is gearing up to take its first cohort of Year 12 students in August 2018) boasts state-of-the-art science labs, light and airy classrooms, a two-storey library, design and technology rooms, and a multi-purpose sports facility with a gym, dance studio and rooftop tennis courts. Equally impressive is the Performing Arts Centre with the 750-seat Alleyn Theatre, two black boxes, art suites, a kiln and music studios. Encore!
We speak to Graham Wilson, Head of Senior School at Dulwich College (Singapore), about the spectacular official opening, preparation for university applications and creating a support system for students in an ever-changing international community.
Congratulations on the Official Opening of the Senior School and Performing Arts Centre in March!
It was a very proud day for the College for students, staff, parents and guests alike. We were honoured to have His Excellency British High Commissioner Scott Wightman cut the ribbon alongside our Senior School House Captains, Headmaster Nick Magnus, guests from Dulwich College International and CEO Christian Guertler. Over 1,000 students of all ages lined the floors of the brand-new Senior School Quad as the Chinese Drum Band announced the countdown to the ribbon cutting ceremony. Confetti canons and streamers were let off from all three floors of the Senior School, with a concert, tours of the College and a Shakespearean production adding to the festivities.
How many students are currently in the Senior School and what year does it go up to?
We have over 300 students in the Senior School, with another 200 set to start in August 2017. Including the near-capacity DUCKS (Infant School) and Junior School, this will bring the Dulwich student body to over 2,000 since its opening in 2014!
The Senior School has impressive facilities. How does this foster involvement in sports and extra-curricular activities (ECAs)?
The Extra-Curricular Programme offers over 300 options. There is a dynamic sports programme, which allows for a competitive yet inclusive approach to sport, three libraries providing ECAs for Years 2-10 and active community service projects. We are involved with Foodbank, packing and delivering food parcels to the needy in the local Bukit Batok area, St Theresa’s Hospice and our own initiative whereby we fix broken wheelchairs.
The Performing Arts Centre had its Official Opening at the same time as the Senior School. Has this become a hub for students?
With the official opening of our Performing Arts Centre earlier this year, students now have access to the 750-seat Alleyn Theatre and two Black Boxes, both of which are used for drama, music and a variety of performing arts and speech and drama subjects. Every student from Nursery to Year 10 will have the opportunity to appear on stage throughout the academic year for performances ranging from class assemblies to Christmas concerts, reading competitions and large-scale productions. Just recently Reception students took to the stage for a ‘Poetry-by-Heart’ competition, while Senior School students performed Romeo and Juliet (which included a livestream performance of Othello by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London!).
Let’s talk about university applications. How does Dulwich College (Singapore) prepare students?
We have a dedicated team of University Counsellors who work with students from Year 9 to prepare them for further education and guide them in their choices and planning. This, together with support from Dulwich College International, means students will be fully prepped for their university applications.
We love the concept of house-based tutor groups. Can you share details?
The House system is strongly integrated into our pastoral structure and is key to developing a strong sense of community in the College. Every student from Reception upwards is assigned a House, allowing students across the year groups to interact. In a transient international community, the sense of unity and belonging that students’ gain from sharing a House is essential. Once students reach Senior School they are placed in House-based tutor groups with Heads of Houses and House-based Form tutors providing a strong support network and allowing each student to benefit from the matrix of House-based and academic tutors. A spirit of healthy, fun competition is fostered, too, with competitions and activities from Music to Sport, Debating to Language, and Theatre to Stage Management!
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