By Atom | Apr 24, 2023, 9:51 AM
Are you considering Dulwich College for your son? We've collated everything you need to know about entry to Year 7. Find out about key dates, what's covered on the entrance exam, and how to help your son prepare.
Dulwich College is a leading private school for boys with both day and boarding options. The community comprises DUCKS (a co-educational kindergarten and infants’ school), a junior school (Years 3–6) and senior school (Years 7–13).
Dulwich College was founded in 1619 by actor Edward Alleyn, who wanted to educate children from low-income families. Philanthropy continues to be high on the agenda at the school, with aims to provide financial support to 50% of pupils.
The school is well-known for its excellent education, with students leaving to join the best global universities. While academic success is celebrated, social responsibility is also highly regarded. Students of all ages get involved in partnership work, both within their local area and as part of an international network.
Headteacher: Dr Joseph Spence
Address: Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, London, SE21 7LD
London borough: Southwark
Age range and gender: 2–18, boys only in Years 3–12
Number of pupils: 1,800+
National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 28
A level results: 95.1% A*–B
GCSE results: 92.9% 9–7
Admissions contact: [email protected], 020 8299 9263
Open day: 12th September, 22nd September, 7th October and 12th October 2023. More details are available on the school website
Selection process: online and written entrance exams, interview and headteacher’s report
Registration window: 25th April 2023 – 30th October 2023
Assessment date: 8th December 2023
The current fees at Dulwich College are £7,657 per term for day pupils and between £14,984 and £15,983 for boarders (weekly/full boarding). The Governors review the school fees each year.
Dulwich College is committed to providing financial assistance (known as bursaries) to bright boys who need full or partial financial support. Over £4 million is provided to support students (across all age groups) every year. Dulwich College’s Bursary Committee carries out a full and confidential means-tested assessment of applicants’ families' financial circumstances.
As a guide, children who pass the entrance assessment and have a household income of £35k or less will be eligible for a 100% bursary, while successful applicants with a household income of £100k may be eligible for a 10% bursary.
Boys applying for Year 7 entry to Dulwich College may also apply for a scholarship. These awards range in value from 10% to one third of tuition fees and are awarded on talent, as opposed to a means-tested assessment.
Academic scholarships: automatically awarded to boys who score the highest grades in the 11 plus entrance exam and interview.
Music, choral and organ scholarships: children should be at Grade 5 standard in their first instrument. Auditions take place on Saturday 13th and Saturday 20th January 2024.
The term dates at Dulwich College in 2023–2024 are:
Autumn term (Michaelmas): 4th September – 15th December 2023
Half term: 21st October – 5th November 2023
Spring term (Lent): 10th January – 28th March 2024
Half term: 10th–18th February 2024
Summer term: 23rd April – 4th July 2024
Half term: 25th May – 2nd June 2024
There are around 70 places available for boys applying to Year 7 entry at Dulwich College each year. These children are joined by the boys moving up from Dulwich College Junior School. This creates a year group of around 125 pupils.
Successful candidates for Dulwich College are usually working in the top 15% of their year group, including Greater Depth in English and maths. Before registering your son with Dulwich College, talk to his current teachers. They can help advise if your son falls within this range and whether the school would be suitable for him.
If you are applying for Year 7 entry, you cannot also apply for Year 9 deferred entry.
If you're considering Dulwich College for your son, it's a good idea to visit the school at an open event first to explore the facilities, meet staff and pupils, and see whether your child would thrive in the environment. Open mornings will take place on Tuesday 12th September, Friday 22nd September, Saturday 7th October and Thursday 12th October 2023. There will also be a series of mid-week lower school tours throughout the autumn term.
Find out more about Dulwich College open events.
To register your son for 11 plus entry to Dulwich College in September 2024, complete the online registration form. Registration costs £160 per child but is free if your son receives the Pupil Premium (confirmation from your child's current school is required as proof of eligibility).
You will also need to attach a copy of your son's passport or birth certificate, a recent photo, his most recent academic school report, an Educational Psychologist Report (if applicable) and details of any medical condition indicating exam concessions.
The deadline for submitting the form is 30th October 2023.
Your son will take the Dulwich College entrance exam on Friday 8th December 2023. This consists of three parts, lasting about 2 hours in total. There will be breaks between the tests.
The first two parts of the entrance exam consist of an online assessment. Questions are adaptive, meaning they become more difficult or less difficult depending on how your child is performing. This ensures children see questions at the right difficulty level for them, so they are stretched but not to the point where it becomes demotivating.
Part 1 will cover questions in the following subjects:
Part 2 is a problem-solving exercise. Children will be tested on their ability to solve problems, form connections and think creatively through interactive puzzles and creative comprehension.
The third part of the entrance exam will be a handwritten creative writing task, lasting around 20 minutes in total (including 5 minutes for planning). Your child will have a choice of prompts.
Marks will be awarded for originality and imagination, effective use of imagery, and interesting and appropriate vocabulary and sentence structures.
Get creative writing tips and resources to help develop your child's writing confidence ahead of the exam day.
Following the exam, the 160 boys with the highest results will be invited back to Dulwich College for an interview between 24th and 31st January 2024.
The aim is to provide a friendly atmosphere where your child will be given the opportunity to give further evidence of his academic strengths. This is also an opportunity for your child to talk about his interests and abilities and how he might be able to use these to contribute to co-curricular life at the school.
Boys who have applied for a music scholarship and have been successful in the entrance exam will also be invited to a music scholarship audition on Saturday 13th January 2024.
Dulwich College will post offer letters on Thursday 8th February 2024. Offers are made on the basis of your child's performance in the entrance exam, the interview, and a report from his current headteacher.
Dulwich College assesses a variety of subjects for 13 plus entry, including content which is not traditionally taught on the national curriculum. Here are our top tips to help your child prepare for the selection process.
It can be tempting to jump straight into practice papers to prepare for school exams. However, this is not an effective way to learn and can cause children to feel demotivated.
Your child should have a good understanding of the content they’ve been taught in Year 5 before testing their knowledge with practice papers. Using a ‘little and often’ approach when recapping content is key, as our brains encode new information more effectively when dealing with smaller ‘chunks’ of information. Experts recommend study sessions should last no longer than 30 minutes for children aged 10–11.