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Sport particularly strong, with the enviable senior school facilities including rolling green acres just next door. Large numbers of sports clubs include ballet and taekwando; A, B and often C teams play against other schools in sports ranging from girls’ football to biathlon. Pupils we met were very enthusiastic - ‘I do seven clubs a week, nearly all sport’; ‘There’s something...

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What the school says...

At the heart of our school community are the children, from Reception to Year 6, who flourish within an avowedly co-educational and academically selective setting. Through the hard work and inspiration of the staff, the children are given the opportunity to enjoy a broad academic curriculum that is complemented by a rich co-curricular programme and supported by our excellent pastoral care, which places the class teacher at the heart of each child’s education and welfare. The children are encouraged to show ambition, be creative and intellectually curious. Performing and having fun on a variety of stages, be it sport, drama and music, are actively encouraged and promoted. ...Read more

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2015, Mr Simon Severino, previously head of St Andrew’s Prep School, Eastbourne. He read geography at Oxford, started teaching at Culford Prep in Suffolk and then went to Dulwich Prep London as head of geography and deputy head. He joined St Andrew's in 2010. He is married with two young children.


Tends to be very local - ‘We try to be centred in the community’. At 4+, 20 places and some 200 applicants. No sibling policy – ‘We could fill the place with siblings, and we like to encourage some diversity’. Intakes also at 7+ and 9+ - ‘If they don’t get in the first time, we encourage them to see it as a postponement and to try again later’. Assessment ‘looks for children who can participate in a very busy and structured timetable'. ‘We try to take in children who have a lot to contribute.'


All pupils have right of entry to senior school (one or two move elsewhere, often with scholarships) though everyone takes the 11+ exam and year 7 could be a probationary year for a child who is struggling to keep up. ‘We value the real contribution of the child. A boy with dyslexia might have trouble with English but be brilliant at maths and go on to play for the school football team. We’d rather have a hard worker than someone who is bright but lazy.’ The transfer exam ‘is about celebrating hard work and achievement, not just about winning scholarships. Everyone gets a leaving certificate which includes details of what they have done for the life of the school.’

Our view

A very busy, buzzy place tucked away in a quiet corner of the senior school site. Light, bright classrooms include a conservatory and a playground that doubles as an outdoor classroom. Magnificent IT suite; iPads integrated into lessons – ‘We have embraced new technology’; giant iPad in art room. Science garden has wildlife pond, herb, flower and vegetable plots.

English and maths taught in small groups from day one. Formal setting for maths from year 4 - ‘For those in the B sets it’s mostly about increasing their confidence and self-esteem’. Specialist teachers for French, music, art and PE from the beginning, and for most subjects from year 4.

Support includes speech and language therapist, a literacy expert and learning support assistants - ‘We’ve had children here with quite serious learning differences and we’ve done a great job with them. That’s one of the things we're most proud of’. Pupils say: ‘I like their attitude towards learning. The teachers help you to get better in a very calm way. The classes are very friendly.’ Signs round the school during our visit proclaimed that it was anti-bullying week.

Excellent art in newly converted studio, set up to resemble a fish tank during our visit with strings of fish hanging down the windows. Pottery popular: ‘Edward de Waal did a workshop recently and showed us how to make our own kiln and fire our own pottery’. Colourful artistic displays all round the school, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery is a regular destination.

Everyone learns a stringed instrument in years 2-4 and a brass or woodwind instrument in year 5, and many keep it up. Clubs include jazz band, choirs and L’Orchestre de la Grand Salle. Plenty of other music and drama – school tends to attract creative families so lots of talent/parental encouragement. The day of our visit was hip-hop day and year 6, in tee shirts they had designed themselves, were busy learning dance moves. Africa and India days also combine art, music and dance, and Alleyn’s Junior Has Talent competition is a highlight of the year.

Sport particularly strong, with the enviable senior school facilities including rolling green acres just next door. Large numbers of sports clubs include ballet and taekwondo; A, B and often C teams play against other schools in sports ranging from girls’ football to biathlon. Pupils we met were very enthusiastic: ‘I do seven clubs a week, nearly all sport’; ‘There’s something that suits everyone’.

Congenial atmosphere. School aims to ‘encourage respectfulness between adults and children. We’re after more than good manners: we want our children to have the confidence to communicate with adults’. ‘All the people here are very friendly,’ say pupils. ‘Even if you’re not best friends with someone, you just get on with them.’

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