What is the Dulwich Difference in our Junior School Curriculum?

Junior School
Dulwich College Beijing

The Junior School curriculum offers a challenging and rigorous learning experience that offers a broad and balanced range of learning opportunities. Rooted in the English National Curriculum, students engage in a cross-curricular approach, emphasising the integration of various subject matters under an umbrella topic or big questions. This approach allows for and encourages students to develop and apply skills across a range of subjects while fostering connections between their learning experiences in various domains. 

So, what makes our Junior School Curriculum different?


We teach our students to Live Worldwise

At the core of our teaching and learning philosophy is our mission statement, Live Worldwise. Throughout units of work, students delve into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals and their impact on communities around the world. Our planned learning experiences prompt students to consider how they can make a positive difference in their community and their environment.

When students come up to the Junior School from DUCKS, they have already been introduced to some of these SDGs. The work we do throughout Junior School builds upon these early learning experiences, so when the students are ready to transition to Senior School, they have a much stronger sense of what it means to be a Global Citizen. They know from a young age that their actions can have an impact, whether this impact is a positive one or a negative one, but that negative impacts have consequences for them. Students ask questions about the world around them and discuss how they can become positive agents of change.

Through these units, students investigate real-world problems and look at case studies that highlight what is happening in different parts of the world or what issues different communities or habitats are facing. Wherever we can, we make links with people and organisations who can enrich the learning that is taking place within the classroom through things like talks or visits. Students can then make informed decisions as to what they would like to do to support and help with these issues; and how they can make an impact.

Junior School students in class

Well-being and SDGs are highly prioritised 

Well-being is extremely important to us here at Dulwich College Beijing. Our Mindful Morning and Well-being programme focuses on the Dulwich Values and how we can be well; physically, mentally and socially. Various issues, emotions and SDGs are addressed and discussed. Students might learn about different strategies they could use to help them cope in different situations. For example: 

  • a circle time might be used to talk about an issue the class is having; 
  • a lesson might be taught that addresses one of the SDGs, such as Gender Equality;
  • activities might focus on a particular International Day or Week, such as Empathy Week.


Student Agency 

Student agency is something we value here at Dulwich College Beijing and within each of the subjects and units of work that the students learn about, they are given opportunities to make choices about how they are learning and presenting their work. For example, this may include what materials they access to support their learning; what format they wish to choose to present their findings; or who they work with within collaborative projects.

The skills that the students learn throughout their time in Junior School enable them to become better communicators who can make connections between the different things they learn about. They experience giving talks and presentations to different audiences and for different purposes; they take part in discussions and debates where they can express their ideas and opinions and learn to respectfully agree or disagree with others’ points of view; they are beginning to think about situations from the perspective of others; and are developing their creativity and ability to innovate on ideas to solve problems. 

Junior School students in class

Student Leadership

At Dulwich College Beijing, we empower the leaders of tomorrow through a carefully planned progression of leadership opportunities and training. Leadership is about inspiring and guiding others towards a shared goal. It encompasses qualities like teamwork, communication, empathy, and resilience.

We develop these qualities in a variety of ways. All students are welcome to stand for election as a Student Council member for their class to represent our student body in decisions. Heads of House develop student spirit, while Year 6 Prefects work on sustainability, well-being, communication, service and peer teaching projects. Years 5 and 6 students develop communication and editorial skills through our Dulwich Dudes magazine and podcast. The magazine is a longstanding endeavour now run by Year 13, providing authentic leadership experience for our oldest students. Leadership skills are developed through MUN debates, where students develop their understanding of global issues and enhance their speaking skills. Finally, selected students participate in a leadership conference that involves schools from the whole EiM schools group.

Junior School Leaders

Here at Dulwich College Beijing, our students in our Junior School are excited about their learning and that can be felt as soon as you enter the building. Our approach to teaching enables students to build their resilience when faced with different challenges. The learning is tailored to the needs of students and our personalised approach ensures that every student progresses and thrives, building resilience and nurturing their intellectual curiosity.