Dulwich College founder and actor Edward Alleyn, through his association with Philip Henslowe and Christopher Marlowe, ignited the theatres on London’s Bankside with thrilling and ground breaking plays.
Four hundred years later, Edward Alleyn’s creative legacy continues. Pursuit of the arts is a staple of school life and we devote considerable resources to creating opportunities for our students to experience all areas of the arts.
Each of our schools, as part of the DCI network, offers students opportunities that a single school would not have the capacity to provide. Some of these, such as the Dulwich Festival of Music, and the Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition, focus on a single artistic discipline, while others, like the Diversity series and the MADD Festival, are broad ranging. The group has also cultivated collaborative relationships with educational and artistic institutions throughout the world to open even more doors for our students.
Music plays a major role in a Dulwich education. The College provides all students from Years 3 to 7 with a musical instrument and group lessons each week, giving them an appreciation for music and the associated developmental skills from a young age. For older students, music is offered at IGCSE, IB and A-Level.
Individual schools support music through formal concerts and ad hoc performance opportunities, such as the “Busking Corners” at some of our schools, where anyone can perform and pass the hat for contributions to charity.
We encourage students’ engagement in the performing arts not only to improve their performance skills but also to give them insight into other cultures and eras and to build their confidence, self-discipline and communication skills.
Students have abundant opportunities to experiment and perform, with drama taught as part of the curriculum in Junior School and offered IGCSE, IB and A-Level.
Throughout the year, students perform in a range of drama showcases, examination productions, and main school productions.
Each year students participate in a range of external drama festivals across Asia, working with professional actors, directors, writers and theatre companies.
Art is taught at all levels in our schools, including IGCSE, IB and A-Level. Our facilities support a wide range of art, including ceramics and sculpture, digital imagery, drawing and painting, print-making, photography, film and video.
Our students participate in a wide variety of both internal and external exhibitions and festivals, and many of our students are making an impact in the art scene. In 2017 one of our students had his work short-listed for the prestigious Saatchi Gallery Art Prize and exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London.
Group art events include MADD and the Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition.
Some of our schools have green box film studios and our college in Shanghai is taking the lead on rolling out a film curriculum in addition to offering IB Film Studies. Our students attend and contribute to a range of film festivals and this year gained a range of prestigious awards at the Shanghai Student Film Festival including Best Film Award, Best Film Score and Best Screenplay. Junior School students from DCI schools and Dulwich College take part in the annual D’ Oscars film festival.
Culturally DCI is committed to working with local artists within the local communities of each of our schools, ensuring that students participate and experience traditional cultures from across Asia.
Group Events in the Arts
Diversity’s workshops, residencies and performances feature world renowned musicians, theatre companies, directors, actors, dancers, film producers, and artists who tour our schools and work with our students each year.
The MADD Festival is for our Junior School students and encompasses Music, Art, Drama and Dance. It is hosted by a different DCI school each year.
The Dulwich Festival of Music, also hosted by a different DCI school each year, offers students workshops with professional musicians and culminates in an evening concert.
The International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS) is one of the largest music festivals in Asia, and Dulwich College International has been a key supporter and host over the past ten years. Over 20 schools across Asia belong to ISCMS, and the annual festival attracts world-class professional musicians, conductors and composers to work with the 400 students who take part. Dulwich College Beijing hosted the tenth anniversary festival in 2017, and the final concert was held in the Forbidden City Concert Hall.
Drama students from across the network take part in the annual Dulwich Shakespeare Festival, where they produce and perform versions of Shakespeare productions, and participate in a range of theatre workshops throughout the week. The Royal Shakespeare Company collaborates with us on this festival, allowing our students to work with professional directors and workshop leaders.
The Dulwich Science Art Photography Competition is popular each year, producing outstanding contributions from our students.
The D’ Oscars film festival, a celebration of our younger students’ film work, culminates in a glamorous Oscar-style awards evening, where professionals from the film industry judge the work and present the awards.