From cradle to college, Dulwich has the answers

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Dulwich College Yangon (DCY), which officially opened in August 2016 at Pun Hlaing campus, Yangon will be expanding its student intake soon.

Music is an important part of the curriculum at Dulwich College and each student is encouraged to learn an instrument from an early age. Photo: SuppliedMusic is an important part of the curriculum at Dulwich College and each student is encouraged to learn an instrument from an early age. Photo: Supplied

It currently has classes that cater to the Toddler age group (two-year olds) to Year 7 (11-year olds) at the Pun Hlaing campus.

The campus is undergoing a major expansion of its facilities for the August 2017 session and is in the process of opening a new campus in Star City, Thanlyin township, Yangon.

Both campuses will offer classes for the Toddler age group to Year 8 (13-year olds) next year.

The senior students will have the honour of being the first graduating class, who in five years will be taking their pre-university exams as the college will have completed its growth to encompass the whole two-to-18 age range.

Since taking over the operations of the Pun Hlaing campus from the previous operator, Dulwich College, which has its headquarters in the UK, has more than doubled the number of students and added more facilities and staff at the school.

What is a College?

Headmaster Daryl Orchard said: “There is sometimes confusion overseas over our use of the term ‘College’, as in many countries this is a term used to refer to tertiary education. In the UK, it has traditionally been used for younger aged children by a small group of select private schools.

“Dulwich College Yangon will offer a premium independent school education for students aged two years until they graduate after turning 18, prior to entering university. Both campuses will initially offer facilities for students aged between two and 13 from August 2018. We add an additional year of classes each year until we cover whole primary and secondary age ranges (two to 18 years old).”

The school’s philosophy is built around its motto, Inspiration Starts Here. All projects and programs must meet the fundamental message of inspiring students to reach the highest of their abilities, both academically and in terms of a broader, rounded education developing confidence, knowledgeable, being internationally aware and conscientious students.

The school offers an Early Years Foundation Stage and an enhanced version of the English National Curriculum that is tailored for international students.

The program will lead to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in addition to a challenging international curriculum that is recognised by leading universities around the world.

Dulwich believes that academic success is firmly rooted in the classroom, but that a truly strong education engages students beyond textbooks.

Variety of lessons

There is a variety of activities that children can choose from on most afternoons after school.

This includes opportunities to take part in activities such as kendo, fencing, archery or a film club that teaches members to produce their very own movies for the Dulwich Film Festival which has its own Oscar awards, the D’Oscars!

Students will also have the unique opportunity to join world-class events such as the Dulwich Music Festival, the Dulwich Olympiad in London, the Vienna Boys Choir or workshops with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

There are also requests from two internationally famous football clubs to open a soccer academy in Yangon in cooperation with Dulwich.

Inside the classroom, specialist subjects for next year include English, Mathematics, Science, the Humanities, English as an Additional Language (EAL), Physical Education (PE), Music, Art, Myanmar Studies and French, as well as differentiated first, second and native-level classes in Mandarin and Myanmar languages.

“We are a selective school and unashamedly academic and this is reflected in our exam results across the group. These results are achieved through a balanced curriculum and having specialist teachers. For example, our primary school children are given their own stringed instrument in Year 3, which is theirs for two years, which is then followed by the use of a wind instrument for the next two years. This gives them the time and opportunity to experiment with a variety of different instruments before specialising in their senior school years”, Orchard said.

All projects and programs at Dulwich College must meet the fundamental message of inspiring students to reach the highest of their abilities. Photo: SuppliedAll projects and programs at Dulwich College must meet the fundamental message of inspiring students to reach the highest of their abilities. Photo: Supplied

Teachers from UK

DCY currently employs 16 teachers, most of whom are from the UK. This includes specialists in science, art, maths, Mandarin and Myanmar, amongst others. The Dulwich College International (DCI) network of schools employs 1300 people, the majority of whom are teachers, primarily from Britain.

For the next academic year, the majority of new teachers have been recruited from Dulwich colleges across its world network.

“We are opening the doors with teachers who have an average of over 7 years’ experience and with strong knowledge of how a Dulwich education works. It is important to note that the Pun Hlaing campus will have a hundred percent retention rate for its current teachers,” said Orchard.

“Whilst Dulwich College Yangon is a new school, we draw on the expertise of our founding school, Dulwich College in London. Dulwich College is one of the oldest independent schools in the UK with nearly 400 years of excellence in teaching and learning.

“As we are also a part of a family of ten international schools in Asia, we have full access to bring over experts for a range of different subjects to support our current staff. DCI is a proven leader in international, independent schooling over the last 13 years.

“It has eight colleges and two international high schools in Asia. There are six colleges in China: two in Shanghai (2003 & 2016), Beijing (2005), Suzhou (2007), a college in Seoul (2010) and one in Singapore (2014.)

“I therefore feel we have all the advantages of a new school in terms of modern resources and brand-new facilities, but few of the challenges that a stand-alone school would experience in its foundation years.”

Many extra-curricular activities

Orchard added that DCY will have extensive extra-curricular programs to develop students’ abilities.

“We seek to inspire students and upon leaving our school, they will have discovered one true passion or interest and a lifelong love for learning.

“The costs for each class differ depending on the year level. However, our investment across the college reflects the quality of the education on offer, with nearly all the equipment and books being sourced from overseas,” he added.

Music is an important part of the curriculum and each student is encouraged to learn an instrument from an early age. Music lessons are compulsory up to Year 9 with each child having a string instrument provided by the school until Year 6. From Year 7 they are introduced to a second instrument, woodwind or brass to Year 9.

DCY encourages competitive sports to instill the value of teamwork and fair play. Students will learn how to win and lose graciously.

“At present we are fully concentrating on developing our new schools in Yangon, and this is the sole focus for all our current efforts and investment in the country. When we open a school, we look at the long term and Dulwich College Yangon sees itself as a part of the community,” Orchard said.

The DCY community engages in and with the local community in a variety of areas, not least of which will be charitable initiatives such as the recently launched Magic Bus Myanmar, sponsored by the Dulwich International Schools Foundation with a US$400,000 initial contribution.

The Friends of Dulwich, its Parent Teacher organisation, is active in all the school’s programs in supporting initiatives within the local communities.

Dulwich has a long history with Myanmar. U Tin Tut, the country’s first Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Finance from January to September 1948, was educated at Dulwich College in London. U Tin Tut is part of a select group of notable ‘Old Alleynians,’ the name given to the Dulwich College alumni.

Source: Myanmar Times

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