The Dulwich Difference in Any Learning Environment
A New Norm in Learning
The COVID-19 outbreak took the world by surprise months ago. Schools in China at first, followed by schools the world over, had to move to a completely online environment in a very short period of time. We took the opportunity to uncover different ways of delivering the Dulwich Difference in any learning environment:
- In hybrid environments
- On digital platforms
In the video below, Lesley Meyer, our Chief Education Officer, explains how we're delivering the Dulwich Difference, even in this new norm:
What is the Dulwich Difference in Any Learning Environment?
The Dulwich Difference is our unique ability to provide holistic, experiential learning online and on-campus.
The Dulwich Difference
Holistic, Experiential Learning Online and On-Campus
To bring holistic, experiential learning to both on-campus and online environments, our teachers put greater emphasis on the following areas:
A balanced focus on wellbeing, character development and academic success
Wellbeing and character development are critical in enabling our students to discover and develop the full extent of their capabilities, talents and academic success. Wellbeing and character development, especially in the digital learning environment, requires even more planning and greater teacher involvement.
We weave in the core values of respect, resilience, ambition and healthy competition into the digital learning environment through the structure of assignments, virtual student interactions and the choice of tools used each lesson. At Dulwich, online learning does not mean on-screen learning. We also focus also on developing a healthy balance between digital media, physical exercise, periods of reflective learning and a wide variety of different types of tasks.
Experiential learning in different environments
We teach our students how to use what is around them to learn. That means each lesson is designed to meet the needs of students. At times, students will learn from their immediate environment, and at others, they are challenged to develop conceptual thinking. Especially in an online environment, our teachers help our students use what is in their current surroundings to make lessons meaningful and personally relevant – to help them truly excel academically and personally.
STEAM, Performing Arts, Sports, Digital Skills, Mandarin online and on-campus
Giving our students opportunities in the different areas of STEAM, sports, performing arts and music and Mandarin is a part and parcel of everyday student life at Dulwich. Our programmes offer great depth of learning in each area so that students can push their personal boundaries and fully develop their talents. What is equally important is that we continue to add new knowledge and skill areas for our students. Digital skills, digital literacy and cultivating digital citizenship is a big part of our students’ lives today. These areas are intentionally designed into everyday learning – regardless of the context. This enables our students to switch easily between learning environments – and in the future, work effectively in different contexts.
Students Come First
‘Students come first’ is at the heart of everything that we do at Dulwich. Whether it is in the online or on-campus environment, each learning environment and all our learning experiences are designed with the needs, talents and capabilities of our students as the focus. Helping students cultivate their own VOICE and CHOICE in the way they learn, and enabling them to become mature learners who can take ownership of their learning is a big part of life at Dulwich.
This is Student Agency and it is critical for academic success and university life. The digital environment offers some distinct advantages in helping students become independent learners. The breadth of digital tools and applications used by our teachers provide students of any age a variety of ways to learn. Students can better control their pace of learning to enable mastery. Importantly, our students learn to demonstrate what they have learnt to a broader audience using different digital tools – from as early as three all the way until they are 18.
One Family of Schools
One of the unique elements of the Dulwich experience is being a part of a family of schools. We connect our students across campuses and beyond borders for an education that prepares each of them to Graduate Worldwise. Bringing both the digital and on-campus learning environment together means our students have more opportunities to connect with our global Dulwich family, not just for major events like our Student Leadership Conference, but also in real-time for regular projects throughout the year.
Connecting our parent communities across our schools in real-time and on-campus similarly gives our parents a much broader support network. Technology is also used to ensure we have a bespoke experience in building our relationship with parents. Bringing our teaching community together globally means our educators are able to share their most creative lessons and ways of teaching in real-time. For our students, this means benefiting not only from the depth of experience of the teachers on their campus but of those throughout our family of schools.
How are we able to do this?
We have been able to innovate in real-time. Our teachers are part of a large group, so they have been able to find, share and reapply the very best examples of teaching and learning. We have also created high-quality professional learning in-time and on-time from both within the Group and through partnerships with international experts. Led by the DCI Education Team, we have developed powerful guidelines to capture best practice.
Resources and Links
The online learning and offline school environments are quite different but our learning principles remain the same. We may not always have the benefit of CCAs and physical education, and interacting with teachers and classmates through a screen is very different, but online learning brings with it some new opportunities.
Students come first in all that we do and so safeguarding and child protection are always a central focus in all Dulwich College International schools. Here's how we keep our students safe in an online learning environment.
The Education Team at Dulwich College International are using data from research, students and educators to frame a progressive new strategy for our ten schools and colleges. Their thoughts and ideas have generated a Worldwise Education Philosophy content series, published in this section.
Dulwich College International collaborates with a number of award-winning and world-renowned education organisations to offer professional learning opportunities for our teachers, and thus enhance the quality of teaching and learning at our schools. We have asked some of our partners to create exclusive material about learning practices and advice in the online learning environment.