Welcome to DUCKS


Sitting in a beautiful building, DUCKS is a hive of purposeful activity. Since opening in 2014 we have established ourselves as a centre of Early Years learning where children are encouraged to reach their potential.

DUCKS caters to children aged from two to seven in light, airy, well-resourced classrooms that allow the children to develop a passion for learning and exploring the world around them.

On the ground floor are our Foundation Stage children, aged from two to five.  These children learn through purposeful play combined with a focus on learning to read and beginning to write in both English and Mandarin. The children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.

Our Key Stage One children (aged five to seven) are based on the upper two floors and follow an enhanced version of the English National Curriculum.

DUCKS is a dual language environment with each class taught by at least one native English speaking teacher and one native Mandarin speaking assistant teacher.  Our aim is for our children to be confident and competent in both languages.

All DUCKS children have weekly swimming lessons using our three pools, and from the age of five the children have specialist PE and music lessons.

Our excellently resourced library allows all of the DUCKS children to submerge themselves in the world of print and develop a passion for reading.


The curriculum in Foundation Stage is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum  (EYFS) which provides a framework for the education of children from birth to five years old.

The Prime Areas covered are: 

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development 
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

The Specific Areas covered are:

  • Literacy 
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World 
  • Expressive Arts and Design

Under these seven areas of learning, staff guide and facilitate a range of exciting and stimulating curricular activities that enable each child to achieve the goals and objectives appropriate to his or her individual stage of development.

The curriculum in Years 1 and 2 is based on the National Curriculum for England and aims to  ensure that young people become successful learners, confident individuals, and responsible  citizens. The structure of the curriculum has been designed to provide breadth and balance whilst maintaining focus on English and maths. There is a strong emphasis on children’s personal  development, including the development of learning and thinking skills and personal, social and emotional skills.

All areas of learning are delivered to the children through the teaching of concepts, with the exception of maths and elements of English, which may be taught as discrete subjects.

Read, Write Inc. is our phonics programme. By following the National Curriculum for England  and selecting the best elements it has to offer, a smooth transition between each phase of a child’s education is ensured.

Joanne Woodward
We aim to create a nurturing environment in which children feel safe and secure surrounded by staff who know them as individuals. As Alfie Kohn said, 'If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to try and grow'
- Joanne Woodward, Head of DUCKS

Mandarin Dual Language Approach

At Dulwich, we believe that learning another language is not only highly stimulating for mind development at an early age but is also a wonderful way to develop a deeper awareness of and appreciation for other cultures. Acquiring proficiency in more than one language broadens children’s horizons, promoting endless possibilities for social and emotional growth, alongside academic development. 

We cater to students at all levels from complete beginners to native speakers, tailoring classes accordingly. 

Visit our Mandarin page here to learn more.

Academic Rigour

In DUCKS, the focus is on educating the whole child and progresses from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in Pre-Nursery (Toddler), Nursery and Reception to an enhanced version of the English National Curriculum (ENC) in Years 1 and 2.

The aim is to strike a balance between student self-guided exploration and explicit teaching of core competencies, particularly in reading, writing, phonics, maths and Mandarin, ensuring that children are able to meet developmental milestones and achieve their academic potential.

Above all, the focus is on developing confident and happy children with a zest for life and a love of learning.   

To learn more about our High Potential Learning programme in DUCKS click here.

Forest School

Dulwich College is the first international school in Singapore to introduce ​Forest School, accredited by the UK's Forest School Learning Initiative (FSLI), into the DUCKS early years programme.

Visit our Forest School page here to learn more.


The atmosphere in DUCKS is special, with its emphasis on pastoral care establishing the warm and welcoming environment within the school.

When children and their families join DUCKS they become part of a wider community in which every member is valued, and positive relationships between children, staff and parents are fostered.

The pastoral ethos is underpinned by a child friendly version of the College Guiding Statements. Regular assemblies at each year level support these and focus on different and relevant aspects of PSHCE (Personal, Social and Health Citizenship Education). Class teachers also respond to current issues that are pertinent to their groups.


From Reception, all children become involved with the House system. The sense of community this builds fosters a team spirit and sense of pride, which is further developed as children continue through the College.

As the children grow in DUCKS they are introduced to leadership positions. House Captains and the DUCKS Student Council are elected from the student body and are involved in the day to day running of the school and major events.

Through a variety of enrichment activities, children develop an awareness of the world beyond the school and a deeper understanding of their community. They begin to develop an understanding of the ways they can help improve their immediate environment and the lives of those around them. Developing a sense of others and an ethos of helping those less fortunate begins early and is encouraged through activities that are meaningful to the children.

I wanted to be a student counsellor because I wanted to help other people when they were feeling left out or hurt in the playground. It makes me happy to help other children.
- Isabelle, Year 2 student

Student Leadership

In DUCKS, it is the student councillors, House captains, eco warriors and class 'techsperts' who lead, support and organise activities and events throughout the year.  Additionally, we encourage all students to take on daily  responsibilities, such as being a playground buddy. This  helps to provide a positive and purposeful school and  classroom environment.  

A Day in the Life Of DUCKS Video Series

A Day in the Life of Toddlers
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A Day in the Life of Nursery
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A Day in the Life of Reception
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Year 1
A Day in the Life of Year 1
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