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 all over the world, had to move to a completely online environment and learn remotely in a very short period.

Being an international school, Dulwich Suzhou had to adapt and took the opportunity to uncover different ways of delivering holistic learning in any environment:

- On-campus
- In hybrid learning environments (Mix of On-campus and Online) 
- Online/Remote through digital platforms

In the video below, Lesley Meyer, our Chief Education Officer, explains how we're delivering the Dulwich Difference in Suzhou, even in this new norm. She elaborates more on the school's value of providing holistic learning and listening to the needs of their students. Learning can take place anywhere for Dulwich, be it in a forest, online at home and/or on campus She then highlights the benefits of being part of a network of schools. 

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

A Dulwich Difference pie chart consists of real-time innovation of holistic learning

Holistic, Experiential Learning Online and On-Campus in Suzhou

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 holistic learning through students' well being, 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, require even more planning and greater teacher involvement. 

Dulwich Suzhou came together to incorporate holistic learning into students' online, on-campus or hybrid environments. 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 in each lesson. At Dulwich, online learning does not mean on-screen learning. We also focus on developing a healthy balance between digital media, physical exercise, periods of reflective learning and a wide variety of different types of tasks. 

Experiential and Holistic 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 learning 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 in a hybrid environment

Giving our students opportunities in our STEAM, sports, performing arts, music, and Mandarin curriculums is part and parcel of everyday student life at Dulwich Suzhou. Our programmes offer a great depth of comprehensive learning in each area so that students can push their boundaries and fully develop their talents. It is equally crucial that we continue to add new knowledge and skill areas for our students. Digital skills, digital literacy and cultivating digital citizenship are a big part of our students’ lives today. These areas are intentionally designed for everyday learning – regardless of the context. We believe exposing students to such holistic education enables our students to switch easily between in-person and online learning environments  – and work effectively in the future in different contexts.

Students Come First - Student Agency

‘Students come first’ is at the heart of everything we do at Dulwich. Whether students learn remotely or on campus, their learning environment and experiences are designed with their needs, talents and capabilities as the focus. Helping students cultivate their 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. 

Developing an all-inclusive learning environment for our students' education

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

Our Learning Principles in the Online Space image
Our Learning Principles in the Online Space

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, our Dulwich family of schools has recently moved our communities to an online learning environment. 

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Online Learning Guides

Here are tips and recommendations to help parents support their children and help ease the transition.

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Safety Online

Students come first in all that we do and so safeguarding and child protection are always a central focus. Here's how we keep our students safe in an online learning environment. 

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Thought Leadership: Our Education Experts

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.

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Hear from Education Experts We Collaborate With

We offer professional learning opportunities for our teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning at our schools.