As part of its 400th anniversary celebrations, the founding school - Dulwich College - will host The Dulwich Olympiad 2019, a celebration of Sport, Drama, Music and Art across our family of schools.  The Dulwich Olympiad 2019, which runs from 24 to 29 March, will bring together a representative body of over 600 students from the network of schools to participate in workshops and events, and to showcase their talents in competitions, performances and exhibitions. This is Dulwich’s second Olympiad; the successful inaugural Olympiad was held in Beijing in 2015.

A series of outstanding Sport, Drama, Music and Art experiences awaits pupils from Dulwich College International schools in Beijing, Shanghai (Pudong and Puxi), Suzhou, Zhuhai, Singapore, Seoul and Yangon, as well as students from Dulwich International High School Zhuhai and Suzhou and sister school, Dehong International Chinese School in Shanghai.

Venues for this year’s participating Olympians will comprise Dulwich College’s 70 acre campus with its beautifully refurbished Grade II* listed Barry Buildings and the RIBA award-winning Laboratory, plus the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank and the 2012 Olympic venues of the Aquatic Centre, the Copper Box and the Olympic Park Community Track.

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There will be an informal touch rugby tournament on the first morning which should be a great way for all the sportsmen and women to integrate and to start using some of the skills that they will have learnt at the exhibition match the day before during the welcoming ceremony.  This will have been a chance to see some of this year’s Natwest Schools Champions in action.

In order to enable all travelling students to see as much of the College as possible we are keeping the sports competitions as close to home as possible hosting the events at the College or the nearby International Stadium at Crystal Palace.  We will start our Olympiad competitions with a day of athletics with the opening ceremony at Crystal Palace.  This will be followed by a day of badminton and swimming, a day of basketball and then we will finish with a football tournament at the College and our closing celebrations.  The emphasis throughout the week will be on participation and it should be a terrific celebration of sport.

Within the week, there will be the opportunity for students to meet and learn from some top sportsmen and women and maybe even participate in some new sports with facilities such as the Herne Hill velodrome for cycling just down the road.

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Edward Alleyn would be thrilled that drama is being introduced to this Olympiad and that you will all have the opportunity to explore London’s Bankside where he made his fame and fortune. 

Actors from each school will be part of a production one evening celebrating the acting talent and diversity of production from each of the schools.  In celebration of Edward Alleyn we will use the Seven Deadly Sins (from Doctor Faustus) as the theme.  They will also get to collaborate together in workshops, including one at the Globe theatre, as well as watch a matinee performance and have a masterclass with an actor or director from the theatre or film world.  London really is one of the most dynamic cities for theatre in the world and we have plans to visit the Rose Playhouse archaeological site where Doctor Faustus was first performed as well as the old Operating Theatre at London Bridge with its links to magic and medicine.

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There will be several times throughout the week when we as a school, will be able to showcase some of the music that we produce here.  There will be informal pop up concerts in the College during lunch hours, at the sport, drama and art venues and at the closing party.  The week will start with a fun workshop with the fabulous London Gospel Community Choir in order to produce a new version of the school song, Pueri Alleyniesus.  All the schools will join together to perform at a formal concert in the newly opened Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Thursday night.

The Queen Elizabeth Hall in on the Thames’s Southbank, London’s cultural heart and home to its National Centres for Arts, Film and Performance.  The brutalist architectural style of the hall may not be to everyone’s taste but it does have a reputation for fine acoustics.  It has been refurbished over the last three years and has just reopened this April.

As well as working together towards the formal concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the informal final party at the College, musicians will have the chance to participate collaboratively in a number of workshops, exploring new genres.

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An evening will be set aside to showcase the best that all the schools produce between now and the end of this year.  Students of any age can participate and try to represent the school with their work displayed in the James Caird Hall.  The theme for the exhibition is ‘Make your Mark’.  We hope that a few of the students from here will want to exhibit their work and take up the opportunity to join the touring party. 

They would need to be able to discuss their work at the big exhibition but they will also get the opportunity to participate in a number of collaborative workshops.  These will include working with withy and a variety of weaving media, creating their own clay gargoyles and working with artist Twinkle Troughton.  There will also be the chance to see some of the Southbank’s galleries including the Tate Modern and Whitecube, so both very large and small contemporary spaces.

Within Dulwich Village, there is the Dulwich Picture Gallery, a magnificent Sir John Soames designed building which was the first purpose built gallery open to the public.  Although it separated from being part of the College in 1994, the College still has close links with it and so for travelling artists the Olympiad week will start here in arguably one of the most beautiful galleries in London. 

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Dulwich College was founded by Edward Alleyn on 21 June 1619 for ‘poor scholars’ so that ‘good learning’ might be available to all, irrespective of social background or financial resources. Today, Dulwich College is an academically selective boys’ school, attracting students from the top 15% of the UK academic range. Set in South London, the school benefits from historic buildings sitting alongside modern architecture and beautiful green open spaces. Dulwich College has built a solid reputation with its strong academics, inspired teaching and educational innovations.