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DLD College London
DLD College London
DLD College London
DLD College London
top 200
DLD College London South Bank, London Visit
school
DLD College London
South Bank
370 pupils, ages 13-19
Mixed
Day and Boarding

DLD College London

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Our View

This day and boarding co-ed for teenagers aged 13 to 19 is something out of the ordinary. Slap bang in central London, its bold, undulating façade nestles on the South Bank, offering a dynamic, grown-up space for students from over 60 countries to learn and live within its walls. Yet for all its modernist looks, at its essence, says deputy head academic Dr Sarah Watson, it’s ‘a small school environment, with small classes and lots of attention’.

Where?

Just five minutes’ walk from Westminster Tube and Waterloo mainline stations, the DLD College London campus is right in the centre of the capital with the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames on the doorstep. It’s dominated by a cool, curved futuristic tower, with 15 cylindrical steel-and-glass storeys.

Inside, there’s a light-filled multipurpose atrium hung with the 61 flags of the home nations of its students that’s used for assemblies and as a social space; above that are more than 50 state-of-the-art classrooms, study hubs, plus a drama studio, media and science labs, art, graphics and photography studios, a broadcast studio and music practice rooms, all accessible from wide, curvy hallways.

Head

The personable and energetic head, Irfan Latif, tells us that DLD stands for ‘development, leadership and diversity’. His aim is to create independent learners who have the confidence to grapple with academic challenges, build positive relationships and make the most of their individual potential. Mr Latif joined in 2018; previously he was head at Sexey's for five years. In July 2024 he’s heading off to Royal Hospital School in Suffolk, so watch this space for news of his successor.

Admissions

In September 2023, a brand-new Year 9 intake joined (previously, the school didn't start until Year 10) with 12 pupils, and 24 are on the roll to start in September 2024, making two classes. The school is non-selective with a 50:50 split of domestic and international students. Pupils must provide a past school report and attend an interview and those joining for A-levels or BTEC programmes must have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 4 or above. Anyone wanting to take the International Foundation Programme must have passed GCSE English or have an overall IELTS score of 5.0.

There are bursaries and scholarships available, valued at between five and 50 per cent of fees, as well as the Alpha Scholars Programme (also up to 50 per cent) for students who can demonstrate brilliance and leadership qualities.

Academics and destinations

Academics are important here, and pupils are expected to be engaged in, and take ownership of their educational journey (the head encourages them to identify their personal legacy and what they want to achieve during their time here). There are 11 lessons per day, each 35 minutes long. While many are doubles, maths and coding are only ever single lessons as concentration in these subjects has been shown to be better in short, sharp bursts.

The Year 9 curriculum is interdisciplinary, with three courses embedded in a traditional timetable of subjects (history, maths, English, etc) which take in people and places (sociology, psychology); creative arts (art, drama, graphic design, photography); and digital futures where pupils learn about crypto currency, marketing, media, coding and business. Year 9s also spend Fridays working on the ‘urban schools project’, which is based on the developmental goals laid out by the UN and World Economic Forum as to what the world needs by 2025. This can see them spending the day at Kew Gardens with a botanist, attending a lecture about sustainable set design at the National Theatre or taking a deep dive into character portrayal through costume design at a private tour at the Harry Potter Studios.

The school offers a wealth of GCSEs (which can also be taken as an intensive one-year course) and 21 subjects at A-level. There are also options to study vocational BTEC qualifications in business, performing arts, sports management, creative digital media production and E-sports, which covers everything from online streaming to sports marketing, management and competitive gaming.For international students, there is an Academic Preparation Course – a one-year course that can be taken before GCSEs or A-levels – and the International Foundation Programme, a one-year alternative to A-levels.

Classes have on average 12 pupils which means there’s tons of individual support, including dedicated university advisors. Lots of leavers go on to Russell Group universities, especially those in London such as Imperial, King's College and UCL. Popular international destinations include universities in Switzerland, Italy, the US and Canada.

Co-curricular

Pupils head to nearby Archbishop’s Park, which has football and tennis courts, for sport. The school has football, netball and basketball teams. There is also an on-site gym, pool and opportunities to learn rowing for those who are interested. The whole school does weekly PE on a Friday afternoon.

Art is very popular – and the school’s proximity to the capital’s many art galleries is a real draw. There are plenty of talented artists at DLD College London – last year, 98 per cent of art A-level grades were A* to B.

The school day includes a dedicated hour for co-curricular activities each afternoon, with more than 50 different options for students to pick from – from animation and boxing to chemistry Olympiads, public speaking and a ukulele band. The school is keen to deliver a holistic education and encourages pupils to get involved in the arts and sciences beyond the core exam content (plenty of speakers from these fields come in to talk to students).

Years 9 to 11 have a weekly careers lesson with a specialist careers advisor. Work experience is encouraged and partnerships have been established between local institutions, such as St Thomas’ Hospital, so that aspiring medical students can shadow doctors. Community projects including local food banks, Evelina London Children's Hospital (part of St Thomas's) and the Sutton Trust ensure that pupils are not confined to a privileged bubble.

Boarding

Full boarders make up 60 per cent of the pupil body – and it’s no wonder DLD College London has won awards for the experience it offers. Accommodation – 200 single rooms, all with an ensuite, and arranged around the building’s central atrium – feels like university halls and there are comfortable common rooms with far-reaching views across London. The structure of the boarding is built around close-knit huddles, which aim to encourage communities of friendship, with doors between different groups.

All students have an hour of supervised homework and after supper are allowed to go into London for 90 minutes in groups of three (with their phones). Weekend activities are all about getting out and exploring the capital.

School community

At the Wellbeing Centre, pupils have access to nursing, counselling, life coaching, as well as neurodiversity specialists who provide learning support. In fact, the focus on wellness is so outstanding here that DLD College London was the first school in the UK to win the gold award for ‘Mental Health in Boarding’, awarded by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence. In addition, there is a mentoring and tutor system to support new and younger children settle into the school. We love the sound of ‘Monopoly day’, when pupils visit all the streets on the board game so they can get their bearings in the city. The school house system is also London-based with each one named after a Tube station.

Pupils tell us that school rules are simple and centre around punctuality, respect and tolerance for others. Boarders have curfews, and the school ensures individual safety with an app called Reach, which enables pupils to let the school know where they are when they head off campus. Graduation ceremonies are held in the Houses of Parliament, and students organise their own prom (even managing the budget too) in an iconic setting. Past locations include the Globe Theatre.

And finally....

A unique place for young people who like to march to the beat of their own drum, this school has no uniform, everyone is on first-name terms (teachers too) and students have a real voice (they even vetoed the Starbucks coffee stand in the café, choosing to bring in the more sustainable Grumpy Mule instead). Mutual respect and tolerance is at the heart of the community and with London on the doorstep as an extended ‘classroom’, the school feels like it’s breaking the mould for education.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Language
    English Literature
    Geography
    History
    Mathematics
    Physics
    Film Studies GCSE
    plus Esports and Sport BTEC Awards (equivalent to a GCSE)

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    Government and Politics
    History
    Mathematics
    Media Studies
    Photography
    Physics
    Psychology
    Film Studies
    Graphic Communications
    Sociology
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £9,100
    Year 10£9,100
    Year 11£9,100
    Year 12£9,100
    Year 13£9,100
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7-
    Year 8 -
    Year 9 £16,267
    Year 10 £16,267
    Year 11£16,267
    Year 12£16,267
    Year 13£16,267




    Bursaries
    The bursary programme at DLD College London is funded by the Gold Standard Charitable Trust and the Alpha Plus Group. Means-tested grants of up to 100 per cent of fees are offered to students who show potential but are unable to afford tuition fees (please note, accommodation costs are not covered). These are available to all students with a British passport, and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis. A student does not need to win a scholarship in order to be considered for a bursary.

    Bursary contact:
    Head of Admissions Victoria Davies Jones
    dld-admissions@dld.org
  • SEND

    This school currently supports the following kinds of learning needs, health needs and physical disabilities:
    Students have a range of neurodivergent needs, this includes; SpLD (Dyslexia, ADHD, ASD), Social communication difficulties, processing difficulties.
    Health needs include; Sickle Cell and epilepsy
    Physical disabilities – the school is wheelchair accessible

    This school currently delivers the following interventions to pupils in class and outside class to support their learning, health and/or physical needs:
    Support is delivered outside of lessons, usually on a one-to-one basis and will occur weekly, depending on the students level of need. There is not one type of intervention as all students present different profiles, because of this support will be tailored to their area/s of need. Students also have access to the counselling team and Head of Wellbeing.

    This school currently provides the following support for pupils' mental health needs
    Pupils can self-refer to counselling, in fact this is encouraged.
    Students are supported with their mental health through integrative therapeutic approaches which include mindfulness, Transactional Analysis, psychoeducation, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Gestalt, Internal Family Systems therapy, and much more.
    Students are assessed at their initial session to see if counselling or coaching is the right fit. They are offered six sessions to begin with then review for more if there is an ongoing psychological need. Students that are supported tend to have mild to moderate presentations. If students are facing more complex or severe challenges, they are supported in school with external agencies or signposted on to the appropriate specialist support. All work is confidential except for safeguarding. Students can also drop in for a one-off session to support their day to day challenges.
    Workshops are provided on common themes such as perfectionism, low self esteem, stress busters etc.

    Co-ordinator: Kymberlee Luke Kymberlee.luke@dld.org
  • Transport links


    Public Transport
    Nearest London tube station: Waterloo or Westminster
    Nearest mainline train station: London Waterloo
    Nearest London Overground station: Waterloo
    Nearest international airport: Heathrow (15 miles)


School Updates

  • DLD College London Students Shine at Media Conference

    Year 13 Media Studies students from the multi-award-winning DLD College London, recently had the opportunity to attend the prestigious Media Magazine Conference at the British Film Institute, London.
    DLD College London Students Shine at Media Conference
  • Top of the Class!... DLD Students Celebrate Mathematics Challenge Success

    Talented students at DLD College London have excelled in a prestigious, national mathematics challenge organised by the UK Mathematical Trust, securing a series of top accolades.
    Top of the Class!... DLD Students Celebrate Mathematics Challenge Success
  • Record-Breaking Creative Competition Success for DLD College London

    DLD College London is celebrating remarkable success after its students competed in a highly-esteemed creative challenge, securing a quintuplet of much-coveted awards.
    Record-Breaking Creative Competition Success for DLD College London
  • DLD College London partners with Goodnotes for Research Launch

    DLD College London partners with Goodnotes for Research Launch
  • Impressive GCSE Results at DLD College London

    DLD College London is honouring the outstanding accomplishments of its students as they receive their GCSE results.
    Impressive GCSE Results at DLD College London
  • Outstanding Academic Results at DLD College London

    DLD College London is celebrating the exceptional achievements of its students today (17 August), as they secure remarkable A Level and BTEC results.
    Outstanding Academic Results at DLD College London
  • A Resounding Success… DLD College London Celebrates 100% IFP Pass Rate

    DLD College London has announced an exceptional 100% pass rate for its International Foundation Programme (IFP), with one third of students awarded the coveted Distinction grade for achieving 75% or more overall.
    A Resounding Success… DLD College London Celebrates 100% IFP Pass Rate
  • View from the Top: Irfan Latif on bridging the gap between tradition and innovation in education

    View from the Top: Irfan Latif on bridging the gap between tradition and innovation in education
  • DLD College London Celebrates School Inspection Success as it Gears Up for Growth

    Staff members and students at DLD College London are jubilant following a hugely successful inspection by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), as the multi-award-winning school prepares to welcome Year 9 students from September 2023.
    DLD College London Celebrates School Inspection Success as it Gears Up for Growth
  • DLD College Sport Students Participate in Professional Sessions

    Aspiring athletes and sports students at DLD College London have gained an invaluable insight into the professional sports industry during a duo of highly-anticipated workshops.
    DLD College Sport Students Participate in Professional Sessions
  • Creative Students Celebrated at DLD College London

    Students and staff members at DLD College London are triumphant as they celebrate success and a duo of accolades in a prestigious, national creative competition.
    Creative Students Celebrated at DLD College London
  • DLD College London Unveils State-of-the-Art Esports Suite

    DLD College London has unveiled its pioneering new Esports suite The Dragons Den, welcoming Professor Bobbie Fletcher, Academic Director at the College of Esports, as guest of honour to officiate proceedings.
    DLD College London Unveils State-of-the-Art Esports Suite
  • DLD College London Students Commended for Chemistry Challenge Success

    DLD College London Students Commended for Chemistry Challenge Success
  • GSCE Results Success at DLD College London!

    DLD College London is celebrating its students’ exceptional GCSE results today (25 August), announcing significant increases on 2019’s results when students last sat invigilated examinations.
    GSCE Results Success at DLD College London!
  • WATCH: A distinctive multi-award-winning school

    WATCH: A distinctive multi-award-winning school
  • DLD College London Students Graduate at the Houses of Parliament

    Graduating students at DLD College London have attended a prestigious celebratory ceremony, held at the historic Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster.
    DLD College London Students Graduate at the Houses of Parliament
  • See DLD College London in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.

    See DLD College London in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • See DLD College in our London Senior Schools Guide

    See DLD College in our London Senior Schools Guide
  • DLD College London Student Scoops Shortlisting at National Film Awards

    A highly-creative student from DLD College London, Yeva Novitska, has showcased phenomenal cinematography skills and secured a much-coveted shortlisting for ‘Best Film’ at the prestigious INTO Film Awards 2022.
    DLD College London Student Scoops Shortlisting at National Film Awards
  • Moving schools in Year 11: the lowdown on one-year GCSE courses

    Moving schools in Year 11: the lowdown on one-year GCSE courses
  • DLD pioneers innovative curriculum for new Year 9 opening

    DLD College London is opening its doors to Year 9 students from September 2023, consolidating the school’s unique space in the education sector as it innovates and leads new ways of delivering education, while striving to create unique learning opportunities for its students.
    DLD pioneers innovative curriculum for new Year 9 opening
  • Record-Breaking EPQ Results at DLD College London

    DLD College London is celebrating its best ever set of Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) results, with 100% of students in this year’s all-female programme cohort securing the coveted top grades of A* - A.
    Record-Breaking EPQ Results at DLD College London
  • WATCH: DLD London - A Distinctive Multi-Award-Winning School

    WATCH: DLD London - A Distinctive Multi-Award-Winning School

Essentials

Address
199 Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, London SE1 7FX

Contact
dld-admissions@dld.org
020 7935 8411

Website
dldcollege.co.uk/

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates

Bursaries


Open Days

Open days and how to visit View Open Days Register for open Day

Open Event 5pm
09 May 2024


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