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View from the Top: Irfan Latif on bridging the gap between tradition and innovation in education

By Irfan Latif, head of DLD College London
28 June 2023

For our latest View from the Top, we invited Irfan Latif from DLD College London – a forward-thinking, dynamic senior school right in the centre of the capital – to get on his soapbox to talk about the importance of blending real-world, future-focused learning with a traditional education and solid academic foundations....

In an ever-changing political and economic world, educational institutions are constantly seeking new ways to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the future. Here at DLD College London, we are using our strength and influence to carve a new place in the education sector, emerging as a pioneer in combining the traditional British school curriculum with a forward-thinking and innovative skills-based curriculum which meets the needs of the 21st century learner. By embracing innovation, such as AI and introducing new and relevant BTEC courses, we are strategically using our prime central London location to extend this global city as our classroom; we are successfully integrating real-world experiential learning to a well-rounded traditional education to empower students to excel in the 21st century by offering alternative and exciting routes to success.

DLD acknowledges the importance of a strong foundation in traditional subjects and ensures that students receive a comprehensive education based on the UK curriculum. Our commitment to academic excellence is reflected in our rigorous academic programmes, which cover a wide range of subjects including mathematics, sciences, humanities, and the arts. By adhering to the traditional curriculum, DLD College London ensures that students acquire essential knowledge and skills required for further studies at leading universities worldwide.

What sets DLD apart is our innovative approach to education. Recognising the need for creativity, we integrate modern and unconventional courses into the curriculum. From cutting-edge technology in our state-of-the-art eSports arena, to channelling entrepreneurial critical thinking as our students study cryptocurrency and NFTs. And with our ‘London is our classroom’ initiative, DLD offers an extension of the traditional with a future forward approach that allows students to explore their passions and develop transferable skills crucial for success in the real world.

As well as our unique course offering, DLD offers extensive leadership opportunities and co-curricular activities that encourage students to develop transferable skills with encouragement from our DLD community, in an environment underpinned by kindness and respect. Through classroom learning and real-world projects, students are encouraged to identify opportunities, collaborate, and bring their ideas to life by involving themselves in leadership roles such as Student Council representatives. By nurturing interpersonal skills, such as collaboration and communication, DLD equips students with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive and dynamic global landscape, ensuring our students know how to drive academically and personally.

DLD actively seeks partnerships with industry professionals, local organisations, and universities to provide students with those unique learning opportunities to gain practical real-world experience and insight into their chosen fields. By bridging the gap between academia and industry, DLD ensures that students are equipped with the 21st century skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a brave new world.