The Upper School is where children complete their journey with us and we believe it is an important step. At Dolphin we respect childhood and the latter years at Dolphin enable children to enjoy the innocence of childhood for just that little bit longer, whilst being able to take on more responsibility which better prepares them for their onward journey to senior school.
The Upper School allows the children to develop their own personalities and characters and to truly express themselves. The children lead the School Council and their individual Houses and have other responsibilities and duties, including leading open morning tours, when they are given the roles of Guardians of the school’s ethos.
In Years 7 and 8, children embark on the Common Entrance or scholarship syllabus and typically gain entry into the senior school of their choice. Class sizes are generally smaller, averaging 10-15 children, which facilitates greater focus on extending children and preparing them for their next school. Children benefit from the passion, enthusiasm and expertise of our subject specialist teachers, enabling them to broaden their subject knowledge, often up to GCSE standard.
Children in the Upper School are all involved in the senior production, whether that be as actors or backstage, operating lighting. They also take part in the annual Senior Concert, written and produced by the Head of Music. Sport continues to feature strongly, with fixtures in football, netball, rugby, tennis, rounders, athletics and swimming, against other local prep, primary and senior schools.
The Upper School has an extensive trip programme, with day trips to the Globe Theatre, the Science Museum and the National Archives, field trips to Stratford, Northumbria and Italy and the grand finale, an eight day walking trip to the French Alps, where the children celebrate their Dolphin careers around late evening camp fires.
At the end of their Dolphin career, Year 8 embark on a Leavers programme which provides sound advice and education on first aid, awareness about internet safety, alcohol and drug abuse, relationships, with further help from the local police about being safe outside the home.
The Upper School year culminates in Dolphin Night, where we come together as a community to say our traditional farewells to our Leavers. The Year 8 children entertain their audience, as we reflect on their Dolphin lives and celebrate their achievements.
Paul Foster, Head of Upper School