Our Community and Partnerships
We are passionate about our vibrant and diverse community; the residents of Catford and Lewisham, our pupils and their families, the organisations with whom we share spaces and ideas, and our international links and connections across London.
We know that classroom teaching and learning forms only one part of the educational journey. Learning from and giving to others, through involvement in our wider communities, is of equal importance in shaping compassionate and confident young people who can go on to make positive choices in their pathways through life. We also recognise our privilege as an independent school, both in terms of our facilities and our pupils and staff; it is vitally important to us that this can be of benefit to communities that extend far beyond the school gates.
Our annual brochures attempt to summarise the various strands of our community outreach and support. The most recent brochure focuses in particular on how we supported our community during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and early 2021.
We do hope that you will enjoy looking through our Outreach Brochures and that you will find them as heartening as we do.
At St Dunstan’s College, we are proud to work with a number of external organisations, which benefits not only our pupils and staff but those in the local and wider community.
Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA)
In 2021, we were delighted to partner with Lewisham Council and Westside Young Leaders Academy (WYLA) establishing the Lewisham Young Leaders Academy (LYLA).
The Academy has been established in response to research and evidence showing disparities in attainment and outcomes for Black Caribbean and dual heritage (Black Caribbean/White) children and young people, not just in Lewisham, but throughout London and the UK.
Lewisham Young Leaders Academy will offer additional support to young people from across Lewisham, through transformative teaching in life skills, including leadership, teamwork, presentation skills and CV building.
Young people will be invited to enroll for the scheme through their school or other networks connected to the programme. The sessions will initially take place on Saturday mornings and will be run by an experienced team of educators who have already enjoyed success with a similar project in west London, the Westside Young Leaders Academy.
Lewisham Council is funding the project and St Dunstan’s College will be providing free use of its facilities.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Our partnership with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was launched in 2019, to create a Player Development Programme for students aged between 11 and 18, both within the College and within the wider community of Catford.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Global Football Development team work alongside staff from St Dunstan’s College to deliver authentic training methods developed within the Club’s Academy, designed to support and challenge young people to reach their full potential.
As part of the programme, the coaches monitor each player individually, giving them the opportunity to learn and develop their skills so they can play attacking football with flair, fluidity and passion, these being the hallmarks of the Club.
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward (KFH)
We are proud to work with the estate agency KFH, who are the sponsors of our annual St Dunstan’s Festival. KFH Catford’s support of our Festival allows the College to host more events that benefit the St Dunstan’s and local community. This has included an evening on diversity and inclusion, with Baroness Lawrence, and most recently an open air cinema at our Jubilee Grounds.
KFH also attend our annual careers fair and make regular visits to the College to meet with staff and students.
At St Dunstan’s College, we are passionate about creating a sustainable future. Our new Environmental Policy, which was written by staff, pupils and members of our local community, was launched in 2021 and focuses on the following, overarching strategies:
1. To reduce the negative impact that our estates and facilities have on the environment.
2. To significantly reduce our carbon footprint, as part of our journey to becoming carbon neutral.
3. To educate ourselves and others on sustainability through effective collaboration, communication, and curriculum content.
We are working with a local company, RAFT, on reducing our carbon footprint through retrofit projects on our old buildings. The company has provided a number of exciting workshops, including a focus on architecture and thermal imaging to review the heat loss from various buildings.
Our new Junior School, STEM block and Sixth Form Centre achieved a 'BREEAM excellent' classification. A high priority was given to more sustainable construction methods, which were used to reduce the environmental impact, both during construction and for the life of the building thereafter. Examples include Brick Slip cladding, PV panels, intelligent BMS systems and LED lighting.
Our pupils are also leading the way with our target to significantly increase the biodiversity across our sites. Through the College Parliament, Sustainability Committee and Eco Society the young people plan, design and manage many areas around the College, including two large ponds (which are teeming with frogs, snails and newts), various wildflower beds, untouched wild areas, and herb and vegetable gardens.
All lights in the 19th Century buildings have been replaced with energy efficient LEDs and automatic shutdown software ensures that computers, TVs and projectors are turned off overnight.
An expert environmentalist is employed by our Catering Company to ensure that waste is reduced to the lowest possible quantity and reused to create energy. Single use plastic has been removed from our catering provision completely. Menus include a weekly 'meat free' day and many of the pupils across the College willingly select the vegetarian and vegan options.
Environmental assemblies are a regular feature in the calendar, as are sustainability Themes of the Week. Pupils collaborate on these topics regularly and drive positive change across our organisation. Pupils are passionate about creating a 'no waste' culture and many encourage thrifting, selling and sharing clothes and equipment. Sustainability Top Tips are regularly displayed on our video wall and pupils attend high profile community meetings to drive positive change.