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At St Dunstan's College, we are very proud of our community and believe we offer something genuinely different and exciting for the families and staff who join us. Our Lewisham setting allows us the privilege of working in a diverse and vibrant school that, combined with our co-educational ethos and smaller size, engenders a culture that cherishes individuality and celebrates open-minded thinking.

St Dunstan's is proud to be one of the UK's top 60 independent schools for A Level results, as well as winning numerous awards including Coeducational School of the Year at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2020, Independent Senior School of the Year at the Tes Schools Awards 2022, Outstanding Fundraising Achievement at the Independent Schools of the Year Awards 2023, and most recently Independent School of the Year at the International Elite 100 Global Awards 2024.

Our south London location is just 15 minutes from London Bridge or Charing Cross by train, and the College is located just two minutes from Catford and Catford Bridge stations.

Teaching a wide-ranging, ambitious, and forward-thinking curriculum

St Dunstan’s College has championed a forward-thinking approach to education for over a century, with the opening vision of our Catford school in 1888 being to provide a curriculum “in advance of the present time.” This continues today, with students in our Lower School studying 17 different subjects, each taught by subject specialist in an evidence-informed, pedagogically robust way.

A collegiate approach to professional learning

We are proudly evidence-informed in relation to our teaching practice. Recent themes of our whole--school CPL programme have considered the role of cognitive science and memory, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, and approaches to advancing academic literacy amongst our academic student body. We rely on knowledgeable experts within and without the school community to help us develop as practitioners, with CPL delivered by our Director of Teaching & Learning, Pastoral Leads and SENDCo as appropriate.  We also facilitate membership to the Chartered College of Teaching, a whole-staff subscription to TES, and enrolment in external CPL as appropriate.

A culture of teaching and learning development relies a continued genuine interest in classroom practice. We therefore encourage staff to share good practice by opening the doors of their classroom to those in other departments. This is facilitated via our Mutual Observation Fortnight, in which teaching staff arrange to see, share and celebrate the excellent practice they see within the College.

We encourage staff to develop and share an interest in evidence-informed pedagogy and run a regular book group to support this. Our most recent reads have included Willingham, Why Don't Students Like School?, Mccrea Motivated Teaching and Didau The Secret of Literacy.  We also publish a termly teaching & learning bulletin, with contributions from our teaching & learning team and wider staff body.

Parents and students rightly expect consistently excellent teaching at the College and so teaching CPL is central to our school calendar. Teachers receive regular feedback on their practice, via supportive learning walks, formative lesson observations and conversations about student work.

Ongoing support for new staff

We know that starting in a new school community can be daunting, whatever your prior experience. There’s lots to take in, and new places, routines and traditions.  To help new staff settle in seamlessly, we offer a rolling induction scheduled over the academic year. These informal sessions aim to support staff as they navigate their first academic year with us, rather than risking overload in those very first days. We also operate a buddy system, with new members of the teaching staff paired with staff in similar roles in different departments, to support new staff widen their professional and social network within the College. 

Aspiring Middle and Senior Leaders

We are proud that so many of our staff have gone on to become middle and senior leaders within the school and beyond. We run regular Learn at Lunch sessions for current aspiring middle leaders, recently including “How to spot learning” and “Radical Candour in Leadership”.

For staff looking to develop their careers further, we regularly offer secondment opportunities onto both the Academic and Pastoral Leadership Team.

Supporting ECTs

We welcome ECTs to join our staff body and work closely with ISTIP to support them. In addition, we run our own Teacher Development Programme, to support early career teachers settle into the College, and develop their own evidence-informed practice. The collaborative nature of CPL at St Dunstan’s is developed particularly amongst these early career teachers, who are encouraged to share their research projects and reflections on reading at lunchtime sessions and via the whole-staff teaching & learning bulletin.

CPL at St Dunstan's College - Read our Lent 2024 Bulletin

There’s a very clear and coherent vision of what they want to do, both with the curriculum and the local community.

The head is asking interesting questions of the sector, including areas like privilege and responsibility, which go beyond the usual platitudes.

- Tes Schools Awards 2022