pritchett, sir

Alleyn's School

Alleyn's School is an independent, fee-paying co-educational day school situated in Dulwich, South-East London. It was part of the historic Alleyn's College of God's Gift charitable foundation, which also included James Allen's Girls' School (JAGS), Dulwich College and as well as their daughter schools (JAPS, DCPS and Alleyn's Junior School). The official religion is Church of England. The Good Schools Guide rates Alleyn's one of the best co-educational schools in the country due to its academic results and numerous facilities.


Edward Alleyn

Edward Alleyn was a prosperous Elizabethan actor and proprietor of taverns, bear-pits and three brothels, whose Rose and Fortune theatres rivalled Shakespeare's Globe. In 1619 he established his "College of God's Gift" (the gift of love) with twelve students. Alleyn's School is a direct descendant of Edward Alleyn's original foundation and was established as a boys' school in 1882. It still exists as part of a foundation alongside Dulwich College and JAGS - it split with Dulwich College after the "Dulwich College Act" of 1857, with the upper school of the original foundation moving to a new site further south and the lower school staying put, becoming an independent boys school in 1882 and later also moving to its own site.

The Worshipful Company of Saddlers in the City became a generous sponsor of scholarships and new buildings after establishing a link with the school in 1970. Some of the original school buildings date from Alleyn's independence in 1882, but the School has followed a programme of continuous development since the 1970s.

The original school is now the foundation chapel and the offices for the Dulwich Estate, which belongs to the foundation schools. Alleyn's became a public school with the election of the Headmaster to the Headmasters' Conference (HMC) in 1919. It was a Direct Grant School from 1958 until the abolition of that status in 1975. The Governors then opted for outright independence and co-education.

The College of God's Gift

For the original College of God's Gift, 24 students had to be chosen from the four parishes with which Edward Alleyn had been connected. Saint Giles, Camberwell (in which Dulwich was situated), Saint Saviour, Southwark (where the Bear Pit stood on Bankside), Saint Botolph, Bishopsgate (where Alleyn was born), and Saint Giles, Cripplegate (home to the Fortune Theatre). The Master and Warden were also chosen, with the criteria being that they had to be unmarried and with the surname Alleyn. However, the rule that the Master and Warden had to be unmarried was not strictly adhered to.

Because the Masters and Wardens had to have the surname Alleyn, this limited the applicants mainly to family of Edward Alleyn. First, Thomas Alleyn, a cousin of Edward took the post of Master in 1629, followed by Mathias Alleyn in 1631. His son, John, succeeded as Master in 1669.

It was not easy for the Foundation to run smoothly. The four parishes, as beneficiaries, were always claiming "rights" from the Foundation estates. Separately, the Masters generally seemed very unsuitable people to have in control of the College. A notable exception to this was James Allen who eventually formed James Allen's Girls' School (which was at the time for poor boys and girls in Dulwich, however subsequently has become exclusively a girl's school by an Act of Parliament in 1841.

The Second World War

During World War II, many pupils at Alleyn's were evacuated to the countryside, however some wished to stay in London, and for this reason the South London Emergency Secondary School (SLESS) was set up and housed in Alleyn's buildings from March 1940 to March 1945. This was not undertaken only to give the boys who wished to remain in London a proper education, but in conjunction with the London County Council Education Department, to offer a grammar school education to others whose schools were evacuated but did not themselves wish to leave London. SLESS kept Alleyn's buildings alive.

On the roll were 240 boys from seventeen local schools (114 from Alleyn's) and eleven masters from six schools. The Acting Headmaster (taking over from C. R. Allison) was C. Hack, and the Second Master (who subsequently became headmaster) was C. F. Tyson. The rest of Alleyn's was evacuated to Rossall.

The school was divided into houses as before. Games were played, fives was taught to newcomers and holidays were filled with "Holiday Clubs". The fields were used for sport, however some became unusable due as the old elm trees were felled by the blast. Underground shelters were dug between the running track and Woodwarde Road for use by local residents. The shelters for the pupils were in the basement (now home to the Maths Department), and lessons were frequently undertaken here due to enemy air activity.

The Royal Air Force housed their barrage balloon crews in the local brick and concrete buildings at the bottom of the school fields. The huge balloons would constantly overshadow the school's main building, and, at times, settled on the School's roof.

All staff had to undertake fire watching at nights and at the weekends. In 1942 the General Schools Certificate (GSE) was undertaken whilst the lights were failing and bombs dropping. Despite this, fourteen received Matriculation and five the Certificate.


The Revd J. H. Smith 1882-1902
H. B. Baker 1902-1903
F. Collins 1903-1920
R. B. Henderson 1920-1940
C. R. Allison 1940-1945
S. R. Hudson 1945-1963
C. W. Lloyd 1963-1966
J. L. Fanner 1967-1975
D. A. Fenner 1976-1992
Dr. C. H. R. Niven 1992-2002
Dr. C. Diggory 2003-Present

Development of facilities

Since 1970, Alleyn's has had continuous development, both in physical buildings but also in the facilities it offers. A new lower-school building was built in 1975, followed by the swimming pool/gym complex. In 1983 the new Sports Hall was created, which is now a prominent feature of the school. In 1990 (completed in 1992) the new Music School and Junior School were added.

The Junior School was subsequently opened to 200 boys and girls aged from 4 to 11, and is successful for preparing entry into the Senior School (and other, external schools) in a supportive atmosphere tailored to the children's needs, participating in a great range of activities through a structured timetable.

The Great Hall was refurbished in 2000 and in 2002 the new library was opened. A new theatre complex is planned for late 2008, with construction starting in the summer of 2007.

The facilities that are offered at the school have increased in par with the buildings. The addition of the Lower School meant that the students in the lowest two years (7 and 8) could be educated semi-separately from the rest of the school, providing a sheltered environment. The swimming pool block and sports hall have increased the facilities for the physical education activities run at the school, as have the music school and expanded library for musical activities and a general work area respectively.

The Edward Alleyn Building

Alleyn's is currently developing a new theatre complex, named the Edward Alleyn Building. Building started on 10 February 2007 and is planned to finish before Founders Day (28 June) in 2008. The building will include a state-of-the-art theatre, conference facilities, dance studio, a new café and a sixth form study area.

School charities

There are a number of different charities that the school donates to. Each term the Charity Committee, run by staff and pupils, chooses a charity to raise money for. The charities often have a connection to the school, and are usually dedicated to helping children.

Extra-curricular activities

The school has a Combined Cadet Force and a Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. There is also a volunteer work programme: gardening for the elderly in the surrounding area of Dulwich and Fun Fizzical, working with children with special needs and disabilities in Sydenham.


Alleyn's has a strong record in sports, and caters for every level of enthusiasm and ability. The sports hall, swimming pool and the new all-weather surface for hockey and tennis enable everyone to enjoy games periods even in winter. Sport for all and physical fitness are seen as preparation for a healthy and active life.

During the first year pupils are introduced to a variety of sports: swimming, football, hockey, netball, basketball, gymnastics, dance, water polo, cross country, fives, tennis, athletics, rounders,Fencing, and cricket. Trampolining, badminton and volleyball are introduced in the Middle School. In the Upper School, weight training, squash, golf, and horse riding are added to the list of sports available.

There is regular county and regional representation in gym, swimming, hockey, cricket, badminton, fencing, basketball, fives, judo, netball, football, athletics, cross country.

Extracurricular sport at Alleyn's extends to regular sports tours at home and abroad. In addition to the annual school ski trip the last 18 months has seen a boys' cricket tour to Barbados (July), a girls' hockey and netball tour to Barbados (October), a mixed hockey tour to the Netherlands (October), a boys footbal tour to the Netherlands (October) and boys football tour to Duisburg in Germany (August).

After the separation from Dulwich College, Alleyn's was initially not allowed to play rugby football. Upon the split the two schools played a rugby match to determine which school would have the right to play the game. When Dulwich College won they confirmed their right to play rugby, whilst Alleyn's would play association football. Alleyn's did make tentative moves towards introducing rugby football very briefly in the late 1970s when the then chaplain (a keen rugby player) set up a team and began organising matches. There was little interest, however, and the attempt did not survive the chaplain's retirement. Especially as the matches played resulted in severe losses despite valiant attempts by the team. This explanation contradicts the popular rumor that Rugby stopped at Alleyn's in the 1970s due to a boy breaking his neck and dying when a scrum collapsed. another attempt was made to introduce rugby in 2007/8 when a DT teacher, Mr MacMillan, showed enthusiasm and began an exclusive lunchtime club. whilst the club ran through winter it never gained enough following or reached a high enough standard to form a team.



Scriblerus is the official school magazine, which provides a summary to the previous year in the form of reports on sport, clubs and societies, academic results and field trips throughout the year. A large section of the magazine is devoted to the activities by the CCF and DofE activities.

Scriblerus is published in early July, in conjunction with the end of the Trinity term. It is free of charge, as it is considered promotional material by the Senior Management Team.

Lower School Magazine

The Lower School Magazine is edited by the Deputy Headmistress of the Lower School and features content written by the lower school pupils, much like Scriblerus. It is naturally focused on the youngest two years which form the lower school, and is aimed at the pupils rather than parents (arguably, unlike Scriblerus).


Blue is the termly magazine produced by Tyson's House to raise money for charity. This charity is determined by Tyson House, and tends to reflect the long term association that Tyson's have with certain charities. Tyson's House delegates the editing of the magazine to a year 13 student each year. Last issue Blue raised over £300 for the school charity. Blue was set up in 1999 by Mrs Thompson (Housemistress of Tyson's).

Edward Alleyn Club Magazine

This is the magazine for Alleyn's alumni and it is produced twice a year. Former pupils who supply their email addresses also receive an alumni ebulletin each term. For further details, see, the website for Alleyn's alumni.

End of term newsletter

The end of term newsletter is produced at the end of each term by the headmaster.


As of March 2008, the termly fee (payable three times annually) is £4027. This fee is reviewed every year by the school's governors, and in recent years has increased 21%. The fees are reduced if the child's parent is a teacher at the school, however the child must still pass all entrance requirements. Teachers with children actively send them to Alleyn's.

Positions of Responsiblilty

School Captain Vice Captain Vice Captain
Alexander Edgerley Lucy Stooke Courtney Yusuf
Brading's Spurgeon's Tulley's


The house system was inaugurated in 1907 during the Headmastership of F. Collins. It was at this time that the first six houses were created, with the latter two being added in 1921.

House Abbr. Founded House Colours Current Administration
Housemaster House Captain
Bradings Br 1907 Brown Mr. G Reid Hannah Ruddleston
Browns Bw 1907 Green Mr. R Alldrick Kirsty O'Donnell
Cribbs Cr 1907 Purple Ms. S Connolly Samuel Hayward
Duttons Du 1921 Dark Blue Mr. J Shelton Gerrard Markes
Ropers Ro 1907 Yellow Mr. P Cochrane Timothy Clark
Spurgeons Sp 1907 Pink Mr. L Geldeard Peter Quicke
Tulleys Tu 1907 Red Mr. P Sherlock Alice Aylward
Tysons Ty 1921 Light Blue Mr. N Green Eliza Ackland

Originally the house colours were not allowed to be any shade of blue, since this was the colour designated for Oxford and Cambridge and it were thought 'inappropriate' to have blue as a House colour as that was associated in one's mind with the two universities.

In 1921 when two new houses were created (due to their increasing role in the school but also to allow for knock-out sports and inter-house competitions), Henderson (the headmaster) had no qualms about the use of university colours, hence allowing them to use dark blue (Oxford) and light blue (Cambridge).

The colours denote the house-colour, which appears on the school tie for middle-school pupils and on the "house shirts" which are used during inter-house sports competitions. Until 1984 the colour was also found on the school cap (for boys). House badges were introduced in 2004.

Pupils with relatives who are either currently attending or have previously been pupils are allocated to the same house as those family members.

When house names are quoted on paper the apostrophe is almost always not included (e.g. Cribbs not Cribb's). Some believe this is because the house names are now disassociated with the original housemasters, so an apostrophe is not necessary.

Alleyns Lower School does not use the house system, but rather competes for ones class in 'inter-form competitions'. Pupils are then allocated a house at random (unless relatives are in or have been in the school in which case they are allocated to that house) in year 9, the beginning of the Middle School.

Victor Ludorum

The Victor Ludorum is the annual trophy contested for by each house during the school year. The winning house is determined by the amount of points it has won throughout the course of the year in inter-house sporting events, within years 9-13. Tulleys has won the Victor Ludorum the most out of all 8 houses. Unfortunately, Spurgeons have never won the Victor Ludorum.
Year Winning House
2001/02 Tulleys
2002/03 Tulleys
2003/04 Tulleys
2004/05 Tulleys
2005/06 Tulleys
2006/07 Tulleys
2007/08 Tulleys

Notable alumni


External links

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