School Heritage

Our Heritage

Dulwich International High School Suzhou was the sixth school to join the Dulwich College International family of schools. Dulwich International High School Suzhou is made up of approximately 750 students from age 14 to age 19, with over six different nationalities represented in our diverse student body.

Our links to Dulwich College, founded in 1619, are strong, and we collaborate closely with the other schools in the network to encourage an international outlook and create an extended community where academic ability is fostered, creativity is valued, and diversity is celebrated.

We are proud to share a common heritage with all the schools in the DCI network, and equally value the traditions, unique to our school, that we have created since we opened.

Our Traditions

A school's traditions help to build a sense of belonging and community spirit. They also provide a thread of continuity from one generation of students to another and connect the school to its past, present and future. Here are some of the annual traditions in the life of Dulwich International High School Suzhou.

Halloween Treasure Hunt

This event is unique to our school. During the day the whole student body is invited to dress up in Halloween or other costumes and each form votes for the student with the most ingenious or outstanding costume. There is a parade of all the winners at lunchtime in the gym and the best three costumes in the school are selected by a panel of judges. Students pay a nominal amount to take part, and the proceeds go to one of our charities. In the evening we have a Halloween-themes dinner.  The treasure hunt in the evening is a student-led and organised event that involves almost every student and teacher in the school. In teams of up to 20, they go on a frantic hunt for clues concealed around the school, trying to beat the clock, and the other teams.  Each cryptic clue reveals the location of the next clue and the clues become increasingly difficult. Some of the clues involve the solving of difficult Maths brain teasers and only a few teams manage to find and solve them all. 

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Our students gather in the lobby in front of the Christmas tree for carols sung by a mixed choir of students and staff and a performance by our handbells group before the Christmas tree lights are switched on. 

Chinese New Year Celebration

We spend a day celebrating Chinese culture in all its rich and varied forms. Year 10s are off timetable for the day and we invite students from Suzhou High School SIP, DCSZ and No. 6 Middle School to come and join us. The students participate in two workshops covering a diverse range of activities, including Chinese calligraphy, olive pit carving, tea ceremony, dumpling making, Chinese opera and paper-cutting. The day culminates in a concert for all our students and our visitors including some outside performers, such as Chinese opera singers, gymnasts and face-changers. The event is organised by our Chinese Department and our parents.

Video Challenge

Students are invited to join the Video Challenge competition, which involves students working in groups to produce a short video that is judged by a panel including a prominent local film producer. There are numerous categories of videos and prizes are awarded for music composition, videography, choreography, best actor, best producer, and most creative script. The competition culminates in a glamorous and glittering Academy Award-like event, showcasing the winners of our annual Talent Show and some of our best of our school bands. 

The Anniversary of the Official Opening of our SIP Campus

We hold a special annual event to celebrate the official opening of our new school campus on the 22nd of April, which also coincides with two other special events: Earth Day on the 22nd of April and Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd. The annual Dulwich Shakespeare Festival had its origins in our school and we feel a special connection with Shakespeare and Edward Alleyn, an Elizabethan actor who founded Dulwich College. We place a high value on sustainability and take seriously our individual ethical responsibility for the care and the protection of our planet. All the students work on the theme of sustainability and we hold a special assembly to celebrate this meaningful day for DHSZ.

Student Leadership

We encourage students to involve themselves in the wider school community and offer support to one another. Our Student Council is made up of students from each year group, who learn to listen and work with one another while voicing the views of their peers. Our most senior students are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities and to act as ambassadors for the school. Each year, our Head Boy and Head Girl are selected from our most senior students and a select number of students are nominated to take on the role of prefects. Our student leadership team set a strong example to younger students and acts as a point of contact for students throughout the school.

Pastoral Care and the House System

The system of pastoral care is highly developed at Dulwich International High School Suzhou. Every student is supported by the form tutor as well as the school’s pastoral team, and our students follow a Personal, Social and Health Education course appropriate to their age and coordinated across the year groups.

Our House system is a key component of the school’s pastoral care structure, building a sense of community within the student body and helping to develop students’ leadership skills. Our House Captains are responsible for helping to organise House activities, which normally take the form of friendly competitions.

Our Houses

On arriving at our school, all students and staff are allocated to one of four Houses, where they remain during their time with us. Our Houses are named after inspirational and accomplished people: Fan Zhongyan, Sir Richard Grenville, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Edmund Spenser.

Fan

Named for Fan Zhongyan (989 – 1052). Fan Zhongyan is one of the most prominent figures in Chinese history. As a founder of Neo-Confucianism and a great statesman, philosopher, writer, educator, military strategist, and philanthropist, Fan was one of the most eminent figures of the Song Dynasty. Fan rose to the seat of Chancellor over the entire Chinese empire nearing the zenith of its pre-modern economic, social, and cultural development. Fan 's philosophical, educational and political legacy is one which changed the course of Chinese history, one so powerful that it continues to exert a profound impact on Chinese civilization today and his philosophy and writings remain a core component of the Chinese literary canon.

Grenville

Named for Sir Richard Grenville (1542 – 1591). Sir Richard Grenville was an English sea captain and explorer who is best remembered for fighting heroically against overwhelming odds, and refusing to surrender his ship. His single ship, the Revenge, met 53 Spanish war ships near Flores in the Azores where he and his crew fought them in a three-day running battle. Grenville was also a soldier, merchant fleet owner, privateer and explorer.

Raleigh

Named for Sir Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618). Sir Walter Raleigh was an English adventurer, writer and soldier. He played an instrumental role in the English colonisation of North America and conducted two expeditions to Venezuela.

Spenser

Named for Edmund Spenser (1552/1553 – 1599). Edmund Spenser was an English poet who is remembered for single-handedly creating a new form of English poetry of which the nation and Queen Elizabeth I could be proud. To this day he is considered one of the greatest writers in the English poetic tradition. He is best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory.

Uniform

Students at DHSZ are required to wear school uniform, reflecting a long-standing tradition from Dulwich College. Uniform is a badge of pride and school identity.