The River Thames outside DLD College London

From the Principal #116

28th May 21

This has been a very busy and academically focused first half of the Summer Term, with assessments for our Year 11, Year 13 and Year 14 students in the school. Staff have been working tremendously hard to produce the Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), which replace the summer exams due to the pandemic. I hope they have a well-earned rest this half term – they certainly deserve it. I want to pay tribute to them and the students for their commitment and focus during what has been a challenging time for many. When so much of this year has been impacted by the pandemic, it has been with relief that we have, at last, been able to start the process of relaxing the COVID restrictions, which have become so much a part of everyday life. I am happy to note that our students have responded with maturity as individuals and have started to make decisions for themselves regarding the relaxation of measures. However, it is important that we all continue to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures over the Half Term and consequently maintain the regularity of testing. That way, we will continue to keep our community safe.

Today was officially the last day for our Year 11s and Year 13s. These year groups have had to cope with a lot in the past year, and it is testimony to them how they have conducted themselves at College – true ambassadors for DLD and a credit to you; you should be very proud of them. It was a privilege to speak at this year’s Lower School Award Giving. The camaraderie and energy amongst the Lower School was infectious. This entire cohort has also had to deal with different working and living patterns, and some have been a considerable distance away from home. I have been so impressed with their resilience, resolve, and determination to get the best out of this year, and I hope they have. The House system has been a great source of inspiration and has created a warm community within a community, which was evident for all to see this afternoon. We even had Charlie Pinel return (albeit virtually) with a special message to the Lower School, who hold him and their teachers with great affection and respect. And it is that culture of respect and kindness that we are creating here every day, symbolising everything good about DLD. Well done to Marylebone House on winning the spoils today on what has been a genuinely competitive year despite the challenges, and my thanks to Else and Michele, who have led the House with great enthusiasm. Thanks to Westminster House and to Mia and Maria, who have given Marylebone a good run for their money. We look forward to the new house system in the Sixth Form, which is being introduced due to the success of the Lower School model, in September. I can’t wait!

And the weather will hopefully be kind to us this half term. This means we will be able to spend quality time with our families and friends and come together, since the relaxation of the rules last month, as a community once more.

Best wishes


Irfan Latif, Principal