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Olympic Gold Medalist and Alumni Tom Ransley MBE opens the redesigned Coursehorn Building at Dulwich Cranbrook

On Tuesday 10th October, Dulwich Cranbrook welcomed visitors, alumni and current students to commemorate the opening of the beautifully redesigned Coursehorn Building at the school in Kent.The event marked the beginning of an exciting new era for Dulwich and followed the news of the school’s expansion to GCSE level; with the building having been carefully designed for the modern day senior school student.

Guests were greeted with drinks and canapes on arrival before looking around the impressive facilities. Newly appointed Headmistress Sophie Bradshaw introduced guest speaker and Dulwich alumni, Tom Ransley MBE; sharing anecdotes of his time at the school, before Tom spoke about his life after Dulwich as a Team GB Olympic rower, keynote speaker and freelance editor of Row 360. His amusing account of winning Gold at Rio in 2016, coupled with stories of eccentric teachers and sage insights for students navigating the next step in their education, was well received.

The senior school building was buzzing with activity as heads of department and students showcased Dulwich’s forward-thinking nature through a range of practical demonstrations and interactive projects. An immersive archive museum displayed Dulwich throughout the ages, with artefacts and memorabilia dating back to the school’s inception in 1939. The school Greenpower Team presented the chassis of their electric car, while the Art Department encouraged guests to create their own clay tiles as a reminder of their visit. A Rubik’s Cube speed showcase engaged students and adults alike, and budding scientists experimented with diffusion jelly cubes and microscopy.

The day culminated with an alumni panel event hosted by the Headmistress, discussing the school ethos of leaning into one’s strengths and preparing students for the world of work. The panel consisted of guest speaker Tom Ransley (1991-2000), charterer Kristina Chapple (1989-1998), climate tech entrepreneur Ben Bardsley (1992-1999) and editor of the Wealden Times, Lucy Fleming (1989-1998);all of whom shared their fond memories of Dulwich and provided unique perspectives on the purpose of education. Tom Ransley touched upon the concept of ‘failing well’ as a gateway to learning and honing in on one’s individual talents, a value Dulwich excels in promoting.

October '23