D. S. Senanayake College

Coordinates: 6°54′30″N 79°52′30″E / 6.90833°N 79.875°E / 6.90833; 79.875

D.S. Senanayake College
No.62, Gregory's Road
Colombo 07

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
School type Public
Motto තමාට පෙර රට
(Country Before Self)
Established February 10, 1967
Founder Mr.RIT_Alles
Principal Mr. D.M.D.Dissanayake
Staff 275
Grades 1 - 13
Gender Boys
Enrollment 6000
Pupils Senanayakiens/Dons
Colour(s) Black and Gold


Song Sip Satha Sis Wetha
Publication Siyapatha
Head Prefect Chathuranga Ranaweera

D.S. Senanyake College is a public school in Sri Lanka, named after the first Prime Minister of Independent Sri Lanka, Rt.Hon. D.S. Senanayake. It was established on February 10, 1967 under the stewardship of RIT_Alles.[1][2]



Main Entrance at Gregory's Road

D.S. Senanayake College is situated in Colombo 07 (Cinnamon Gardens), surrounded by two Buddhist temples. There are three main entrances to the school, two in Gregory's Road and the other in Bauddhaloka Mawatha.

The head of the college is the Principal and several Deputy Principals.[3] The four sets of classes, each having two grades, called Sections are controlled by Sectional Heads, who are supported by two Grade Coordinators. Apart from providing studies in Sinhala and Tamil mediums, it now also provides English medium studies in Mathematics, Science and Commerce streams for the GCE Advanced Level examination. It accommodates around 6000 students from Grades 1 to 13 and has an academic staff of about 275.[4]


Statue of
Rt. Hon. D.S. Senanayake
at the Main Entrance

In 1965 the number of requests to admit children into the Royal College Primary had become excessive. Thus the Minister of Education I.M.R.A. Iriyagolle took the initiative to build a new school in Cinnamon Gardens on the lines of Royal College Colombo.[5] In 1967, the then Minister of Education I.M.R.A. Iriyagolle began the ground work for establishing the school. It was named after D.S. Senanayake, who was the first prime minister of Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) after gaining independence. R.I.T. Alles, a teacher of Royal College became the Head Master of the new school after Bogoda Premarathne, the then Principal of Royal College, released him to the new school. The location in which the college stands today was at that time called the Kumbikale jungle, which was cleared with the help of parents of the students, the surrounding community and boy scouts from Royal College.[6]

M J Perera, Secretary to the Minister, who was in charge of finding a suitable land was able to locate an empty block of land by Gregory's Road that was formerly used by the Sri Lanka Navy. Permission to occupy the land was granted to the Ministry of Education by the Ministry of Defence and the Municipal Committee of the area. Construction of a building was undertaken by the State Engineering Corporation under Professor A.N.S. Kulasinghe. All the expenses were borne by the Ministry of Education. The school opened its doors on the 10th February 1967. The first batch of 167 students was housed in a prefabricated building sheltered by woven coconut leaves.

Major examinations

Students in Grade 5 sit for the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination, though attaining the required pass marks is not mandatory to continue their studies. Students who gain very high marks in the examination may opt to enter other schools. On the other hand, the school accepts admissions from students attending lesser privileged schools, if they have the required cut-out marks as prescribed by the Ministry of Education for Grade 6 onwards. This is because the school is listed among the National Schools, which come under the direct control of the Ministry of Education, thus has direct funding from the ministry.

The other two main examinations are the GCE Ordinary Level and the GCE Advanced Level examinations. From Grade 6, the students have the option to study in any of the three main languages of instruction: Sinhala, Tamil or English.[7]


Students are placed in one of four houses according to their admission number.They compete each year to win the Inter-house Competitions.

  •      – Shura
  •      – Weera
  •      – Shantha
  •      – Meththa

School anthem

School Flag
Old crown crest

School anthem was composed by Navathna Attanayake and the lyrics are by Premakeerthi de Alwis.

Sip satha sis wetha dina dina gena dun
his vidu nane dee kala piripun
Wandinemu bathiyena his ath thabamin
Senanayake Viduhal maeni


Dasa diga dasa atha supathala viruvan
Oba akayehi thuruluva siti daruvan
E maga piya maena gos pera daruvan
Thamata pera rata Reakumehi suruvan


Mavpiya lesa salaka oba wandinem
Siv desa oba kithu raesa roo andinem
Widhu neana laba diya diya dada bandinem
Oba raka ganumata oba vata hindinem

English Translation:
Giving the knowledge to students day by day.
Filling the empty brains to perfection with wisdom.
(Thus) We worshipeth thee mother Senanayake,
with hands clasped upon our head.

The reputed people all over the country.
Were once thy children.
Stepping on their grand footpath
We art capable to be 'Country Before Self'.

We shalt worshipeth thee thinking thou art our father and mother,.
We shalt make thee famous all over the world,.
Getting the wisdom we shalt conquer the world.
(And) We shalt protect thee (from whatsoever).

Coat of arms

The Coat of Arms is a shield which is partitioned horizontally into two parts. The upper section has the lion of the Sri Lankan flag and the lower section has an oil lamp. A wreath of paddy is partially encircling the shield and the motto Country Before Self is in a scroll. Some decades back, the crown of the Kandyan monarch which is depicted in the crest of Royal College Colombo, was depicted in the school's crest as well. It was later removed from the school's crest.


  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Body Building
  • Cadet Band - Eastern
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Football
  • Gymnastics
  • Hand ball
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Rugby
  • Scouting
  • Scrabble
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Table Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling
  • Wushu

Clubs and societies

Main Article: List of Clubs and Associations of D.S. Senanayake College.

  • Agriculture Unit
  • Archives Society
  • Art Foundation
  • Buddhist Society
  • Commerce Society
  • Computer Society
  • Drama Society
  • English Literary Association
  • Environment Society
  • United Nations Association
  • GLOBE society
  • Hindu Society
  • Information Technology Club
  • Islam Society
  • Library Society
  • Media Circle
  • Oriental Music Group (Ghandharva Orchestra)
  • Philatelic Association
  • Photographic Society
  • Wildlife Society
  • Radio Electronic and Video graphic Association
  • Red Cross Society
  • Rotary Club
  • Science Society
  • Scouts Troop (60th Colombo)
  • Sinhala Debating Team
  • Sinhala Sahithya Sangamaya (Sinhala Literary Association)
  • Tamil Literary Association
  • Western Music Association

Aesthetic activities

Both Western and Eastern music are taught at the school. The main Eastern music concert is "Swa Thath Miyuru Rata", organized by the Ghandarva Orchestra, whereas the main Western music concert is "Golden Eve", organized by the Western Music Association. The Art Foundation of the school organizes an art and sculpture exhibition called "ARTISTEO" (formerly known as "Sonduru Situwam") and the Sinhala Literary Association annually organizes "Kala Ulela" (Arts Festival). The main concert of the Primary school is "Arunalu" in which all the students of Primary school take part. The Advanced Level Science Department of the school has a concert, namely "Vidyabhinandana Muwarada Suwanda" in which students of the Science stream are given priority.

School magazine

Siyapatha is the official magazine published by the Media Circle. It started in 2001 and is published quarterly. All students are welcome to submit their articles, but the articles to be published is decided by the Editor along with the sub-Editors. The magazine contains recent news of the college, featured articles and the creative work of students such as, essays, poems and paintings along with some articles of Media Units of other schools.


Manner of address

The first Principal (Head Master) of the college, R.I.T. Alles, encouraged students to use words such as "Ayya" (Sinhala: elder brother) to address someone in a higher grade and "Malli" (Sinhala: younger brother) to address someone in a lower grade.[8] The female teachers are addressed as "Madam" and the male teachers as "Sir". In turn, the teachers address the students as "putha" (Sinhala: son).[9] However, Mr.Alles always used to call a gathering of students "Mage Raththaran Puthala" (Sinhala: my golden sons)


The Maara tree

Every morning, the Head Prefect and Deputy Prefects line up near the main entrance greet every teacher. Students worship their past and present teachers when they see them as a God. This tradition is mostly visible when a teacher stands near the huge Maara tree, which is a landmark of the school, near the main entrance in the morning and children surround him/her to worship. The teachers in return, give them Maliban Biscuits.

Assemblies are conducted every morning in different parts of the school. They are commenced by students and teachers observing religious prayers of their respective religions. Afterward, the school news bulletin will be aired by the use of loud-speakers by the media circle on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It ends with the singing of the school song by the students. During the Assembly, Prefects patrol around checking whether the uniforms of the students abide to the official dress code.

The male teachers who are ranked higher than the Assistant Principal wear the senior college tie as a part of their official attire. The Principal usually wears a two-piece suit and tie, to which a golden tie pin with the school crest is pinned, as his everyday costume. The Vice Principals too have adopted this custom.

Award Ceremonies

The Prize Giving Day is held every year in the end of November or in early December to award the students who excelled in their academia in the current year. It is usually patronised by the Minister of Education. The Principal and some teachers wear their Academical Cloak according to their level of education (e.g. Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Doctorate) for the event.

The Administrative Report, consisting of annual statistics of the school, is presented during this event by the Principal. Teachers who have taken less than ten days as leave of absence for the year are praised and the teachers who have not taken any at all are presented with gold sovereigns. The most outstanding students are awarded with trophies such as Premier Mahinda Rajapakse trophy, Founder R.I.T. Alles trophy, and I.M.R.A. Iriyagolla trophy. The Best Allrounder of the year, typically chosen from the GCE Advanced Level students, is awarded to the best student of the year.

School hostel

The Government of Sri Lanka offered a building previously occupied by the Crime Investigation Bureau in 2003. After renovating the building the school hostel was opened in January 2003 by the Minister of Education, Karunasena Kodituwakku. The students were admitted to the hostel for the first time in February 2003. It officially opened doors on the 10th of February 2003, which was the 36th birthday of the school.

The first Housemaster was J.A.K. Janakantha and the first Deputy Principal who resided was S.A. Galappaththi. At the beginning 25 hostellers were accommodated and by 2009 the number of hostellers accommodated was more than one hundred. 2010 enrollment was 129 wards.

In 2006-07 Mr. D.M.D. Dissanayake resided at the hostel as the Deputy Principal, who was appointed as the Principal in September 2010. The first Warden appointed to the Hostel by the Ministry of Education is Mr. Roy Nalinda in 2009.

Past Housemasters

Name From To
J.A.K. Janakantha 2003 2007
Hemantha Wijesinghe 2007 2007
K.S.P. Kumara 2007 2009
J.A.K. Janakantha 2009 2010
S. M. Wijesinghe 2010 2010
K.S.P. Kumara 2010 Present


The Prefects body is known as the Prefects' Guild. It is composed of Student Volunteers, Student Guides and Senior Prefects. The Student Volunteers are selected from Grade 12 and they go onto become Students Guides in Grade 13. After completing the GCE (Advanced Level) examination they are promoted to the Top Board of the Senior Council of Prefects, if successfully got through several tests such as, a multimedia questionnaire, trilingual speeches and an interview. The vote of school students, the Management Board, Disciplinary Board and teachers is also taken into account. The Top Board of Senior Council of Prefects is composed of the Head Prefect, two Senior Deputy Head Prefects, five Deputy Head Prefects and Senior Prefects. The Head Prefect wears a golden badge while the others wear silver.

There are Grade Prefects and Class Monitors for every class. They are entitled to wear a badge, usually silver. In some sections, especially in Grades 6 and 7, the Grade Prefects and Class Monitors wear the school tie as a part of their daily uniform. Each grade has a Chief Grade Prefect. They are selected by the Grade Coordinator and class teachers to help the senior prefects to maintain discipline. Primary Prefects are chosen by the students of the Primary section. They also help the Prefects to maintain discipline.

Notable alumni

  • Aravinda de Silva - Cricketer, National Team Captain, Ex-Chairman - National Selectors Committee for Cricket in Sri Lanka
  • Hashan Tillakaratne - Cricketer, National Team Vice Captain, Politician
  • Prasanna Vithanage - World renown filmmaker
  • Naushard Cader - Harvard graduate & chartered accountant
  • Udaya Gammanpila - Politician
  • Jayantha Kapurubandara[Raju Bandara] - Professional Video & Photographer
  • Gajendra Liyanarachchi - CEO/Managing Director - Virtual Institute of Business Management
  • Kalpa Liyanwala - Managing Director - Forsooth Brand Strategists
  • Kassapa Senarath - Broadcaster/Journalist
  • Azaam Ameen - Journalist
  • Darshana Panangala - TV producer/director
  • Lahiru Mudalige - TV host
  • Pubudu Maharachchi - Radio DJ
  • Janaka Kumara Oppalage - TV editor
  • Tharaka Karunanayake - Singer
  • Wineendra Weeraman - Lawyer
  • Huzaifa Cader - Journalist
  • Ravi Gamage - TV news anchor/producer
  • Thilan Premaratne - Insurance Professional, Canada
  • Kasun Ravindra Jayawardena - Radio DJ/producer
  • Famil Izzeth - Advertizer
  • Sandun Hapugoda - Manager IT ICICI Bank Sri Lanka
  • Shivantha Baddewela - Bass Player, Fallen Grace

The Old Boys Association (OBA) was formed in 1979, the year in which the first batch left the college, for the past pupils of the school. The first president of the OBA was Mr. Ranjan Perera.[10]



  1. ^ http://sundaytimes.lk/100801/Education/ed09.html
  2. ^ http://www.dssoba.net/Home/DssCollege/tabid/78/Default.aspx
  3. ^ http://www.dssenanayake.org/staff/management
  4. ^ http://www.dssenanayake.org/about
  5. ^ http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/10/04/news34.asp
  6. ^ http://tamilweek.com/news-features/archives/243 section:History
  7. ^ http://www.dssenanayake.org/education
  8. ^ http://tamilweek.com/news-features/archives/243 section:Sports
  9. ^ http://sundaytimes.lk/100221/Education/edu11.html
  10. ^ http://dssoba.net/AboutOBA/tabid/57/Default.aspx

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