Old Dragon Community News
Headmaster and Leading Portrait Painter Open Old Dragon Art Exhibition
Over thirty Old Dragons and Staff have exhibited in the Old Dragon Art Exhibition, held at the school during Oxford Art Week. The exhibtion included a great variety of mediums: ceramics, masks, drawing and ink, film, portrait, landscape and still-life. It was particularly thrilling to see such a range of ages represented, with many talented artists now at senior school and university sharing the space with artists who have enjoyed long and successful careers. Current parent Jenny Saville, RA, opened the exhibition and gave an insightful opening address. The exhibit was well attended by the general public, current parents and pupils. Read more about the artisits and the opening event in two articles on attain news.
Old Dragons Bid Farewell to John and Wendy Baugh
Two very special reunions were held at the end of the Easter term for Old Dragons who left the School during John Baugh's leadership, which now draws toward a close after 15 influential years. At the reunions, held at the Dragon, John revealed unusual intentions for the traditional Headmaster's portrait. Pictures of the events are on the OD Facebook page and the full story can be read at https://attain.news/n11598
We were delighted to receive some recent news from Old Dragon, Louisa Nye, who left the Dragon in C Block in 1995. Louisa went on to Oxford High School, then Cambridge (St John's) to do a law degree. She was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in 2007 and did a masters degree in law at LSE, graduating in 2008. She has since been practising as a barrister.
As the current Chairman of the Young Bar of England and Wales she was asked to give an opening address at the Annual Bar and Young Bar Conference on 15th October 2016. The Guardian newspaper published an article based on her talk and the obstacles facing young barristers today.
Louisa suggests the Young Bar Hub as a useful resource for students or young barristers, as it has all-manner of helpful information, including a blog featuring a 'days in the life' series which gives a snapshot of what young barristers do.
Edward Mather (OD 1998) re-joined the Dragon as a member of the English Department and a D Block Form-taker in January. He has fond memories of tumbling down the slopes by the Memorial Cross with friends, clambering over compost heaps to research woodlice for a Science project and writing poetry by the banks of the river. He recalls playing endless marbles, football and conkers in Bun-breaks but says, “Sadly I don’t see much in the way of marbles or conkers now: perhaps my mission could be to reinstate these.”
He recalls the open-air, dilapidated, freezing swimming pool but comments that it is now worthy of national competitions; although he does miss seeing children hanging off the walls to cheer on their team.
From the Dragon he went on an Academic scholarship to St Edward’s and from there to St John’s, Cambridge, where he read French and Italian. He then went into Public Relations and, whilst working for the National Literacy Trust, he volunteered with a Year 5 Primary School class which inspired him to move into teaching. “It is so interesting getting to know the children as individuals and having the chance to try to inspire them. Knowing that you have delivered a good lesson gives you a real buzz.”
Asked about reflections on the Dragon he says, “As a child, you see teachers mostly as people who deliver a subject; working here, I see teachers in a new light - they are so dedicated to making the whole school experience positive for the child.” He finds it bizarre to be in English Department meetings with his old football coach, Mr Gill, and to be permitted to walk into the once-hallowed ground of the Staff Common Room!
His ambition? To become part of the woodwork!
At a recent Spectrum event, James Kirkham (OD 1986) introduced Dragon boarders to the current plight of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. James, a fluent Arabic speaker, is a case worker, helping Syrian refugees to settle in Oxford. On hearing James' account of the obstacles faced by Syrians leaving their homeland and creating new lives for themselves in a new country, Dragon children expressed great compassion and appreciation of the refugees’ bravery.
If you would like to help James in his efforts to support Syrian refugees as they settle in Oxford, please get in touch with him JamesKirkham @ connectionfs.org. He is looking for Arabic speakers who may be able to offer some help with translation. He is also looking for donations of warm winter clothes, duvets and rugs, or you may be able to help by funding the food programme in one of the refugee camps. Many thanks.
The 'K' Walk
'The K walk': a sponsored walk of epic proportions. Patrick Baddeley (OD 1967) has just completed a 2,500km walk from the very southern tip of India up the east coast to Kolkata. It took almost 6 months. He walked in memory of his daughter, Katie (OD 2002).
Please see his fundraising page to contribute. Patrick has so far raised over £11,000 for 'Future Hope', a safe home and school in Kolkata for 120 children. His family have supported the home since a group from the Dragon visited in 2000.
The family have a deep connection with the home. His nephew Robin (son of Tim Baddeley OD 1969) and his daughter Bubble (OD 2007) have worked as volunteers at Future Hope.
Patrick retired last year. He is maried to Lucy (they met at the Dragon); Lucy's siblings are Tom, Martyn, Brian and Owen Lloyd, also ODs.
In related news, Cassie Cooper (OD 1995) completed the Pembrokeshire Coast Path (14 days, 180 miles, 35,000 feet) in memory of her husband Ed Watson. She has so far raised £14,000 for the Royal Marsden Sarcoma Research Fund. Read more and please consider giving a donation to support her marvellous effort: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/walk-for-ed
Tim Conibear (OD 1995) has received the 'Sport for Good Award' at the prestigious 2017 Laureus Awards held in Monaco. In an event that saw Usain Bolt and Nico Rosberg receive awards, Tim was honoured for his Surf Therapy programmes for township children in South Africa.
For many years surfers in Cape Town, like Gary Kleynhans, have given children from troubled backgrounds the opportunity to learn to surf and discover life, and success, beyond city streets and troubled townships. Some programmes, like 'Umthombo' in Durban, have successfully integrated surfing with programmes to help children escape homelessness.
Tim, an Ashoka fellow, has taken surfing as a route out of trauma to a new scale, working with 1000 children in five centres in South Africa and one in Liberia. The programmes have been positively rated through academic assessment and are receving internaional exposure.
The project has a twitter feed, or search social media for #SurfTherapy.
Fittingly, the patron of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was Nelson Mandela, who once said 'sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair.' Tim has proven this to be true for hundreds of young people from traumatised township communities.
Many thanks to Alec Ash (OD 1999) who came into school recently to talk to the scholars’ classes about his book Wish Lanterns, which was Radio 4 'Book of the Week'. Alec has recently spoken at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and had an extensive article in the Guardian on Wednesday about Education in China.
Digital Future Forum
Our second Arduus ad Solem: Networking Event on Thursday, 24th November 2016, was a great success. Old Dragons Guy Gadney and Robin Wong led a fascinating evening in the Lynam Hall on 'the Digital Future'.
Guy and Robin are at the forefront of thinking about how technology is shifting our experience and strategies for life, and their presentations were thought provoking and wide ranging. Ibe Akoh, Head of ICT – Teaching and Learning, spoke on the impact of ICT on education, and the ‘Digital Dragons’ club showed an entertaining video reporting from their time-travel into the future.
Over drinks there was a chance to meet other Old Dragons and the speakers to discuss the ideas. Our next networking event for the Dragon community on ‘Insurance and Risk’ is in London, at Lloyds, led by Old Dragons David Howden and Andrew Barnes. If you are an Old Dragon and interested in leading a Networking Event, read here for details.
Thank you to all those who attended the truly special dinner in the Long Room at Lord's Cricket Ground on Friday, 30th September 2016. It was a perfect setting to bring several generations of Old Dragons together, including members of the 1958 First XI and the 1957 Stradling's boys. A big thank you to our OD host Charles Gordon (OD 1958). It was a huge privilege to have a sumptuous dinner in the Long Room, and for those who wished, to enjoy a conducted tour of the Museum.
We've had news in from Tommy Jay (OD 2000) who, we're proud to report, has been chosen as part of the architectural team to build the Church of England's new public library and archive (pictured below left) at Lambeth Palace. More info and pictures can be found here.
On Saturday, 17th September 2016, current and former staff, Old Dragons and family gave thanks for the life of Robin ‘Lofty’ Houghton at a Thanksgiving Service held at St Andrew’s Church, Oxford, which was followed by a Reception fittingly held here, in the Lynam Hall.
During the service the Dragon Idris Choir sang two anthems and encouraged the large congregation to sing out the hymns, ending with Lofty’s favourite “Jerusalem”. Ian Murchie, as friend and colleague, delivered a witty eulogy which recalled many events and raised a few giggles. The prayers were led by Robert Startin (Lay Chaplain at the Dragon) and Rev Ronnie Lloyd. The ladies of St Andrew’s Church excelled themselves with beautiful flowers in Dragon blue and gold.
Lofty’s wife, Andrea, and daughters, Joanna (OD 1990) and Frances (OD 1993), along with their wider family, were pleased to see so many people paying their respects and sharing memories of Lofty. Three fellow rowers from the medal-winning Olympic rowing eight were also in attendance with Frances, who wore her silver medal from the Rio Olympics – sadly, Lofty died before he was able to celebrate Frances’ latest achievement. Lofty was a keen supporter of British Women’s rowing and several other members of the rowing fraternity were also in attendance from far and wide.
Rob Callender Performs in Comus
On Saturday, Jane Pendry, Head of Development, and Moira Darlington (Ma Da) went to the Sam Wanamaker Theatre next to The Globe Theatre to see OD Rob Callender (OD 2004) in Milton's Comus, brought bang up to date with a fresh epilogue by the lead character on the importance of a woman making her own decisions and forging her own path. This ensemble production, performed by candlelight, required Rob to sing, dance and sword fight but he still managed to have the energy to lead a stimulating conversation in The Swan afterwards. We were delighted to be joined by Isabel Ogilvie-Smith (OD 2008) and her mother Elizabeth Paris. Meeting ODs is always fascinating and stimulating!
Do send details of any OD gatherings wherever you are. We would love to hear from you too.
John Baugh, Headmaster, and Moira Darlington, our new Alumni Representative (formerly Head of Future Schools), were delighted to welcome over 75 Old Dragons and former staff to the 1990s Reunion held on Tuesday 6th September 2016. The evening buzzed with chatter and was a great success.
Please find a gallery of photos below:
A small gathering of Old Dragons, current Dragon parents and current staff gathered together at The East Pole Bar in New York on Thursday, 27 October 2016. Staff in attendance included Hugo McNeile, Annie McNeile (Head Teacher at the Dragon Pre-Prep) and Vicky Savage (Dragon Director of Music), along with recently retired Registrar (and former House Master of Gunga Din) Desmond Devitt. The lively and enjoyable evening carried on long into the night with some Old Dragons catching up over a late supper with Dragon staff.
The Dragon Community in and around New York were invited to the NY Reception which has taken place over many years during the half-term School Exchange. Year 8 Dragon children travel out annually to New York and stay with families from Nightingale-Bamford girls school and St. Bernard’s boys school. Our Dragons visit the Statue of Liberty, the Ground Zero site, take a city tour, sail out to Ellis island and of course, enjoy lessons in their host schools.
Freddy Paske (OD 1999) has recently left behind seven years of service with the British Army to start a new career as a professional artist.
Having been a keen artist from an early age, Freddy’s passion for drawing and painting was nurtured within the Dragon Art Department. After being awarded a Major Art Scholarship to Harrow School, Freddy went on to study Art History, before being commissioned into the Light Dragoons in 2009.
Never without a sketchbook, Freddy continued to draw and paint throughout his time in the Army. His military career saw him serving on operations in Afghanistan and Bosnia, which provided a constant stream of inspiration and subject matter. It was following a sell-out exhibition in London, on return from Helmand Province, that Freddy decided to pursue his talent as a full time career.
Freddy’s unique style has developed out of necessity; never having enough time in one place. By using bold and expressive marks and a masterful use of negative space, he conjures up suggestions of detail and movement.
Having been shortlisted for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016, Freddy will be exhibiting his most recent work, Animals in Motion, at 50 Brook St, Mayfair, on the 14th and 28th July.
All members of the Dragon community are warmly invited.
John Baugh, Dragon Headmaster, was delighted to be able to thank nearly 200 supporters of the School in person at the Dragon Donor Drinks Evening on Thursday, 6th October 2016.
Since John and his wife, Wendy, joined the School in 2002, more than 1,200 donors have raised £4.75m for the Dragon’s transformational bursary programme. As a result, 57 children have been able to access an extraordinary Dragon education, setting them on a path of success and fulfilment. In addition, over this period, donors have supported the Dragon's general development and hardship funds, and contributed towards capital projects, bringing the total raised, including gift aid, to over £8m.
John, who benefited from a bursary himself, launched the transformational bursary campaign in 2003 and has been very involved in fundraising at the School. He explains:
“The Dragon was founded on Benefaction and every Dragon has benefitted from the generosity of others. Our donors help us to keep the Dragon ethos of being both extraordinary and ordinary alive. With the help of the Dragon community, we continue to work towards maintaining our unique, vibrant and diverse Dragon culture for generations to come.”
John and Wendy will be moving on from the Dragon at the end of the summer term 2017, when Crispin Hyde-Dunn, currently Headmaster of Abingdon Prep, will become Headmaster.
The Dragon would like to congratulate Maxine Mackintosh (OD 2006) who has joined the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community and the Youth Health Parliament for her work in digital health, data science research and support of women working in technology.
After leaving UCL with a BSc (Neuroscience), Maxine completed her MSc in health economics at the LSE and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently working on a PhD at UCL in data science, looking for ways to indentify dementia twenty years before the onset of symptoms.