01.03.2018 main photo

E Block Plays

From the Headmaster

Dear Parents,

At the time of writing, we have been fortunate to escape the very snowy conditions experienced by many others in the country, but we have still had some particularly icy weather this week. I would like to thank our Estates team for their steadfast efforts in keeping footpaths and surfaces safe for us in such difficult and unpredictable conditions.

Last weekend, the E Block undertook a ‘play in a day’ with a performance inspired by Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in 80 days’. This excellent and engaging production was directed by Ian Murchie. The children learned their lines very effectively and, just like the rest of the audience, I thoroughly enjoyed the exciting twist at the end of the story.

On Saturday afternoon, our Under-13A football team hosted their counterparts from the Oxford and Bermondsey Club (OBC). This fixture between the Dragon School and OBC has been variously part of our calendar for more than 80 years, and we were delighted to welcome the OBC players and their supporters back to the Dragon. Meanwhile there were some excellent winning performances by our girls’ netball teams in their fixtures against Dean Close School, with some fine build up play and clinical finishing.

Throughout the week A Block children have been sitting mock exams, in preparation for their Common Entrance papers in June. The exams have gone smoothly, with the children showing really strong evidence of their revision and impressive attention to detail in writing their answers within a fixed time frame.

Earlier on this the week, we learned in Assembly about St David, whose Saints’ day falls today. We reflected on St David’s energy, his hard work and his sense of purpose. We also thought especially about his reminder not to forget the ‘little things’ in life and to remember the ways in which ‘little things’ can make a big difference. This theme was in evidence too, when I visited the Pre-Prep for their ‘recycling’ assembly, where they were learning about the importance of re-using resources and being careful with how we dispose of things. After the assembly, we particularly enjoyed reminiscing about the contents of our breakfasts and thinking about the packaging in which the different items of food were bought, and how they could be recycled.

Whilst at the Pre-Prep, I observed a Year 2 Maths lesson with a focus upon solving word based problems. I also appreciated reading some excellent creative writing, neatly displayed on the walls. On a similar theme, in celebration of World Book Day today, I am looking forward to seeing in more detail the creative ‘book covers’ produced by E Block children and displayed on the doors of their classrooms.

In staff news, I am sure you will join me in congratulating Gemma Morphet on her news that she is expecting her first child. Gemma intends to begin her maternity leave in the summer holidays, following completion of this academic year. 

I hope that after this week, the final flurries of snow may be behind us. Returning to ‘little things’, I have been impressed by the resilience of the snowdrops in these chilly conditions and now that we can also see coming through the occasional yellow or purple crocus, I think Spring is definitely on its way.

With all best wishes,

Crispin Hyde-Dunn


This Week’s Spectrum: Friday, 2 March at 6:45pm in the Lynam Hall - Hedgehogs

Even though a recent survey discovered that the hedgehog is the UK’s favourite wild animal, our hedgehog population is under threat and is declining rapidly. It is estimated that there were more than 35 million hedgehogs in the UK in the 1950s, but that there may be fewer than one million today. Felix Byam Shaw, who was at Lynams and The Dragon, loved all wildlife and especially hedgehogs. He lived in Northmoor Road, just round the corner from the school and regularly rescued sick hedgehogs. Felix’s mother, Jane, has set up a hedgehog conservation project in North Oxford to help the Dragon’s local hedgehogs survive and thrive. The good news is that there are still some hedgehogs living around the school and across Oxfordshire and that anyone with a garden can help improve the hedgehog’s chances of survival. Come and hear about what you can do to save hedgehogs and listen to our local hedgehog hero, Hugh Warwick, tell you all about these fascinating nocturnal creatures.


Invitation – Arduus ad Solem: Dragon Community Networking – ‘Exciting Opportunities in Technology Today’

Monday, 19 March 2018, 6:30pm

The last few tickets remain for our Dragon Community Technology networking evening, on Monday 19 March 2018, at Method London. Please click here for further details including our confirmed speakers. Book tickets now. We would be delighted to see you.

SAVE THE DATE – Mothers’ Breakfast

Saturday, 12 May 2018, from 8:15am

Please save the date for the Mothers’ Breakfast by the River. Booking will open shortly.

SAVE THE DATE – Old Dragon Reunion

Monday, 21 May 2018, 6:30pm

If you are related to any Old Dragons - aged 18 and over - or know other Dragon families, please let them know that we will be holding an OD Reunion for all OD age groups (aged over 18) at Stationers’ Hall in London on Monday 21 May, from 6:30pm. Further details will follow.

SAVE THE DATE – 100 year Remembrance Weekend – Service and Lunch

Sunday, 11 November 2018, from 10:30pm, Dragon School

We will be holding an anniversary memorial service on Sunday, 11 November 2018 for the Dragon Community to mark 100 years since the guns fell silent. Following the service we will be holding a special anniversary lunch for ODs and Dragon families who have served, or currently serve, in the forces. We will also welcome all Dragon families who had relatives who fought in the war, as well as families of former Dragon staff or ODs who were at the Dragon between 1914 and 1918. Please note that the lunch will be for only those aged 18 and over. More details will follow. For any questions or to suggest names of those we may have lost contact with, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., OD Representative.


Trip to the Living Rainforest

Reception picked a good day to visit the Living Rainforest near Newbury on Friday. Inside the glass houses they enjoyed the tropical temperatures and had a wonderful tour, marvelling at the variety of creatures and plants. Highlights included the wonderful poison dart frogs, the constrictor snakes and the carnivorous Pitcher plants. Along the way, we also caught sight of turtles, stingrays, the beautiful Goeldi’s monkeys and Harry the armadillo. Back outside it was chillier than ever but the children soon warmed up in the exciting and challenging adventure playground. The trip was an inspiring introduction to this half of term’s topic on habitats.

01.03.2018 Living Rainforest

Step into a Story

Year 2 have reading the Mrs. Armitage series by Quentin Blake as part of their ‘Step Into a Story’ topic. This week in DT the children worked cooperatively as designers, to test vehicles with wheels. Their next challenge is to use their knowledge gained in the testing stage to imagine, design and create a vehicle to help Mrs. Armitage get around. It must also include an imaginative extra feature to appeal to Mrs Armitage’s eccentric taste!

01.03.2018 Step into a story

Algorithms in IT

Year 2 children loved putting their knowledge of algorithms into action in ICT sessions this week! In their first lesson, they created Quentin Blake themed grid maps and, in the second, programmed Beebots to discover the treasure located at one of their illustrations. It was a great opportunity for using both teamwork and problem-solving and much fun was had by all.

01.03.2018 Algorithms


Friends Re-united

We were delighted to welcome boys from the Oxford and Bermondsey Club back to the Dragon for a football match against the school 1st X1.

The fixture, which goes back to the 1920’s but has not been played for a few years, was resurrected by Martin Hall (OD) following his visit to the school last term to celebrate the unbeaten 1952 rugby team’s reunion.

Martin has maintained the Dragon’s links to the OBC since the death of member of staff David Parnwell.

The individual skills of the Bermondsey boys were a joy to watch and they fully deserved a 4-1 victory. The encounters off the pitch over lunch and match tea were equally important, and the boys from both teams took the opportunity to share experiences and stories and a very enjoyable and memorable afternoon was spent. Medals in commemoration of the fixture were presented by OBC to all who played and the school presented a plaque to be displayed in the OB club to recognise the longstanding relations between our two organisations.

OBC have kindly invited the 1st X1 to return to Bermondsey next season and we hope that this will be the first fixture in the calendar for many more years.

01.03.2018 Bermondsey 21

‘Delicious and Healthy!’

In their latest project, the School Food Committee have been involved in selecting some new dishes for the menu. Having tasted several salmon dishes, the children decided that a teriyaki salmon recipe was really delicious, and should be the one introduced to the whole school. They also agreed to use wholegrain rice and pasta.

In a whole school assembly last week, the Food Committee announced the introduction of the new salmon dish and showed a PowerPoint about the health benefits of oily fish and wholegrain staples. The teriyaki salmon was immediately a popular addition to the School menu, as have been the wholegrain rice and pasta. So as well as having dishes that are delicious, the School is also being served some really healthy choices!

01.03.2018 Delicious and Healthy

Shrewsbury Trip

On Friday, 23 February seven shortlisted C Blockers (Christina, Molly, Imogen, Freddie, Leo, Harry and Hector) travelled up to Shrewsbury School for the prize-giving event of the inaugural Sir Philip Sidney Essay Competition; the theme of this year's competition was 'Does the World Still Need Heroes?' The children worked collaboratively on a range of exciting activities including: dissecting the anatomy of a superhero (and drawing a heart with ox's blood), choosing the best rocket fuel for the Batmobile, creating Spiderman's web, composing heroic troubadour ballads, hearing about heroes from History, Classics and Science. It was an excellent afternoon, combining teamwork with an inspirational exploration of different angles to the theme of heroism. Congratulations to all seven children involved, and particular congratulations to Hector who was declared the winner of the Year 6 category for his mature essay exploring the different aspects of what it means to be a hero. 

 01.03.2018 Shrewsbury ox blood

Visit to St Catherine’s

Fifteen D Block Dragons braved the cold to visit St Catherine’s College on Tuesday for an ‘Enrichment Morning’ with 45 pupils from Pegasus School in Blackbird Leys, one of our ‘BAT’ partner schools.

After refreshments on arrival in the Junior Common Room, the children enjoyed hearing about the role of Universities in further education and were able to interview two students about their experience of University life.

As well as interesting questions about their route to arriving at the University, what subjects they were studying and their career expectations, there were also interesting questions about why they chose Oxford over Cambridge, what was on offer in their spare time and whether they would recommend their course.

The children then enjoyed a ‘scavenger hunt’ across the college campus learning about the unusual building and the Danish architect Arne Jacobsen who had designed every part of the College including the door handles and cutlery!

Finally, the students had a graduation ceremony presented by one of the Professors, and after a delicious lunch in the impressive dining room returned to the Dragon with lots of ideas for their futures.

Grateful thanks are offered to Roger Ainsworth, the Master of the College, and his team, for facilitating this exciting visit.

 01.03.2018 St Cats


Charlbury Crafting

On Saturday afternoon, Charlbury boys enjoyed making personalised Mother's Day cards. The boys took time to reflect and appreciate all the special qualities of each of their Mothers and all the wonderful things they do for them.

01.03.2018 Charlbury Crafting

Boarding House Week of Surprises

The Wilson boys had a fantastic start to the week. On Sunday, they had a Japanese Evening where Mrs Watanabe (Renno’s mother) very kindly brought a variety of delicious home- cooked Japanese food including noodles, dumplings, crackers, rice balls and sushi. The boys were told about the different foods and were then shown how to make their own sushi, which all of them had a go at making. The boys are now hoping that Mrs Watanabe can come every Sunday.

Then on Monday, the boys with the other Junior boarders where treated to a talk given by Mr Elias (Seren’s father) who had completed and won one of the legs (three races) of the round the world Clipper Race. He talked to them about the living conditions, jobs they had to do, what they wore, the size of the waves they faced and the highs and lows of his amazing experiences. The audience were captured and the questions at the end kept coming. I wonder if any of them will be courageous enough to join a round-the-world race one day?

01.03.2018 BH week of surprises  


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Diary Reminders

For all sports fixtures and the full calendar of events, please see the main School Calendar.

Friday, 02 March 2018

5:00pm: Governors' Meeting
6:45pm: Spectrum: Jane Byam Shaw to talk about Hedgehogs

Saturday, 03 March 2018

8:30am: Governors' Meeting
10:00am: Open Morning for Prospective Boarding Families

Sunday, 04 March 2018

10:00am: The Third Sunday in Lent; Mrs Rhiannon Wilkinson, Headmistress of Wycombe Abbey
6:00pm: B Block Parents' Evening (in the Forum & Lynam Hall)

Monday, 05 March 2018

8:30am: Jonathan's 'Jungle Roadshow' (all day in the MCLT for E Block children)
3:15pm: Lower & Middle School Swim Relays (Round 3)

Tuesday, 06 March 2018

9:30am: Dragon Philharmonic Orchestral Workshop (for selected Middle School & E Block musicians - in the Lynam Hall until 3:30pm)

Wednesday, 07 March 2018

C Block French trip to Normandy departs (return on 10 March)
6:30am: WE DAY (for a group of selected children)

Friday, 09 March 2018

12:15pm: WEEKEND EXEAT begins for Middle School & E Block (until evening of Sunday 11 March)
12:30pm: WEEKEND EXEAT begins for Upper School (until evening of Sunday 11 March)

Dragon Links

These are just some of the useful links found on our website. Further information can be found here.



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