Behind the scenes
Discover the Dragons
behind the magic …
From Grandpa’s pyjamas through to the cobwebs on the beams, our young filmmakers sketched costumes, tested camera angles, dressed the set, and even featured themselves! This premier Dragon QUEST production was created by our very own Dragons as part of our award-winning Saturday extra-currcular enrichment programme, Dragon Quest.
Inspired by Grandpa’s treasured marble, and the magic memories it recalls, we’ve created a limited edition bag of Dragon Marbles, so that you too can gift #APresentFromThePast.
Plus, we’re donating all profits from the sales of our Dragon Marbles to our Transformational Bursary Programme, so that the past, and present, can help the future.*
That Feeling …
… you get when you stumble across a treasured item that you’d forgotten you’d kept is magic. Being able to share that feeling with a loved one is a gift.
Stories bridge gaps and connect generations.
They captivate, engage us, and make us think. They open up worlds, allow our minds to explore and spark imaginations. At its core, storytelling is about connection and communication. Children begin to develop their own life stories, taking in the lessons they learn from the people they are surrounded with. They are the authors of their own stories. Family traditions have been, and continue to be, built through stories told. It is a gift to listen, and it is a gift to learn.
Marbles, eggy and Bun Break are all very frequently mentioned by Dragons, both young and old. Although play isn’t all that our Dragons go on to remember from their time here, it forms a huge part of the stories they share about their time at the Dragon. This short film was made by Dragons for Dragons. From those that skated on the School House Lawn to those that bounce tennis balls against the Museum walls, from featuring Dragon Hymn Books to the fictional books written by our very own Old Dragons, from the subtle sounds of the Dragon School song to the roll of a marble, this short film is our own way of connecting the present with the past.
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We wanted to make a film that held Dragons at its heart.
Emma Goldsmith – Head
Meet the Cast and Creatives
Dragon Quest Production Team
In the Summer Term of 2022, a group of Dragons set out on their own Quest to learn how films are developed in the early stages by creating and editing storyboards and sketches. They worked collaboratively to explore set design, make decisions about locations, props, and costumes, and sketch their ideas before creating and recording their own sound effects. They took on the roles of assistant director, producer, prop standby, costume designer, and supporting artist, as they helped to create A Dragon Tale. Well done to Ilyas, Lizzie, Mary, Coco, Violet, James, Benjamin, Mofeoreoluwa, Andreas, Thea, Nikunj, Lottie, Aurelia, Milo, Poppy, May, Yasmin, Annabel, Angela, Casper, and Theadora.
Peter Bowles (OD 1970)
A Dragon Grandpa himself, Peter was made for the role. We are so grateful to him for his time and for spending one of the hottest days of the year in the Cherwell attic!
Sofia Bowles, 5
The youngest member of A Dragon Tale with the important job of learning and delivering the only lines in the film. Sofia was accompanied to the set by her father, Charlie Bowles (OD 1999), who was brilliant at giving Sofia direction and turning on the all-important light switch at just the right time.
We were so pleased to welcome back to the Dragon Ma Da, Mr Devitt, Ma Kinnear, Mr Murchie and Mr (PJ) Wilson. You’ll have also spotted the brilliant Ma McNeile, Ma McClelland (OD 1967), Head of Pre-Prep, Mr Phelps (OD 1978), Dragon Dean, and Mr (Scotty) Scott, Master of Admin. We were also delighted to welcome siblings and friends of QUEST filmmakers to set: Aurelia, Casper, Mary and Poppy.
William Morris, Director of Music
The maker of the musical magic, Mr Morris, composed a beautiful track that incorporated the Dragon song, Carmen Draconiense, at its heart. He played the piano, directed the edit, and added the magic.
David Smith, Head of Woodwind & Instrumental Studies
Provider of the beautiful Dragon School song melody on the clarinet.
Jonny Race, Head of Guitar & Music Technology
The brains behind the beats and the hands behind the guitar. Jonny put the music to the movie and spent lots of time with a metronome!
Although the bag of marbles used in the film belongs to Peter (Grandpa), from his own Dragon days, the hero marble used actually belonged to Michael Barrow (OD 1942), who donated his collection of marbles to the Dragon during the 1977 celebrations.
Making The Music
Grandpa’s Theme …
This year’s music was written and performed by William Morris, Head of Music, accompanied by Jonny Race on guitar, Joff Morgan on percussion and David Smith on clarinet. It incorporated the Dragon Song, Carmen Draconiense, with words written by Frank Sidgwick (OD 1893, Current Great-Grandparent) first sung in the Summer of 1900 at the Dragon Sing Song. The Music was composed by Colin Campbell Taylor (OD 1896) who became a professional Musician and composer. This was his first published piece of music. The Carmen is still sung in the annual Dragon Sing Song and the volume always rises as the last verse is reached.
Listen to ‘Grandpa’s Theme’ below:
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It felt very important to incorporate the Dragon Song within the theme. It’s a song Dragons are proud to sing and have done for over 120 years.
William Morris – Head of Music
Buy Your Dragon Marbles
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The children have done a brilliant job of highlighting the power of connection and imagination through the story told
Emma Goldsmith – Head
Discover the Dragon
How to apply
When it comes to education, one size doesn’t fit all. Finding the right school is a highly personal, two-way process and our Admissions team are on hand to answer any questions you have.
Call us on +44 (0)1865 315 405 / 413.
Join us for our Saturday Dragon Quest: a thrilling enrichment programme where children learn new skills and try out new things. Some of the activities have direct academic benefits; others are focused on building friendships and life skills.