I am Dominic and I left the Dragon in 2011 after five years as a boarder. I am the proof that a bursary to the Dragon School can change lives. Living with my mum and younger brother, we went to a local primary school just outside Oxford. One day, my mother was curious as to why a friend had spoken so enthusiastically about this particular school - the Dragon. Then she realised that there was a slim chance that I might gain a bursary to come here.
Amazingly, that September, I joined the Dragon as an eight years old boarder in Startin’s house. My brother followed me three years later.
I went on to St.Edward’s School, which I left after my A levels. Then I had the opportunity to come back to the Dragon as one of the Assistant Teachers. I hope that as I move on to university to read Law in September, I can continue to make this school proud of its Bursary pupils.
This school gives so much more than just a first class education. The skills and integrity that pupils acquire throughout their time here, allow them to go on and develop yet further. The Dragon hands you, as a pupil, a key, which allows you the opportunity to open the door to success. I believe that through the Dragon Bursary Fund more children are being given this chance to receive that key. During my five years here, I slowly learnt that it does not matter what background you come from or who you are: you are all equally a Dragon for life. I know now, that this has always been the case throughout the 139 years that the Dragon has existed.
I will forever be indebted to the school, its Governors and especially Mr Baugh for giving my eight-year-old self a chance.
A Block Leavers' Bursary Campaign 2017
Invest in the future of a Dragon pupil; and help us maintain the spirit of the Dragon by donating to the transformational bursary fund.
Bursaries transform the life of a child; and enrich the lives of all our Dragon pupils. Read, for example, Dominic's story.
One of the distinctive features of the Dragon has always been the range of backgrounds and abilities of our children. Rising costs and the consequent rise in fees potentially narrows the range of our pupils’ backgrounds and threatens to alter the character of the School. By supporting a bursary, you help to transform the life of a child, and you help us to maintain our unique, unstuffy and inspirational culture.
The Bursary Campaign Story
Leavers' parents have helped transform children's lives since 2002 when the Transformational Bursaries Programme was launched. Since then, we have raised nearly £5 million in total for bursaries. Every year we are supported by A Block Leavers' parents. Last year's bursary campaign raised over £200,000 and we hope to do the same again this year. To date, 60 pupils have received bursarial support; 38 have been educated all the way through the School.
Every Gift Counts
Please note that your donation will be ring-fenced for the bursary fund - no funds raised will be spent on administration. For further details please read The Governance of Bursaries.
You can also double your donation if your company match funds. To find out if your company is on the list, click here.
Tax Efficient Giving
UK supporters - increase your gift by 25%. For donors who donate from their income, the Dragon can claim back basic rate tax. Higher-rate tax payers can also reclaim tax through their Self Assessment forms. Find out further information here.
Building on Benefaction at the Dragon
Current pupils enjoy facilities funded by the generosity of others. The continuing and ongoing generosity of current and past parents, Old Dragons and friends ensure that the Dragon remains a diverse, vibrant community with excellent facilities.
In 1886, parents’ faith and financial support enabled Skipper Lynam to fulfil his extraordinary vision to found a school that would nurture, inspire and celebrate children’s unique gifts. £2,000 (over £200,000 in today’s terms) was raised to found the Dragon School and, by 1895, parents had donated a further £4,000 to fund the move to Bardwell Road. In 1953, the school was registered as a charity, The Dragon School Trust Ltd. At that time, three debentures (loans) were issued to raise capital and a ‘founders’ benevolent fund’ was created.
Parents and ODs continued to support pupils’ learning, creativity and enjoyment with generous contributions to the development of the School’s main site including the Resources Centre (Library) in 1996-97, the Science Block in 1998-89 and the Pool/ADT building in 1999-2000. In addition, since 2002, the lives of 54 pupils have been transformed by the school’s 125th Anniversary Bursaries programme which has been supported by A Block leavers’ parents, the Nicholas Knatchbull Bursary Fund, the Inky Fund and individual significant or regular donations.
In 2007, as part of the School’s carefully considered business plan, the Governing Body made a bold and prudent decision. In order to secure the school’s long term future on its historic North Oxford site, it purchased the land the school sits on from St John’s College. The repayment of this essential loan remains a financial restraint on capital development. As a result, the planned Music School, essential to children’s musical learning and enrichment, is the first major capital project to be funded solely through benefaction since the building of Lynam Hall, completed in 1984.
Fees cover staff and running costs, along with maintenance, however current pupils continue to benefit from the generous support of the past parents, Old Dragons and former staff that loved the ethos of the school and invested in the future of the school.
We are grateful to all those who continue this tradition.
Nurturing children’s emotional and social intelligence and creativity, alongside academic rigour, is at the core of the Dragon ethos; part of the continued magic of the Dragon is also to be extraordinary in an ordinary way.
Founding Headmaster, Skipper Lynam (1887 to 1921), believed that children “of professional men of moderate means” should enjoy the Dragon’s radical and progressive education. Today, external economic pressures exclude many income groups from the School. Our commitment to the Dragon bursary programme helps keep the Dragon relevant and vibrant.
My own parents were of ‘moderate means’. Without others’ sacrifice and generosity, I would not have had the excellent education I received, nor had the privilege of helping to shape children’s lives as Headmaster of the Dragon. As I prepare to move on myself in 2017, I will look back on the Dragon’s Bursary Programme as one of our most worthwhile initiatives.
Since we welcomed the first bursary pupils following the first A Block Leavers’ Campaign in 2003, 54 pupils have received bursarial support. To help other children, whose families otherwise could never consider the Dragon, is one of the most valuable gifts we can give.
Please help us inspire a new generation of Dragon bursary pupils fulfil their potential; and help the Dragon retain its unique, unstuffy and inspirational culture by including a bursary pupil in your giving plans.