Looking back at the first
Draconian magazine published
in April 1889, it is evident how
important sport has always been
at the School, even to the very
first Dragons from 1877.
Inclusion, Variety, Excellence
The origin of the School’s name as it is today
came from the formation of a football club
when the School was known as the Oxford
Boys’ Preparatory School. The team had
Dragons sewn into their caps as a means of
identity. The rest, as they say, is history!
Football, paper chases and notes on
the successes of Old Dragons filled much
of the eight pages of that first publication.
Sports reports gradually increased in detail
and, in 1904, the first team photograph was
included. Sports Day was unrecognisable
from today: standing jumps, 100-yard
races and bicycles played a role, along with
throwing a cricket ball; all accomplished in
one day rather than today’s three.
The field comprised rough pasture on
the site of our present grounds. A horse was
purchased to pull a grass-cutting machine
and boys helped staff with this task. Rolling
the pitches was an activity undertaken by the
fittest staff; the luxury of a groundsman was
yet to come.
Health and Safety was as alien as the
Internet back then. Swimming was taught
in the Cherwell, hence the origins of the
“Clothes Test” which is still an important
rite of passage for any Dragon today. As part
of the new Art and Design Block in 2000,
the outdoor pool was covered and we now
have a pool which is the envy of the prep
Girls first came into the School in 1896,
and played ‘rugger’ from about 1918. It
was only in 1989 that strong foundations
for girls’ sport were formed. Hockey,
rounders and netball played a big part
alongside athletics, tennis and swimming.
Girls’ cricket, football, lacrosse and others
are now offered alongside more traditional
1904 August Lynams Cricket team - the first team photograph to appear in the Draconian
1965 Xmas Dragon v Portsmouth Grammar