Music at the Heart of the Dragon
A new Music School will be built at the heart of the Dragon’s
Bardwell Road site.
As many of you will remember, the current music facility was
built in the 1960s, when few children took up an instrument.
Today, 80% of Dragon children take part in active music-making;
there are 820 instrumental lessons taught each week by 50
specialist teachers; children perform in 41 ensembles and 270
pupils practise their instrument for 15 minutes four times a week.
Demand and interest in music continues to grow and we want to
make sure that this opportunity is available to every Dragon child.
Music is central to the Dragon for the many benefits it brings
to all children, not just the most able players. The patience of
practice, the focus of the goal of performance and the thrill of
shared endeavour develop perseverance, listening skills, discipline
and team spirit. A body of evidence demonstrates that music
supports spatial, mathematical and language learning and
improves focus, concentration and team skills. Integrating creative
arts with academic studies develops higher-order thinking skills:
analysis, synthesis and communication.
Last year we announced that the Governors had appointed
Oxford-based Architects, Berman Guedes Stretton (BGS) to design
the new music facility at the centre of the Dragon (Bardwell Road
site) Campus. The Governors have now approved plans which
have been submitted to the Planning Department of Oxford City
Council. The proposed building aims to attract, motivate and
inspire generations of children and staff. BGS’ design reflects local
domestic architecture in scale and size; the two story brick-built
building will be situated behind Lane House and adjacent to the
Lynam Hall. The internal spaces have been designed to feel warm
and welcoming to even the youngest children.
BGS have a reputation for delivering high quality architecture
and have won a number of competitions and awards, including
the RIBA National award, RIBA and RICS Regional Awards
and RIBA Conservation and Sustainability Awards. They were
finalists for the Building Design Education Architect of the Year
2013, and their recent projects in Oxford include Wolfson College,
Pembroke College, Queen’s College and St Clare’s.
As soon as planning has been approved we will update you
Arduus ad Solem
: Dragon Community e-newsletter
and add an announcement to the Dragon School Website.
To achieve the goal of building a new Music School, we will
be launching a campaign to secure donations and support and
look forward to updating you. If you wish to discuss this project
or our fundraising plans in person, please contact Head of
Development, Jane Pendry email@example.com
or 01865 315415.
Flashback Fridays appear regularly
on the OD Facebook page, and are
always popular posts.
Dragons dusted off their splurge
guns from Bugsy Malone, and
their tea sets from the 1977 Jubilee
and re-lived glorious moments of
sporting endeavour and dramatic
success. Skating on the ice-covered
lawns of School House in the
1960s seems unthinkable now. The
excellent School pool of today is
far removed from the outdoor pool
of 1971. Dragon grins and sparkle
remain the same, then as now. We
also remembered Robin ‘Lofty’
Houghton in his new purpose-built
science lab in the Tin Can as he
taught ‘the life aquatic’ in 1968.
‘Like’ the Dragon School Old
Dragons Facebook page to enjoy
Flashback Fridays and other Old
(OD 1967) currently working at the British Embassy in
Beijing, wrote, “I have no access to Facebook. To be honest I haven’t an
account and it is blocked in China anyway. However, I do see the Old
Dragon publication from time to time and I almost fell off my chair as
I was leafing through Issue 5 and saw the Flashback Friday picture of
the production of HMS Pinafore in 1966 in which I played Sir Joseph
Porter KCB. I remember the photos of the production very well as
they were taken at the dress rehearsal and one of my stockings (right
leg, I think) was slightly wrinkled! I remember being irritated at the
time, but such is the vanity of the performer.”
Sir John Betjeman (OD 1920) opening the Dragon
Fete in 1963.