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THE OD

24

DRAGON DEVELOPMENT

In September 2017, Dr Crispin Hyde-

Dunn will join a long line of modernising

Headmasters of the Dragon School, Oxford.

He will continue to nurture the Dragon’s

unique learning culture that puts children’s

needs at its heart.

In 1877, the Rev Arthur Clarke,

Headmaster, a graduate of Magdalen College,

started classes in 24, St Giles with 14 boys

- children of academics. Tragically, Clarke

suddenly died from pneumonia and, in

1886, Charles ‘Skipper’ Lynam borrowed

£2,000 from his father-in-law and purchased

the School. In 1895, when we moved to the

Bardwell Road site, he raised a further

£2,000 from the parents, starting a culture

of development and philanthropy.

As Headmaster, Skipper introduced plays,

concerts, sporting activities ... and abandoned

stiff Eton Collars. Informality was Skipper’s

nature and, in many ways, he founded the

Dragon culture and community we know today.

Alfred Lynam (Hum), Skipper’s younger

brother, became Headmaster in 1920.

Numbers rose from 320 in 1939 to 400 by

the end of the war. Joc, Hum’s son, became

an equal partner in the post of Headmaster

in 1942. He retained Skipper’s philosophy,

which stated, “We have failed, unless we have

helped the boy to develop his mind and his

capacities in his own way. Unless we have

given him full scope for all the imagination

and originality that is in him.”

In 1965, Keith Ingram was appointed

Assistant Headmaster by Joc. Inky worked

alongside Mike ‘Guv’ Gover, an Old Dragon

who joined the staff in 1949. Guv was

appointed Joint Headmaster in 1972 until

1989. They continued to nurture the child-

centred culture developed by the Lynam

family and increased pupil numbers from

477 in 1945 to 625 in 1989.

Nigel Richardson was Headmaster from

1989 to 1992 before he returned to senior

schools and he became Headmaster of The

Perse and Chairman of HMC.

Roger Trafford arrived in April 1992,

together with his wife Cheryl who taught many

Dragons to love History as well as working in

all areas of the School. Roger believed in the

pursuit of excellence without arrogance and

greatly improved the facilities, building the

Library, new Science and Art departments, as

well as the indoor Pool. He turned the Dragon

into a real co-educational school with more

equal numbers and opened two boarding

houses for girls. He also bought a former

school and opened Lynams - now the Dragon

Pre Prep - lowering the entry age to four.

In 2002, John Baugh took over as Head.

His wife, Wendy, also joined the School and

went on to become Director of Safeguarding.

John and Wendy shared the same passion for

Dragon values as preceding Headmasters.

Today, an emphasis on Social and Emotional

Learning form the bedrock of a culture where

kindness, mutual respect, consideration and

common sense prevail.

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn, Headmaster

of Abingdon Prep, joins the Dragon in

September 2017 with a clear understanding

of the importance of the legacy handed down

to him. He is in no doubt that he is inheriting

the leadership of an exceptional school. He

says, “The Dragon’s reputation as a school

where every child can find, explore and

develop their talents has been well earned over

many generations. The sense of philanthropy,

kindness and service that is shared by Dragons

young and old is testament to the School’s

ethos and core values.”

Dr Hyde-Dunn explains how he will

approach the role. “My first year will be one

of listening, learning, building relationships

and gaining the trust of the community in

order to understand further the School’s

needs. The voices of staff, pupils, parents, Old

Dragons and governors will all be heard and

all will be important.” Dr Hyde-Dunn adds, “I

believe that the happiness and well-being of

pupils and teachers are the keys to excellent

achievement, with every individual feeling

understood and valued. At the heart of my

headship will be my commitment to ensuring

the Dragon continues to offer extraordinary

opportunities in a supportive, nurturing

environment, in which a whole range of

talents will be discovered and potential

fulfilled.”

A tradition

of putting

children first

Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn

Skipper Lynam

Hum Lynam

Joc Lynam

Mike Gover and Keith 'Inky' Ingram

Roger Trafford

From September 2017, Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn will become the Headmaster of the

Dragon. He joins from Abingdon Preparatory School where he was Headmaster from

April 2011. Crispin read History at St Catherine’s College Oxford, before completing

a PGCE. He also holds an MA in Education Leadership and Management and the

National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). He has recently been

awarded a PhD in Art History. Crispin previously taught at St Edmund’s College

Hertfordshire, Hall School Wimbledon, St Edmund’s School Surrey, New College School

Oxford and King’s College School Cambridge, where he was Deputy Head Academic.

Nigel Richardson