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D R A G O N S T O D AY S U MM E R 2 0 1 6

D R A G O N S N E W S

The Dragon School celebrated 20 years

of its Japanese Exchange programme with

Tokyo school Keio Yochisha on Friday

29 April 2016, by planting a Japanese

zelcova tree in the grounds. Former Keio

Headmaster and programme leader,

Mitsuaki Kato, flew over to join his fellow

teachers and pupils from Keio Yochisha for

the anniversary celebration. The Dragon

presented their Japanese counterparts with

a unique book recording 20 years of the

exchange with photographs of pupils and

staff involved over the years.

The Dragon’s relationship with Keio

began 20 years ago when some senior

masters from Keio Yochisha came to

the Dragon on an exploratory visit.

Consequently, the first Japanese students

visited the Dragon in April 1996.

A Block Charity Event

n Friday 24 June, 140 13-year- old

Dragons came together for their

annual charity event, led and

organised by nine Dragon scholars, to

raise money for Free the Children’s work

in Sierra Leone. The event team had

been motivated by their experience at WE

Day UK, an inspirational empowerment

event encouraging young people to take

action for social good. They decided upon

a cause, discussed which country should

benefit and why. Then they designed seven

activities, which reflected key issues facing

people in Sierra Leone and educated the

children about the five pillars that Free the

Children’s Adopt-a-Village programme use

sto develop sustainable communities.

It was a fun and engaging afternoon of

team-building, strong communication skills

and learning. The children experienced

what it is like to carry water on their heads

when water sources are inaccessible; they

learned about Blood Diamonds through

physical challenge; found out about

common illnesses through Scavenger

hunts and played interactive games to learn

about alternative income, education crises

and agricultural issues.

As part of the campaign, children sold

Rafiki bracelets (made by Kenyan mamas)

to the Dragon community. The impact

of funds raised through generous parent

O

sponsorship (currently £5,400) is that 90

children in Sierra Leone will be given

primary education and almost 100 mothers

will take part in workshops to support their

families’ health.

The event was a further example that

Dragons have the initiative, creativity

and motivation to help others and

make a difference and that the spirit of

philanthropy at the School is thriving.

Celebrating 20 Years of Cultural Exchange

This year, the Spring Concert was

transported to the Cadogan Hall in London

in order to provide a platform for our

children to showcase their talents to an

audience of parents, staff, Old Dragons,

Benefactors and Head Teachers. The sheer

number of ensembles and chamber groups

performing was testament to the amount

of hard work and practice that had been

undertaken to prepare for the evening. The

Cadogan Hall is one of the most prestigious

concert venues in the country and the

children aspired to rehearse and perform

as professionals. The visual effect of so

many children on stage from our pre-select

ensembles and choirs was a spectacle in

itself. The musical items were interspersed

with readings written and read by the

children to create a holistic approach

to our theme of ‘Spring’ at this special

concert. The words from the Spring-

inspired poems were intertwined with some

wonderful, creative musicianship to create

a memorable evening for all.

‘Songs for Spring’ Concert

Former Master of the Dragon, Roger

Trafford (1993-2002), said: “I doubt very

much whether there are two younger

age group schools so far apart in location

as Tokyo and Oxford which are able

to celebrate 20 years of friendship and

exchanges as we can. Cheryl and I feel it

is one of the most important things we did

at the Dragon.” In 1994, Mr Kato looked

at many prestigious British schools looking

for an exchange partner. He explained: “…

the Dragon School was actually the most

impressive school. What was so special

about the School was that the Dragon

children all looked lively and happy.”