Sporting Dragons
D R A G O N S T O D A Y . A U T U M N 2 0 1 1
Why does sport matter at school? What should children get out of the games they play? Director
of Sport Gareth Jones explains the Dragon philosophy of sport and considers how playing games
supports all kinds of learning.
Sporting Highlights
Winners of the ESSA
Championships in June and medal
winners at the IAPS Swimming
Championships in May
4 Dragon medallists,
including two Golds, at the Berkshire,
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire County
Fencing Championships in October
U11A Girls won the Bromsgrove
VII a side tournament in September
U11 cricket team reached the
national finals of the 6 a side competition
in June; 21 Dragons included in the
Oxfordshire Winter Training Squads
Medal winners at IAPS Athletics
Finals in July
The 1st VI team were unbeaten
throughout the Summer Term
women tend to have the fullest schedules.
Finding strategies to remain organised is
another important benefit of sport at the
Dragon; we have individuals who learn how
to balance their training around their other
commitments - preparation for exams, music
lessons, play rehearsals and the myriad of
other activities that form the building blocks
of life at the Dragon.
So, there are a host of reasons why sport is
so valuable; it does not matter whether one is
any good, whether one plays individually or for
a team. It must be enjoyable and if it is, one
will develop and flourish in a host of ways.”
“It’s quite simple; playing sport leads to a
better performance within the classroom.
Many adults head straight to the gym after
a hard day ‘in the office’ and children need
this release, too. One cannot underestimate
how important it is to get into good habits
with taking exercise, even if one is not that
competent. Simply being active on a regular
basis can lead to a life-long habit of doing
‘something’ physical.
For some, it is an outlet for aggression
which is provided by the contact sports we
play. For others, it is the element of problem-
solving, without the pressure of outcome,
that is the enjoyment. It is escapism and for
many, an end unto itself. At the top level
– the very highest level – it is inspirational.
Sport forces us to consider what we can
achieve. When coached properly it allows the
child to develop the ability to think freely
and be decisive.
Not only do we feel that sport provides
an outlet from other pressures within school,
it also nurtures some very unique aspects
of a child’s education. At the Dragon we
try to develop the philosophy of the team
throughout our sport. We recognise that
playing a match is not the most important
thing for all children and we prefer to build
on both their individual and team skills.
Sport forces us to
consider what we
can achieve
Sport provides proving grounds that are
hard to replicate in other areas of school life.
One of these is the experience of losing (as
well as winning). We have a responsibility
to encourage the children to play as hard
as possible to win but to compete with the
utmost dignity and fairness. Off the pitch
the children must maintain their dignity and
accept victory or defeat in an appropriate
manner. We feel these experiences are vital for
equipping them with the skills to deal with
others diplomatically and respectfully.
It is often remarked that the Dragon
is an incredibly busy school and it has to
be said that the talented sportsmen and
Answer to problem:
3, 7, 9, 9.
Rugby Results
Autumn saw one of the most successful
rugby seasons on record. Nine of the
Dragon’s teams were unbeaten in all their
games, including the U12A side (10 wins
and 2 draws), whilst the 1st XV won 13 of
their 14 matches. The U12A team were
unbeaten in 12 matches and 5 Dragons
have been included in the Oxfordshire
Development Squad. Across all the age
groups the school notched up 99 wins in
total, the highest number in the history of
the school.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 9,10,11,12