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5

D R A G O N S T O D AY S P R I N G 2 0 1 6

E A L D R A G O N S

“If parents want to give their children

a gift, the best thing they can do

is to teach their children to love

challenges, be intrigued by mistakes,

enjoy effort, and keep on learning.

That way, their children don’t have to

be slaves of praise. They will have a

lifelong way to build and repair their

own confidence.”

(Carol S. Dweck,

Mindset: The New Psychology

of Success)

Carol Dweck’s work on growth

mindset is all around us in the

educational world of 2016. In her

work, Dweck explains why it’s not just

our abilities and talent that bring us

success—but whether we approach

them with a fixed or growth mindset.

She explains, through her research

over a number of decades, how a

simple idea about the brain can create

a love of learning and a resilience that

is the basis of great accomplishment in

every area.

Have I missed something here? For

over a hundred years, the Dragon has

had the motto, “Arduus ad Solem”.

Loosely translated as “strive (or reach)

for the sun.” Generations of Dragons

have been urged not to believe that

their talents are fixed, that they are

either clever or not, that their future

is written in some DNA blueprint that

they have no control over. Dragons

have always been urged to explore

and expand their horizons, to “have

a go” and, as Dweck says, “…to love

challenges, be intrigued by mistakes,

enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”

My favourite answer to the question

I often ask Dragons, “do you play a

musical instrument”, is not simply,

“no” – but, “no, not yet”.

John Baugh

FROM THE

HEADMASTER

We also have an induction session during

the first few weeks of term. Ma Duval

meets new children twice a week and

accompanies them to the various school

departments to meet departmental Heads.

She makes sure that children are happy

with the various subjects they are learning.

The EAL activity was also introduced two

years ago to provide a similar, but year-

round multilingual group which includes

native English speakers. Children learn

about British culture, explore cultural

differences and learn about friendship,

social skills and the etiquette of language

through games, cooking and discussions.

Generally, we find that we can gradually

withdraw our support and reduce the

number of EAL lessons during a child’s

progress through the School: a clear sign

of the EAL department’s success. However

this is not always the case. One of our

children who went on to Eton continued

his EAL lessons until the very end of his

time at the Dragon simply because he was

enjoying them so much.

Our success was validated in the ISI

(Independent Schools Inspectorate) Report

in November 2014, which noted that most

EAL children rise at least two levels in their

English while they are at the Dragon which

they stated was “outstanding”.

...most EAL children rise

at least two levels in their

English while they are at the

Dragon which they stated was

“outstanding”.

The learning ethos of the Dragon,

“Education thus presents itself as at once

preparation for life and an irreplaceable

part of life itself” is clearly reflected in the

work of the EAL department. Our aim is

to help EAL children not only to survive in

a new environment using a new language

but to thrive, grow and develop; thoroughly

enjoying the process and their life at the

Dragon while doing so.