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6

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

B O A R D I N G D R A G O N S

ndrew and Davina Rich,

parents of Theo (B Block

– Year 7) and Fergus (D Block –

Year 5) didn’t set out to choose

boarding for their boys; they

simply wanted the right school

for them.

When Theo was about 7, Andrew and

Davina considered both boarding and

London day schools.

“We live in a

competitive world where being socially

adaptable and confident while

developing independent thought,

spirit and motivation are essential

qualities for future success.” The

couple also chose the Dragon because

“it combined excellent academic

qualities in a co-educational

environment with an extraordinary

offering of extra-curricular activities.”

The Dragon’s unique boarding model

accommodates children in small

boarding houses, each with 15 and 20

children in the first two years, with

House size increasing as the children

grow older. Overall, Davina felt that

“the Dragon has an impressive

support system of Houseparents,

matrons, teachers and gap year staff

for the children to chat to or play

sport with, or sometimes with whom

they can just hang out.”

While Andrew and Davina had

both experienced boarding, neither

assumed their children would follow

the same route. Before finally choosing

boarding at the Dragon they prepared

the boys for boarding by discussing

the pros and cons openly with them.

They recognised that

“some schools

and parents put children under

enormous pressure to succeed, which

ultimately impedes their progress

and development”.

The Dragon,

they reasoned, allows children to

“put their natural enthusiasm into

areas which they enjoy and should

subsequently excel in, uninfluenced

by their parents’ prejudices.”

What

they hadn’t anticipated was,

“how

confident, independent, organised

and motivated the boys would become

at the Dragon.”

They understand parents’ concerns

about boarding:

“Every parent of a

boarding child is anxious that they

won’t spend enough time with their

children. We have constant contact

with the children and we have them

home at Exeat weekends, Leave Outs,

half-terms, the odd Sunday afternoon

as well as the long holidays. In the

meantime, our children are enjoying

an outstanding education and

building incredible friendships with

children from different backgrounds

with diverse interests and aspirations.”

W

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The Rich family, left to

right:Andrew,

Theo,Willa, Davina and Fergus

A

how confident,

independent,

organised and

motivated the

boys would

become