Busy Dragons
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Touching the Imagination
On Friday evenings at the Dragon there is no prep. Instead, children enjoy a host of
cultural events as part of the ‘Spectrum’ programme. Diverse and inspiring speakers
bring a vast range of experiences into the school. The autumn term saw the Senior
Advisor and Deputy Chief of Party for the United Nations, Peter Dalglish, take to
the Spectrum stage. Currently based in Kabul, Peter is a leading authority on street
children and is founder of the charity Street Kids International. His talk “The Road
Less Travelled – How you can use your education to change the world” drew on a
lifetime’s work among the world’s destitute children. Dragon children and staff were
encouraged to consider how they could use their talents, now and in the future, to
make a difference in the world.
The Dragon also welcomed Nobel Prize win-
ner, Sir Tim Hunt (OD 1956), as a speaker in
September to give the annual Oxford Dragon
Lecture, ‘How to Win a Nobel Prize’. Sir Tim,
the 2001 winner in Physiology or Medicine,
was a principal scientist at Cancer Research
UK until his recent retirement. His enormous
enthusiasm and extreme modesty impressed
both adults and children who were drawn into
his world of simple, extraordinary science.
Inspired by teaching at the Dragon, Sir Tim’s
journey in biochemistry led him to his prize-
winning work on cell division. Recalling happy
days at school, he said it was his failure at Latin
that got him started on the right track.
This winter issue of
features news and
views from the Dragon
School, Oxford. We hope you
will be interested to read
about achievements and life
at the school in the autumn
and winter of 2012/13. The
Dragon welcomes enquiries
and visits – details of
forthcoming events and
contact information can be
found on the back cover.
Stupendous Sale
The Christmas Charity Sale is a great
Dragon tradition. Organised by the
parents, children and staff of the school,
the Sale takes place on the last day of the
Christmas term.
The huge event, which takes over
much of the school and the playground,
was opened in 2012 by actor and OD
Tom Hiddleston. Tom told parents:
“I learnt everything here and met my
closest friends.” He reminded them that
Graham Greene wrote of “a moment
in childhood when a door opens and
lets the future in”. He could not count,
he said, the number of doors that had
opened for him at the Dragon.
The money raised from the Sale goes
to a wide range of charities which help
children and families in need locally,
nationally and internationally. As well as
the usual huge range of stalls, activities
and food, 2012 saw an impressive effort
by young Dragon philanthropists.
Children designed and ran their own
enterprising stalls including Secret
Santas, human fruit machines, juke
boxes and games, challenges and
Christmas treats.
customised them. Led by a team from
the Utterly Butterly Ukulele project, they
all learned how to make a sound and
play some useful chords. By the end of
the day they were ready to perform live
in front of a highly appreciative audi-
ence in the main school hall.
Ukulele Day
An empty butter tub, some fishing line and
a few pieces of wood are all that is need-
ed to make an authentic-sounding ukulele,
as Year 4 Dragons found out in November.
In a somewhat noisy workshop, the chil-
dren made their own instruments from
entirely recycled materials, then tuned and
© Jonathan Pugh
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