Dragon in the Media
A Stellar History
The Oxford Times Education Yearbook describes the Dragon's 'illustrious history' and interviews Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn, the incomng headmaster. Please click here.
John Baugh, Headmaster reflects on his past three decades as a headteacher. To read the full article published in Independent Education Today, please click here.
Happiness Lessons in Prep Schools
In May 2017, Mary Taylor, Deputy Head (Social & Emotional Learning) contributed to an article about children's wellbeing in Independent School Parent. Mary warns: "There is huge pressure on children today – this strange pursuit of perfection and grades – and in turn parental anxiety is very high. It can be overwhelming for parents.”
From Reception, The Dragon offers a group programme for parents to explain the school’s ethos of a “'whole cultural community' with emotional learning built into everything we do” and says Taylor, “we run the programme for 10 parents at a time, and it is always over-subscribed.”
To read the full article published on Independent School Parent, please click here.
The Oxford Times covered the The Dragon Philharmonic Percussion Workshop - a collaboration between the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and Dragon School, Oxford - which brought together pupils from the three Blackbird Academy Schools; Pegasus, Orchard Meadow and Windmill, and children from St Barnabus, St Ebbes, Windale, St Andrews, and Wolvercote primary schools. The event took place on Tuesday, 9 May, 2017 and over 80 pupils took part. To read the full story please click here.
Renowned painter Jenny Saville opens OD Artweeks
The Dragon School opened OD Artweeks on Saturday, 20 May, 2017 with special guest Jenny Saville RA,current parent and renowned portrait painter. She spoke about the importance of creativity on learning. To read the full article in Oxford Times, please click here.
Happy Days - The Resident
Headmaster, John Baugh writes about why junior boarding is a joyful, productive experience for children. To read the full article in The Resident, May 2017 please click here.
Chasing the Dragons
The cover story of the Oxfordshire Limited Edition Magazine 'Chasing the Dragons' featured stories about former pupils of the Dragon working in drama and writing, including articles about Tom Hiddleston, and his leading role in the film 'King Kong', 'comedy star' Jack Whitehall playing Paul Pennyfeather in the BBC's Decline and Fall, and the author Robin Stevens whose children's books feature mysteries set in a boarding school.
A Matter of Confidence - School House
Rugby for All - Cotswold Preview
An article in the Cotswold Preview in November 2016 featured the Dragon School as part of its review on the benefits of rugby in schools. Rugby is very much a part of Dragon tradition and teaches children the value of teamwork and sportsmanship both on and off the field.
Old School Ties
The Dragon School was featured in Country Life’s School Life magazine on 7th September 2016. The feature looked at alumni networks and the Dragon was the only prep school to feature. The article stated, “This networking ethos doesn’t just start as university looms. Oxford prep school The Dragon is proud of its Arduus ad Solem network which brings together members of the school’s community from industry or special interest groups – from film to science – for networking.” Jane Pendry, Head of Development, explained: ‘What’s important is that you go to the Dragon to develop a set of values at the core and, in industry, 99% of people will trust a person that has the same values…. It’s no longer about privilege and a leg up, but about having a shared value system, which extends well beyond school.’ She adds, “[The Dragon] is … a lifelong investment for parents – you’re investing not just in a set of exam results at the end, but in a lasting community.’
Tatler Schools Guide 2017
A review of the Dragon School below, as found in the Tatler Schools Guide 2017 (a copy of the new guide can be bought online here):
For head John Baugh, education is about ‘curiosity, testing boundaries and stepping out of your comfort zone’, so Dragon pupils are given freedom ‘because freedom builds trust’. The school is broadly non-selective, with gentle assessments to identify potential. If you’re after a reception place at pre-prep Lynam’s, get your name down early. Leavers head for the best publics in Oxford and beyond: there’s always a strong Teddies cohort, followed by Eton, Marlborough and Radley. Parents praise the Dragon’s relaxed atmosphere, the ‘phenomenal, inspirational, committed’ teachers, the wonderful pastoral care and the respect for family time, with ‘no prep at weekends, no big projects in the holidays’. ‘A fun, fabulous and magical school,’ says a mother. ‘We are very lucky our children are there – we’ve sold our house to do it, and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made.’ Mr Baugh moves to pastures new next summer; Crispin Hyde-Dunn will arrive from Abingdon Prep to take over the reins.
Putting Social and Emotional Learning High on the Agenda
Following on from the feature in January, the Oxford Times Educational Yearbook 2016 has included an even more indepth look at the Dragon's social and emotional learning which lies at the heart of the Dragon curriculum. Read the full story here.
20-Year Cultural Exchange Celebrations
The Dragon School celebrated 20 years of its Japanese Exchange programme with Tokyo school Keio Yochisha on Friday 29th 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 especially for the anniversary celebration. The Dragon presented their Japanese counterparts with a unique book which records 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.
Former Master of the Dragon, Roger Trafford, 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 twenty years of friendship and exchanges as we can. Cheryl and I feel it as 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 Dragon School was that the Dragon students all looked lively and happy.”
Find the full article in the Oxford Times here.
Following the Sunday Times article featuring three well known Old Dragons on 27th March 2016, an article in The Guardian on Monday 28th March explored eminent Old Dragons in the creative arts. Tim Alden (OD 1972) then wrote a personal piece about his time at the Dragon in 'i' on Wednesday 30th March discussing his time spent in class with “…the artist Julian Opie, Granchester author James Runcie and Mathematica program creator Stephen Wolfram” as well as Hugh Laurie. He added, “The feeling of being part of a family was intensified by the school’s own lexicon, universally used staff nicknames and a uniform that included a denim-style navy blue corduroy jacket; even then, it felt cool.”
The Guardian followed up with an in depth interview with Dragon Headmaster, John Baugh on 31st March. John spoke passionately about the importance of creativity in education, explaining: “We’ve some great drama teachers, but I don’t think it’s that particularly which allows children to develop in this area. It’s more that the school teaches them that it’s OK to have a go, it’s OK not to follow convention.” The stories developed from an original article in The Oxford Times by Callum Keown (OD 2005) who had connected that the three lead actors in The Night Manager were all Old Dragons. Finally, Los Angeles based Parent Herald picked up the story on 30th March 2016 which likened the Dragon to Hogwarts!
Charles Graham (OD 2008) and Benjamin Llewelyn (OD 2004) were interviewed by Jack Cummings for university student blog, The Tab. The article, What’s it really like to go to the Dragon School was ‘liked’ by over 85,000 people.
In January 2016, an article published in the Oxford Times focused on the importance of placing children’s wellbeing at the heart of learning. John explains, “In an age where children are bombarded with so many challenges, from technology, exams and peer pressure, a good independent school, particularly a boarding school, can provide a haven of peace and tranquillity; the fertile soil where a child can grow and flourish.” In the article, John Baugh, summarises the ethos of the Dragon, “We encourage the development of the whole child without the burden of too many rules. Instead, we nurture the individual in a community based on fairness, respect and kindness where adults and children are considerate of each other.” To read the full article, please click here.
Climate Change March
Ahead of the Climate Change Summit in Paris the Dragon organised a march to raise awareness of climate change issues. Read more in the Oxford Mail here.
Sir John Smyth Remembered
On 18th May 1915, 22-year old Sir John (or “Jackie”) Smyth, an officer in the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment, took on a mission to provide ammunition to a captured German trench. Ten Sikh soldiers volunteered to accompany their officer but only Sir John made it back unharmed – the others killed or wounded in no man’s land – and received the Victoria Cross aged just 22. On 18th May 2015, the UK Punjab Heritage Association joined us in the re-telling of Sir John's story to our pupils. Read the full story in the Oxford Mail here.
Spirit of Christmas
The annual Spirit of Christmas concert took place at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. The Dragon School Choir led the congregational carols. The full story in the Oxford Mail can be found here.
Dragon Philomusica Workshops
A hundred school children from six local primary schools thoroughly enjoyed participating in a recent Strings Open Day, arranged and hosted by the Dragon, with Oxford Philomusica, Oxford's Professional Symphony Orchestra. Read the full story published in The Oxford Times.
Dragon swimmers make history
Read the full story in the Oxford Mail.
Dragon pupils teach Latin
A journalist from the Daily Telegraph recently accompanied Dr Norton’s Latin in the Community group when they gave one of their weekly lessons to the children at SS Philip and James’ school. Please find the full article on the Telegraph website here.
Lady Antonia Fraser remembers the Dragon
Read the full article in the Daily Mail here.
Primary schools must 'evolve in the 21st century'
An article written by our Headmaster, John Baugh, published in The Telegraph in October 2010, dicusses how children need to be taught transferable skills, particularly a lifelong learning habit and an ability to work collaboratively.
Learning by Doing
An article in The Economist about teaching philanthropy at the Dragon can be found here.
Sowing the Seeds of Philanthropy
An article in The Guardian looks at why 'sowing the seeds' of philanthropy in the next generation is important at the Dragon. Read the full article here.