Welcome to the Dragon Pre-Prep (4-7)
The Dragon Pre-Prep, tucked away on Richards Lane, just north of Summertown, Oxford, is full of children, creatively immersed in their learning, making firm friendships and enjoying being carefree and happy. Our education philosophy lays firm foundations which are built upon as children move up through the School. We encourage the children to discover their interests and develop their personalities while they steadily learn to take control of their own learning. We, and our children’s parents, witness them becoming confident and increasingly independent at their own pace.
The Dragon values of kindness, courage and respect are at the core of everything we do and all relationships are encouraged to be positive. We foster creativity and curiosity, and encourage children to develop a wide range of skills, rather than focusing on a narrow body of knowledge. Emotional intelligence is nurtured alongside learning, equipping the children to deal with the ever-changing world in which they will grow up and work.
At the end of Year 3, children move to Year 4 at Bardwell Road where their distinctive Dragon education continues.
Meet the Head of Pre-Prep
I joined the Dragon in 2005 as Head of Year 4. In this role I was responsible for guiding the new joiners to the Dragon Prep, both from the Dragon Pre-Prep and a variety of other schools, looking after their academic and pastoral needs. I then moved to the Pre-Prep in 2012 as Head. During my time at the School, I have helped to run one of the senior boarding houses with my husband, who as a member of staff, is familiar with a child’s life at the Dragon, from their starting point at the age of 4 until they leave at 13.
Do come and see our youngest Dragons in action, chat to our staff and children. We believe that when you do, you will understand what it is that makes the Dragon so special and, perhaps, as many parents comment, wish you were back at school yourself. Annie McNeile, Headmistress, Dragon Pre-Prep
Welcome to the Dragon Prep (8-13)
School life centres on a broad curriculum designed and delivered by a large, very well qualified teaching staff. A huge range of after school activities and clubs extend timetabled subjects and games with every kind of interest and activity. An outstanding sporting school, the Dragon fields strong teams across the board of competition while offering a programme that includes and encourages every level of ability. The extensive Dragon music programme mirrors this in breadth and diversity with orchestras, choirs, bands and performances of every kind.
Increasingly, more people are becoming aware of the importance of the environment and the need to move towards a more sustainable future. There is an increasing need for professionals that understand the sustainability agenda who can navigate the complex challenges facing society as sustainability becomes more important in scientific economic and political decision making. Thus, it is vital that our young Dragons grow up with the knowledge and in the understanding that care of both our local and global environment is critical to our wellbeing as a society.
Below are some of the aims for our sustainability programme at the Dragon:
- For children to learn about sustainable practices through the curriculum and in extracurricular activities and clubs.
- To promote the recycling of different materials and improve facilities around school for the organisation and recycling of waste. This will include recycling food waste to produce renewable energy.
- To promote the idea of waste reduction in all areas of school and encourage pupils and staff to think carefully about reusing resources before recycling.
- To encourage pupils and staff to make informed choices about food and water to promote healthy living and avoid waste.
- Use the school grounds and the extracurricular time for activities or clubs which will promote pupils and staff to consider sustainability issues surrounding the growth of food and the importance of biodiversity.
- To share expertise and facilities by collaboration with other local schools who are involved with Eco Schools or sustainability projects. To make use of expertise within our own extended Dragon community (parents, ODs) to promote sustainable living.
- To link the idea of sustainable living in our Dragon community to our local and global community.
- To review regularly school buildings, equipment and practises in order to help us to conserve energy and water and plan for a future which will include renewable energy resources. This will include the use of efficient taps and sensor systems to reduce energy usage.
- We will communicate our action plans and achievements through the Staff and Pupil Intranet systems, on the School website (Green Dragons) through the weekly publication Dragon News and assemblies
ISI Inspection, November 2014
This is the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) report on the Dragon following the inspection on 11th - 14th November 2014.
This was an integrated inspection which included Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Boarding.
ISI reports do not provide a single overarching judgement for the school but instead give a clear judgement on each aspect of the school’s work at the beginning of each section.
These headline statements must include one of the ISI descriptors, "excellent", "good", "sound" or "unsatisfactory" and, where the quality of the pupils' achievements and learning is "exceptional", that term may be used for the top grade in that single category. For all other categories, the top grade is "excellent".
The headlines are:
- The quality of the pupils’ achievements and learning – Exceptional
- The contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision - Excellent
- The quality of teaching – Excellent
- The spiritual, moral, social and cultural developments of the children – Excellent
- The contribution of arrangements for pastoral care - Excellent
- The contribution of arrangements for welfare, health and safety – Excellent
- The quality of governance – Excellent
- The quality of leadership and management, including links with parents, carers and guardians – Excellent
- The quality of boarding education – Excellent
- Outcomes for boarders – Excellent
- Provision and care – Excellent
- Welfare and safeguarding – Excellent
- Leadership and management of boarding – Excellent
This means the Dragon scored the top grade in every category and it is a great testimony to the superb work of all the children and staff at the school.
Clubs (After School)
As well as the compulsory Activity sessions, we offer a variety of after school Clubs that are mainly voluntary. Some children are required to attend certain "pre-selected Clubs" such as extra Sport coaching and Choir rehearsals but in the main the choice is down to the individual child and his/her parents.
Most of the Clubs are run by Dragon staff, but where outside expertise is necessary (as with Judo, Fencing, Squash, Real Tennis and Chess) this brings an extra charge.