Summer Fayre

From the Headmaster

Thank you to all the parents who supported the many various events over the weekend. It was particularly lovely to see so many mothers at the river for breakfast and a good number of parents at the Sunday Service. It was also a real pleasure to welcome so many Old Dragons back for the opening of the OD Art Exhibition as part of ArtWeeks on Saturday. Apart from enjoying listening to their many reminiscences about their time at school, it was fascinating to discover that so many of them had chosen careers in the creative worlds of art, design, drama, film and music.

The children and staff have been working flat out over the last few weeks and I know half-term will come as a welcome relief to many. We return from half-term to five no less busy weeks and I urge parents to keep an eye on the calendar and to read the notices and reminders from school.

I wish you all a very happy (and hopefully sunny) half-term.


Future Schools Deadlines for D Block

Please note that several schools have deadlines for registration over the next month or so. These include Eton (depending on date of birth), Wellington, Radley, Tonbridge, Westminster and Harrow with St Paul’s and Charterhouse very early next term.  If you wish to register, please contact the schools directly via their Admissions team. 

Dragon School Choir and Idris Choir Auditions

Auditions for these two choirs will take place in the week beginning Monday, 12 June, 2017. All children in B - E Block can audition for Dragon School Choir and any child in B - D Block who is already a member of Dragon School Choir can audition for Idris Choir. Children are welcome to come to the Ma Savage’s office in the Music School at the following times:

Monday 12 June: 4.15pm – 5.15pm

Tuesday 13 June: 10.40am – 11.00am (Bun Break), 12.30pm – 1.00pm (E Block and MS only) 1.30pm – 2.00pm (US only) and 1.30pm – 2.00pm (US only)

Wednesday 14 June: 10.30am – 11.00am (Bun Break)

Thursday 15 June: 10.30am – 11.00am (Bun Break) Friday 16 June: 10.40am – 11.00am (Bun Break)

These times will also be published daily in school and all staff have been informed. In order to help with the process, please see the attached letter, which contains information about all the choirs in school and the auditions, including requirements for the audition itself. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Music, with any queries.

Davos Ski Trip

Places on the Davos Ski Trip in the February half-term are going fast. The trip is open to skiers of all levels and abilities, and is for families from the Prep and Pre-Prep, and also unaccompanied Dragons from C, B or A Block. Do please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve a place or express interest.

Further details are available by clicking here



Outdoor Learning

On Friday last week, the Pre-Prep children put on their coats and wellies and went outside for Empty Classroom Day as part of our Outdoor Learning.

Reception children were involved in a wide variety of activities including experimenting with floating and sinking, building a shelter, weighing and also preparing the flowerbeds before planting seeds.

Year 1 enjoyed using their senses to explore an enchanted Dragon Island at the prep school garden. They also got creative and made dragons using natural materials.

Year 2 celebrated the Chinese Dragon Boat Race Festival, designing their own boats for a race later that day. They also celebrated with Chinese traditions, games and food.


The Balloon Debate

Picture the scene: Eight characters in a hot air balloon. It’s losing height, it’s going to crash... four characters must be jettisoned to save the rest. Who gets to stay and who has to jump? It all depends if you can justify why you should stay and not the others. Each child in Year 3 chose a character and wrote and presented a three minute speech explaining why they should stay in the balloon. Each class voted on two characters they thought should stay in the balloon and these final 8 went through to the final.

The final was very exciting. There was a very dapper Mary Poppins, a funny Monsieur Joseph Montgolfier, a poetic Jimmy the Postman, a super smooth James Bond, a caring and knowledgeable David Attenborough, a bristly-bearded Ernest Shackleton, a clever and practical Florence Nightingale and a magical Harry Potter. They were a very persuasive bunch. Humour was used to great effect and it was impressive that many of them had learnt their speeches by heart. Voting was very close, but in the end Monsieur Joseph Montgolfier, Jimmy the Postman, James Bond and David Attenborough stayed in. Well done to all the finalists, the rest of Year 3 (who asked some very tough questions) and to the parents, who came and supported the finalists.


China Day

The topic this half-term has been Take One Picture, when the Pre-Prep explores one piece of art. This time we are looking at Chinese Dragon Plate that can be seen at the Ashmolean. We’ve examed key facts about China including where to live, the major cities, landmarks and rivers. We’ve written non-chronological reports on Chinese dragons and each child in Year 3 has made their very own lapbook of Chinese facts. The topic culminated in China Day this Monday, in which Year 3 had a taste of life in a Chinese school. We wore neck scarves, bowed as we entered the room, marched in unison around the school, performed exercise drills at bunbreak, lunch and after Games, and ate delicious Chinese food for the day. The children enjoyed their desks arranged in rows, and requested them to remain like that for the remainder of the week. A perfect way to round off our topic.



PEG Election Debate

This week, the Dragon has been infected with politics fever. After listening to a talk last week on government, democracy and the General Election from Ma Kirkland, the PEG students held an election debate on Tuesday.

Four representatives from each of the four main parties they battled it out. With excellent political tactics, rhetoric, and question avoidance, they took the place of their heroes splendidly. The debate was held in the forum over lunch and attracted quite an audience - pupils and teachers - for the budding politicians while they debated the state of the NHS, education cuts and where we should invest to protect the environment. Then, having first answered questions on Brexit, attracting young voters and future UK relations with the USA, Nell, Fin, Will and Conrad delivered some stirring closing remarks pulling in the attention of all. A grown-up endeavour for 13 year olds to take on but they delivered excellently. They are going to follow this up by running a Dragon polling booth for children and staff at lunchtime on the Thursday, 8 June. Soapboxes at the ready.


Trip to Globe Theatre

On Sunday, under a clear May sky, the Post-Exam Group went to Shakespeare's Globe in London to watch Romeo and Juliet. Before that, they took part in workshops about the nimble skills needed for stage sword-fighting, and the many, many layers needed to dress to act on an Elizabethan stage. The pupils were entertained if understandably baffled by the play itself, before a whistle-stop exploration of the Tate Modern. The pupils showed great respect for others during the trip and were fascinated by all on offer during the sunny, intriguing and eclectic day. Well done all.

25.05.2017PEGGLobe 2017

Mothers’ Breakfast

Last weekend John and Wendy hosted the first Mothers’ breakfast by the river, and were delighted to be joined by over 150 mothers on what turned out to be a very sunny Saturday morning. There were delicious breakfast canapés to enjoy, along with coffee and even a few bubbles. It was a lovely morning and if you were able to come along we do hope you enjoyed it. We look forward to hosting another next year. 


ESSA Regional Swimming Finals

On Saturday evening, the U11 girls’ and boys’ freestyle teams travelled to the Guildford Spectrum to compete in the ESSA Regional Finals. Both teams improved on their qualifying times by more than a second, with the boys making the final. The boys went into the final ranked 5th, knowing a top 3 finish would mean they would qualify for National finals. In a very close race that wasn’t decided until the final 5 metres. The boys produced another outstanding performance, finishing 3rd and earning their place.

25.05.2017ESSA Finals 

Oxford Mela Performance

Last Saturday, members of the Dragon Senior Saxophone Quartet performed at the Rose Hill Community Centre as part of the Oxford Mela day. “Mela”, a word from Sanskrit meaning a meeting or gathering. The aim of the community event was to celebrate Oxford’s diverse heritage, bringing communities and their talents together. The day included Bollywood, Contemporary and World Music, sports, stalls and a wide range of food! The Dragon Saxophone Quartet performed three pieces, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.


OD Art Exhibition, in conjunction with Oxford Art Weeks

On Saturday, we were delighted to be joined by over 50 special guests  for a private view of our OD Art Exhibition, arranged by OD Representative, Moira Darlington, in conjunction with Oxford ArtWeeks. Jenny Saville kindly agreed to open the event and said “Art, storytelling, drama, music and dance are all subjects that encourage the development of imagination, flexibility of thought and resilience… We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.” To read Jenny’s speech, please click here.

It was a lovely afternoon, and we would like to thank all our contributing artists as well as the local community for supporting this initiative. We hope you had the opportunity to visit the exhibition during the week. Please click here to read the story published this week in the Oxford Times.


Radley Athletics

Last week was the annual athletics fixture at Radley, where a full complement of Dragons were able to make the most of competing on a ‘proper’ track.  The conditions were perfect, and there were some excellent performances, with everyone keen to show their best before Mercia on the Thursday,  22 June. 

There were some notable performances, but more significantly, five school records were broken: Rory knocked an impressive 3 seconds off the previous best in the U12 Boys 300m, and after he had run the 800m. Bizza broke the U14 800m record. Basil broke the U13 Boys 200m record which has stood for 24 years. Clover broke her own U13 1500m.

Last, but not least, the D Block boys of Freddie, Jack, Julian and James broke the D Block 4 x 100m Relay record.

Overall, the C and D Block boys team came out trophy winners beating 12 other schools. A and B Block boys were 3rd, with the A and B Block girls team beating Oratory girls and placed 8th overall -  ahead of some boys schools.

Well done to all that took part.

The Great Fire of London ICT Project

This term, the ICT and Music students in A Block have been working on overlapping projects based around the central theme of the Great Fire of London. The music students in A Block created music and sound effects to reflect the period in history as well as the events of the great fire, whilst students in ICT classes designed games around the theme to make use of the sounds and music files created in music lessons. This project has been a great opportunity for children to put programming skills into context – helping them understand the process of taking an idea from concept to finished product.

Working in pairs, ICT students used a specially designed booklet to guide them through the process and give them a space to record their ideas and designs. For those less confident about their programming prowess, going through a thorough design process gave them a chance to understand how the game should be built, but also a sense of ownership that motivated them to try a little bit harder to pick up the skills they needed to bring their games to life.

The first stage of the project required the children to spend some time looking into the events of the Great fire, identifying how it started, how it was stopped, and its impact through the ages. Having done this research, the children were paired up and started to brainstorm ideas for games that touched on the theme of the Great Fire of London. They made use of our dry-wipe table surfaces to help them generate, visualise and discuss their ideas before deciding what to build. The great fire games are currently in the development stage ahead of the deadline at the end of the summer term.

Certain aspects of our work on this have contributed to a wider project that is being coordinated by the Knightsbridge School in conjunction with the Museum of London. They invited a number of schools to contribute work in various formats to this project in order to produce a combined multi-school project published in the form of an interactive website. The site was launched in London just before Easter and the entries to the project were assessed by the Museum of London staff who chose to recognise the work of the following students for their exemplary input into the project – congratulations to them:

Game - Most creative digital approach: Ginnie and Ellie – “The Great Fire” game

Music - Most atmospheric design: Sasha – “Desolation” soundtrack.

Vote for Sei

On Saturday, Sei helped our chef prepare his recipe which won him a place in the ‘Young Pea Chef Final 2017’. Members of our School Food Committee all had a turn at preparing Sei’s Cheesy Peasy Gyosas and agreed that they were delicious.

Sei would be very grateful for the support of Dragon friends and parents who can vote for him by clicking here.


Cherwell Summer Fayre Stalls

Last Friday, the Cherwell girls organised two stalls for the Summer Fayre. The first stall was the ‘Great Cherwell Bakery’ selling over 250 cupcakes made by the girls and 100 fruit skewers. The second stall was ‘Lucky Dip’. Both stalls were extremely popular and sold out, but the Great Cherwell Bakery hit a record and sold all 350 items in under 20 minutes – now that’s a record.


Fun and Games for Gunga Din

It was a fun-filled weekend for the Gunga boys, with the ever-popular Summer Fayre on Friday evening, and then a trip to Barbury Shooting School on Sunday. The A and B Block boys worked together to run two stalls at the Fayre: the ‘Gunga Hair Salon and Body Art’ as well as the ‘Gunga Tuck Pong’ game.  Both were a huge success.  At the Barbury Shooting School, the boys were ‘right on target’ enjoying the sunshine and winning a substantial number of prizes. Congratulations go to: Jules and Skoro for the ‘best shotgun score’, Freddie for the ‘best archery score’, Hugo for the ‘best air riffle score’ and Freddie, Frankie and Jose for the ‘highest score’ in their activity groups.



Regular news is also posted on the Dragon School Old Dragons Facebook page.

Read the latest Old Dragon News on the Dragon Community Website page.

Diary Reminders

For all sports fixtures and the full calendar of events, please see the main School Calendar.

Friday, 26 May, 2017

8:30am: D Block Eco-Musical Rehearsal (in the Lynam Hall) 11:00am: D Block Eco - Musical Performance of 'One Sun, One World' (in the Lynam Hall 12:15pm: HALF TERM begins for Middle School & E Block (until evening of Sunday 4th June) 12:30pm: HALF TERM begins for Upper School (until evening of Sunday 4th June)

Tuesday, 6 June, 2017

Common Entrance Starts 

Thursday, 8 June, 2017

8:50am: String Chamber Ensembles to perform at Pre-Prep Assembly

Friday, 9 June, 2017

End of CE Exams 5:00pm: Governors Meeting 6:45pm: Spectrum: Creative Writing Evening for B Block, Middle School & E Block (in the Forum) 6:45pm: PEG Drama Presentations for A Block (in the Lynam Hall) 


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