15.06.2017 main photo

Betjeman Society AGM

From the Headmaster

The final Exeat of the year is upon us so I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy what should be a lovely, sunny weekend.

Older hands will know that the end of the Summer Term is somehow busier than any other time of the year and we do look forward to welcoming parents to the many events arranged in the coming weeks. It is therefore really important to read all the various letters and notices that arrive from school and to keep an eye on the calendar. Last week, I sent out information concerning Prize Giving on Saturday, 1 July. If you missed this, the details can be found on the website here.


Pre-Prep Art Exhibition

The Forum is currently showing Pre-Prep art based on a 19th century Chinese bowl in the Ashmolean. The response to 'Two Dragons Chasing a Flaming Pearl' is shown in prints, ceramics, mosaic, sgraffito and collage. All are welcome to visit at drop-off and pick-up after 3:30pm.

15.06.2017 Pre Prep Art Exh

Madagascar – C Block Drama Performance

As you may be aware, members of C Block are performing Madagascar later this term.

There are two performances: Thursday, 22 June and Friday, 23 June 2017 at 6:45pm in the Lynam Hall. If you would like to attend one of these performances please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note that there will be a maximum of 5 seats allowed per family, per performance.

Dragons in the audience (not Pre-Prep) must be wearing their B Suits.

Please could you send Mr Scott your requests before Monday, 19 June, 2017 in order to avoid disappointment.

Athletics Training

As per the norm, after the June Exeat (week beginning 19 June) all athletics clubs held on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday will be open only to those children competing at Mercia 22 June (squad members). It is very important that these children have priority in the week leading up to this prestigious event.

From the week beginning 26 June, athletics clubs will be open only to athletes who qualified at Mercia for the Nationals, to be held on Tuesday, 4 July 2017. Form athletics starts on Saturday, 24 June 2017 and all Games sessions from thereafter will be athletics, so children will have plenty of athletics time.

Bees Wanted

The Dragon beehives are looking for some new residents. If you notice a swarm of bees (an example is shown in the photograph) in your garden and you don’t live too far from school, please telephone the School Office with a message for Marcin, the Dragon beekeeper. If possible, Marcin will collect them and bring them to a new home at the Dragon.

15.06.2017 bees

Lost Property

A reminder to ensure your child’s name is on their belongings, such as clothes, sport kits and bags. It is helpful for ATs when reuniting lost property with the correct child; a fair amount of unnamed kit is often found in the School.

By the hard play area, at home time this Friday, 15 June, the ATs will have all current unnamed lost property available for parents or children to collect. Lost property from recent OD’s will also be available for collection (in case the item has been passed down to a current pupil).

 Day Boarding Announcement

Rupert and Lucy Blencowe are very excited to be taking on the Day Boarding House, No.14 Bardwell Road, in September, 2017. Day Boarding gives our younger Prep day children (E, D and C Block), an opportunity to experience being a boarder for between 1 and 4 days a week. This provides a perfect opportunity for those contemplating full boarding in the Upper School.

We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of the children who have shown an interest in Day Boarding.

If your child is currently in Year 3, 4 or 5 and you are interested in the Day Boarding option, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can arrange a convenient date for a trial night in the near future.

15.06.2017 Day Boarding Announcement



This week the children have been unpicking Determination; what it means to be determined, how we can be more determined within and outside of school and how we can encourage others. This morning the children put the characteristic into action: spending the assembly session working with their peers on a wide selection of challenging puzzles. They displayed cooperation skills, perseverance and strategy, as well as having great fun, choosing to leave unfinished jigsaws out to complete at Bun Break. Why not dig out some puzzles to enjoy at home this sunny weekend?


Dragon Coders Meet Code Academy CEO 

On Tuesday, nine computer programmers from C and B Block were accompanied to the Saïd Business School to participate in an event featuring Zach Sims, the CEO of Code Academy, an on-line platform with 25 million users worldwide teaching people to code interactively, for free.

The morning started with a discussion in a state-of-the-art lecture room led by Zach about the future of higher education. A key topic of discussion revolved around how we can best prepare students vocationally for the ever-changing demands of the workplace. The Dragons were welcomed and stimulated by this discussion; the organiser later described them as “a highlight of the session.”

After this, the Dragons met with Zach for a seminar discussion; they had the courage to ask him many questions and led a presentation about their interests and motivations for coding at the school with Mr Akoh. All children spoke engagingly about a current project they are working on: a website they are collaboratively coding called Global Goals Comics. We also gained many insights from meeting an organisation called 'Go Girl', which helps gives disadvantaged girls access to coding experience and teaching.

All in all, it was an inspiring day for all concerned.

Mount Ventoux Cycle for Charity

After 21.5km of riding and climbing over 1,612m, one final pedal stroke pushed Gavin (D Block) over the summit and to his goal.

Gavin couldn’t have chosen a better day to attempt the climb. Relatively light winds and mild cloud cover made for near perfect conditions. The day started with coffee and hot chocolate in Bédoin where Gavin was interviewed by BBC Radio Oxford. After the interview, Gavin and his parents quickly set off and began the journey up the mountain. From the first km to the last, it was just a matter of turning the pedals over and focusing constant forward progress. They were regularly cheered on with encouraging shouts of ‘chapeau’ and ‘courage jeune homme’. Our thumbs were almost as tired as our legs from repeatedly replying with an international known ’thumbs up'.

Gavin raised over £2,022 for Helen and Douglas House, surpassing his £1,612 target. Thank you all for your generous donations and support.

15.06.2017 Mount Ventoux cycle for charity

Creative Writing Spectrum

On Friday, we were treated to an evening of piano, poetry and prose. Children from B to E Block shared their creative writing with an appreciative audience and their readings were interspersed with some lovely music from our pianists. Well done to all our budding writers.

Betjeman’s Schoolboy Poems Mark Centenary Celebration

Last Saturday, 10 June, we were delighted to welcome over 60 Betjeman Society members to the school for their 2017 AGM, to mark 100 years since Sir John Betjeman arrived at the Dragon in 1917. The day was a huge success, and following the morning meeting, the society enjoyed a delicious lunch, and poems read by the children that had been inspired by Sir John himself (among these readings were also the first ever poems written by Sir John himself, published in the 1920 school magazine, the Draconian). Members also took in a guided tour of the school, as well as a fascinating exhibition – both courtesy of our Archivist, Gay Sturt. The afternoon ended with a very special unveiling by the Headmaster, and Charlotte (Year 2) - a plaque honouring Sir John Betjeman, kindly donated by the society.  The plaque hangs in the playground, just outside the Forum should you like to take a look. Thank you to all the staff and children who helped to make this such a memorable occasion.

15.06.2017 J.Betjeman


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, 16 June, 2017

New York Exchange Group arrives at 12 noon approx. (our guests are with us until Wednesday 21 June) 12:15pm: WEEKEND EXEAT begins for Middle School & E Block (until evening of Sunday 18 June) 12:30pm: WEEKEND EXEAT begins for Upper School (until evening of Sunday 18 June)

Saturday, 17 June, 2017

10:00am: ABRSM Theory Examination (External) 1:30pm: Swimming: ESSA National Final for U11 Girls & Boys (A - at Sheffield Ponds Forge)

Monday, 19 June, 2017

Art Scholars' Exhibition in the Art Gallery (until Sunday July) Summer Art Exhibition in the Forum (open until Sunday 2 July) National Finals of the UK Team Maths Challenge (all day event in London) D Block CATs (throughout the week) Childnet e-safety sessions for Middle School & B Block (during the day) 4:30pm: Technical Rehearsal for 'Madagascar' (in the Lynam Hall)

Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

Sports & Music Photographs to be taken (throughout the morning) 9:00am: Year 3 Play Rehearsals (until 12:30pm in the Lynam Hall) Dress Rehearsal for 'Madagascar' (in the Lynam Hall)

Tuesday, 13 June, 2017

Pre-Prep Art Exhibition in the Forum (open until Friday 16 June)

Wednesday, 21 June, 2017

9:00am: Year 3 Play Rehearsals (until 12:30pm in the Lynam Hall)

Thursday, 22 June, 2017

Mercia Athletics (at Tilsley Park) 11:00am: A Block E Safety Workshop (in the Lynam Hall) 6:45pm: First Performance of 'Madagascar' (a seat reservation is required)

Friday, 23 June, 2017

A Block Future Schools' Day (throughout the day) 3:00pm: Leavers' & Scholars' Photographs to be taken 6:45pm: Spectrum: Upper School -ACE Africa talk by Annemarie Marshall 6:45pm: Second Performance of 'Madagascar' (a seat reservation is required)


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