From the Headmaster
This week, children in our A Block have focused upon their practice 13+ exams. The process of revision and answering questions under timed conditions, together with the informative feedback from their subject teachers, will be extremely valuable in their thorough preparations for forthcoming senior school exams.
Meanwhile, in a Pre-Prep assembly, the children in Reception and Year 1 were thinking about Courage, a key value we promote throughout the Dragon. The girls and boys took their inspiration from the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and his children’s story The Darkest Dark. In other events, last Friday evening at our Spectrum talk, we learned about a remarkable charity called Future Hope, which celebrates 30 years of changing the lives of orphan street children in Kolkata, by providing them with a safe home and with schooling and sporting opportunities. We also enjoyed a fascinating talk by an Old Dragon about his recent 1,500 mile walk from the southern tip of India, along the coast to Kolkata, in aid of Future Hope. This was followed by an address from Tim Grandage, the charity’s founder. He very kindly presented to us a special “Rice and Spice” recipe book, based on favourite recipes from Future Hope’s school in Kolkata. We plan to use this as inspiration for a special school meal to raise awareness and further funds for Future Hope.
This week also saw ongoing success on the sports field, with our U13A girls hockey team beating Bromsgrove in their final match of the season. This meant that they won every game this term - which is a truly remarkable achievement. Their success is being matched by the boys U13 rugby teams, who likewise have won every match, beating Winchester House on Wednesday. Our warmest congratulations go to both these unbeaten teams, as well as to their coaches and parent supporters, for an absolutely outstanding term.
Moving on to the performing arts, our school choir will be participating in a Spirit of Christmas concert in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK at the St John the Evangelist’s Centre of Arts in East Oxford on Wednesday evening. Finally, our more senior boys and girls are looking ahead to staging their production of Arabian Nights in Lynam Hall next Thursday and Friday. I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that at the end of this term, we will be sorry to say farewell to Sarah Bird, who has worked as our school secretary for more than six years, and she will carry with her all our good wishes for her future endeavours. We also wish Julia Leong well as she begins her maternity leave next week. Meanwhile we will all enjoy a welcome Exeat weekend with some time to rest and regroup, ahead of the last three weeks of term and the highly anticipated run up to Christmas.
With all best wishes,
Members of the Upper School Present Arabian Nights
There are to be two performances and these will take place on Thursday, 30 November & Friday, 1 December at 6:45pm in the Lynam Hall.
Please note that there will be a maximum of 5 seats allowed per family. Dragons in the audience (not Pre-Prep) must wear their B Suits.
Muscular Dystrophy Christmas Concert
Next week, on Wednesday, 29 November at 7:00pm the Dragon School Choir have their first concert of the Christmas Season at the St John the Evangelist Arts Centre. It promises to be a wonderful evening of festive cheer and we very much hope you can join us. Tickets are selling fast for this event but there is still some availability. Please click here to reserve your seats.
Movember at Dragon School
The Movember 30 days of gents growing a moustache is thankfully nearing its end! We are within a whisker of £3,000, raising funds for men’s health.
We are competing against other schools in the UK, so please help win the school some prizes while making a difference for men’s health. Another incentive is this promise by Mr Pickup:
If the school can raise certain amounts of money then he will do the following:
£3,000 – He will shave his beard to a goatee
£4,000 – He will shave off his beard completely
£5,000 – He will shave off all hair on his head (except the eyebrows).
Keiskamma Music Academy Concert
St Andrew’s Church, 7 December 7:00pm-9:00pm
The Keiskamma Music Academy, which nurtures talent in a remote rural village in South Africa, will be performing at our local Church, St Andrew’s on Thursday, 7 December 7:00pm-9:00pm.
DRAGON SALE NEWS
Dragon Sale RAFFLE - TICKET SALES NOW OPEN!
Auction Prize Donations Needed
Donation Banks are Ready
Donation Banks are located near the Prep School boys changers ready to collect good quality items such as: fancy dress clothes; adults and children’s books for the Second Hand Book Stall; children’s toys of any kind including puzzles, games, trains, cars, dolls etc., ski-wear and sports equipment.
Dragon Sale Second Hand Bike Stall
Dragon Sale Second Hand Bike Stall
We will be gratefully receiving your second hand bike donations at the Bardwell Road school entrance between 7:45am and 8:30am on the following Saturday mornings: 18 November, 2 December and 9 December.
Pre-order your Bespoke Christmas Wreaths
Bottles Needed for Tombola
Drop off with Ma Bird in reception at the Prep or Ma Gilgrass at Pre-Prep.
For more information on any of the above Dragon Sale News items please click here.
On Thursday, 47 Year 1 children visited the Oxford Ice Rink as part of their Arctic Adventures topic. For many it was the first time they had worn skates and ventured onto the ice. The accompanying adults were astounded by the children's enthusiasm, courage and resilience. Not all of them found it easy but they showed true determination to attempt to master a new skill. Many children stayed on the ice for the full two hour session and, despite falling down many times, they immediately got back up and tried again, always with big smiles on their faces. This resilience of these small Dragons, and their determination to succeed, is inspirational.
On a bright but chilly autumnal day, Pre-Prep Year 3 girls travelled to the Prep for the annual hockey tournament organised superbly by Ma King and the Games Takers. They were greeted by the enthusiastic E Block managers, and were quickly organised into their mixed teams to get the afternoon underway.
Throughout the event, the girls showed great determination, teamwork and courage. Many parents cheered from the side-lines showing support and encouragement. The event was a positive experience for Years 3 and 4 in working together.
Chess player Ben, B Block, recently qualified for - and was accepted by - the EPSCA (English Primary Schools' Chess Association) U11 Squad, and as such is now officially one of the 'young lions of English chess'. Qualification is a big challenge and over several months Ben had to play in various tournaments at weekends, against opponents of all grades - many stronger than himself - in order to accumulate credits. In his final game in Leeds Ben had to win to secure his place in the England squad. His Dragon chess coach, Carl Portman, says 'This is a prestigious position totally earned by Ben himself. Whilst several people have supported him, he is the one that has to make the moves on the board. He is a promising talent and the reason for his success is hard work and love of the game”. Ben can be very proud of his achievements and the Dragon School can be equally proud to have such a passionate sportsman.
On Monday evening, 45 members of the Dragon Community came together for a networking evening focusing on Law, at The Law Society in London. Guests included ODs and parents, with varied law backgrounds ranging from undergraduates to paralegals, barristers and judges. Following a drinks reception, eight Dragons took to the floor to share insights into their specialist fields and the experience of our panel was fascinating - from Mental Health Law to Entertainment Law as well as Commercial and Criminal Law. As well as being inspiring and entertaining, our panel were also refreshingly open and honest, offering a real insight into the practice of Law and the challenges they have faced along the way. Q&A with the panel followed, along with continued time for networking. Thank you to everyone who came to support us, it was a wonderful evening, with some valuable exchanges made. For more from the evening please click here and do keep an eye out for future Arduus ad Solem: Community Networking events including Tech Start-ups and Property in 2018.
Parents Go Back to School
On Saturday morning, approximately 30 brave Dragon parents, from both Prep and Pre-Prep, enjoyed being a pupil again. For an hour, under the tutelage of Mr Smyth, Ma Probert and Ma Leong, the parents took part in two French, Spanish or German lessons, taught as if they were current Dragon pupils. It was a great chance for parents to witness our excellent teachers in action, and many commented how different lessons are now from when they were at school.
We will be repeating the opportunity with lessons in the Humanities in the Easter Term, so please do watch out for the email.
Senior Team Maths Challenge
Last Friday, a team of four A Block children (Seongho, Freddie, Isaac and Leiden) travelled to Wheatley Park School for the regional round of the UK Maths Trust Senior Team Maths Challenge. This is a competition aimed at sixth form students - year 12 and 13 - so we had a few funny looks as we turned up with our pupils - age 12 and 13; one staff member from another school asked if we were even allowed to be there...
A couple of hours later, as the top three teams were read out at the end of the competition, we had demonstrated that we were very much worth our place. St Edward's won the challenge, from the Matthew Arnold School, with Dragon in third: a more than fair effort.
Cokethorpe Cross Country
On Friday, boys and girls from C, D and E Block competed in the Cokethorpe Cross Country. Everyone ran with great courage and determination, and as a result, achieved phenomenal results.
All of the girls’ teams were victorious, winning the team competitions and finishing in very high positions individually. Ava, Lexie and Bea all led their races early on and they triumphed, with a number of other girls also winning medals- Charlotte, Daisy, Imogen, Kitty and Isobel.
The Boys U11s and U10s were up against strong opposition including Abingdon Prep, Chandlings and MCS. They too ran in a determined fashion, also emerging winners of their competitions. Monty ran superbly to triumph in the U10 Boys race and Bruno and Lorcan achieved Ma Hatcher’s praises for being the day’s ‘most improved’ runners.
A huge well done to everyone involved. The children deserve to feel extremely proud of their performances and of how they supported one another.
International Evening at No. 14
The children in No. 14 enjoyed some delicious Chinese dumplings last week. They were very interested to learn how they were prepared, and were keen to ask all sorts of questions about Chinese cooking.
Recently, the Bowden boys have been focussing on the Dragon values of kindness, courage and respect and how they can be applied during the holiday season as well as during term time. The boys have been discussing what kind of things their families might do around Christmas to encapsulate these values without even realising it. When we discussed that some people are not as fortunate as we are, they decided to pack some shoeboxes for boys and girls in Serbia and Bulgaria who may not otherwise be receiving gifts this year. Through the Trussell Trust several boys made shoeboxes over the half-term and are sure that the children receiving these boxes will be very pleased. Well done boys for supporting such a worthy cause!
MUSIC SCHOOL NEWS
Plans for the proposed new Music School on the Dragon’s Bardwell Road site have now been submitted and can be found at Oxford City Planning. If you wish to support this planning application, do please add your comments. The planning application also featured in the local media: Oxford Mail 3 November and Oxford Mail 7 November.
SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS
Please follow us on our updated Dragon School Facebook page, where we will now be sharing updates for the whole community, including school news, Old Dragon news, upcoming event invitations and reminders, as well Music School and Development updates. Please take a moment to follow us here.We hope you enjoy the School’s Facebook feed.