At Dragon School we seek to add extra enjoyment and understanding through extra-curricular activities wherever possible. A wide range of activities in sport, music, art, drama and dance as well as gardening, textiles and language clubs are on offer across both the Pre-Prep and Prep.
Our Activities and Clubs programme is aimed at fostering confidence, independence, and breadth of interest both as individuals as well as within the framework of a team. Great emphasis is placed on developing the whole child, making sure there is a balance in their extra-curricular activities and giving them the key life skills they need to successfully cope with the move to their senior schools.
Drama is a popular and well attended extra-curricular activity, and the children’s practice is informed by rigorous study of technique in our fantastic Studio. The School plays are joyous occasions when the whole community comes together to celebrate the unique spirit of the Dragon.
We have an extensive costume department and there are strong links with the Music Department who train the singers, play in bands and often write material. Likewise, the Art Department helps with set design and painting, and we have great support from the Maintenance Department who help build the sets. Some children choose to get involved with stage management, where there are on-going activities for sound and lighting, and the children are actively involved in productions.
Music is a key component of life for musicians and non-musicians, and is embedded in every child’s education at the Dragon. We deliver 800 individual music lessons a week on a diverse array of instruments from traditional orchestral to rock and pop, and run 60 music groups a week catering for a variety of musical tastes from classical to jazz.
We have a unique Ensembles Programme in which every child taking instrumental lessons will play in their corresponding ensemble. This is protected Music time in which children learn to listen, play as part of a team, count, sight-read as well as valuable social skills. Our Ensembles Programme defines the Dragon as a school of musical excellence, as ensemble playing is both encouraged and facilitated from an early stage. It enables us to enhance a child’s musical education like no other Prep School and underpins our departmental philosophy.
Dragon School is proud to offer a huge range of ensembles, currently over 60 in total, each run by a team of dedicated specialists. From Concert and Big Band, Choirs and Rock bands to Piano Trios and String Quartets our aim is to encourage the beginner to most advanced musician in a fun and engaging way. The ensemble programme provides a unique platform for children to learn vital communication, listening, theory and practical skills as well as developing team work.
Performance opportunities in School also include the annual Carol Service, Spring Concert and Summer Serenade as well as the annual Piano Festival.
Dragon School enjoys all year-round sports, from swimming to tennis, athletics to sculling, hockey to equestrianism, cricket to netball and rugby to golf. We have toured various places in recent years, home and abroad, including our annual tours to South Africa and Mallorca. Please visit our Trips & Travel page for more information.
We are very fortunate to have near to three hundred metres of the River Cherwell passing through our Dragon grounds, which has fostered a love of rowing within many Dragons, some of which have gone on to earn representative honours. This includes Tom George OD, winner of two World Championships bronze medals and World Cup gold, and Frances Houghton OD, four-time World Champion and five-time Olympian. All children have the opportunity to learn sculling as part of the School Activity and Clubs Programme, and each year the Dragon participates in various events across the region. At the end of the Summer Term the Dragon hosts our own internal regatta on the River Cherwell, with as many as 80 races take place during the day with events for all. There are several School cups for which the children can compete during the year and at the Dragon Regatta.
Swimming takes place throughout the year, both in Games time and in PE lessons, and it is the aim that every child leaves the Dragon being water confident and a competent swimmer. Throughout the year there are School and invitational events in which teams compete and the School hosts one of the regional qualifying rounds for the IAPS Championships, as well as the Oxon Primary School Relay South-East Qualifier.
With a number of golf fixtures organised against other schools, we also enter teams into the ISGA League competition. There are opportunities to go to a local driving range or play on local courses, and Dragon Golfers have enjoyed success at IAPS championships and also the prestigious Stowe Putter Competition in recent years.
As well as the compulsory Activity sessions, we offer a variety of after-school clubs that are mainly voluntary (between 4.30pm and 5.30pm). Some children are required to attend certain 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.
The Activities Programme is part of the School day (between 3.10pm and 4.15pm) and therefore what the children do is decided by the School, which ensures a healthier balance to each individual programme.
Every child has at least two Activity slots each week and the system for the majority of children is that they rotate through as many as twelve different activities in one year. Some children, however, particularly in the Upper School, will be required for certain things such as music ensembles, swim squads or scholarship exam preparation and this will mean they do not rotate through as many.