Ed PhelpsEdward Phelps

Deputy Headmaster and Teacher of Maths and Science

Life before the Dragon

I was born and bred in Oxfordshire and both my brothers and I attended the Dragon School in the seventies while Dad was a Don at St Edmund Hall. After completing my degree in Maths and Biology and teaching in Peshawar, Pakistan for a year I went on to teach science and A-Level Biology for 7 years in two Oxfordshire Comprehensive Schools, where I met my wife Maryon.

What do you enjoy most about the subjects you teach?

I love teaching science through practical experiments. They offer unique dimension to teaching and learning and are very popular with the pupils. There really is no substitute for learning by doing. The Dragon has a great track-record in science, and I’m really proud to be part of that. Meanwhile the school’s maths curriculum allows the children to unlock new levels of knowledge and understanding.

What do you enjoy most about the Dragon?

As Deputy Headmaster part of my role involves helping both pupils and their parents decide what school they would be best suited to when they leave here. It is a massive decision for the whole family and I enjoy being able to get to know them and offer advice and guidance. Another purple patch for me was the five years that Maryon and I ran the boarding house Charlbury. It was such a fun time with the 20 or so Year 6 boys and 10 years later we are still in touch with some of them and their parents.

What’s special about the Dragon?

Where to start? One thing that I love about this school is the amazing relationships between the staff and the children. It is I believe quite unique. We always strive to be totally open and honest with the pupils and they are with us in return. We encourage them to question things at all times and not to necessarily take everything we say as gospel. The Dragon also puts a lot of focus on helping children to understand the ideas of social impact and philanthropy. This is so important when one thinks of the world they are going into. It encourages children to think outside the box and to question the world around them. This is one of many things I feel the school does exceptionally well.


Like all the staff here I live and breathe the school during term time which doesn’t leave a lot of space for other activities. However during the holidays I like to pursue my interests in restoring and, in particular, re-caning chairs. My Dad taught me to do it when I was a Dragon and my twins are already showing an interest…