Friday 26 March

Dear Parents

As I write, the Easter Term finishes in bright sunshine, with all the promise and optimism of Spring. Once again, I find myself writing to you with a reflection on another challenging, busy but ultimately successful term. Earlier this week, our school community took a moment to reflect and remember all that has happened over the past 12 months with a minute’s silence on Tuesday 23 March, for the National Day of Covid Reflection. Our assembly this week explored the topic of team work, and we considered all the teamwork that has been required during the pandemic. We thought about the teams who have looked after those affected by Covid, the teams that are keeping us safe, key workers, those involved in vaccination delivery and development, and we considered the ways in which teams can communicate and support one another, even if they cannot meet face to face.

Of course, back in January, term resumed under the shadow of a national lockdown, with only provision for key worker children permitted on site. Undeterred, Dragon staff and pupils switched seamlessly into remote learning, with Zoom classes set up and live streamed teaching. As well as delivering a rigorous academic curriculum, Dragon children also participated in a huge range of extra-curricular options including choirs, orchestras, art, drama, wellbeing projects, Spectrum and Disco talks, and our Saturday morning QUEST enrichment programme. The much-loved DUCS League (Dragons Undertake Challenges in Sport) also made a welcome return, this time with the added excitement of friendly competition with other prep schools.

Monday 8 March brought back to Bardwell Road and Richard’s Lane the welcome vibrancy of Dragon pupils. Classrooms and corridors, playgrounds and boarding houses resonated once more to the cheerful sounds of young Dragons, albeit in their risk-mitigating ‘bubbles’ and households. Meanwhile, for those pupils overseas who have been unable to re-join us, online learning has continued, enabling our Dragons to stay connected and participate virtually in all that is on offer.

Whilst this year has been anything but typical, a Dragon education has remained a wonderfully diverse and enriching experience, with learning opportunities that extend far beyond the classroom. Over the next few pages you will see some exciting highlights of the term together with news stories, which will give you a flavour of life at the Dragon.

A particularly special piece of news that you will have heard this week is the exciting announcement that Mrs Emma Goldsmith is to be the new Head of the Dragon, taking up her post in September this year. As well as being the first female Head in the school’s long and illustrious history, Emma brings a wealth of experience to the headship. She is really looking forward to being part of this remarkable school community, where I know she will be given a very warm welcome.

As the holidays approach, in the Christian calendar Easter symbolises a time of hope and new beginnings and it is in this spirit that we look forward to the arrival of the summer term and all the opportunities it will offer our young Dragons. Before then it remains for me to wish you all a very happy Easter break. Thank you all for your support throughout this term, despite the challenges we have faced – it is greatly appreciated by everyone at the school. I do hope you and your families can all stay safe and well, and I very much look forward to seeing you next term.

With all best wishes,

Crispin Hyde-Dunn

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