Upper School is the culmination of a Dragon education and this top of school experience proves to be the most rewarding for many Dragons as they make the most of the scale and scope of opportunities on offer. Unlike many Prep Schools, virtually all Dragons – boys and girls – stay on for B & A Block (Years 7 & 8) and there are always some who join for these two years. This is the stage when many day boarders trade up to weekly or full boarding in the Senior Boarding Houses in preparation for Public School and they enjoy the Spectrum speaker series on Friday evenings.
Children remain in the same tutor group for the two years and their Tutor supports their academic and pastoral needs, teaches them PSHEE, getting to know them and their families very well. Inter-form competitions for the Skipper Shield help to create a strong sense of identity and camaraderie. The B Block Governors’ Challenge celebrates philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Children are given money by the Governors and they invest it in either charitable works or creating products to sell on Market Day at School. Senior sports teams are drawn from across both year groups, as are the casts and ensembles for the Senior Play and Production. There are amazing chances to go to overseas with a Japan exchange, New York trip, St. Ives Art trip, ski trip, Classics trip to Rome, Pompeii and Herculaneum, an overseas music tour and sports tours to South Africa and Holland being the most high-profile.
The children take on more responsibility with Year 8 prefect and ambassador roles providing excellent leadership experience. Pupils learn independent study skills as preparation for their scholarship exams or Common Entrance.
The last term of A Block is a very special time with a Leavers’ programme of speakers, workshops and enrichment activities to prepare for the transition to senior school. There are three residential trips and formalities, such as the Leavers’ Service and Assembly, are juxta-posed with social events such as the family punting and BBQ evening, and final Sports Day. The boys and girls leave safe in the knowledge that they are ‘once a Dragon, always a Dragon’.