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Dragon School

Year 6 Girls Boarding

Stringer’s – the Year 6 girls’ boarding house Stringer’s is home for twenty Year 6 boarders. They live in a typical North Oxford family house, together with the houseparents, Emma & Andrew Whitty. There is also a resident matron, who is an 18 or 19 year old girl on a gap year. She helps with the domestic side of life, and acts as something of an older sister to the children. Unlike many schools, our boarding houses are not just used at night time. The children are in and out of them throughout the day, and the houseparents get to know them extremely well and very quickly! The children return to the houses after breakfast, for a mid-morning break, at lunchtime and at tea-time for cakes and drinks, and are often around the house and garden in their freetime.

Elementary bed-making

Tea-time buns

AFTER SCHOOL - At 4.15 p.m. when the school day ends, the children return to their houses for afternoon tea. After this they may have a club, organised termly (see Activities & Clubs leaflet) or free time. Following supper they attend a staff-supervised prep on Monday – Thursday. On Friday evening the children have “Spectrum” – a programme of lectures, music or drama.

Stringer’s has a team of teachers attached to it as “dorms takers”. They take the children for prep and then take them for an activity; perhaps a swim, into the gym, or maybe board games, a quiz or a story back at house. WEEKENDS - On Saturday there is normal school in the morning until lunchtime. In the afternoon there are activities for the junior boarders (eg judo, swimming, climbing & cooking).

After prep - a swim...

...or a quieter evening in house

After this the children are free to organise their own time. Alternatively, unless they are involved in matches against other schools, they are also free to go out with their parents. Children are free to go out after the School Service (c. 10.45 a.m) on Sundays. Some go out most Sundays, some every two or three weeks and some only at exeats. Whilst a lot of children are out with parents or their friends’ parents, we always have 80-100 children in, for whom we have special activities (see Boarders’ Weekends leaflet). The children have an expedition or activity in school arranged especially for them every Sunday afternoon. Generally, Sundays are a mixture of relaxed time in the house, and an activity.

There are only six weekends in the whole year when children have to be at school - three of these are the first weeknds of term. BIRTHDAYS - Birthdays are special times and we like to celebrate them in House. Boys and girls whose birthday falls during the term-time are offered a special birthday tea.

...and then there are the Christmas outings too...

In-house Entz evening - Recycled Runway fashion show

KEEPING IN TOUCH - All the children have their own email addresses and can send or receive emails on any of the computers around the school. The three computers in the house are the ones they will probably use the most. In addition

the house has two separate telephone lines for children to use and for parents to contact them. No money or cards are needed. Each child has a PIN, which allows us to bill parents for all calls made. Mobile phones are not allowed at school.

Who Are The Boarders? Boarders are very much the heart of the school, and they benefit from being with children from a wider range of backgrounds than is present in more traditional boarding schools. We have children from local, national & international backgrounds. About 25% of our boarders are London-based and 25% are from Oxford & surrounding counties. The remainder come from further afield and include 20% who are from English families living overseas. Often we find that it is at about this age that children are beginning to grow out of smaller schools (particularly if they are in cities). They are ready for new challenges and a wider range of sport and activities. Three years at the Dragon allows children to take two smaller steps into a large senior school, rather than one large one. Stringer’s receives about half its girls from the junior house, Dewars, and the other half will consist of day children converting to boarding and children totally new to the school. The new children fit in extremely well and this is helped by the fact that all the other children are at least new to the house, if not the school. With the supervision of meals in the dining hall as well, the houseparents will see the children every couple of hours. In addition to the pastoral duties, the housemistress also acts as academic tutor. There is a constant flow of information between the houseparents and the academic staff, both informally and via progress reports. The housemistress will go through these reports with the children and parents, and follow up on them as necessary. With some senior schools requiring pre-assessments to be done in Year 6, the housemistress, Emma Whitty, along with Moira Darlington (Deputy Head in charge of the Future School Office), will advise parents on choice of schools.

STRINGER’S (9 Charlbury Road) Houseparent: Ginny Brown Ginny is a former Dragon pupil who went on to get a BA from Exeter and a Master’s Degree from Oxford. She spent two years as the Assistant Housemistress at Kelly College in Devon before joining Stringer’s. Ginny also teaches Religious Studies.

Is Boarding For You? Coming to see round the Dragon is obviously the first step. Children usually make their first visit about 12 – 18 months before they come. This is the Dragon litmus paper test. Does she go red with excitement or white with horror?! After this visit a lot of talking will take place in the family, as it is important that you all agree on your decision. Those that do go ahead are invited back for an academic assessment during the year prior to entry. In the Summer Term we invite the children to come for an overnight stay when the top year are away on expeditions. This allows us to move everyone into the houses they will be in the following term for a 24 hour sleep-over.

For further information about Boarding at the Dragon, please contact:

Desmond Devitt, Registrar Telephone: 01865 315405 E-mail: Dragon School, Bardwell Road, Oxford OX2 6SS

The Dragon School Trust Ltd is registered as a charity, no. 309676, and as a limited company, no. 524331, at the above address

Year 6 Girls Boarding at The Dragon  

Year 6 Girls Boarding at The Dragon

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