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Dragon School

Cherwell House

Girls’ Boarding With the opening of a new house for 20 Year 6 girls in November 2009, the Dragon now has three houses with a total capacity for 90 boarding girls. Whilst this allows us to have a larger number of younger boarders, it also opens up the possibility of taking extra boarding girls into Year 7 for the final two years.

Cherwell House This is the senior girls’ boarding house. As with the equivalent boys’ houses, the aim is that the children are in somewhat larger houses (our junior houses are for about 20 children each) which prepare them better for the size of houses they will find at senior schools. As with all our houses, they are used by the boarders throughout the day, as the children return regularly for break times. There will be a maximum of 48 girls in this house. For a girl new to the school at this point, it is perhaps good to note that all the girls with her will be new to the house if not new to the school. In addition there will probably be some day-girls converting to boarding, so it will in effect be a new group in a different setting.

Lindsey and the girls at breakfast

Breakfast with your friends

House Staff Cherwell is run by Lindsey & David Stuart. Lindsey teaches curriculum music, whilst David, when not engaged professionally is a teacher of singing and piano. They have two children, Harry (3) and Imogen (1) and a rabbit called Iggy. Also resident in the house are Liz & Will van Tromp (assistant houseparents) and two gap student matrons. A senior matron comes in daily to supervise the matrons as well.

What are the attractions of Years 7 & 8 at the Dragon? 1. Academic We prepare children for exams (and indeed pre-assessments) to gain entry to a wide variety of senior schools. In some cases it is necessary for children to catch up with language work (the children do 4 lessons of French & Latin from the beginning of Year 5 here). Those who are in the top sets will also have the opportunity to start some Spanish, German or Ancient Greek in Year 7. Throughout the final two years the children are streamed by ability in each of Humanities, Maths, Science, French & Latin.

2. Art & Design Year 7 & 8 children have a triple Art or Design lesson each week, which gives them the opportunity to sample the three main areas of Painting, Printmaking and Ceramics, as well as the exciting opportunities of the Design Technology workshop. They undertake a series of 8 Week projects focusing on a particular medium and theme, and also use an artist/designer or art movement for inspiration. A number of particularly talented children are involved in a scholarship art course, which allows them to compete for art scholarships to senior schools. Over the past three years 24 children have won art awards.

3. Music Likewise children can compete for music awards to senior schools. Even if that is not possible there is great potential for developing one’s ability in the range of musical groups that we have here, such as the strings, brass and woodwind ensembles and various choirs.

4. Drama Years 7 & 8 put on two plays in the course of the year. In 2009/10 we did a modern version of 12th Night, What You Will, and Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. In addition there has been a workshop version of A Journey’s End and High School Musical, performed by the Year 8 Post Exam Group.

The Pirates of Penzance

What You Will

5. Sport The girls play hockey and netball in the winter terms and rounders in the summer. In addition there is a considerable amount of athletics, tennis, swimming to be enjoyed. Tours are a regular feature too. Recent destinations have included South Africa, Norfolk and the next one will be to Holland.

6. Activities & Clubs There is an enormous range of afterschool clubs available, including things as varied as Mandarin, philosophy and ethics, fencing, cooking, judo, canoeing, sailing and sculling.

7. Trips There are a number of possible trips available to senior children in addition to the regular sports tours. In 2009/10 it started with a summer camp with activities and learning in the Cevennes. There was a ski trip in Davos and a climbing group went to Chamonix. Every year a group go to New York and Tokyo on one-week exchanges.

Ski trip to Davos

In the Easter holidays there can be some pre-season tennis/athletics training in Mallorca.

Art scholars trip to St Ives

Choir trip to Portugal (there was also a music tour to Germany)

The return leg of the Japanese exchange - our visitors in the London Eye

The view of the Manhattan skyline for our New York exchange group

In the final term of Year 8, after all the exams are over, there are the Leavers’ Expeditions.

Moorland Hall: shooting, climbing, archery, cycling, gorge-walking and surfing

Italy: a mixture of culture (eg visit to Assisi) and a little Italian and making pasta!

N. Wales: windsurfing, kayaking, mountain biking, climbing and sailing

Morocco: visiting Marrakech (including snake charmers and very smelly tanneries!), meeting Berbers and the great trek - up Mt Toubkal

Where Next? Boarding girls split between coeducational and girls’ schools fairly equally. Wycombe Abbey, Cheltenham Ladies’ College and Downe House have all been popular over the years. Rugby, Marlborough, St Edward’s Oxford, Oundle and Bryanston are popular co-educational choices. there are many others... A number of these schools require the children to do pre-assessments in Year 7 and we regularly prepare children for these. Moira Darlington, one of the Deputy Heads, advises parents of girls on the choice of senior schools.

A change of direction? A number of families consider the merits of their daughters going to a senior school at 11 against changing over to a senior school at 13. What are the advantages of the latter? 1. If your daughter is at a school that does not go on beyond Year 6, then it allows for two years at a school like the Dragon. 2. Children often benefit from spending Years 7 & 8 in a junior rather than a senior school to allow time for further emotional development before they are have to deal with the adolescent world of a senior school. 3. Two years at the Dragon will not only prepare a child for entry exams into a senior school, but also prepare her for the boarding life of a senior school. For most children the effect is of two smaller steps from where they are, rather than one rather larger one.

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

Years 7 and 8 Girls Boarding Leaflet 2010X  

Cherwell House Dragon School This is the senior girls’ boarding house. As with the equivalent boys’ houses, the aim is that the children are...

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