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Dragon School

Coordinates: 51°46′05″N 1°15′23″W / 51.76818°N 1.25639°W / 51.76818; -1.25639
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Dragon School

, ,

United Kingdom
Coordinates51°46′05″N 1°15′23″W / 51.76818°N 1.25639°W / 51.76818; -1.25639
TypePreparatory day and boarding school and Pre-Prep school
MottoLatin: Arduus ad Solem
("Reach for the Sun")
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderA. E. Clarke
Department for Education URN123288 Tables
HeadEmma Goldsmith (Prep); Annie McNeile (Pre-Prep)
Age4 to 13
Colour(s)Navy and yellow   
PublicationThe Draconian
Former pupilsOld Dragons

The Dragon School is a private school across two sites in Oxford, England. The Dragon Pre-Prep (children aged 4–7) and Prep School (children aged 8–13) are both co-educational schools. The Dragon Prep School was founded in 1877 as the Oxford Preparatory School. It takes day pupils and boarders.

Originally established for boys, the Dragon School also accepted a small number of day girls with a close connection to the school, first admitting girls as boarders in 1994. The school educates children aged 4 to 13 in two sites in North Oxford: Bardwell Road and Richards Lane. Boarding starts at 8 and there are 10 boarding houses, including one weekly-boarding house. Dragon Lane runs along the edge of the school immediately to the west.


School House at the Dragon School, on Bardwell Road in North Oxford

The school was founded by a committee of Oxford dons, among whom the most active was a Mr George. In honour of Saint George, the group decided to call themselves Dragons.[1]

Teaching started in September 1877 at rooms in Balliol Hall, located in St Giles', central Oxford, under A. E. Clarke.[2] The school expanded and moved within two years to 17 Crick Road, which became known as "School House".[3] Charles Cotterill Lynam (known as the "Skipper") took over as headmaster in 1886.

In 1894, Lynam took out a lease on land at the current site at Bardwell Road in central North Oxford, just to the west of the River Cherwell. £4,000 was raised through subscriptions from local parents for the erection of new school buildings[4] and the move was completed within a year. The school was known as Oxford Preparatory School and also Lynam's, but gradually its current name was adopted.

The Dragon School became the second school to take part in the Harrow History Prize in 1895. Over the years, many of its pupils have won this prize, an early winner being Kit Lynam. The school was run for many years by the Lynam family.[5]

Dragon School playing fields off Bardwell Road

The school has become notable for its large number of eminent alumni.[6]


The following have been Heads of the school, several from the Lynam family:[5]

  • A. E. Clarke 1877–1886
  • C. C. Lynam ("Skipper") 1886–1920
  • A. E. Lynam ("Hum") 1920–1942
  • J. H. R. Lynam ("Joc") 1942–1965
  • R. K. Ingram ("Inky") 1965–1989[7][8][9]
  • M. W. A. Gover ("Guv") 1972–1989 (head of day pupils, co-headmaster with "Inky")[10][11]
  • N. P. V. Richardson 1989–1992
  • H. E. P. Woodcock 1992–1993
  • R. S. Trafford 1993–2002
  • J. R. Baugh 2002–2017
  • Crispin Hyde-Dunn 2017–2021[12]
  • Mrs E. C. Goldsmith 2021–present

Other teachers[edit]

Old Dragons[edit]

Former pupils of the Dragon School are referred to as Old Dragons. The following people were pupils at one time:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "School web-site". Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. ^ Jaques, C. H. (1977). "I: Beginnings". A Dragon Century: 1877 – 1977. Blackwell's. pp. 1–7.
  3. ^ Jaques, C. H. (1977). "II: The Crick Road Era". A Dragon Century: 1877 – 1977. Blackwell's. pp. 7–21.
  4. ^ Jaques, C. H. (1977). "III: To Bardwell Road". A Dragon Century: 1877 – 1977. Blackwell's. pp. 22–35.
  5. ^ a b Jaques, C. H. (1977). "A Table showing the Dragon descendants, boys and staff, of Charles Lynam of Stock-on-Trent". A Dragon Century: 1877 – 1977. Blackwell's. pp. 10–11.
  6. ^ Ramaswamy, Chitra (28 March 2016). "Welcome to Dragon School – the lair of the British acting elite". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Keith Ingram — Long-serving Dragon prep school headmaster who won the respect and affection of staff and pupils (obituary)". The Times. 12 February 2007.
  8. ^ "Former Dragon School headmaster (obituary)". The Oxford Times. 15 February 2007.
  9. ^ RKI — An appreciation of the life of Keith Ingram. Dragon School Trust. 2009. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  10. ^ Hodgson, Godfrey (14 May 2005). "Michael Gover — Headmaster of the Dragon School and a guardian of its founding tradition (obituary)". The Independent.
  11. ^ "Michael Gover (obituary)". The Times. 8 June 2005.
  12. ^ "Dragon's new head inspired by Harry Potter icon". Oxford Times. 21 September 2017. p. 7.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba "Eminent Dragons". Dragon School. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  14. ^ Stanford, Peter (22 June 2012). "The pain of Aung Sun Suu Kyi's sons, parted from their mother for 25 years". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Obituaries". Dragon School. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  16. ^ "Rupert Lloyd • Producer, Noor Pictures". 13 May 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]