28th February 2018 — The Dragon works in collaboration with a variety of organisations and schools in the UK and internationally. In doing so the School and its students broaden and deepen their understanding of social issues existing in Oxford and around the world.
One expression of the Dragon's commitment to collaboration has been the partnership with 'BAT', the Blackbird Academy Trust, consisting of Windale, Pegasus and Orchard Meadow primary schools. Over many years, joint events have created numerous excellent learning experiences. The Dragon has worked closely with two organisations - Family Links and the Hamilton Trust - to help inform and resource these activities and its relationships with these schools.
Regular joint events include the wonderful singing and orchestral days the Dragon hosts with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Bringing together enthusiastic children from the various schools, professional musicians teach singing and musical skills for an intensive day-workshop, culminating in a 'scratch' concert in the afternoon.
Annually, there is a visit to St Catherine's College, Oxford. Led by students and staff, these visits finish with a 'graduation' ceremony and aim to dispel myths about University education and raise aspirations. Other events have included a dress-up multi-school climate march in University Parks, Oxford, attended by hundreds of children and addressed by leading speakers.
The wider Dragon Community is also involved in supporting BAT schools. Dragon governors, staff and parents have participated at board level and supported academic and enrichment innovations. There is also a growing volunteer programme led by parents. At Windale, Dragon parents helped resource and catalogue a new library, opened in late 2017 by Korky Paul. Parents also support volunteer reading and small group programmes with discussions now underway to introduce art and yoga groups.
In February 2018 an intention to merge with the United Learning group of schools was announced. BAT Chairman, Chris Jones, noted the enormous contribution made by Dragon pupils, staff and volunteer parents to the BAT. A joint press release announcing the intention to merge, noted the progress made at the schools in recent years and the value and resources that United Learning, as a larger Trust, will bring.
The Dragon and its community will continue to collaborate with the three schools, enjoying the learning and pleasure that comes through the partnership.