Dragon school scholarships?

(47 Posts)
oxomum Fri 30-Dec-11 19:51:44

I have a bright dc and have been thinking of the Dragon school in oxford. They mention on their website up to 50% academic scholarships which is what my dc would need for us to afford for him to go there. He is at state primary at the moment.

Does anyone have any info on how hard it is to get the scholarship? I'm especially interested in any info on:
what sort of National curriculum level is required - level 3,4, 5 or more (at age 8)?? I just want to know if there's any point trying or if it's just for geniuses and how much tuition would be needed.
If family income is taken into account - we have income of £70k with me a sahm so I'm assuming we wouldn't get any means tested support??

Thanks very much for any help - I just want to know if I should take the idea seriously and start tuition or if I should just not bother - not considering private apart from this school as can't really afford it!

DilysPrice Fri 30-Dec-11 19:58:10

Check the website for bursary details - some calculate your hh income after tax / mortgage etc, so it's just possible you might get something on that income.

Colleger Fri 30-Dec-11 20:12:16

Your child will probably have to be very gifted. The children i know who've been offered scholarships there all had IQ's above 160 and were already in academic ore-prep schools. Your son will need to be top of his year by miles in all subjects. Some schools split the scholarship between more than one candidate so it could be as little as 5%. I doubt you'd get any bursary on £70k.

If you think your child is very gifted then go for it as long as they won't be disappointed if they don't get in.

Good luck.

oxomum Fri 30-Dec-11 20:28:27

thank you - the scholarship we are hoping for is one specifically for kids from state schools.
My son is top of year but at the moment it is so hard to know what standards are like at other schools!

oxomum Fri 30-Dec-11 20:30:42

Also Colleger - do you think taking a GCSE early would help my son? I am thinking he could possibly do maths at 7 or 8 which might make him stand out from the crowd?

Colleger Fri 30-Dec-11 20:44:27

He sounds exceptional then. Personally I would ask them to give him their 11+ or common entrance maths paper as part of his exam. In fact I'd take him to the school and ask if the Head of Maths would assess him. I'd do this well before the scholarship. This is what I did and we were offered huge scholarships. Some schools assessed him and some gave him 13+ papers and all offered him scholarships based on his maths.

GalaxyAddict Fri 30-Dec-11 21:01:21

The Dragon School is a Prep School, so only goes up to age 13. I don't mean to butt in, but your thread is in the 'Secondary Education' section. I am sure you know it is a Prep School - sorry for stating the obvious.

oxomum Fri 30-Dec-11 21:09:10

Yes - thanks- I did know it was a prep so posted in both primary and secondary as age group spans both (8-13) plus in secondary often are lots of threads re scholarships etc.

peteneras Sat 31-Dec-11 11:09:16

Visited the school some years ago. Didn't like it at all for these reasons:

(a) Registrar was far too concerned how I was going to pay the fee. The irony was, fee was the last thing in my mind even if it cost a million pounds.

(b) On a visit there, they wasted no time in telling me who and who went there . . . "look, that's Jeremy Paxman's daughter . . ." blah, blah blah . . .

(c) Far too big for a prep school, imo.

(d) Got somebody else's letter (with same surname) sent to me and the school insisted vehemently that they had replied my correspondence.

My suggestion:
Try Papplewick, Ascot for their scholarship.

Colleger Sat 31-Dec-11 11:22:01

I also dislike Dragon but it may be the only option if Oxo does not want boarding. I would seriously consider MCS though.

azazello Sat 31-Dec-11 11:27:42

I think the dragon scholarships tend to go to those pupils who will go on to get scholarships to Winchester/ major public school (purely on gossip though!) but if that is right, I would guess you would need to be at level 5 comfortably.

If your DS is bright and/or musical it might be worth looking at choristerships in Oxford - both New college and MCS offer choristerships and don't do boarding. MCS takes boys until 18 as well.

oxomum Sat 31-Dec-11 11:45:07

Thank you all for your helpful replies. We are not really considering other private schools at this stage as we haven't really got the money to pay for private prep unless it's only around 7.5k a year (i.e. on a v large scholarship).

What money we do have will be saved for paying for private secondary (with or without scholarship).

I was just attracted to Dragon by the amount of scholarship on offer as I was under the impression one could get up to 50% non means tested (though this could be wrong).

I'm not sure he's really chorister quality really.

abittoofat Sat 31-Dec-11 14:07:01

We tried for the Dragon 125th Anniversary Bursary Award. They award 5 bursaries of 50-100% for entry into y4 each year.
DS was NC level 4 in year 3 and passed the academic tests ok.
It is a knock-out stage system, so you submit your financial forms first, then sit tests, then attend interview (child and parents each have an interview separately). We lost out in interviews.
I know of 4 people who get 85-100% bursaries.
We then went on pay full fees at another prep, so that gives you an idea of our income levels. (although all going pear shaped now, but that's another story!)
Personally, I'm glad he didn't get one, as the school is MASSIVE. Amazing facilities, but wrong I think for DS.
Anyway, hope that helps, and good luck.

abittoofat Sat 31-Dec-11 14:09:25

Oh, just re-read OP. Not talking about 125th bursary at all are you! Sorry!!!

Happygardening Sat 31-Dec-11 14:14:23

I work very close to Dragon and have a colleague who used to work there I hear very mixed things about it.

oxomum Sat 31-Dec-11 19:58:54

Thanks for replies - very enlightening - in fact I think I've been a bit put off!

Still may still apply though but need to think about it a bit harder first as don't want to waste time preparing if he wouldn't go there even if he did get in.

Colleger Sat 31-Dec-11 20:59:52

It's worth preparing. At 6/7 year old my son did bond papers from age 8-11 for about a month as prep for scholarships to prep boarding schools. Some schools offered 20% and some 90% and some said they didn't offer scholarships but changed their mind when I told them that DS had got some to other schools. So it's worth looking around if boarding is an option.

Happygardening Mon 02-Jan-12 09:47:01

oxomum what have you got to loose if you try it? Assuming you feel that your DS will cope with possible failure; you must have thought about this before posting on MM why not give it a go.
Why don't you look at other preps as well. My DS's went to a top boarding prep and for the 8+ scholarship the school was looking for a really good all rounders at that age, all were clever but not necessarily geniuses and went off to top schools at 13. Most came from state ed. but were already extensively involved in local sports teams e.g. cricket swimming, played instruments etc.
Eton did/does offer financial help with prep schools fees to very bright boys in the sate sector paying their fees at a prep till 13 and then paying their fees at Eton I think from 9/10yrs and Harrow does. I'm assuming all our means tested. Look on their websites.

Colleger Mon 02-Jan-12 11:48:19

Eton no longer does the prep scholarship but Harrow does. They are looking for geniuses though for these awards and most prep schools are too as they want as close to a dead-cert as possible that the child will get a scholarship at 13+. It is always good to have something else though such as a sport, instrument etc.

Happygardening Mon 02-Jan-12 13:25:35

Shame it Eton stopped that scheme.

peteneras Mon 02-Jan-12 14:31:03

Colleger, the prep scholarship offered by Eton then known as the Junior Scholarship was potentially worth a ¼ million pounds to the recipient(s). Unless somebody can prove me wrong this must be the world’s largest monetary gift in education for a single recipient. There were four awards annually, plus one similar but for a junior music scholar, i.e. a >£1-million budget.

"They are looking for geniuses though for these awards and most prep schools are too as they want as close to a dead-cert as possible that the child will get a scholarship at 13+". - Colleger

Till this day, it still brings a smile to my face reminiscing how the nation’s very top prep school heads were literally falling over themselves to get these Junior Scholars to register with them. One London head almost got himself knocked over by an on-coming black taxi in his eagerness to direct me to park in a busy side street near his school. grin blush

Happygardening Mon 02-Jan-12 14:40:17

Why was it stopped prep schools are known to be less generous with their bursaries it must have helped those who didn't stand a hope in hell of getting into Eton.

Colleger Mon 02-Jan-12 14:47:58

They decided that it would be better to have more boys coming at 13 or 16, especially at 16, as the scheme only afforded around 2-4 boys whereas they can give around 30 boys the opportunity to come to Eton from state schools. Boys have to come from state schools to gain these awards so it does not stop a boy but actually increases the numbers coming.

peteneras Mon 02-Jan-12 14:51:56

That's precisely it Colleger, except that at 16 it is not set in stone that the boy must be from state school.

Happygardening Mon 02-Jan-12 17:35:37

Its very commendable more should do it.

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