Dragon school scholarships?(47 Posts)
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!
The Dragon is good for girls, for boys look at Summer Fields, many Oxford families (who really know the schools and the eventual outcomes) make this division. If your son is sporting legend and genius, tall and good looking, he would thrive at Dragon, but for a more 'regular' boy who is bright with social maturity in line with his actual age Summer Fields will result in a more rounded, happy, confident boy. Bullying is rife at the Dragon and it is the boys who are the bottom of the pile. I know many parents (mainly of boarders) who have removed their sons after a couple of years. So don't fixate on it, all preps have bursaries for exceptional children.
My daughter passed the test. She was even told that she'd like it very much at the school. I was told she was very well liked and that we should come for the second interviews even though I was a little worried. They said she would have much to offer any school. Why then, did they send a letter saying she was unfortunately not selected?! I have emailed them asking the reasons why since myself and daughter don't know why!
Oh yes - and regarding the interview - my sons had come via a primary school in Wandsworth and one of them had a pretty disastrous interview - he literally had to be wrestled through the door by the registrar with his arms and legs braced against the door frames - asked for his favourite sport he said 'Boxing' (never even seen boxing on television) and still got in and totally flourished.
Oxomum - don't be put off - the Dragon is an amazing school. I can't put that strongly enough - whatever your son is good at they will encourage to the highest standard. They were also extremely generous tiding us over with fees at one point despite neither son being of Scholarship standard - this was something we never had to pay back either. A lot of famous people are ex Dragons, no doubt, but that is a reflection of the school. They also get zillions of Scholarships to secondary schools.
Dear abittoofat, what sort of things were you and your child asked at the Dragon interviews and why do you think you lost out? Thanks
I feel for your dilemma! One substantial problem is that few prep schools offer scholarships and there is a big gap between the level at which you may get bursary assistance, and the level at which you can really afford to send a child (especially more than one) to independent schools. We took a deep breath and went private but are relying on the possibility of scholarships for senior school.
I can confirm that I discussed with the Dragon a couple of years ago what their cut-offs for bursaries typically are, and our family income was over it, and somewhat less than yours. They also assess the value of your family house - value, not equity.
From your comments about maths, I would say absolutely go for it and see, regarding scholarships. I'm planning to put my daughter in for their scholarships, though not hopeful. They award their scholarships as 25%, 33% and 50%. The lower levels bring their total fees close to what we're paying at another girls' school...
Do consider the choirschools, even if you don't think your son is chorister material. Our youngest is at one (just been awarded a choristership which will allow us to more seriously consider moving his sister to the Dragon). Music and maths often go together and we're quite impressed by the education the boys' schools offer. They may be able to offer scholarship support and they all have plenty of experience in both preparing boys for senior school scholarships, and advising parents on the schools most likely to suit their sons.
Ref-The Eton Bursary form,Im afraid Pete is wrong in his understanding of it,it asks questions about as he puts it collections,paintings,works of art,vintage cars etc,not as he claims because "The inference here being there are people who own these assets and still need a bursary" but because they want to make sure the bursary goes to the right and deserving people and for that they need to know about capital assets as well as income,if you are asset rich but cash poor then you would be expected to liquidate those assets to pay school fees,it isnt the job of a bursary to allow people to make lifestyle choices.
If you have a child with an unconditional place at both and the decision seems impossible or your son would do well at both, I would look at your other siblings. If you have a younger boy, where would he fit? If he'd fit more at Win then send the eldest one there. It will help get your other son in, both boys will be at the same school too.
For those who have conditional offer from both WinCol and Eton, such debate make their choices even harder. it may sound luxury dilemma, it really isn't on it's own.
propatria, I thought you of all people should know better. This is a free country and anyone can post anything they like. You certainly dont have to believe or agree with anything I say, thats your prerogative. Likewise, it is my prerogative to say what I say. It may or may not interest you to know I have private e-mails supporting what I post. Havent you heard of the saying, If you cant stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen?
Pete,please stop,we all know you are very happy with Eton ,yes its a fantastic school,but please other posters just ignore him,pete does not speak for Eton,other parents or its pupils,please do not think other Eton parents are like Pete,he is (I hope) unique
"He therefore, would not feel out of place even in years to come when hes actually talking to a real Prince or President in his tailcoat at an official function. Others without this experience would probably feel like a penguin gone astray form the Antarctica."
What rot my DH often talks to both presidents and Princes and their ilk. He is not an old Etonian and certainly never feels uncomfortable in any way. Eton is not the only school to provide a fantastic education.
Dragon will offer the largest scholarships to children that they think will gain a scholarship to a top school. Although they can never force a child to go to a specific school, when they fund such a large scholarship they hope for a return and the Dragon would be expecting such a pupil to apply to Win Coll or Eton.
Ive re-read your OP right from the beginning, oxomum and have concluded that you are having too many misconceptions and wrongly assuming too many things as fact.
(1) Yes, Dragons 50% scholarship looks interesting but dont be surprised if they also send you a Bursary Form of sorts (and I think they will) and ask you to complete (assuming your son passed all the tests, etc.).
(2) Although they dont usually say it, most top prep schools have no problems in giving 50% or even 100% scholarships to one or two children who are exceptional in their eyes i.e. above Level 5 at age 8. It's up to you to ask and to draw their attention to your child.
(3) With a family income of £70K p.a. does not necessarily mean one can afford to send ones child to a private school. They don't know what are your other financial committments. Without meaning to be personal or patronising, you are a good case in point, otherwise you wont be looking at the 50% Dragon scholarship so closely.
(4) For example, if you look at Etons Bursary Form closely, they even ask what you have in terms of number of properties, their acreage(s), collections, paintings, works of art, vintage cars, farms, silver etc . The inference here being there are people who own these assets and still need a bursary!
(5) Beside princes and lords who live in castles and Britains most expensive post codes, there are Etonians whose parents are unemployed, live in tough council estates and work as general cleaners. By wearing the same uniform, your son (if he goes there) probably wont know who is a prince and who is a pauper, and neither do they because nobody ever asked. He therefore, would not feel out of place even in years to come when hes actually talking to a real Prince or President in his tailcoat at an official function. Others without this experience would probably feel like a penguin gone astray form the Antarctica.
Do not dismiss any school on the grounds that your "not posh enough" many of the schools that you may not consider often offer very generous bursaries not dependent on your DC getting a scholarship.
We were thinking of Dragon because apparently they offer up to 50% scholarships (non means tested) which I hadn't seen anything like at other prep schools.
However, will have a look at the other school you suggest. Although probably won't consider a school like Eton for secondary (not posh enough and don't want him to feel out of place) but will look at somewhere like MCS.
Im just wondering, why so specifically Dragon School you are interested only. Although imho its not the crème de la crème of the prep school world (but nearly there) it is definitely worth giving it a try for the sake of your son for both scholarship and bursary.
But looking at the bigger picture, why dont you also look at (imho) an even better prep school thats just a stones throw away from Dragon School, i.e. Summer Fields School? I have met many boys from Summer Fields in the last 6 years and Ive always been very impressed with the way they carry themselves. They have impeccable manners and speak very confidently even with adults. As a matter of fact, Summer Fields is the only school that I know of that consistently win huge places at Eton year after year including the King?s Scholarships annually without any break.
hi - thanks for the useful replies! We've decided that we will try for the scholarship but probably not push it trying to get a bursary.
I gave up a job in the city (was either that or employ a nanny which I didn't want to do) and my husband has a good job as a lecturer so I don't think they would look to kindly on us asking for a bursary (particularly the fact I am a sahm through choice).
If he doesn't get it will probably stay in the state system then switch to indie at 11.
That's precisely it Colleger, except that at 16 it is not set in stone that the boy must be from state school.
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.
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