Director of the Dragon QUEST programme, Tim Knapp, explains how it has already captured the imagination of the community

This is my 13th year at the Dragon and during my time here I have seen the school develop and grow. As Director of Dragon QUEST, the School’s new Saturday morning enrichment curriculum, I am very excited to help steer the Dragon in this new and adventurous direction.

Launching in September 2020, Dragon QUEST will give children the opportunity to experience a wide range of new and inspiring activities to discover new talents, develop new skills and dare to embrace new challenges. This bespoke programme, unique to the Dragon, will be offered to all children at the Prep School on Saturday mornings in place of the current timetable.

Our existing Saturday mornings include academic lessons, the aim of QUEST is to create a new curriculum which will enrich a child’s learning in a vocational and expansive way. We anticipate that Dragon QUEST will have a number of academic and pastoral benefits for the children. As a school, we place extremely high value on the wellbeing of our pupils, which really has been a driving force behind this Saturday morning innovation. With senior schools placing an increased emphasis on the holistic development of each individual, in addition to academic and extra-curricular performance, the breadth of QUEST opportunities on offer will play an important role in developing Dragon children beyond the classroom.

To complement our well-established full boarding provision, our headmaster Dr Hyde-Dunn introduced an additional new flexible boarding option in September 2019, providing Dragon children the opportunity of flexible or weekly boarding. In widening the range of boarding options now available, the Dragon acknowledges the importance of supporting local families, whilst remaining committed to our flagship full boarding provision for those families residing further afield.

As with all adventures, QUEST will be driven by some key principles: discovering new interests from a range of cross-curricular activities and pursuits, developing new skills within a supportive and encouraging environment, and daring to do something new by embracing the opportunities that life has to offer. During the planning phases of Dragon QUEST, not only have we been delighted by the wide range of skills and opportunities offered by current staff, but we have also been listening to the children themselves to hear about their ambitions and aspirations for QUEST

QUEST will run with five main strands, each with a different focus, to ensure a broad range of skills are on offer to give children a wide array of options to enjoy. These strands are: quiet and question, understand and create, exploration and adventure, skills and society, train and play. The structure of Dragon QUEST allows each young Dragon to map out their own adventure path and develop their own personal curriculum experience. I truly believe it will enable each child to develop into a more complete and rounded individual, ready to embrace the many challenges of life.

Further reading: How to build confidence in your daughter