Headmaster’s Letter – Friday 18th Novembe
18 November 2022

Headmaster’s Letter – Friday 18th November

Dear Parents

The term is racing by at considerable pace! We can scarcely believe it, but Christmas (with all the excitement it brings at Dumpton) is not far away. Already the hum of carols and nativity rehearsals is beginning to fill the air, and as well as all our usual Christmas shows, concerts, and of course the magical Carol Service in the Minster, I’m delighted that Dumpton will be holding its first ever ‘Christmas Fayre’ this year thanks to the incredible enthusiasm of our current parent body and the Dumpton Friends.  

But there is so much to be packed in before then – we make no apologies for keeping the children busy! This week alone has been filled to the brim with both academic and co-curricular activities of all different shapes and sizes, and as ever, I am always very proud indeed of the pupils at Dumpton and how they throw themselves into everything on offer with such determination, positivity and zest. As I watched our youngest pupils enthusiastically eating porridge by the fire with Mr Bracken, our Pre-Prep pupils buzzing with creativity and imagination after their writing workshop, and our oldest pupils diligently applying themselves to their exams in the Sports Hall this week, chairing school council meetings, or organising charity cake sales, it was a reminder of the incredible journey a child takes in their time at Dumpton – for some it might be 10 years or more - and how much they all learn, develop and grow along the way.  

I know I am not alone amongst the staff here in feeling very fortunate indeed to work here at Dumpton and play our part in this journey for so many children. It is a privilege, and a responsibility, that we take very seriously indeed. It is also a job we do very much in partnership with you as parents – so thank you as ever to the Dumpton parent body for your support. 

Odd Socks Day and Anti-Bullying Week
Very much part of the ‘Be Kind’ ethos, and the focus on empathy and emotional intelligence, is having a very clear zero tolerance approach to bullying here. Thank you to both 6S and 3W for their insightful assemblies this week which helped give us all a reminder about what bullying is (and isn’t), what we can all do to prevent it, and importantly, what to do if we think it may be happening. I am very proud to work in such a kind school – and very grateful to both the pupils and the staff who are so determined to keep it that way. 

Science and Creepy Crawlies 
Years 4 and 6 really enjoyed the ZooLab visit that we had today. They got to handle Giant African Land Snails, hissing cockroaches, a snake and even met a tarantula! 

School Council: Food 
Thank you to all the children who represented their form at the recent school council meeting on school food. Alice H and Fraser B, our Y8 School Council leaders, had a very positive meeting with Steph to discuss all the wonderful suggestions and ideas, and Steph was very grateful for the useful feedback. Alice and Fraser will be feeding back to the school next week in assembly - well done to them! 

Sport v Sherborne Prep and Sunninghill  
More rain and some very muddy conditions didn’t stop our sports fixtures this week. A huge well done to everyone who played either football, hockey or rugby. Thank you to all the Games staff who give up their time to prepare and coach the teams. Parents who came out in support with wellies, umbrellas and waterproofs galore – we truly appreciate it! 

Y8 Scholars at Clayesmore 
Congratulations to all those Y8s who took part in either Sport, Music, Art, Drama or All Rounder Scholarship days at Clayesmore this week. We hope you had a brilliant day, and we wish you all the very best for the outcome – but whatever happens, we’re very proud that you took part in the process. 

Y8 Exams 
All Y8 should be very proud of their efforts during exam week. They are such an impressive group and are already applying themselves so well to their studies. We feel sure these early exams will provide a really strong platform for the remainder of the year. Thanks to Mrs Gray for her organisation too. 

Primary Maths Challenge 
All of Y6 and the majority of Y5 recently sat this year's Primary Maths Challenge.  Congratulations to Ivory J (best in school) and Isabelle N who both were awarded gold certificates. There were 8 silver certificate winners - Flynn B, Sean F, Isabelle F, Kitto S, Aadhav D, Felix SV, Jacob A and Stella A and a further 11 bronze certificate winners.  Well done to all the pupils who took part. 

Visiting Author – Keith Hatton 
Reception, Y1, Y2 and Y3 pupils had a brilliant, inspiring morning with author Keith Hatton on Wednesday. There were gadgets galore being discussed and written about afterwards, and as ever we’re always so blown away by the imagination and creativity of our youngest pupils. Thank you to Mr Clarke for organising! 

Year 6 Bake Sale 
The Year 6 bakers would like to thank everyone who gave so generously today to support families in Afghanistan. All the biscuits sold out very quickly. Mrs Brown raided her jelly tot collection for those who missed out on a biscuit and still donated! A fantastic £220 was raised.  

ISI Inspection Report 
As parents know, earlier this term we had a brief inspection of our RSE provision in Y7 and Y8 which we passed with flying colours. The report can be found, alongside our other reports, on the school website: https://www.dumpton.com/inspection-reports 

Term Dates 2023-24 
Please find attached the term dates for the 2023-24 Academic Year. These will soon be published on the school website for your convenience. 

Dumpton Friends - Salvation Army Children’s Present Collection 
A huge thank you to all parents who donated so generously. We have counted 128 items this morning, and this will make a real difference to so many children’s Christmas this year. There is still plenty of time to donate, the deadline is Monday 28 November. Dumpton Friends are also collecting Tombola Prizes and Christmas Jumpers - Please drop off any donations to the School Office. More information about what you can do to support Dumpton Friends during this busy Christmas season can be found in last week's Headmaster's Letter.

Key Events Next Week: (please see sports site and calendar for all fixtures) 

Week 11: Theme of the Week - Learning from our mistakes 
Week A 

Monday 21 November 
8.30am: Prep School Assembly (HS + Prefects) 
1.20pm: Experience Dumpton Lunch (Y7 and Y8 parents – invite only) 

Tuesday 22 November 
8.30am: Prep School Assembly (World Toilet Day - MC and Y5) 

Thursday 24 November 
8.30am: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports 

Friday 25 November 
2.00pm: Team Photographs - Fraser Portraits  

With best wishes

Christian Saenger


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