Headmasters News Letter - Friday 9 September
09 September 2022

Headmaster's News Letter - Friday 9 September

Dear Parents

The news that all rocked us yesterday evening has I am sure today begun to sink in - and the following days for us all will be filled no doubt with time for reflection, appreciation and mourning for HM Queen Elizabeth II. We held a special Assembly for Prep School pupils this morning, whilst Pre-Prep children discussed things within their classrooms in an age appropriate way. It will not surprise you to learn that all the children have been incredibly respectful and thoughtful in their responses, and I feel sure they will continue to be next week as we continue to commemorate and remember the life of the Queen. At the same time, whilst perhaps a sadness has lurked beneath the surface for some of us, outwardly today has been - like the two days that preceded it - full of warmth, positivity and excitement at Dumpton. A huge well done to our new pupils (well over 50 of them!) who have settled in so well to the busy routines and rhythms of school life at Dumpton, as well as all our returning pupils who have come back so impressively. It is lovely to see so many new friendships forming, and new found confidence blossoming. Do see our instagram page for some highlights from this week.

The Year Ahead: A Forward Thinking School
As well as a time of new beginnings for our pupils, and in the spirit of 'aiming high' and always looking for ways to improve, there are also plenty of new beginnings and new initiatives for the school itself. The superb new site developments aside, we have been working hard as a staff team to ensure the education at Dumpton builds on our 'Excellent' ISI Inspection from earlier this year and continues to be forward-thinking, evidence informed, and aligned with our values of 'Be Kind and Aim High' and our mission to ensure 'a nurturing and aspirational school where every child fulfils their academic and personal potential.'  Our Welcome Evenings on Monday the 19 September (Prep) and Tuesday 20 September (Pre-Prep), will not only be a chance to meet your child's teacher and find out some key information, but also to hear from me and my Senior colleagues about our vision for Dumpton, our progress so far, and any key priorities and initiatives for the year ahead.

New Staff Welcomes
We welcome Mr Tom Tridgell, our new Head of History, and Miss Alice Fisher, our new Y2 teacher this term, as well as Mrs Kim Hawkings and Miss Zara Lee who join as Pre-Prep Teaching Assistants. We also welcome three new STAs (Student Teaching Assistants) to the team this year - Izzy Taylor, Freya Carson and Lydia Harvey. We already have a superb staff team at Dumpton - it just got considerably stronger! I know that parents will have the chance to get to know all our new staff in the coming weeks.

Co-Curricular Activities
We have more co-curricular activities on offer this term than ever before. DECA and Hobbies both began this week - we're so excited about some of the new activities on offer, from Radio Dumpton, to Life-Saving, to Girls' Rugby, to Photography - there really is something for everyone. Next week our Early Morning Clubs, Pre-Prep Hobbies, and LAMDA sessions begin. Some of these activities are chargeable and you hopefully received confirmation today of any activities your child has secured a place for. If you have any questions, please contact the school office.

Autumn Term Events - The School Calendar
We published our Autumn Term events in the school calendar earlier this week. Do make sure you make yourself acquainted with it and take note of key events involving your child this year. The calendar can be accessed here: Dumpton Calendar

Residential Trips
Y8 head to the Highlands tomorrow for their beginning of the year expedition to Ridgway Adventure School in Scotland, to challenge themselves together in that incredible wilderness, whilst Y5 head to the Purbecks on Wednesday for their own exciting outdoor learning trip. 

IT Systems and Parent Portal
We have moved IT systems over the Summer to a market leading cloud based software called iSAMS. This should improve elements of our administration, operations and communications. We will soon be launching the new Parent Portal which will be personalised to  your child and will allow us to publish useful documents like school reports and invoices all in one place. Please contact the school office if there is any key information you need in the meantime.

Music Lessons and LAMDA
We are looking forward to welcoming our music and LAMDA teachers back next week. Timetables for individual music lessons can be found each week at the this link. This will be updated each Friday afternoon. LAMDA groups for this term will be sent to parents directly for those who have enrolled this term. As ever, any queries regarding Performing Arts can be sent to Sarah Mudd s.mudd@dumpton.com and new enquiries regarding individual music lessons for pupils in the prep school can be made via this form.

Dumpton Friends and Dumpton Stroll
Thank you to the many parents who stayed for today's Coffee Morning - a lovely occasion. I do hope we will have lots of families attending the Dumpton stroll this year, on Sunday 25 September at 2pm. This lovely family event sees us meet for a short circular walk in the fields around Dumpton, before returning for some food and drink. Children, dogs, and other family members are most welcome! 

Parents Football
Another lovely event is the very casual Parents Football which takes place on Friday evenings from 6pm to 7pm on the Astro. All are welcome, and the levels of fitness and skill vary greatly! Please contact Jamie Haskins at jamiehaskins@hotmail.com if you are interested in joining up.

Musical Ducklings
Mrs Hattie Saenger and Mrs Mudd will begin Musical Ducklings after drop-off next Wednesday morning, from 8.30am in the Recital Room. This is a lovely music themed parent and baby/toddler group for children under two. If you are interested in coming along, do contact h.saenger@dumpton.com to confirm your place.

Drop-off and Pick-up
We know the car park has been especially busy this week - the first week of term is always this way, but thank you to parents for your patience and understanding. Mornings have been particularly busy, and with more pupils in the Pre-Prep we know the Top Car Park is particularly squeezed. We will keep a close eye on things next week, and my thanks to Justin Perry (Bursar) for being a presence. Please could we ask all parents of Y6, Y7 and Y8 children to use the Drop-Off zone behind the main house (via the other entrance) - this should help ease congestion slightly.

Events Next Week

Saturday 10 September (until Friday 16 September)

Year 8 Residential Trip to Scotland 

Monday 12 September

Week 2: Theme of the Week - Be Kind - RULER

Prep School Individual Music Lessons, LAMDA, Early Morning Tennis, Early Morning Biathlon all begin this week

Pre-Prep Hobbies start this week

Wednesday 14 September 

8.30am: First Musical Ducklings Session 

Year 5 Residential Camp Departs (until Friday 16 September) 

Thursday 15 September 

8.30am: Prep School Assembly – Performing Arts & Sport Reports 

9.30am: Year 1 Visit to Wimborne Model Village 

Saturday 17 September 

2.00pm: Old Dumptonian Afternoon Tea 

With very best wishes

Christian Saenger


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