Headmasters Newsletter Friday 3rd February
03 February 2023

Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 3rd February

Headmaster's Newsletter Friday 3rd February 

Dear Parents

I am sure all of us have our own memories of exams – of silent exam halls, rows of desks and chairs, hours of revision (or not!), exams that went well, and probably more starkly remembered, exams that didn’t...  

Whatever our view of exams, it remains a priority at Dumpton to ensure pupils are prepared to perform well in any important exams they may have to take in their futures. Despite lots of talk about significant exam reform, I do not think exams will be going anywhere as the fairest way to assess children’s understanding and progress. With the explosion of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the last few years, and particularly with the arrival of an open access product called ‘ChatGBT’ in the last few months, coursework may become a thing of the past. There have already been examples of pupils using ChatGBT to write A grade essays at the click of a button.... a frightening thought for teachers around the world! 

But exams serve another important process. The process of preparing for examinations helps ensure children build knowledge in their long term memories, something crucial for future learning. Critics of exams will often say “why do children need to learn facts if they can just google it?" This is an attractive thought, but a very ill-informed one. Cognitive scientific research about how our brains work is absolutely clear – children need knowledge in order to think: without a broad web of knowledge in their brains to think with, children can’t be analytical problem solvers, or effective critical and creative thinkers – and this is what we need in an ever-changing and complex world. 

That’s where exams come in. They're not perfect, but at the moment, they’re the best bet we’ve got... 

Y7 and Y8 Exams 
Our older pupils have exams after half term, and parents should look out for Mr Morgan’s email and the revision guides. My thanks go to our Heads of Department for creating such detailed revision materials, and to Mr Morgan who ran a ‘how to revise’ session for Y7 and Y8 pupils this morning. Y8 will follow this up with a workshop from Elevate, a company who specialise in study skills, on Monday. We wish all the pupils the best for the revision period and their exams themselves. 

Y1 Space Day – From Commander Clark and Goodhew 
Our Year 1 trainee astronauts arrived eagerly at Space Station Dumpton to be told their day would be split into four missions. The first task was to make tea fit for an astronaut, ‘planet pizzas’ and ‘rocket fruit kebabs’ ensued and they all, if a little messily, passed their first mission. The day moved on to learning about the solar system with astronauts running around the cricket field taking on the characteristics of all the planets. Their knowledge surprised us as commanders and without a doubt they were able to move on to their third mission. ‘Astronaut fitness’ proved a trickier mission with many of our trainee astronauts imagining what it would really be like to be out in space. After lunch was the fourth and final mission, creating our own rockets to launch into space. The astronauts worked collaboratively and eagerly to each produce their very own rocket. They were launched into space with much delight. The trainee astronauts had a wonderful day as you can see from all our photographs and we are pleased to say they have all passed the Dumpton Space Academy training with flying colours.  

Wellie Sale - Thursday 9 February 
3W have been collecting used wellies for their welly sale, to prevent them going into landfill, and to stop more needing to be made. If you need new wellies, please come along with £1 to either the 3.30pm, 4.15pm or 5.15pm pick ups. We are still accepting donations of used wellies. Please do bring them to the Front Office, or give to a member of 3W. 2 merits per pair! 

Police Visit – From the Nursery/Reception team 
The children were very excited to meet two Police Officers on Tuesday.  They came to the classroom to greet them and led them out to see the police car.  They chatted to the children about their roles and how policeman are able to help lots of people.  The children tried on police hats, looked at handcuffs and had a demonstration with the police radios.  At the end of their visit, the policemen blew the car horn, put on the flashing blue lights and sounded the siren - the children have not stopped talking about it since, so thank you to one of our parents who organised the visit, the children absolutely loved it. 

A big thank you to the Dumpton Friends for organising two superb discos last week, for the Pre-Prep, and for the Juniors. The children had a wonderful time.  

Parent Interviews 
Further to my letter on Monday, thank you in advance to all those parents who will give up their time for a parent interview via phone next week – we really appreciate it. 

Year 5 Hardship Challenge – From Mrs Cox 
Final call please for all sponsorship money from the Y5 Hardship Challenge - the pupils have raised a staggering £2723 so far which will go a very long way towards providing clean water and sanitation where it is needed most.  The pupils will decide where best to spend this in due course. 

Global Citizenship Day - Friday 3rd March 
Ahead of our Global Citizenship Day we ask all families to collect any unwanted clothing in good condition, ideally age 10-11 and above including adult please, for a clothing swap after half term.  Details of when to bring it in will follow but our senior pupils in Y7 and Y8 will need a good supply of items to work with on the day, so all help is hugely appreciated.  Letters detailing what other year groups will be getting up to will follow. 

Performing Arts – From Mrs Mudd 
The performing arts department have a few dates for your diary during the rest of this term, including a lunchtime informal concert next Friday 10th February at 1.30pm, all are welcome. Do check the school calendar for events in Performing Arts Week (Week beginning 6 March) which includes this year’s Spring Spectacular, featuring performances from all pupils from Nursery - Year 8. More details on that to follow shortly. 

Easter Holiday Clubs – A reminder to secure your place 
We’re delighted to be able to host holiday clubs at Dumpton from Monday 27 March to Friday 31 March. Run by the staff here at Dumpton, these always offer the children a brilliant experience, as well as supporting parents with their childcare in the holidays. Please sign up as soon as possible to secure a place for your child by clicking on the links below. 

Nursery and Reception Easter Holiday Club
Y1 to Y8 Easter Holiday Club

Dumpton Friends Quiz Night 
Dumpton Friends are hosting a Quiz night at the Olive Branch in Wimborne at 7pm on Thursday 2 March. The price is £36 for a table of 6, or £6 for a single. This price includes a shared camembert and there is a prize for the winners. Please book via Classlist. 

Key Events Next Week: (please see sports site and calendar for all fixtures)    
Week 6: Theme of the week - E-Safety  

Monday 6 February 
All Day: Canford Sport Scholarships (girls) 

Tuesday 7 February 
All Day: Bryanston School Mini Model United Nations (small group of Y6 & Y7)  
8.30am: Prep School Class Assembly (7TU) 
11.00am: Elevate Student Workshop for all Y8 Pupils 

Wednesday 8 February 
All Day: Canford Art & DT Scholarship 
3.00pm: Pre-Prep Class Assembly (RA) 

Thursday 9 February 
All Day: Spring 1 Report: Attitude to Learning (Y3 - Y8) 
All Day: Year 5 visiting Wimborne Minster  
8.15am: Reception Parent Drop In Session 
8.30am: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports 
4.30pm: Y8 Scholars Parents’ Evening 

Friday 10 February 
8.15am: Y1 & Y2 Parents Drop In Session 
1.30pm: Informal Lunchtime Concert 

Half Term Begins (normal school day and buses as usual) 


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