Headmasters Letter 15th September 2023
15 September 2023

Headmaster's Letter 15th September 2023

Dear Parents 

It is only the first full week of the term, but we welcomed back some very happy, but very weary Y5and Y8 pupils today after a fairly magical experience this week. Whether it is camping in thePurbecks like Y5, or experiencing the Scottish wilderness like Y8, the pupils have challenged themselves in some of the most amazing scenery you could hope for, and achieved things many never realised they were capable of. 

Residential trips are a big part of Dumpton life – but why? For fun – of course! This is a hugelyimportant element. For the social benefits too – bringing the children together and strengthening theirbonds in ways that can only be achieved when staying away from their families, supporting oneanother, and sharing memorable experiences that will be anecdotes for years to come. 

But perhaps most importantly, at Dumpton, residential trips are part of our approach to ‘character education’, a crucial pillar of our vision for Dumpton. As important as academic success remains, webelieve it is the character qualities children develop in their childhood that will have the biggest impact on their ability to thrive and flourish in their futures. And, just like algebra and creative writing, character can be taught! Our approach to character education at Dumpton is underpinned by 'The Dumpton Way', a framework of seven character virtues which we model, teach, seek out and celebrate throughout the school: Empathy, Resilience, Courage, Collaboration, Enthusiasm, Creativity and Global Citizenship. 

Whilst school residential trips are particularly character building, each one of these seven virtues would have been a key feature of this past week for all your children. From our youngest pupils settling bravely into their new school and classrooms, to our older pupils throwing themselves into their first sports’ matches, choir rehearsals, performances, or trips – each day at Dumpton is a chance to grow and realise their potential. 

As Kurt Hahn said, ‘there is more in us than we know... if only we could be helped to find it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.” 

The Year Ahead 

Thank you so much to everyone who came over two enjoyable evenings for information about the upcoming year, some time with your child’s form teacher, and a drinks reception with other parents and staff. It was such a lovely way to begin the term, and I hope a useful tool in ensuring we can allwork together to give your children the best possible year ahead. 

School Calendar and ISAMs Parent Portal 

At this event, I spoke briefly to parents about our ongoing efforts to improve school communications in a range of useful ways. A reminder that we are now using the ISAMs Calendar, and our lovely new school website allows youto download this directly to your devices should you wish to. The school calendar is also on the front page of our Parent Portal, which now includes even more useful information in one place: calendar, school reports, statement of account, teacher contact emails, key school documents, useful links, curriculum overviews and even a useful communication history of every school email that has been sent to you. We hope it will become the ‘go to’ place for lots of the information you need as parents. Please contact the school office if you need help accessing the parent portal, or the excellent iSAMS Parent App (which I’d highly recommend downloading). 

Y5 Purbecks Camping and Y8 Scotland Wilderness Adventure 

We are incredibly proud of the pupils who attended these trips. Do check out our school social media for some amazing photos of all their exploits. I also cannot fail to recognise in this letter the amazing staff who organised and accompanied these trips. Mr Cox, Mrs Harris, Miss Shepherd, Miss Ashworth, Mr Grogan on the Y5 trip, and Mr Loe, Mrs Clemmitt and Mr Randle with Y8. We are so grateful to them all for giving up their time away from their own families to be there. 

First Sports Fixtures! 

Well done to all who competed in the first sports fixtures of the season against Forres Sandal Manor and Bryanston Prep. It was especially lovely to have such wonderful support from Dumpton parents which I know the children value so much. A reminder to all parents that lovely match reports, which we read out to the children each Thursday, can also be viewed on the Dumpton Sports Site. 

Best wishes

Christian Saenger

Coming Up Soon: 

Individual School Photographs Fraser Portraits will be in school to take photographs of each child this Monday (18 September). They will also take sibling photographs. 

Year 5 LAMDA – From Mrs Oakes Mrs Gormley-Bowdler still has a couple of spaces in our Year 5 LAMDA group on Tuesday afternoons. If anyone from Year 5 would like to have a free taster session this coming Tuesday 19 September, please email s.oakes@dumpton.com for more details. 

Drop Ins and Class Assemblies 

Our first class ‘Drop Ins’ and Assemblies begin next week, a great chance for you as parents to join us for a short time in school with your children and feel part of the school community. We really hope these occasions help give you an even better window into your children’s experience at Dumpton. 

The Dumpton Stroll! 

Join me and plenty of others for a lovely stroll around the countryside on Sunday the 24 September. It’s always a favourite event of the year, and all ages of children, as well as four legged friends, are encouraged along. Let’s hope the good weather holds! Please RSVP for the event on the Class List so the Dumpton Friends can kindly organise refreshments for afterwards. 

Dumpton Talks - Neurodiversity 

We are delighted that Fintan O’Regan will be speaking to parents interested in learning more about Neurodiversity in the second ‘Dumpton Talks’ event of the term. Fintan is renowned nationwide as an expert in child development and neurodiversity, and will talk to parents on Monday 2 October at 7.30pm, after spending the day here at Dumpton talking to pupils and working alongside staff. A chance to RSVP to this event, as well as Mrs Al-Masri's Dumpton Talks session on supporting early reading, will be sent out next week. 

Key Events Week Beginning 18/09/2023: Week 3: Theme of the Week - Aim High WEEK A 15/09/2023

Monday 18 September 2023 All Day: Whole School Individual School Photographs: Sports Hall Tuesday 19 September 2023 PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details Wednesday 20 September 2023 8.15: Reception Parent Drop In - Cancelled PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details Thursday 21 September 2023 All Day: Y3 Visit to Stonehenge 8.15: Y1 Parent Drop In 8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports Friday 22 September 2023 8.15: Y2 Parent Drop In 8.30: Prep School Juniors Assembly (5T) Sunday 24 September 2023 14.00: Dumpton Friends - September Stroll


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