Headmasters Letter 22nd September 2023
22 September 2023

Headmaster's Letter 22nd September 2023

Our theme of the week was ‘Aim High’, and through our various assemblies this week we reinforced this important message to the children. I thought parents might be interested to hear what those two words actually mean in practice here at Dumpton. 

At it’s heart, our ‘aim high’ ethos is about instilling within the children a positive set of beliefs about themselves. The belief that they are capable of amazing things – but only if they put their minds to it; the belief that though we are all born with different innate talents and strengths, that it is our mindset, attitude and approach that will ultimately decide our success in life; the belief that challenges and setbacks are not failures, but a chance to grow as a person; the belief that our character qualities and talents are not fixed, but something we can cultivate and grow through our efforts. 

These sorts of beliefs are referred to as a ‘Growth Mindset’, and their influence is backed up by some fascinating research. Psychologist Carol Dweck’s studies have shown that children who develop a growth mindset (the belief that ultimately effort matters more than talent) go on to make better progress at school. On the other hand, children who develop a ‘fixed mindset’ (the belief that ultimately talent matters more than effort) might give up more easily, might avoid challenges, and might lack resilience.  

At Dumpton, we are always trying to unlock the growth mindset within every child. It lies at the very heart of our school motto - ‘you can because you think you can’, and sits at the cornerstone of all our conversations and interactions with the children – in the classroom, or outside it. We praise pupils for their efforts, not their talents. We remind them if they can’t do something, its ok, they just can’t do it yet. We encourage them to throw themselves into their learning and the experiences on offer with enthusiasm, to have the courage and determination give of their best in all that they do, and to build the resilience to overcome any hurdles or barriers that threaten to blow them off course. Ultimately, to learn that hard work and determination and effort matters.  

As Carol Dweck writes: “effort is one of those things that gives meaning to life. Effort means you care about something, that something is important to you, and that you are willing to work for it.” 

What a brilliant message, and the children at Dumpton continue to amaze me on this front - they are some of the most enthusiastic, positive and determined learners I have seen in my career. Long may this continue! 

Y1 and Y2 Drop Ins 

It was so lovely to have so many parents ‘dropping in’ this week to see the efforts of their children so far this term. We hope you enjoyed having the chance to spend some time in the classroom with them, and getting a sense of their learning so far this year. Next week, it is the turn of Y3, Y4 and Y5, as per the calendar. 

Y5 Assembly 

We had our first class assembly of the year today – a brilliant effort from Year 5 and Mr Tridgell which reflected on the wonderful Year 5 camp last week, and all the children had learnt. We all watched a short video put together by Mr Cox of the trip... what amazing images, and what a remarkable experience for all those Y5 pupils. 

Y3 Stonehenge Trip 

Y3 managed to dodge the inclement weather and spend an amazing day at Stonehenge as part of their humanities curriculum where they are learning about the Stone Age. We were really proud of their behaviour, and the interest they showed – well done! 

Senior Choir, Orchestra, Ensembles and Bands 

The performing arts department was buzzing this week with activity. How brilliant to see so many children giving up their lunchtimes to make music together. Well done to all the children involved for aiming high and taking their opportunities here. 

U11As at IAPS Regionals in Sussex 

A special mention to our U11As who narrowly missed out on qualifying for the IAPS Nationals after an agonising penalty defeat at the Regionals in Sussex on Wednesday. Despite topping their group and playing some sensational football, the boys missed out. We are so very proud of them though; they’re a talented bunch and we are sure this defeat will give them even more hunger for future success. We will continue to watch their progress closely! 

Dumpton Talks 

A reminder of the two upcoming Dumpton Talks events, the poster for which was sent out earlier this week. We hope to see many of you there for what promises to be two fantastic talks. 

Apples at The Dumpton Stroll – From Mr Cox 
We are all very much looking forward the Dumpton Stoll this Sunday at 2pm. Our apple press will be in action, so please feel very welcome to bring along any apples you want juicing and some bottles to take the juice home with you. I have also got plenty of apples to go around, so please do bring along an empty bottle to enjoy the produce!  

Individual School Photographs 
Today your child will bring home the proof card of their school photo which was taken earlier this week by Fraser Portraits. Please follow the instructions on the proof card to order your photos online through their website. There is a deadline of Friday 6th October to ensure free delivery to Dumpton School. Any orders placed after this date will be delivered directly to you, but there will be a delivery fee. 
Dumpton Friends - Christmas Card Designs 
It is that time of the year again! Special templates will be sent home with your children today so that you can support them at home to create their Christmas designs. Every student from Nursery to Year 5 and those students in Y6, 7 & 8 who expressed an interest will receive a template. Please be sure to read the instructions (written for teachers but applies to parents too) carefully to make sure their design is successful and please return to your child’s form tutors, or to school reception by the morning of Friday 29th September. Try to keep the paper template in good shape for the best results.   

There are all sorts of products that you can purchase with your child’s design, for example cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, mugs, jigsaws, baubles, reindeers, key rings and place mats. Pinterest is a great source for inspiration! Details on how to order will be provided along with a preview of your child’s design in due course.  Get in touch with Kate BoxerMissen with any questions. We hope you all enjoy getting into the festive spirit! 

Key Events Week Beginning 25/09/2023:  
Week 4: Theme of the Week - Celebration of Other Cultures 
Monday 25 September 
8.15: Y3 Parent Drop In 
8.30: Prep School Assembly (European Day of Languages - Class 7T) 
Tuesday 26 September 
8.15: Y4 Parent Drop In 
PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 
Wednesday 27 September 
PM: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 
Thursday 28 September 
All Day: Y7 Science Trip to Kimmeridge 
All Day: Y2 Visit to Highcliffe Castle 
8.15: Y5 Parent Drop In 
8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports 
14.00: Reception visit to Streets Meadow Residential Home 
Friday 29 September 
8.00: Dumpton Friends - Bake Sale for MacMillan Cancer Support 
8.30: Prep School Juniors Assembly (5P) 
8.30: Dumpton Talks: Supporting your Child's Reading through Phonics 
15.15: Dumpton Friends - Bake Sale for MacMillan Cancer Support 


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