Headmasters Letter 29th September 2023
29 September 2023

Headmaster's Letter 29th September 2023

I represented Dumpton at the IAPS Conference in Liverpool earlier this week, with over 300 other Heads of Prep Schools in attendance from the UK and round the world. Of all the topics we discussed, it is the rapid development of AI (Artificial Intelligence) that presents perhaps the most seismic implications for us all in education: as one expert described it, the impact of AI on society will be comparable to the impact of the industrialisation – ‘we are at the beginning of the industrial revolution of the mind’. 

As much as AI present some daunting questions to us all as we grapple with its implications, it is important that in schools we find ways to embrace it, to better understand its possibilities, and to find ways it can support teachers and pupils in the classroom. This is something we as a school will be exploring as part of our digital strategy over the coming months. 

However, it strikes me that in a future world where AI is prevalent, where robot and computers will be so integrated into our lives, it is the very things which make our children human that will matter most, and allow them to flourish. The ability to empathise and build strong relationships or lead teams, the ability to communicate confidently and influence others positively, the ability to show creativity and problem-solving skills, the ability to be resilient and adaptable in a fast changing world. This is very much ’The Dumpton Way’, and I only feel more confident that our approach of blending academic education and character education is the best possible preparation for our children’s futures. 

Sporting Success 

I am always so impressed by the ‘character’ shown by our pupils when they play their sport. The hockey and football against Port Regis this week saw a great blend of determined play, sportsmanship and teamwork – well done to every child who played. A particular well done to our U13A team who dominated the recent tournament at Moyles Court, winning all their group games, before winning a nail-biting final against a strong Clayesmore team. Our first trophy of the season.Hot off the press – the U11A also won their tournament at Milton Abbey today, without conceding a goal. Well done to all! 

Streets Meadow Harvest Celebration – from Miss Monaghan and Mrs Al Masri 
The Reception children were very excited about their Thursday afternoon trip to Streets Meadow. The children thoroughly enjoyed their first short journey on the minibus and sang beautifully. The residents showed their appreciation by making a thank you book for the children. Next trip Wimborne library! 

Y2 Castle Visit – From Mrs Morton and Mrs Fisher 
Yr 2 had a fantastic trip to Highcliffe Castle finding out what it would have been like to live in a castle and the features of a castle. We all had a great time and the children showed exemplary behaviour. 

Dumpton Talks 

Thank you to Mrs Al-Masri for a brilliant informative talk on phonics this morning – it was so lovely to see so many parents attending to find out more about how to support their child with reading. We have another Dumpton Talks event on Monday – it's not too late to secure a place to Fintan O’Regan’s talk on Neurodiversity if you are still keen to attend. 

Year 7 Kimmeridge Science Trip from Mrs Catton 

We had a super day with Dorset Wildlife Trust at Kimmeridge Bay on Thursday. The year 7 pupils enjoyed a talk by the Dorset Wild Trust staff at the Wild Seas Centre. They learned about the rocky shore ecosystem, which lies within the protected Marine Conservation Zone. We also explored the beach and found shore crabs, limpets with record breaking strength 'teeth', barnacles, maggots, and algae. Pupils also thought about their role as global citizens, observed the Seashore Code, and carried out a beach clean. We collected a shocking 7Kg of litter, that was largely plastic, in a short space of time. The pupils had lots of ideas about how we should better protect our amazing local ecosystems, and beyond. I wanted to share with you a Dorset Wildlife Trust event happening at Kimmeridge on Sunday 15 October called The Great Global Nurdle Hunt at Kimmeridge. More details on the link of how you can take part and make a difference to the future of our planet: https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events/2023-10-15-great-global-nurdle-hunt-kimmeridge 



Magical Music – From Ms Oakes 
In last week's singing assembly, I talked to the children about the magic ways in which music makes our brain work and how a session of singing together, or learning an instrument can actually make us cleverer! I am so pleased that, at Dumpton, we have oodles of opportunity for our children to partake in this unique way to increase cognitive development, memory function, improve concentration and wellbeing and that's before we even begin to talk about the musical benefits! A common concern for parents when considering music lessons for their child is the time they would spend away from the classroom. I always try to reassure parents that although we try to keep the timetable fair for everyone by rotating lessons each week, pupils who learn an instrument often do better academically and find collaborative tasks easier. This video explains it far better than I can, if you have five minutes spare! If you would like to discuss the options for your child, please feel free to email me or if you know which instrument your child is interested in, please do complete the form here

Y2 Harvest Assembly on Monday 
On Monday Y2 will entertain us with their Harvest Assembly at 8.30am - 8.50am in the Assembly Hall. Y2 parents are welcome to come and watch from the back of the hall. 

Wimborne Foodbank Collection   
A reminder to all pupils to bring a donation to Wimborne Foodbank on Friday for the non-uniform day - they are particularly looking for the following items: Tinned soup, pasta sauce, tinned custard and rice pudding, long life juice, tinned fruit, washing pods, deodorant and shampoo. Needless to say, they will be most grateful for anything you are able to offer. It is so lovely to have the opportunity to directly support our local community. 


Charity Fancy Dress Fun Run for Juniors!  
In DECA, 4C are organising a fun run in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital on Thursday 12th October at 4.25pm, in DECA. We would like all juniors who do DECA to take part, and any non-DECA Juniors too. Please take part in fancy dress (but re-use/re-purpose any previously used fancy dress or do a fancy dress swap with friends) and there may well be some special staff appearances too! The run will take part in school but the location will depend on the weather conditions and children will be ready to collect at 5.15pm. Sponsorship forms will go out to children next week, and all sponsorship will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

NSEA Horse Riding 
If your child is interested in competing for Dumpton on their pony in NSEA horse riding competitions, or you'd like to find out more please do register you interest with Karen on email :  nsea@dumpton.com and look at https://www.nsea.org.uk 

Mrs Sarah Bolter 

After many years successfully leading Pre-prep music, and influencing countless Dumpton pupils at the beginning of their musical journey, Mrs Bolter is stepping back from her Pre-Prep teaching role at the end of this term. We will still see plenty of Sarah as she will continue to be involved in school life as a woodwind teacher, but wish her all the best for her exciting commitments as a professional musician. 

We’re Recruiting 

We have just begun advertising for a new Pre-Prep Music Teacher. This is an exciting opportunity to join our thriving performing arts department. Do pass on the word to anyone who might be interested – the advert can be found on our website: HERE 


Key Events Week Beginning 02/10/2023:  
Week 5: Theme of the Week - Charity Matters 
Monday 2 October 2023 
All Day: Visiting Speaker – Fintan O’Regan 
8.30am: Prep School Senior Assembly for Senior Pupils (Y2 Harvest) - Y2 parents welcome to attend 
19.30: Dumpton Talks by Fintan O'Regan – Neurodiversity 
Tuesday 3 October 2023 
14.15: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details  
Wednesday 4 October 2023 
14.15: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 
Thursday 5 October 2023 
8.15: Y1 Parent Drop In 
8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports 
9.00: Cracking The Code Event: Sherborne Schools 
Friday 6 October 2023 
All Day: Whole School Non School Uniform Day (collection for Wimborne Food Bank)  
All Day: Y3 Visit to the Ancient Technology Centre 
8.30: Prep School Juniors Assembly (4A) 
8.30: Reception 2024 - Parents Information Drop In 


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