Headmasters Letter 3rd November 2023
03 November 2023

Headmaster's Letter 3rd November 2023

What an inspiring week it has been. The theme of the week was Resilience, one of the seven character virtues that make up #TheDumptonWay. In the Pre-Prep, Resilience has been explored through ‘Tamiko the Tortoise’ - the plucky, determined little creature who never gives up! In the Prep school, we have used assemblies to focus on resilience, explore role models, and understand how we can be more resilient ourselves. Thank you to 3B for their terrific effort this morning. 


But being resilient is hard! We tell the children that ‘resilience is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger you get!’ Dumpton is, unapologetically, full of opportunities for your child to face challenges. Whether it is a failure in a spelling test, being dropped from a sports team, a difficult friendship issue, a faltering musical performance, forgetting our lines on stage, or feeling homesick on a school trip. Our natural inclination as parents might be to protect children from such experiences, and understandably so. But by doing so, by preventing children from facing challenges or setbacks, we risk preventing them from developing the resilience they need to thrive in their lives. Being the best person we can be is all about coping with failures, and still being willing to take on challenges and step out of our comfort zones: as Samuel Beckett said, with typical brevity: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”    

So we are proud that Dumpton is a school that will, gently and carefully, push your children, challenge them, allow them to fail sometimes, and ask them to step out of their comfort zone. Its only by doing so that they’ll realise quite how much they can achieve in their lives... 


Attitude to Learning Grades 

Prep School parents should have received a note from Mr Morgan today – pupils’ ATL grades from last half term are now available on the Parent Portal, and tutors have also shared and discussed them with the children today. Well done to all the pupils for ‘being kind’ and ‘aiming high’ so well this term. 


New Prep School Hobbies 

Wow – a walk round the school just now has shown off the amazing array of activities our fab Prep staff are offering up this half term. From sporty clubs like baseball, lacrosse, girls’ rugby, triathlon and pickleball, to photography, wildlife documentary, 5D Diamond painting and more, there is so much on offer. Having just finished playing a rally of ‘Pickleball’, I can assure you that it’s a lot of fun! 


Y8 Leadership Programme 

Every child in Y8 gets the chance to taste significant leadership in their time at Dumpton. This year’s bunch have made a brilliant start, and whether they are refereeing and coaching Junior Sport, listening to readers in the Pre-Prep, supporting staff with important jobs around school, or supervising the children during assembly each day, it has been lovely to see them grasp these excellent opportunities. My thanks to Mrs Clemmitt for her organisation.


School Council – Pupil Voice 

All the Prep School form groups are currently choosing their representative for School Council. With a General Committee, an Eco Committee and a Wellbeing Committee this year, there are chances for three children from each form to be involved in having a say over what happens at school, and helping us all ensure that pupils have a voice in school improvement. I look forward to the first meeting next week!


Y6 and Y7 Pre-Test for Canford 

Well done to the 22 pupils who sat the Pre-Test this week – we're really proud of you all. I will write soon to all those parents with more information about the next stage in the Canford process, and how we will be preparing children. A reminder that any parents from Y4 upwards who wish to discuss future schools can meet with me at any time. 


Y7 and Y8 Public Speaking 

This was an incredible event! The standard this year was higher than it has ever been, but well done to our winners, Izzy F-D and Emily F, and our runners up Zac W and Jess G.


RULER Emotional Literacy Programme – From Mrs Appleby-Ingram  Many parents new to the school have asked for more information about our approach to emotional literacy called RULER. We have now added information from previous parent talks about RULER onto the parent portal for all to access. We thought it would be useful for all parents - some as a reminder, and to new parents as an introduction as to how RULER is used at school and can be also used at home. Do ask your child's form teacher if you have any queries, or speak to Mr Moulton or Miss Goodhew who lead on RULER in the Prep and Pre-Prep. 


DECA Fun Run – From Mr Tridgell  Thank you to everyone involved in the Juniors' Fun Run. An event organised by 4C and enjoyed by pupils, parents and staff that has raised a fantastic £661.51 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Well done to the pupils for engaging with such enthusiasm and to the adults for the Macarena! We are very proud of the efforts to raise money for such an important cause. 


Reverse Advent Calendar 

Well done to Mrs Morton and the whole Pre-Prep for launching the Reverse Advent Calendar again this year. We’re so delighted to be able to continue to support Wimborne Foodbank in this way.


Remembrance Service – Friday 10 November 

We celebrate remembrance as a school next Friday. Whilst this event is not open to parents, we will share highlights on social media of what is always a special, and very moving occasion. 


The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal – From Mrs Oliver 

After the huge success last year, we are again running a fabulous Christmas Present Appeal to contribute to the national campaign run by The Salvation Army. Catherine Oliver, a parent of a Year 8 pupil, is kindly coordinating the collection for children who may otherwise not get any gifts. The Appeal works with Social Services to provide local vulnerable children in the Wimborne area with Christmas presents.  


Please bring any NEW & UNWRAPPED toys or gifts to the School Office by the end of November. It is important they are unwrapped as it helps the team make sure siblings get gifts of similar value and no family gets duplicates. Any size of gift is very welcome. They do not need to be expensive and we (and they) would be hugely grateful for anything you can contribute. For more information about the Appeal, take a look at https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/christmas-present-appeal

 Best wishes

Christian Saenger  Headmaster



Key Events Week Beginning 06/11/2023    Week 9: Theme of the Week - Respect & Remembrance  WEEK A     Monday 6 November  Primary Maths Challenge     Tuesday 7 November  Back up date: Primary Maths Challenge  8.30: Prep School Senior Assembly (6A)  8.30: Junior Assembly - Astroturf (wet weather Sports Hall)  PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details     Wednesday 8 November  PM: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details     Thursday 9 November  Bryanston Orchestral Day  8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports     Friday 10 November  8.30: School Council - Pupil Voice  10.45: Remembrance Service 


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