Headmasters Letter 5th January  2024
05 January 2024

Headmaster's Letter 5th January 2024

Dear Parents 

A new year is always full of new opportunity, and despite the dark and dreary weather, the return to school in January has always been a special time of the year for me personally.  

In our Welcome Back Assembly on Thursday, I challenged the Prep School children to use this new year as a chance to decide how they were going to ensure they could ‘be their best selves’ for the remainder of the academic year. I asked the children to close their eyes, and visualise the last day of term, and a conversation where you, as parents, would be telling them how proud you were of them. What might it be that has filled your parents with pride? Perhaps it might be a sporting or musical achievement? Perhaps it might be resilience and determination in the classroom? Perhaps for being kind and empathetic to others? Perhaps for making fantastic progress in an academic subject they find difficult? Or perhaps for making a determined effort to improve their behaviour or attitude? 

It was amazing to see a room full of children, eyes scrunched closed, contemplating that day in July, and imagining their future self having real success. I felt a genuine sense of positivity, optimism and resolve in the Hall as pupils went off to start the Spring Term, and the early signs based on my walks around the school are very positive indeed – the children have been marvellous! I wish each and every child the very best in their efforts to ‘aim high’ over the coming two terms – it goes without saying that we will be there to support them all along the way. 


Parent Surveys  

We are always encouraging the children to reflect on their efforts, be ambitious for themselves, and set new goals for improvement – it is only right and proper that we do the same ourselves as a school! As well as the own ongoing self-evaluation of our provision, part of our school improvement process involves gaining important feedback from you as parents about your child's experience at Dumpton. I will send our surveys out next week – we would be incredibly grateful if everyone could make some time to fill this out so that we get as broad and rich a reflection of parents’ views as possible. 


New Staff 

Further to my announcement last term, we are delighted to have Mrs Liz Radford and Mrs Jillie Willcock joining the Dumpton Performing Arts Faculty this term as Nursery and Pre-Prep Music Teachers – what very lucky children! In addition, I am delighted to welcome Mrs Barbara Schneegass as a new Teaching Assistant – Mrs Schneegass will join RM to replace Miss Lee who left us last term. Mrs Schneegass is a very experienced and talented TA and we are delighted she is joining the staff team. I am sure we will give all three staff a warm welcome to the Dumpton community.  


Pre-Prep Hobbies 

We have been overwhelmed by the response to Pre-Prep Hobbies this term – and despite offering three exciting new hobbies (Music Makers, Computer Xplorers and Singing Stars) we are sorry that a number of pupils did not get their first-choice hobbies this term. We are sorry to anyone disappointed and thank parents for their understanding - we will do our very best to ensure we can continue to broaden and develop what is proving to be a very popular co-curricular programme for our youngest pupils. Mrs Naomi Miller (n.miller@dumpton.com) is doing a sterling job coordinating this – please do contact her for any queries over Pre-Prep Hobbies moving forward. 


Ridgway Adventure Talk for Y7 Parents – Tuesday 9th January 

Current Y7 parents are invited to join their children for what is always a fascinating presentation from Mark and Rebecca at Ridgway Adventure, ahead of their trip to Scotland this September. Please see the emails from Mr Loe for more details. 


Class Assemblies 

Next week sees our first class assembly of the term with 3B presenting to us on the theme of ‘courage’. Pre-Prep parents should also look out for their class assemblies which begin this term. As ever, you are most welcome to attend the assemblies which all take place in the Assembly Hall – the children are always excited when you can join us. 


New School Coat available in Bartletts – From Mrs Shaw 

We are delighted to tell you that a Dumpton Prep School coat is now available for children in Years 3-8. This will be compulsory from September 2024 (not for current Y7 children) but if you were about to buy a new school coat please do get this one, prices starting at £30. 


Y3 DECA – From Mrs Shaw 

Y3 are collecting pre-loved cuddly toys and outgrown Christmas jumpers that we can sell next Christmas. Please take any donations to the Front Office. 


Night of Songs Fundraiser – Friday 2nd February 

Izzy FD (Year 8) is organising a concert in memory of her friend who died in the summer following a brave and long battle against Leukaemia. The evening will be held on the 2nd February at 7pm and will involve a variety of singers including Dumpton’s very own Mrs Willcock, Ms Oakes and Tony the Frank Sinatra singing bus driver! She is hoping to raise as much money as possible for the charities that helped her friend during her battle, including Children with Cancer UK and Teddy20. Tickets are £10, which includes a glass of Prosecco on arrival, and can be bought through the following link 


There will also be further refreshments to buy and a raffle. We hope to see you there. Please see attached the fantastic poster Izzy has put together – we are really proud of her, and we know that the school community will be keen to support this event. 


A plea for the planet from Mrs Cox! 

We are searching for a suitable site locally for our pupils to create a small area of woodland as part of Global Citizenship Day on Friday 1st March.  If you are a landowner with space that would benefit from some tree/hedge planting, please contact Mrs Cox m.cox@dumpton.com asap.  Many thanks. 


With best wishes,

Christian Saenger Headmaster

Key Events Week Beginning - Monday 8 January:   

WEEK 2: Theme of the Week: The Dumpton Way - Courage  WEEK B    Monday 8 January  Pre-Prep Hobbies and Early Morning Sports Clubs start this week    Tuesday 9 January  Y8 Geography Coursework Day  PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details  16.30: Ridgway Parents Information Evening (for Y7 parents in preparation for Y8)    Wednesday 10 January  PM: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details    Thursday 11 January  8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts & Sports Reports  9.00: Y1 Winter Walk (weather dependant)    Friday 12 January  8.30: Prep School Junior Class Assembly (3B) 


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