Headmasters Letter 8th March  2024
08 March 2024

Headmaster's Letter 8th March 2024

Dear Parents 

It’s been such a terrific week here at Dumpton, with performing arts at the centre of some really special moments. Performing Arts Week kicked off with a bang with over 300 pupils performing over the course of the afternoon – a monumental achievement from our brilliant Performing Arts team. It's a big part of our ‘aim high’ ethos at Dumpton that everyone tries everything, and all children get the chance to sing, perform, act and dance on a stage as much as possible throughout their time here. We really do believe ‘performing arts is for all’, and that every single child stands to gain so much from these opportunities – not just the enjoyment of performing, but also the character and confidence that it builds. 

House Music today saw nearly 100 children perform again individually, whilst the week ended with our House Singing Competition – a brilliantly fun, collaborative and colourful occasion: the theme of ‘80s power ballads’ this year certainly proved a real hit. Well done to Sussex whose version of ‘Living on a Prayer’ was crowned the winner, but the competition was Dumpton at its best – every single child from Y2 to Y8 singing and performing together with such joy and enthusiasm, as well as a fair few staff! 

A huge thanks to Ms Oakes and her brilliant team for putting on so many fantastic performance opportunities for the children, and for creating such a buzz around the school this week. 

Targeting of Independent Schools by Cyber Criminals – from the Bursar  

A number of local schools have been the victims of cyber-attack and I wanted to make you aware that Dumpton will not be sending any emails regarding changes to bank details or requesting fees in advance - our bank account has not changed, and we have no plans to change it. If you have any concerns about an email you have received, please do get in touch with us. 

World Book Day 

We take our education really seriously here at Dumpton, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun as well, and yesterday’s World Book Day was filled with laughter too. As well as promoting reading in all sorts of lovely ways, it was lovely for the children to have a good giggle at the staff team who looked particularly wonderful yesterday. Thank you to the Y7 parents who kept a straight face during Parents Evening last night! 

Summer Ball – Band Confirmed

We’re delighted to announce that Kingsmen (https://kingsmenmusic.co.uk/) have been booked as the live band for the Summer Ball – they come highly recommended. Summer Ball Tickets are already selling very quickly – do make sure you get yours before the Early Bird Discount ends! 

International Women’s Day 

It was International Women’s Day today, and in Monday’s Prep School Assembly I’ll talk to the children about the purpose of this very important day. In our co-educational school, it's so important that both girls and boys hear those important messages about the amazing contributions of women to society, and the ongoing importance of aiming for a world that is free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, as well as a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive for all. 

Reception’s Busy Week - From the Reception Teachers 

The Reception children enjoyed a very educational and soggy morning in Wimborne visiting traditional shops. They visited the butchers, the bakers, and the green grocers (the candlestick maker wasn't available!). The children were amazed to see the variety of local produce in Fluffets Farm Shop and learnt about reducing the impact of food miles and packaging. Next stop was meeting Mr Bell the fishmonger where they learnt about sustainable fishing and saw an amazing variety of sea life, including a baby shark, an octopus, oysters and samphire! A perfect trip to enhance the children's work on global citizenship. 

What a wonderful day we had yesterday to celebrate books. It was delightful to see the children embracing this day with such lovely costumes. They enjoyed talking to one another about which character they had come dressed as. We were lucky to be visited by local author Lisa Esposito who talked all things wellies. Please see Tapestry for some pictures of this event.  

Townsend-Warner History Prize – From Mr Tridgell 

Earlier this term, eleven of our Year 8 pupils entered the Townsend-Warner History Prize and sat a very challenging set of questions on many aspects of British history. I am delighted to share that two of our Year 8 pupils progressed to the final round of the Townsend-Warner History Prize. Alexander S and Bertie B completed the second paper last week and I wish them the best of luck as we wait for any news of their outcome. This is a superb achievement as the prize is a national competition and only the top 20% of entries from paper one go through. Well done boys, you gave a superb account of yourselves. I look forward to seeing if we can match this next year.  

Open Morning 

We’re holding our annual Open Morning next Friday – and whilst its very much a normal school day, some of our older pupils will be touring prospective parents around the school site. I know they’ll do a brilliant job! If you happen know any families interested in Dumpton, do encourage them to pop along to find out more. 


We continue to expand and develop our Hobbies programme, and whilst Prep School parents have already been sent a link to book their child’s Hobby for the Summer term, Pre-Prep parents should look out for an email early next week from Mrs Miller. We’ve added new hobbies choices for Pre-Prep children, and will be offering hobbies across the week – and hope to have all hobbies choices confirmed to you before the end of term. 

British Science Week(s!) from Mrs Catton 

Next week is officially British Science Week, and the theme for 2024 is 'time'. We will be celebrating throughout the week, and into the following week, as there is lots to fit in in such a short space of time! This will give pupils' opportunities to explore science beyond the syllabus, looking back in history, right through to the digital age, and towards the future with our modern-day impacts on the planet. We will explore ideas in lessons, with British Science Association activities.  

Year 5s will experience time and space in the Planetarium at the Winchester Science Centre on Thursday 14th March. Everyone in year 2 to 6 will enjoy science workshops at school with Sublime Science, on Thursday 21st March. Years 7 and 8 will enjoy their own science workshops in lessons. There will be maggots, dry ice, and lungs!  A national British Science Week poster competition on ‘time’ will run until the end of term, with the 5 best judged posters to be submitted. Further information and ideas can be found here: https://www.britishscienceweek.org/plan-your-activities/poster-competition/  

Lastly, we are taking part in The Big Plastic Count 2024, which runs through next week. Further details in the attached letter, where you will find your plastic tally sheet and a link to submit your results.    

Holiday Clubs 

And finally, in addition to the Dumpton Easter Holiday Club in the first week of the holidays, please see information below about three further opportunities here at Dumpton over the Easter Holidays, for those pupils interested in football, performing arts and computing: 

Computer Xplorers

Wednesday 10th April, 5 to 15 years old - please see the PDF attachment to book your place via the link. 

HMS Soccer Camp

Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 4th April and Tuesday 9th – Thursday 11th April, 6 to 12 years old - a poster is on its way but contact harry.morgan@bath.edu if you are interested in booking a place. 

Dumpton Performing Arts Holiday Club

Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th April, Dumpton pupils only, Y2 to Y8 

Following the success of last summer, Ms Oakes and her Performing Arts team are delighted to be offering another Performing Arts Holiday Club towards the end of the Easter holidays. It would be open to all current Year 2-8 pupils on Monday 8th – Wednesday 10th April, inclusive. Pupils would attend all 3 days, enjoying sessions in music, dance and drama from our specialist team and would be working towards a performance on the final afternoon.  

With best wishes

Christian Saenger

  Key Events Week Beginning 11/03/2024:        

Week 10: Theme of the Week - Charity 

WEEK B    

Monday 11 March 

ABRSM Music Exams (Requested Date) 

Y3 Trip - Evacuee Experience, Nothe Fort, Weymouth 

16.30: Y8 Parents' Evening: All subjects (in person) 

Tuesday 12 March 

ABRSM Music Exams (Requested Date) 

U13 Dorset County Netball (Selected Pupils) 

PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 

15.30: Wimborne Parish School Council Meeting (selected pupils) 

16.30: Y7 (7O) Parents' Evening (in person) 

Wednesday 13 March 

Y2 Groovy Greeks 

PM: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 

Thursday 14 March 

Y5 Science Trip to Winchester Science Centre 

Y1 Olympic Games Day 

Friday 15 March 

8.15: Year 1 Parent Drop In 

8.15: Year 2 Parent Drop In 

10.00: Prospective Parent Open Morning 

16.15: Final Prep School Hobbies of the term 


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