Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 24 January 2020

| 24 January 2020

Dear Parents

It was wonderful to spend some time with our Eco-Schools Assessor as she visited Dumpton this week to judge our Green Flag status. She was absolutely glowing about all the work the school has done to create a culture where the environment matters. Our pupils' concerns for the environment - their 'environmental empathy' as I like to call it - is something about which we should all be very proud.
We speak to pupils regularly about empathy at Dumpton. One statistic I shared in a recent assembly was that young people today are - according to one study - 40% less empathetic than they were in the 1990s. I  don't have time to get stuck into the whys and wherefores of this now, but I did say to all the pupils at Dumpton:  I don't think this research is true of you. I see so much kindness and empathy on a daily basis from Dumpton pupils who really embrace our school rule of ‘treating others as you would like to be treated'. Two pupils received a Headmaster's Commendation from me this week for just that. It is really important to me that just as much as we celebrate excellence in academic subjects, sports, or performing arts at Dumpton, we value and celebrate kindness, empathy and emotional intelligence. 
It has been a great pleasure of this term so far to have begun meeting pupils in Y6, Y7 and Y8 for some practice interviews in my study in advance of their Assessment Days or Scholarship Days at various Senior Schools. I have really enjoyed the chance to get to know pupils a little better, and look forward to seeing many more pupils over the coming weeks.
Car Park Safety
I am grateful to Mr Martin our Bursar for leading an Assembly on Car Park Safety to the pupils on Tuesday. 'You are all car park wardens!' The Car Park is always a place that requires us to be vigilant and cautious. Thank you to all the parents for driving and parking carefully. Please always feel free to report to Mr Martin if you have any concerns about this.
If You Go Down to the Woods Today....
There are some exciting developments afoot with our Outdoor Learning spaces. Y3 were the first to discover this on Wednesday when they discovered evidence of some very mysterious - and somewhat magical - guests. There are some lovely photos on our Social Media feed, along with a range of other highlights from this week too as usual.
Ken Baily Cross Country
Well done to our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils who competed at Bryanston yesterday.  The girls team were first off and once again, it was Anaïs V who led the way, finishing in a very creditable 28th place, with Wynne R and Felicity C close behind in 33rd and 38th respectively.  In the boys race Max H finished strongly to place 43rd.  Cam C and Massimo B both ran well to finish 60th and 65th and a special mention must go to Will T who came over the line to cheers all round after his sprint finish.  
Well done to the 25 LAMDA students who recently took their exams in Speaking Verse and Prose and Acting, Levels 1-3, gaining an outstanding eight 'Merits' and seventeen 'Distinctions' between them. More of the LAMDA students will take exams this term and next, so good luck to them in their preparations for these.
News from the Pre-Prep
Year 1 and Year 2 enjoyed a talk from Dumpton parent, Josh Mitchell, about his time volunteering at a school in Ghana (Virgin Kids Academy).  We could all learn from how happy and uncomplaining the children were, despite their circumstances.   We all watched a lovely clip of their morning routine at the school, which you can view here.  Our children listened beautifully and the teachers were so impressed by all the relevant and interesting questions at the end.
From FoDS:  Summer Gala at Deans Court - Saturday 13th June 2020 
FoDS are very excited to announce that we are ready to sell tickets for this year’s Summer Gala event. Owing to the overwhelming success of last year, we have decided to work with the wonderful crew at Deans Court, Wimborne again. This year we are delighted to introduce Molecular Magic as our chosen caterer, who are offering not just incredible food, but with a twist of magic!  Tickets are priced at £80 per head, with a very special early bird rate of £70 per head for a limited time.  Please see the attached booking form for further information about the event. We very much hope that you will join us in making this event one to remember! 
A reminder that on Sunday 2 February at 12pm we will be holding the 'Dumpton Dig Off' – more information to follow early next week.  The following weekend is the Quiz Night (Saturday 8 February).  Please remember to complete a booking form if you wish to attend.
With best wishes
Christian Saenger