Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 10 December 2021

| 13 December 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 10 December 2021

Dear Parents

Working in a school is an incredible privilege - and this week has brought many moments that have reminded me - and all the Dumpton staff - of just that. Having been starved of performance opportunities over the last 18 months, we could have forgiven the children for being a bit rusty and reticent when it came to the Christmas Shows this year. Instead, they have blown us away. Y1 and Y2 earlier in the week sung and performed brilliantly, and it was so lovely to have such large and receptive audiences for those two performances. Today, it was Y3's turn. Performing Starbright, a musical, written by Mrs Gray and, poignantly, Mr Nye, the Y3s blew us all away. I think a few of us had something in our eye, especially at the end as we celebrated and thanked Mr Nye. A huge well done to all the pupils in Y1, Y2 and Y3 who performed this week, Nursery and Reception last week, and to all the staff who supported and prepared them so well. Six Christmas performances down.... one to go....

Y4 - Y8 Carol Service Arrangements
In light of the Prime Minister's briefing on Wednesday, Wimborne Minster have updated their precautions for any Christmas events being held. Thankfully, we are still currently able to go ahead largely as planned as long as we keep the capacity limited, but please do note the following which has been stipulated by the Minster:

  • We will be asking all families to confirm if they are attending or not, and confirm the name of the 2 guests per family who will be able to join the congregation. A registration form will be sent soon
  • The only exception to this is younger siblings of children performing in the Minster who can also attend
  • Face-coverings must be worn at all times by the congregation. Anyone who is exempt should be wearing their exemption certificate, and should refrain from joining in with singing
  • All those attending should take take a Lateral Flow Test in the 24 hours beforehand, including pupils in Y7 and Y8
  • Any Y6,Y7 or Y8 pupils in attendance who are not performing in a choir should sit with their parents.
  • The Service will be recorded (not live-streamed) and shared with parents at a later date

End of Term Reminder
A reminder that there are no mini buses running on Wednesday afternoon and school ends at the following times:

Nursery Collection - 12.00
Pre-Prep Collection - 12.30 (Prep School siblings can also be collected at this time)
Prep Collection - 13.00 

Form Parties/Food from Home
With various Christmas parties planned for next week, due to changes in legislation, we are now unable to permit home-cooked food to be brought into school - this is actually more to do with allergens and potential contamination of food than it is with Covid. If children are bringing any food into school for Christmas parties, a reminder that this must be shop-brought, should be nut-free, and that no 'sharing' food is currently allowed.

Charity Challenge
Y5 Geography - so far the pupils have raised £461 in their hardship challenge!  Really well done and we look forward to deciding where best to spend this next term.  Any more sponsorship money to the usual school account (ref Y5 Geog) before the end of term if you can please. 

Vacancy for Graduate Teaching Assistant
We are looking to employ a graduate teacher for the Spring and Summer terms. There is an advert now live on our vacancies page - a fantastic opportunity for an enthusiastic and dynamic young person to join the Prep School staff team. Do spread the word.

Hobbies, DECA and Tennis in the Prep School
Please remember that Hobbies, DECA and tennis choices (in the Prep School) are due by 9am on Monday.

On site LFT testing for Y7 & Y8
Please note that as per government guidance we will be conducting on site testing for all Y7 and Y8 pupils on their arrival on the first day of the new term (Thursday 6 January). We will write to you closer to the time with more details.

Mr Richard Nye and Miss Cathy Stokes
We will have a chance to say a final goodbye to both Richard and Cathy at Wednesday's Carol Service. However, as I know many of you won't be there this year I wanted to record in writing my sincere thanks to two magnificent servants of the school. Cathy has been Matron at Dumpton for 33 years - and has helped and supported quite literally thousands of children, parents and staff in her time here. Anyone who knows Cathy will tell you how dedicated and helpful she is, as well as being utterly committed to Dumpton and particularly the care of the pupils - and their lost property! We will miss Cathy's presence immensely, and in many ways, she is irreplaceable, such is her contribution to the school. Mr Nye has not been here quite as long - just the 19 years (!) - but with all of those spent on the Senior Management Team, and the last 11 years spent as Deputy Head, Richard's contribution to the ongoing success of Dumpton over the last two decades has been immense. For all of us who have had the fortune to work with Richard, he is a brilliant role model for our pupils: the living embodiment of our values of 'Be Kind and Aim High', an incredibly kind and nurturing presence to so many, but equally an inspirational one, whether that is out on the sports pitches with hockey stick in hand, or in the Performing Arts centre behind his beloved piano. The Carol Service on Wednesday promises to be a very, very special occasion for us all. Both Richard and Cathy will be hugely missed by the whole Dumpton family, and I am sure you will all join me in wishing both of them the very best for their life after Dumpton. 

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Dumpton families a very Happy Christmas. Thank you for your support during this incredibly positive term and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Christian Saenger