Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 10 September 2021

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| 13 September 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 10 September 2021

Dear Parents

It has been a wonderful, joyous start to the school year. A huge welcome to all our new families, and a hearty 'welcome back' to all our other families. With the sun shining brightly earlier this week, and parents, staff and children free to mingle and chat after school, it has felt like we have our old Dumpton back. Long may that continue. This year promises to be an exciting and dynamic one at Dumpton, as we emerge with real ambition from the pandemic. One of the great joys of this term has been working closely with staff on realising our vision for the future. Some exciting developments are already underway which we are eager to share with you all - you can be sure I will use this letter to keep you up to date.

Performing Arts Faculty - New Staff Appointments
One key priority for us as a school has been to build an outstanding Performing Arts Faculty, and we have made huge strides under the stewardship of Mr Nye and Mr Moulton, despite the limitations of Covid, as anyone who witnessed the concerts, choirs, and performances at the end of last year would agree. I am delighted to announce two new members of staff who will lead the next exciting phase of the Performing Arts Faculty's development. Mrs Natalie Warde joins us this term as a part-time Teacher of Performing Arts. Natalie will teach Y3 to Y8, as well as leading some of our choirs and ensembles. She is an experienced Performing Arts teacher with a Masters in Teaching and Learning, and previously taught both Musical Theatre and Drama at Downe House in Berkshire, before moving to Dorset with her husband and young children last year. She is a keen singer and composer herself and we are very excited to have Natalie on the team. In January, Natalie will be joined by Mrs Sarah Mudd, our Director of Performing Arts, a new and exciting leadership position on the Dumpton team. Sarah joins us from Walhampton where she has been Director of Music for the past 5 years with great success, after a number of years as Choral Director at Bryanston. Sarah read Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and is still a keen musician, fronting the 'Girls Only Jazz Orchestra' and also lead oboist in the Salisbury Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra. Performing Arts at Dumpton is in very safe - and very exciting - hands.

New Staff Welcomes
As well as Mrs Natalie Warde, we welcome Mr David Morgan, our new Deputy Head Academic, Mrs Olivia Brass, our new Year 3 Teacher, and Mrs Lucy Al-Masri, our new Reception teacher this term. All have already made a brilliant impression, and I know that parents will have the chance to get to know them in the coming weeks. We also welcome three new STAs (Student Teaching Assistants) to the team this year – Miss Issy Shepherd, Mr Sam Ryan and Miss Grace Simmons.

Hobbies
We have been delighted to see the interest in some of our new clubs this year - or as they have been called at Dumpton for the best part of 100 years - Hobbies. Early Morning Tennis this week has been a huge success, and the Pre-Prep children are, I know, very much looking forward to Mini-Kickers and Dramarama beginning next week. Children in the Prep School will begin Hobbies next Friday, and the Juniors are also going to begin DECA - The Dumpton Extra-Curricular Award - on Thursdays. With activities like swimming, cooking, Senior Choir, LAMDA, football, sports hall fun, movie-making, board games, Academic Scholarship sessions, and performing arts club on offer, there really is something for everyone.

Autumn Term Events - The School Calendar
We will publish our Autumn Term events in the school calendar later today, and it is wonderful to be able to offer our usual range of trips, occasions and performances this term. Any events in the Calendar are open for parents to attend in person if your child is performing - although we will still look to make use of virtual broadcasts where we can which I know so many parents who would otherwise not be able to make it into school have enjoyed. Some Prep School Parents Evenings and Performance for the term ahead are still being finalised and we will write to you soon to confirm any new additions to the calendar.

FoDS
The Friends of Dumpton are a vital part of the school community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Karen Wood who steps back as Chair of the FoDS Committee this year. Karen has been a brilliant chair and so generous with her time, despite being hugely busy running her own business, so we are truly grateful. I am delighted that Jessica Mcardle has offered to Chair the Committee for the year ahead. I know Jessica will be keen to hear from any parents wishing to join the committee - do email fods@dumpton.com if you are interested. It is a lovely group and new members are always very much welcomed! We look forward to hopefully having some lovely community events over the year, and raising some money for good causes at the same time.

Dumpton Stroll
I am delighted to announce that we will be going ahead with the Dumpton stroll this year, on Sunday 26th September at 2pm. This lovely family event sees us meet for a short circular walk in the fields around Dumpton, before returning for some food and drink. Children, dogs, and other family members are most welcome! We are also hoping to make home-made apple juice with our school Apple Press - so do save up your apples from your gardens and bring them along on the day! More information will follow in due course I am sure.

Parents Football
Another lovely event is the very casual Parents Football which takes place on Friday evenings form 6pm to 7pm on the Astro. All are welcome, and the levels of fitness and skill vary greatly! We have been short on numbers over the Summer, so we hope some new members will bolster the ranks this year. Please contact Jamie Haskins at jamiehaskins@hotmail.com if you are interested in joining up.

Ducklings
Hattie will begin Ducklings after drop-off next Wednesday morning, from 8.30am to 10am. This is a lovely group for parents with children under three, with a chance to chat and have a hot drink while children play. If you are interested in coming along, do contact h.saenger@dumpton.com for more information.

Morning Drop-Off
Many thanks to all parents for getting to grips with the new systems. To keep children as safe as possible in the morning, we are trying to ensure there is no parking in the Bottom Car Park between 7.45 and 8.30, only 'drop-and-go' at the designated zones for Prep School children. Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School parents wishing to park should park in the top car park only please. We will keep things under review as ever.

OPRO
Just a reminder that OPRO Mouthguards will be sending their dentist on Monday 13th September to take impressions for those wishing to order through them. If you would still like to order an OPRO mouthguard for your child please see the attached e-shot for full details. The deadline for this is 6.00pm on Sunday.

Communication
You may have noticed our IT systems and communication are not quite as slick or professional as usual. We have been busy over the Summer upgrading a host of IT infrastructure, but some illness in our IT team has set us back slightly. Do bear with us if you are receiving duplicate emails - we hope this issue will be resolved soon.

With best wishes
Christian Saenger
Headmaster

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