Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 12 March 2021

| 12 March 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 12 March 2021

Dear Parents

There were certainly a few butterflies in tummies on Monday morning for all concerned - but these were banished by about 8.35am I think! It has been wonderful to see the children return so seamlessly to life back at school, and huge credit to them all for coming back with such positivity, enthusiasm, and kindness. We are all so happy to have them back where they belong.

Sport, Performing Arts, Outdoor Learning
The school has been alive with these co-curricular opportunities this week - such an important part of life at Dumpton. Our superb Games staff have had lots of sessions of hockey, netball and cross-country - despite some fairly testing weather at times. There has been lots of singing, music and drama too, and I'm grateful to Mr Cox for getting the allotments opened for the children at lunchtimes - they have been jam-packed full of budding gardeners preparing their patches for the growing season!

A big thank you to the Prep staff for offering such an exciting range of Hobbies this half term - from tennis, to dodgeball, to egg painting, allotments and the Y7 Band, there is really something for everyone. I am delighted to see LAMDA growing too, with 45 pupils now taking up this opportunity. I am also excited to announce that the Pre-Prep children will have the chance to attend an after school 'Hobby' in the Summer Term, and we will share more details before the end of term.

Sincere thanks to our school matrons, who have managed to test all our Y7 and Y8 three times over the last week or so, in an incredibly efficient way. They have also been testing staff twice weekly since the start of term - we are hugely grateful for their efforts. All testing will now take place at home. Y7 and Y8 pupils will be given test kits today to use until the end of term. There is full information provided about how to conduct and register the tests, but please contact us at school if you have any questions at all.

British Science Week
We were treated to some rather exciting experiments in the Science lab during assembly on Wednesday to celebrate British Science Week with our Head of Physics even setting her hand on fire.... twice! All in the name of Science, Mrs Heffer! It was also lovely to see Nursery getting involved, learning all about volcanoes and lava, decaying fruit, and bubbles along the course of the week. We need lots of scientists in the future, and it's never too early to start...

Our Nursery continues to flourish, and we have around a dozen new children joining the Nursery next term. It will be lovely to welcome so many new families to the Dumpton community. We are sending out a short survey to Nursery parents soon, and would be grateful for your feedback so we can continue to reflect on our practice and make the Nursery the best possible start to life at Dumpton.

Canford Headmaster's List
In what has been a very competitive process this year, we are delighted that 17 pupils secured their place at Canford this week, mainly in Y6 but also in Y7. Huge congratulations to them. For those pupils who weren't offered a place at this stage, you should be proud of your performance - we certainly are - and there are other opportunities to come.

Y8 Scholars Programme
We are still waiting on news about more scholarships, but I thought I would share some lovely feedback from a Y8 parent. The scholars' programme at Dumpton is much more than just preparation for the exams themselves, and it is lovely to hear how much our pupils are benefiting from this - a huge thank you to the academic staff who give so much of their time to prepare pupils: "He has learnt a lot, stretched his thinking, embraced a much broader approach to his study of subjects and started to see the connections between subjects. He has been inspired by the scholarship curriculum and the discussions with teachers and his peers that emanated. It has motivated him to learn more and push himself. Irrespective of whether he gets an award or not, I feel that this is a brilliant result."

Thank you to all the children, even those under 11, for wearing face coverings on minibuses this week, which has now been made mandatory for all (unless exempt). Mrs Spring has also asked that parents who use the minibus check they match your child's end of day arrangements - please visit https://dumpton.route-r.co.uk

Deputy Head (Academic)
Following my announcement about Kirsten Rielly's departure, we are now advertising for a Deputy Head Academic to join Dumpton and become a key member of the school's leadership team. This is an exciting appointment, and a crucial role for the future development of the academic side of life at Dumpton and our desire to ensure that every child can develop a love of learning and fulfil their academic potential. Full details can be found on our school website: https://www.dumpton.com/Vacancies

With best wishes
Christian Saenger