Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 17 September 2021

| 20 September 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 17 September 2021

Dear Parents 

I hope you and your child have enjoyed the first full week of the term. Dumpton has been an absolute hive of activity, of smiles, and of excitement. With so much going on at Dumpton this week, I was reminded of a fundamental principle of education, Vygotsky's 'Zone  of Proximal Development' - essentially - the 'learning zone' between something being too easy, and something being too hard. This is  the sweet spot where children thrive. At Dumpton we're constantly looking to find this for our pupils, whether that's in the classroom, or outside it, to help them fulfil their potential. I know many children have challenged themselves in the last 10 days, from the wobbly lipped child stepping into Nursery for the first time, to our older children, some of whom will have tried algebra, hockey or even cliff jumping for the first time! We should all be very proud of the start they have made to the year. 

Outdoor Adventures 
Part of the reason for embracing Outdoor Learning throughout our entire curriculum is ensuring that we can let children  challenge themselves in nature in a safe and secure environment. This week, Nursery and Pre-Prep have enjoyed digging up and tasting  produce from the allotments, Y3 spent the afternoon today at Rockley enjoying some watersports and team building, Year 5 spent two  nights wild-camping in the Purbecks, including some time coasteering, as well as learning bushcraft skills like fire-lighting, and prepping  and cooking trout and pigeon for dinner! And tomorrow our Y8 embark on a trip of a lifetime to the North West coast of Scotland,  where they will challenge themselves on that incredible coastline against the sea, the sky, and the water at the famous Ridgway  Adventure School. All these experiences will shape our children for the better - and I am truly grateful to the staff who give up their  time (and sometimes their sleep!) to give pupils these opportunities. 

How terrific it was to see so many teams in action this week with parents on the sidelines in support. We have even more matches again  next week, and my thanks go to Mr Randle and his team for their efforts. Parents can keep track of team lists and fixtures, as well as  read some lovely match reports, on our Sports Website. Just to remind you that this site may be accessed from the front page of our  website through the Sport Tab (Sport Site). It is also available via www.dumptonsport.com. The password will remain as ‘deansgrove’. Please remember to check the website for the most up to date information as fixtures and timings are subject to change. 

Community Events - The Dumpton Stroll and the FoDs Quiz 
The School Calendar is now live, but a reminder of some upcoming events. Sunday the 26 September, at 2pm, is the Dumpton Stroll.  We'd love to get an idea of numbers, so please do fill in this form if you are planning on joining our first social event for a very long  time! It will be lovely to see lots of you there, and wider family are most welcome. I am also delighted to announce that we will be  holding our annual FoDS Quiz on Saturday 16 October. Do ensure you are free that evening for what is a very enjoyable event, and  more details about how to sign up will come from the FoDs soon. 

Future Schools 
A huge good luck to any of our Y6 pupils who are sitting the Grammar School 11+ Tests this weekend. Mr Morgan has written to Y6  and Y7 parents this week about the ISEB Pre-Test, and he has been grateful for all the parents who have got back in touch with him thus  far. We wish all our pupils the very best of luck for the various school entry procedures they might be following this year. It can be a  daunting time for parents, so do remember to book an appointment with me at any time if you wish to discuss future school options for  your child. I am also giving a talk on Future Schools on Tuesday 28 September which is a great starting point for any parents of any age  children wanting to know a little more about how things work. 

Nursery - New Staff and New Video
I am delighted to announce two new staff who have joined the Dumpton Nursery. Mrs Becky Taylor and Mrs Mai Oldham are both very  experienced Nursery practitioners, and we feel very lucky to have appointed them to our Nursery team. I am sure Nursery parents will  get to know them in the coming days. We have also produced a video for our Nursery which we hope gives parents a sense of what a  wonderful start it gives any child. Please go to www.dumpton.com/video-gallery to view. Thanks to our superb staff, the Nursery is thriving at Dumpton with spaces filling  up very quickly indeed - if you do know others considering the Dumpton Nursery for their child, please tell them to get in touch soon  to ensure that they don't miss out. 

Independent School of the Year 
Finally, we are absolutely thrilled to announce that Dumpton has been listed as a Finalist for the Independent School of the Year Awards  for our Green Initiatives. Mrs Cox and her Eco-Committee have had such an impact over the years at Dumpton, and it is lovely to be  recognised again for our forward thinking approach in this area of life. We look forward to winners being announced soon. 

With best wishes 

Christian Saenger