Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 18 September 2020

Newsletters
| 21 September 2020

Dear Parents

After so long away from the classroom and the school environment, we have all spent time sharing, reinforcing and celebrating our expectations of pupils at Dumpton - expectations they nearly always meet with flying colours. On one level, we simply expect pupils to be kind and aim high. We say this again and again, but those who truly live up to these important four words will see that translate into a very happy and successful time at Dumpton - and beyond!

In the Prep School we take things one step further, and outline some key 'habits' for all pupils. Kindness and empathy, listening skills, determination and aspiration all feature heavily in the posters that hang in every classroom. Teachers may use these to point out if a child is not quite meeting expectations to help get them on track - but far more importantly, will use these to reward and celebrate those pupils who are getting this right. Praise, reinforcement and positive role models being held up to the children encourages these behaviours to become the norm. Aristotle, who knew a thing or two about human condition, wisely said "we are what we repeatedly do; excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." We hope the 'habits' that pupils develop at Dumpton will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

Sport

The success of the sporting programme so far this term, in such difficult circumstances, has been wonderful to see. Despite there being no fixtures against other schools at present, it has been a real pleasure to see the astro, fields and tennis courts buzzing with activity each afternoon, as well as the Sportshall being put to such good use. This has taken an awful lot of thought and effort behind the scenes - thank you to Mr Randle and all the Games staff for making this happen.

Future Schools

My ‘Future Schools Presentation’ takes place at 7.45 pm next Thursday 24 September. I will try to cover everything that parents need to know about choosing the right senior school for their child. This meeting will be held via Zoom and everyone is welcome, but we would be grateful if you would let Lerryn know if you are likely to attend at Headspa@dumpton.com

From the English Department

At present, we are not able to do Reading Plus at school but we would strongly encourage children from Years 5 to 8 to access it from home. The pupils should simply go on to the Reading Plus website and enter the school site code and then enter their username and password when prompted. They should all now have this information; if they are unsure, they should ask their English teacher.

Self-Isolation and the Remote Learning Programme

I wrote to you all this week about how Dumpton will support pupils required to work at home; it is unfortunately likely to be a significant feature of this term as we all deal with frustrating difficulties with the testing programme. The small number of pupils affected this week have set a wonderful example and produced some top work for their teachers through MS Teams - we thank them for leading the way and hope they will be with us again in school soon. A reminder to ensure that any affected families keep us informed, via the Matron Team, at all times.

Calendar

Our calendar of events for the term ahead, far leaner than usual, is now published online (home page). We will still be adding events like performances, concerts and parents evenings as the term goes on and our options here crystallise. We will keep you updated on any additions.

I do hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Christian Saenger
Head

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