Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 20 March 2020

| 20 March 2020

Dear Parents,

This might be the hardest end of week letter I have had to write. The school's enforced period of closure - and the extraordinary circumstances that have brought this about - brings a great sense of sadness, uncertainty, and concern for us all. 

Schools, however, are incredibly optimistic places. Despite this being a very trying week, it has also been one full of hope. The pupils have been a marvel - cheery, positive and wonderfully kind to one another. The whole Dumpton community has also really rallied round, and I want to thank every single parent who has taken the time to say a kind word, or send a short email of thanks during this period. Knowing that we have continued to provide a calm, reassuring presence for our pupils this week, and knowing how appreciative the whole parent body has been for that, has been wonderful to hear.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to my staff. The happiness of the pupils in school this week is testament to their professionalism and dedication. In very difficult circumstances, they have pulled together - like so many others in the country right now - to do their jobs as well as they can. I know how grateful we all are for their efforts.

Home Learning at Dumpton
I sent an overview of our approach to Home Learning yesterday. The Home Learning programme will officially begin on Tuesday 14th April, and we will send out further fine detail closer to the time. We are excited about the potential to offer a real 'Dumpton Education' remotely, and thanks to the wonders of technology, we can. We will be working tirelessly to ensure it is a success, to support you as parents, and to maintain a very special connection to our pupils. Whilst they may not be with us in person, they will remain with us in spirit.

Science Week Prize Winners
Mrs Heffer writes - activities in class included tasting edible bugs (Y8), making and testing egg launchers (Y7), finger print detective (Y6), bath bombs (Y5) and how to insulate ourselves in Antarctica (Y4).  The winner of the Science Week Poster Competition is Ethan C for his poster on red pandas and prizes were also awarded to Oscar W and Lissy A.
Y8s Special Day
With uncertainty over the Summer Term, I am hugely grateful to the Y8 Form Tutors who put on, at very short notice, a special day for the Y8s. This included cooking pizza and brownies, obstacle course challenges, and also a session by the campfire. We are very proud of our Y8s - they are great role models to the younger pupils, and we really hope they enjoyed today.

Final Gathering
We held an impromptu final gathering for all pupils at 3pm in the Music Courtyard. We sang a few songs, and said a few words, and it was a wonderful way to end the week. We were especially thinking of all those absent pupils who have not been with us this week for different reasons. We wanted you to be there with us in spirit, so we recorded a short video for you to enjoy which can be found here

Cross Country Colours  
I handed out Cross Country colours to some well deserving pupils today: Full Colours went to Will V, Wynne R, Arthur G, Ollie S and Felicity C. Half Colours were awarded to Anaïs V, Matilda AI, Max H, Tom W, Cammy C, Massimo B, Bertie C and Will T.

Finally, I would like to personally thank all the pupils, staff and parents for their support during the past few weeks - and wish everyone plenty of hope for the coming weeks. 

Christian Saenger