Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 20 September 2019

| 20 September 2019

Dear Parents

I was delighted to see so many parents at two evening events this week. The EYFS Curriculum Evening outlined all the wonderful work we do for our youngest learners at the school, whilst the Future Schools presentation offered parents information, guidance and advice on finding the best school for their child at the end of their Dumpton journey.  It was an apt reminder of the brevity of childhood, and of just how precious our time with your children is.

On that note, a group of Year 5 parents asked me an excellent question last night: 'what is your vision for the school?' It is obviously very early days in my tenure, and my current aim is to immerse myself into Dumpton life: watching, listening, questioning, participating, reflecting, trying to build a full picture of what Dumpton already does very well, but also what we might do even better. I have met, and continue to meet, as many of our excellent staff as possible for 1 to 1 chats. Pupils, and particularly Year 8, have already been counselled for their thoughts, and I will at some point soon reach out to parents to gather your important perspectives. Then, with the benefit of those insights (and also with thorough attention given to the latest and best educational thinking) we will be formulating our next exciting steps as a school. It will be a great pleasure to communicate and share that vision with you in due course.

Finally, a 'plug' from me about Twitter. Whilst these letters give you a flavour of Dumpton life, nothing tells a story better than a picture. It has been great to see so many parents now following us (@dumpton), or if they don't yet have a Twitter account, browsing through the images online (twitter.com/dumpton). This week alone we have news of our Primary Geography Gold Award from the GA, updates from the Year 5 Camp, pictures of our music assembly, pupils making homemade apple juice in hobbies, and some wonderful drone footage of the school to share with you. 

Autumn Stroll
We had a delightful afternoon, and Steph’s cakes were, as ever, delicious.  Thank you to the FoDS Committee for their hosting and organisation behind the scenes and to all those who attended.

Common Entrance Pre-Tests
This term Canford and Bryanston continue with their Common Entrance Pre-Testing in Year 6 and 7 respectively.  Parents have been contacted by Mrs Rielly with all the relevant details and I am delighted that pupils are being well prepared and familiarised ahead of the tests in November.

Harvest Festival
The Pre-Prep and Prep School will celebrate Harvest Festival, with the Assembly on Tuesday 24 September led by Year 2, as is our tradition.  Unfortunately, the Hall will be at full capacity so we are unable to accommodate parents on this particular occasion.  

Once again, Harvest gifts will be collected for the Wimborne Food Bank.  We are inviting each pupil in the Pre-Prep and Prep School to bring one can of food or similar into school on Monday next week.  The suggestions for donations include tinned meat pies, tinned ham, tinned potatoes, tinned vegetables, tinned fruit, tinned spaghetti, tinned soup and pasta sauce.  Any gift will be gratefully received, of course, and will be collected by the class or form teacher and taken down to the Assembly Hall.  

Year 5 Camp
I had a wonderful time with Year 5 yesterday and today they continue to enjoy the fine weather down on the coast.  Do check Twitter for updates and photos and they will return to school at 11.00am tomorrow, probably in need of a few extra hours sleep over the weekend….

Absence from School
A reminder that to request absence from school please use the ‘Absence Request’ form on the Parents’ Area of the website.  For planned absences of more than two days please contact me in writing with full details so that the request can be considered.

News from the Pre-Prep
Another busy week for us all in the Pre-Prep.  Reception enjoyed a visit from four babies ranging from 12 weeks to 12 months which allowed them to observe child development first hand.   Year 1 have been to the woods to look for signs of the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. They had such a wonderful time; hearing a blackbird sing, spotting rosehips and eating rather a lot of blackberries.  Year 2 have been busily preparing for their harvest assembly and we are so proud of the huge effort they have all made in learning their words.  

Signing Out
We are grateful to all parents for encouraging their children to sign out with Matron on the Gate if they are leaving school earlier than usual.  As I am sure you will understand it is essential that we know when children have left the school site.  

Early May Bank Holiday
Finally, as I am sure you are aware the early May bank holiday in 2020 has moved from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.  Please take note of this when planning ahead for next year.

With best wishes

Christian Saenger

PS Good luck to all those pupils attending the Grammar School tests tomorrow …