Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 21 May 2021

| 24 May 2021

Dear Parents

With parents on site today for the Reception pet show, and more joining next week for fixtures (see below!), it does finally feel like we are returning to normality. It has been a wonderful week with the pupils as cheerful and positive as ever - despite the persistently summery weather! We continue to carefully plan the coming weeks; the last few weeks of term are full of activities, trips and events, and promise to be pleasingly busy for all concerned.

It has been hard at times over the last year to look ahead too far, such have been the demands of the day to day management of the school. However, we have been determined to keep an eye on the future, ensuring our vision for Dumpton remains at the forefront of our thinking. This crisis may have presented its challenges, but it has also shone a spotlight on so many wonderful opportunities to make our already outstanding school an even better one. All our efforts will be guided by our three strategic priorities: a desire to ensure we are truly 'living our values' of being kind and aiming high, a focus on 'flourishing character' and opportunities that help pupils' personal development, and a commitment to 'academic success for all'. We look forward to sharing some more detail on our plans for next year and beyond in due course.

Academic Development Team - Internal Appointments
I have already announced that next year an Academic Development Team, overseen by our new Deputy Head (Academic) David Morgan, will take responsibility for the academic strand of the school's development. I am delighted to announce two internal appointments who will also play a key role in this team from September. Firstly, Giselle Gray will add Head of Pupil Progress to her role as Head of EdX - she will oversee the assessment and tracking of pupils' throughout the school, supporting staff with ensuring that every child fulfils their academic potential. Secondly, Mr Dan Clark will become Curriculum Coordinator Y1-Y4, and will use his experience of both the Pre-Prep and Prep School to ensure a seamless curriculum journey for all our pupils to help them build the strongest possible foundations for what follows further up the Prep School.

Spectators at Fixtures
On Monday afternoon, Department for Education guidance was updated which finally allowed schools to welcome spectators onto our site for sporting fixtures. After looking carefully at the logistics of this, we think we have come up with a plan that takes into account our new parking and pick-up arrangements, so we are delighted to be able to welcome Dumpton parents back on site for any home fixtures next week. Parking will be very tight so we would ask that you travel in one car per family. Parents are allowed to gather in groups of 30 but no more. Face coverings are only necessary while you spectate if you are unable to keep your distance from others. There will be no match teas for spectators, and after fixtures parents can collect their children directly before they go. We look forward to seeing many of you here! I can also confirm that Dumpton parents are welcome to travel to Clayesmore and spectate too.

Exams and Assessment
Well done to the Y8s who had their French Speaking exams this week - Madame T was so pleased with their efforts. We wish Y6 all the best for their assessments next week, and Y7 and Y8 have their exams after half term. We are excited to use the Sports Hall as an Exam Hall for the first time, and we hope it is a positive experience for all the pupils.

Dads of Dumpton Football
Every Friday at 6pm a group of Dumpton Dads, former Dumpton parents, and even some former pupils, meet for a kick around on the school astro. The standard of football is quite diverse, and the atmosphere is as jovial as the fitness levels are poor! We are always looking for new members - do email Jamie Haskins the organiser if you are interested: jamiehaskins@hotmail.com

Y4 Assembly
A big thank you to Y4 for their excellent assembly on Wednesday morning on Emotional Wellbeing. Some vital messages for all of us, and it was so lovely to see all Y4 participating with such confidence and positivity. Thank you to the parents who joined us via Zoom too.

Reception Pet Show
Despite the stormy weather, a 'you can because you think you can' attitude saw the Reception Pet Show take place this year. After last year's Virtual Pet Show made the BBC South Today news, reporter Edward Sault returned with a cameraman today to capture the real thing in action. Reception were their usual marvellous selves, and it was so good to have parents with us on site for an event for the first time this year. Do catch the BBC South Today News this evening at 6.30pm.

Outdoor Learning
The Outdoor Learning Curriculum in the Prep School has been a real hit this year. This week Y4 harvested herbs and salad leaves from the allotments, lit a fire in the campsite, and then learnt how to prepare a whole trout, before feasting on it after cooking it over the fire. What a brilliant experience, and do check our Instagram for more pictures and information: school-news

Poetry Recitation Competition
The English Department has recently launched this year's Recitation Competition. Open to Years 3-6, pupils can enter individually and / or as a pair. The English teachers will be judging poem presentations during lessons in the week after half term so there is still plenty of time to find an appropriate poem and practice. Those successful in class will go forward to an Assembly run-off and then a final on 22 June. Please address any questions to your child's English teacher.

Y8 - HPV Vaccinations
A reminder that consent forms need to be completed by midnight tonight.

Senior Deputy Head
After the announcement of Richard Nye's retirement at the end of this year, we are recruiting for Senior Deputy Head (Pastoral and Operations) to join the school from January 2022. They will take responsibility for the day to day running of school life, as well as overseeing the pastoral care of the children. It is a wonderful opportunity for someone to build on the firm foundations left by Mr Nye, and play a crucial role in the next exciting phase of the school's development. More information can be found on the school website here. Do spread the word!

With best wishes
Christian Saenger