Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 26 March 2021

| 29 March 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 26 March 2021

Dear Parents

12 months ago, I wrote a rather sombre final end of week newsletter of the Spring Term. Little did we know at that point what lay ahead, and none of us could have predicted quite how much our children's education would be affected. 12 months have passed since the beginning of the crisis, and I hope we are all proud of the way that Dumpton has responded. We have not got everything right - I don't think we are alone there - but our commitment to supporting our children and families through this crisis has never wavered. Neither has the commitment and dedication of our staff, nor the determination and positivity of the pupils. Seeing them so happy to be back in school this past three weeks has been a delight. We are not quite there yet, but an end is hopefully in sight. Thank you for all your steadfast support.

Y8 Scholarship Success
I am delighted to update you on our Y8 scholarship news. Firstly, from Canford where Cammy C, Gigi G, Toby L and Joe S were offered Academic Scholarships - that is 8 academic scholarships over the last two years to Canford which is really pleasing indeed. Congratulations also to Megan P who has been awarded an Art Scholarship to Clayesmore. Very well done to all pupils and staff involved.

Deputy Head (Academic)
I promised to keep parents updated on this important recruitment process. We had nearly 30 applications for this role, and shortlisted candidates came to school on Wednesday for interviews and tours, and also gave a short presentation to a panel that included myself, Hugh Cocke (our Chair of Governors) and Mr Nye. It was a fantastic high-quality field. We have now appointed someone to the role, and though I am not in the position to announce any more details just yet, it promises to be an important and exciting appointment for everyone connected with Dumpton. I look forward to sharing more detail soon.

Mrs Browne and Mrs Hudson
Both Mrs Browne and Mrs Hudson, our two long standing Y1 teachers, will be leaving us at the end of the academic year. Both have decided it is the right time to step away, after a longstanding and wonderful partnership that I know has been appreciated by so many. They are both outstanding, caring teachers, and will be missed by pupils, parents and staff alike. We will have the opportunity to thank them individually in due course I know. We will be undergoing an extensive recruitment process early next term, as we also search for a second Reception teacher to join Miss Monaghan next year. I will be keeping Pre-Prep families up to date on our recruitment and our plans for next year. As sad as we are to see Mrs Browne and Mrs Hudson go, we are also looking forward to welcoming some new staff to the Dumpton family.

Easter Egg Hunt
Despite the very rainy weather, much ‘eggstra’ special and ‘eggciting’ fun was had by Nursery and Pre-Prep this morning. The children ate hot cross buns for snack and discovered that the Easter Bunny had visited the Dumpton Orchard! Reception children also enjoyed rolling eggs down slopes and balancing eggs in their handmade eggcups. Yesterday, they visited Mr Cox in the science lab who has eggs waiting to hatch in an incubator; they are very ‘eggcited’ to see the results on their return to school! Thank you to the FoDS for their support. A selection of photographs may be found here school-news.

Summer Term Arrangements
Please do remember to complete the online forms for end of day arrangements, LAMDA, hobbies, after school club and early morning drop off by Monday (29th March). It really does assist with our planning.

Nursery Parent Questionnaire
Thank you to those parents who have already completed our questionnaire. We will leave it open over the weekend if you would still like to take part. We will start to collate the results on Monday.

Science Week Invention Competition
The winners of the Science Week Invention Competition were Austin R (recycling robot scanner), Zander J/Jon A (collaborative idea for a multipen) and Zak H (carbon capture ideas). Honourable mentions also for James B, Henrietta H, Harrison B, Lissy A and all those who submitted entries. There were some fabulously creative entries and there are clearly many future inventors amongst the Dumpton community. Well done to you all.

Easter Club
We are looking forward to welcoming well over 100 Dumpton children to our Easter Club next week and the weather forecast looks good at this stage. If your children are travelling by school mini bus, please do remember to send them with a face covering.

House Cross Country
This was a splendid event, full of camaraderie, determination, resilience, and thankfully, some sunshine too. Well done to all involved. I can also announce the final scores have been calculated, hot off the press: 4th place, Sussex, 3rd place, Kent, 2nd place Dorset, and many congratulations to the winners, Hants.

Summer Term Calendar
We will publish our Summer Term calendar at the beginning of next term. It remains a very provisional one, but we hope to be able to offer more normality for all concerned. Much depends, as parents will appreciate, on the national picture, but we all very much hope to be able to welcome parents back onto site too.

With best wishes to you all for a lovely Easter break, and thanks for your continued support.

Christian Saenger