Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 26 November 2021

| 29 November 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 26 November 2021

Dear Parents

"Never never play with the Smoos. / They sleep in holes. They wear strange shoes." Julia Donaldson

For any parents with older children than me who may not have read 'The Smeds and the Smoos' - it is certainly worth a read and sure to become a classic... To summarise, a red Alien called Janet (a Smed) falls in love with a blue alien called Bill (who is a Smoo) - much to the horror of their respective families. Like any good children's book, there are some deeper meanings, and Julia Donaldson brilliantly holds up a mirror to the modern world with issues like equality, prejudice, and discrimination all cleverly explored. These are complex issues - but issues our children need to grapple with from an early age if they are to do a better job than previous generations at creating a fairer, kinder, more equal world. Numerous recent events (Yorkshire CC, Everyone’s Invited, Social Media abuse of footballers to name a few) show that we have a long way to go as a society.

Diversity and Inclusion Week
To help tackle this in an age appropriate way with our pupils, next week we are celebrating Diversity and Inclusion Week. We have a range of activities planned to celebrate our differences and diversity and educate children about some of these complex but important issues, including a visiting speaker. We will end the week with a whole school Mufti Day where we will encourage children to wear as much colour as possible to show their appreciation of all our differences and diversity. We hope children will bring £1 along on the day, where we will be raising money for two charities which promote equality - Kick it Out, and Equally Ours. It should be a brilliant week.

Year 7 – The Independent Enquiry Project
This term, we've introduced a new aspect of our curriculum for Year 7 - the Independent Enquiry Project. They have all responded with some brilliant ideas and project titles are hugely varied, including investigations into Aztec Culture, considerations of what is happening to the Coral Reefs, the work of Traffic Police, what makes the perfect cupcake and why people need pets. We have a range of models, films, PowerPoint presentations, posters, speeches and booklets in the pipeline. This is all aimed at helping the children develop as independent learners, particularly improving their research, critical thinking and presentation skills alongside developing their creativity and ideas. The projects are due in just after the February half-term and we are planning a presentation event so that the children can share their work with their parents, teachers and peers. Well done to Year 7 pupils for really embracing this new idea!

U11 Durlston Rugby Tournament
Bravo to our U11s who played brilliantly on Wednesday, during a week when alas most of our other fixtures were cancelled. The U11s won all but one of their games, and played impressively, with their tackling particularly winning plaudits. Do see the Match report online for more information.

DECA and Hobbies
DECA continues to be a great hit on Thursday for the Juniors, with golf at Ferndown, Cooking, Calligraphy, Swimming and Sportshall Initiative Games proving so much fun for all. Hobbies on Friday has over 10 different choices too, and even as the cold dark nights are drawing in, it is always lovely to see Dumpton so busy and energetic right until the very last! 

Dentist Visit
Thank you so much to dentist and Dumpton parent Sade who has visited children in our Nursery this week. We heard such superb feedback from the teachers and the pupils about how informative and fun her session had been. Hopefully some nice white shiny smiles all round as a result!

Primary Maths Challenge
All of the papers from the recent Primary Maths Challenge have now been marked.  Designed to make pupils think outside the box, the Primary Mathematics Challenge is a different and exciting mathematical challenge.  All of the pupils in Y6 took part and most of Y5 too.  There were 4 gold certificate winners, Austin R, Kitty M, Joe C and Alexander S (who got the best in school score).  6 pupils gained a silver certificate and another 6 pupils have gained a bronze certificate.  The certificates will be presented and celebrated in an Assembly soon.  Very well done to all.

Christmas Events
The Christmas trees and decorations are now up as we start to countdown to Christmas at this very busy time of year.  Please do look at the online calendar where all key information is listed - and do please remember that all performances will be limited capacity (2 parents per child), the rooms will be well ventilated, and we encourage the wearing of face coverings. We have some contingency plans in place too for our larger events - but I can assure you we will be doing all we can to ensure that we can all celebrate a true Dumpton Christmas season together.

Do look out for final confirmation early next week of arrangements for the Y1 and Y2 Play and the Carol Service in the Minster.

With best wishes
Christian Saenger