Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 30 November 2020

| 30 November 2020

Dear Parents

Christmas has crept up on all of us this week at Dumpton - we make no apology for getting into the Christmas spirit a little earlier than normal this year! The Christmas lights are hanging on the main house, the Christmas trees have been delivered, and as usual, the catering team have turned the dining hall into a wonderful Christmas grotto. The perfect antidote to some of the gloomier news reports...

We are only sad that circumstances mean some of our favourite Christmas events won't quite be the same this year - especially of course the much-loved Carol Service in the Minster. However, in true 'you can because you think you can' Dumpton spirit, the staff at Dumpton have found a way to ensure that Christmas is just as special for all of us this year. We still have Christmas craft fairs, Christmas mufti days, Christmas lunches, Christmas performances, Christmas concerts, Christmas plays, Christmas parties - and of course a Christmas Carol Service to look forward to. Mr Nye and the staff have done a marvellous job pulling all this together - I have included some key dates for your diaries at the end of this letter, including some live broadcasts to parents, and the last day of term arrangements. Please note that we will be offering a bus service on the last day of term, but there will be no After School Club.

Christmas Cards and Christmas Presents
It is very kind that parents and pupils are asking already if they can bring in Christmas gifts or cards for other pupils or teachers, given current guidelines. This is fine, but please just ensure that these are brought into school no later than Monday 7th December. They can be stored safely in classrooms by teachers (or under the Christmas tree in the front hall), and then opened later that week.

Charity Christmas Mufti Day and Craft Fair – Friday 4th December
Y8 have taken it upon themselves to organise their own Christmas fundraising day. All pupils will be invited to wear Christmas mufti on Friday 4th December (for £1 donation), and Y8 will be selling Christmas crafts that they have been making this term. Please see the order form on the parents' section of the website - there are some lovely personalised gifts on offer. Y8 have shown great initiative and independence, and are determined to raise as much money as they can for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance service, a charity very close to Mr Loe's heart. We are very proud indeed of their efforts.

Nursery and Pre-Prep Parents Evenings
Pre-Prep are holding Virtual Parents' Evenings next week in place of the usual written report - all the Pre-Prep teachers felt more than ever this year that a face to face, two-way conversation on every child was far more important and beneficial given the limitations this term on contact with staff. I am grateful to the Pre-Prep staff, as well as Mrs Goodwin who has organised this for our Nursery parents too.

Prep School Reports
Prep School pupils will receive their latest ATL grades next week, and then written school reports at the end of Term. Every Prep School year group will have a parents' evening in the Spring Term - but please do of course make contact with tutors or teachers before then should you wish to.

The Performing Arts - Music and LAMDA Exams
The success of the new Performing Arts faculty has been one of my highlights of the term - with some quite beautiful compositions being produced by pupils each week. It is lovely to see so many individual music and drama achievements from pupils too, and we wish all the pupils sitting the ABRSM and Trinity Music Exams next week the best of luck. We awarded a number of LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) Certificates today - all merits and distinctions. I am delighted to announce that Dumpton has applied to become a LAMDA Examination Centre; we hope to see even more pupils benefit from these excellent qualifications moving forwards.

Congratulations Code-Breakers
Well done to Lyra A, Heidi S, Lily R and Pippa R who participated in Sherborne Girls' Cracking the Code event this week. They took on some fiendish linguistic and mathematical challenges, and worked together brilliantly on the day.

A Career Opportunity in Dumpton's thriving Nursery
The Dumpton Nursery is thriving this year, and I am so grateful to Mrs Goodwin and her team for their wonderful work. The Nursery children have been so very happy! With lots more families intending to join us, we are currently recruiting for an outstanding Early Years Practitioner to play a lead role in our growing Nursery moving forwards. More details can be found here on the school website. Do spread the word! Vacancies

Friday 4th December
Charity Christmas Mufti Day and Christmas Fair (organised by Y8) – please remember to bring a small amount of money together with £1 mufti donation.

Monday 7th December
Extracts from Y3 Production of Scrooge broadcast to all via Zoom Assembly at 8.30am
Deadline for Christmas Cards and Presents being brought into school from home

Wednesday 9th December
Y3 Christingle Christmas Assembly broadcast to all via Zoom Assembly at 8.30am
Christmas Lunch for Nursery to Y4

Thursday 10th December
Pre-Prep Awards Assembly
Christmas Lunch for Y5 to Y8
Prep School Form Parties (no food from home required)
Nursery Christmas Concert, Reception Y1 and Y2 Nativity broadcast to all pupils and parents via Zoom at 2.30pm

Friday 11th December
Prep School Awards Assemblies
Jamie Jigsaw Visit to Reception Class
Carol Service broadcast to all pupils and parents via Zoom from 2:30pm

The Autumn Term Ends:
Nursery from 3.15pm
Pre-Prep from 3:30pm
Years 3-5 from 3:45pm
Years 6-8 from 4:00pm
Minibuses will depart from 4.00pm
Siblings to leave at the time of the youngest sibling.
Please note that there will be no After School Club.

Have a wonderful weekend.
With best wishes,

Christian Saenger