Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 4 February 2022

| 07 February 2022
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 4 February 2022

Dear Parents

I shared the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton's doomed but ultimately heroic expedition to the South Pole in Assembly on Monday. Shackleton's successful efforts to save his men against all the odds are still spoken of today as one of the most brilliant examples of compassionate leadership. Shackleton put his men first - there is a famous anecdote about him allowing all his exhausted, freezing men to sleep whilst he stayed awake, knowing that if he slept too then there would be nobody to rouse them from their slumber.... incredible stuff! Shackleton kept his men alive by being selfless, not selfish - and even away from leadership, this is a great thing for us all to aspire to in our lives. I really hope the children enjoyed the assembly - and the important message too.

Chinese New Year in the Nursery
The children have been celebrating Chinese New Year in the Nursery.  There were various Chinese activities in the tuff tray for the children to explore – red rice, chopsticks, tweezers and Chinese numbers. The children practiced with the tweezers to pick up different items, made Chinese Dragon pictures and drew tigers. A huge thank you to the superb Nursery staff for providing such lovely opportunities for the children.

Y8 Academic Scholarship Exams
At the other end of the school, well done to the Y8 Academic Scholars who sat their Mock Scholarship exams this week. A great chance to check their progress and prepare for the real things in a few weeks time. The Academic Scholars take part in additional sessions after school, and we’ve been really impressed with their efforts, and at how much they have enjoyed being stretched and challenged to think deeply within each subject.

Y7 Cello Performances 
Fraser B and Luke R from Year 7 played beautifully in assembly yesterday morning. Fraser with The Swan by Saint Saens and Luke, with Salut d'Amour by Elgar. It was also a great opportunity to celebrate Luke's fantastic achievement having passed his Grade 7 'cello exam. Well done to both boys!

Sports Tournament Success
We have had a very busy sporting week! On Wednesday the U11 girls were at the IAPS Qualifier at Kings Bruton – they played very enthusiastically and came third in the plate. Many congratulations to the U13 girls who performed exceptionally well at the PEDSSA tournament on Tuesday and came away in second place.  Also, on Wednesday the U11 boys were at the In2 Hockey Championships held at Clayesmore.  They played some great hockey and came away as overall winners, beating Sherborne Prep 1-0 in the final. They should be very proud of their achievements.

The U11 boys were at the Regional IAPS Hockey tournament at Clifton.  They have had a brilliant day so far, beating Sandroyd, Queen's College Taunton and Millfield Prep - and we wait to hear the final results!

House Singing Competition
This morning in prep assembly, Mrs Mudd launched the House Singing Competition which will take place later this term as part of our new House Music Competition. A junior pupil from each house picked a song out of a hat, to be performed in the inaugural House Singing Competition on Friday 25th March. There was much excitement as the theme “Aim High” was announced and songs such as Eye of the Tiger, and Don’t Stop Believing were chosen. We can’t wait to get singing!

Scotland Trip Presentation
Yesterday we held an online presentation to introduce both the Year 7 pupils and their parents to our exhilarating residential trip to Scotland which takes place at the beginning of Year 8. The pupils heard how they will be making the most of the wild mountains and stunning seascape at Ardmore, a two-hour drive from Inverness in the North of Scotland.  They all left full of excitement about learning new skills and surviving overnight on an uninhabited island. 

Year 6 Parents’ Evenings
Next Tuesday (8 February) we have a remote parents’ evening for parents of 6C and on Thursday (10 February) it will be the turn of 6S. Parents should have received separate correspondence on this from Mr Morgan. I look forward to ‘seeing’ many of you there.

Mr Smith’s 24 Hour Challenge
From Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th March here at Dumpton, Mr Smith will be attempting to dribble a football for 24 hours (or 100 miles) to help raise funds for his brother, Paul.  In April 2021, Paul was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). I hope the school community will be keen to get behind Mr Smith’s inspiring efforts, and we will be writing next week with more detail. Pupils will be able to join Mr Smith for some of the challenge if they wish - so do save the date!

With best wishes for the weekend.

Christian Saenger