Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 6 December 2019

| 06 December 2019

Dear Parents

It has been a wonderful week for the Performing Arts at Dumpton, particularly for our Pre-Prep pupils who have produced a range of fantastic Christmas productions for us all to enjoy. A large number of Prep School pupils sat their LAMDA exams recently, we had our two school rock bands, Hot Shots and Mini Jimis performing in assembly on Thursday, and we look forward to the Senior Gala Concert this evening, and of course, the Carol Service next week. Performing in front of an audience - whether acting, dancing, singing, playing an instrument or even public speaking - is such a key skill for life. The earlier you start, and the more often you do it, the easier it gets! I am very happy to see the performing arts thriving so much at Dumpton, and look forward to building on this in the future.

Pre-Prep Christmas Shows
Earlier this week, Nursery treated us to some lovely music and movement in their Christmas Show, before Reception performed a very heart-warming and impressive version of the Landlord's Cat, with some quite beautiful singing and confident acting. Yesterday and today, Year 1 and Year 2 wowed us with their all-singing, all-dancing version of The Christmas Jigsaw. Seeing all the children stand up on stage and perform with such confidence and enjoyment was such a delight. A huge thank you to the staff involved for making this happen, and to the parents for their support of these events.

Senior Gala Concert
We are all very excited about this evening's Senior Gala Concert. The range of choirs, ensembles and bands at Dumpton gives every single child so many performance opportunities - a huge thank you to Mrs Watkiss and her team of peripatetic teachers for making this happen. We will also be looking to rearrange performance opportunities after we had to postpone the Junior Gala Concert last week - we will be in touch next term to let you know when that will be.

Scholarship Success
It was lovely to celebrate some early Y8 Scholarship success this year, with two Sports Scholarships, a Drama Scholarship and an All Rounder Scholarship to Clayesmore awarded last week. Well done to Ben L, Jack O, Harry P and Wynne R - we are very proud indeed.

Sport at Dumpton
The Autumn Term sporting fixtures are all now completed - over 200 in total! It has been lovely to see a number of parents speak to me or email me full of praise for the offering, and to thank coaches for the work they have done with pupils this season. The support, expertise and passion on offer from our sports coaching team is second to none - it has been lovely to share your positive feedback with the staff who put so much effort into producing our sports' programme.

Sally Heffer - Matron
Many of you may have heard that Sally Heffer, one of our matron team, had a nasty accident earlier this term. She has spent the past few weeks recovering in hospital, and will finally be returning home - just in time for Christmas. Sally has been truly inspiring in the way she has coped in such difficult circumstances. We know you will all join us in sending her the very best wishes for her recovery.  We are grateful to Lucy Stafford from our Catering team who is stepping in to assist whilst Sally is away.

Christmas Lunch and Festive Jumper Day
Thursday 12 December will be a very Christmassy day at Dumpton indeed, with Steph providing Christmas Lunch, and then, in the Prep School Form Christmas parties in the afternoon. All children and staff are invited to wear Christmas jumpers over their normal school uniform (no blazers required!) in support of Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group. There will be a suggested donation of £1.

Nut Free School
Given the Christmas party food and presents that may make their way into school next week, a reminder about our nut free policy (including food that may contain traces of nuts). I have no doubt we will all be vigilant here, so thank you in advance for your support with this.

FoDS – Diary Dates
FoDS have asked me to let you know that they are planning a Coffee Morning on Thursday 9 January from 8.30am in the Dining Hall. As before, coffee & cake will be £3 which is payable on the day.  On Sunday 2 February, Mr Cox is planning to hold a Dumpton Dig Off with the support of FoDS.  Parents and children will be very welcome to come and help to clear the allotments and prepare the ground for planting out in the spring.  It should be an enjoyable event for all.   FoDS are also arranging a Quiz Night on Saturday 8 February.  Tickets for this are now on sale, with a booking form attached to this letter.  

Carol Service
I am eagerly looking forward to my first Dumpton Carol Service at the Minster. I am grateful to Mr Nye who has already written with details of this, including a seating plan, which we have reattached here just in case.  To avoid any confusion the choristers who are required to arrive at 1.50pm are Voces, the Senior Choir (Y6-8 who attend choir on a Monday evening) and the Junior Choirs (all children in Years 2 to 5).  School will be closing for Nursery and Pre-Prep pupils at 12.30pm and at 1.00pm for Prep School pupils.  They will all have lunch before they leave.

With best wishes
Christian Saenger