Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 6 March 2020

| 06 March 2020

Dear Parents

I am hugely grateful to Miss Fox for her organisation of Book Week. With a Book Fair, visiting speakers and plenty of other celebrations of reading going on throughout the week, it created a real buzz and an important reminder of that vital message for pupils: keep reading! In the modern world, with all its distractions, technologies, and instant hit fun, finding the time and space to read can be a challenge. It is most certainly a battle worth fighting however: quite apart from all the joy to be derived from getting stuck into a good book, research shows again and again that children who read regularly from a young age, and maintain this into their teenage years, achieve better academic results. We will continue to do our bit to help at Dumpton - working closely with you to help create a school of avid readers is a very worthwhile aim indeed.

Author Visit - From Miss Fox 
Author Keith Hatton visited Dumpton yesterday morning and spent time entertaining Yr 5 and the Pre-Prep. Yr 5 took part in a writing workshop, playing an adapted version of Would I Lie to You, listening to some of Keith's own writing, and starting to put their own ideas down on paper.  The Pre-Prep were treated to hearing Keith reading from his own books. Keith has left a few copies of his books with me in the library. If you are interested in purchasing one of them, please contact me on l.fox@dumpton.com. Alternatively, you can visit Keith's website, gingercattales.com, where you will be able to purchase Keith's books online.

Scholarship Success
I am delighted to report back some Scholarship success as the results from recent assessments roll in. Talbot Heath have awarded Sports Scholarships to Ella D and to Isobel J, an All-Rounder Scholarship to Emily N and a Music Scholarship to Daisy D.  Henry C won a Sports Scholarship to Ballard.  At Canford, George G won a Sports Scholarship. We are still waiting on news from elsewhere, but well done to all so far.  

Outside of the Classroom
Despite the somewhat biblical rain of the past few months, we are determined to get pupils outside of the classroom to enjoy the full range of facilities that Dumpton has to offer. We are particularly focusing on our Forest School area, and Nursery and Reception have been spending more and more time outside, suited and booted, come rain or shine. Just as our older pupils benefit from our commitment to at least an hour of outdoor activity a day, we hope our youngest pupils reap the rewards of the fresh air and exposure to nature down in the Forest School area, which is brilliantly looked after by our site team. The allotments are also beginning to get busy at lunchtimes:

From Mr Cox “The Prep School children are invited to come to the allotments most lunchtimes.  It is still very wet so please bring wellies - there is plenty of room in the new boot room to store them.  A lot of hard work has already been done to prepare the plots.  The children have been learning to drive the wheelbarrows and have been busy filling up their raised beds as well as weeding, cleaning the greenhouse and tidying up.  We are beginning to look ready for the busy growing season.   The allotment area is beginning to take shape and some seedlings can already be seen thanks to their headstart in the greenhouse.  Some children have already claimed their allotments and the early potatoes are going in.  There will hopefully be enough allotments for all children wanting to try their hand at growing their own.  They just need to speak with me with their ideas”.  

Pre-Prep Morning Drop Off
Pre-Prep children are currently dropped off directly to classroom teachers at 8.15am. We know for busy working parents, dropping a little earlier could make a huge difference - and also be beneficial for the car park flow. For this reason, we are going to trial offering some before school supervision in the Dining Hall for Pre-Prep children (3 years or over) from 8.00am during the Summer Term. Miss Goodhew will be sending an email with more details soon.

Music Events
Y4 enjoyed a wonderful day singing at Canford last week - we are very grateful to them for hosting this excellent event, and a huge well done to our Y4 pupils for singing so well. This lunchtime saw a delightful Woodwind Concert. It is such a pleasure to see so many pupils progressing so well with their instruments, and so many ensemble groups playing together.   A big thank you to all the Music teachers for their efforts here.  We also have rehearsals for the House Singing Festival underway, with all four Houses singing a song from The Sound of Music.  We are very much looking forward to the Festival, which takes place next Friday (13 March).  Unfortunately, due to limited space in the hall, it is not possible for parents to attend this event.

Coronavirus Update
At school we are continually reinforcing positive hygiene habits with all of our pupils - we have hand sanitiser and tissues available in all classrooms, and teachers are being proactive in encouraging children of all ages to wash their hands regularly. As we get closer to Easter, I will update parents with any of the latest advice regarding travel plans which might impact any of us here at Dumpton. The latest advice on Coronavirus can be found here: please click link

British Science Week
Next week is British Science Week and students will be doing some fun practical activities in lessons along the theme ‘Our Diverse Planet’.  A national poster competition is also running on the same theme. Details of the poster competition are available on the https://www.britishscienceweek.org/ and will be communicated to students in school next week so they can take part. The deadline for school entries is Tuesday 17 March to Mrs Catton or Mrs Heffer.    

The Journey Ahead Presentation
For those of you that are attending my presentation on Tuesday (10 March) an email concerning final arrangements will be sent out on Monday - I am looking forward to seeing you there.  Any late responders should contact the office.

With best wishes,
Christian Saenger