Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 6 September 2019

Newsletters
| 06 September 2019

Dear Parents

Welcome to the new Dumpton year, particularly to the new families who are joining us for the first time this September. You will all know I am sure that this is my first Headmaster’s Newsletter – it will be a great pleasure to write to you at the end of each week with important news and updates from school. 

Thank you
Before anything else, I would like to thank the whole Dumpton community, for the incredibly warm and positive welcome we have had to the school. We feel very fortunate to be here. I have already greatly enjoyed meeting with so many staff, pupils, and parents over the past few days. I look forward to getting to know you all over the coming weeks and months; please do say hello and introduce yourself if you get the chance.

New Staff and New Roles 
There are a few changes on the staff team this year to inform you about. We have a brand new Science Department this year - Mrs Susanna Heffer and Mrs Alison Catton – who will both bring great energy, enthusiasm and experience to the school. We have also appointed three new Student Teaching Assistants (STAs): Lucy Scott, Mikayla Willingham-Curtis and Amber Nichol.  Adding these to our experienced STA Savannah Barman gives us a very strong team, who already in their first week are making a major contribution in so many areas of school life. Mr Sam Moulton, our Senior Tutor, takes on the important Designated Safeguarding Lead role this term, and Mr Rob Cox takes over as Outdoor Learning Lead (I was delighted to see the allotments already open and children working under his guidance at lunchtime today!). In addition, Mrs Vicki Wakefield, alongside her role as a peripatetic support teacher, expands her role as Learning and Emotional Support Teacher to further strengthen our EdX department. Finally, we welcome Mr Tony Adams to our team of minibus drivers.

Website – Calendar and Parents’ Area
Please find the link for the online Calendar below, which is now live and updated for the term ahead: http://www.dumptoncalendar.com The Parents’ Area continues to be a useful source of information.  

Sports Fixtures Website
Just to remind you that this site may be accessed from the front page of our website through the Sport Tab (Sport Site).  It is also available via www.dumptonsport.com.  The match reports and teamsheets are all password-protected via this route too. Please remember to check the website for the most up to date information as fixtures and timings are subject to change.

Friends of Dumpton
As usual, our wonderful FoDs team have a social event planned for early this term.  The September Stroll on Sunday 15 September at 2.30pm will be followed by tea and cakes, and is an opportunity to catch up on news and welcome new families to Dumpton. Rumour has it that the Headmaster will be providing a particularly fresh beverage afterwards, courtesy of a batch of fruit from the Dumpton orchard! Please see the flyer from the FoDs Committee, which should have come home in bags today and is also attached. 

DoDs Football
Just a reminder that the Dads of Dumpton will be meeting as usual on the astro on Friday evenings from 6.00pm for their weekly friendly football session (contact: jamiehaskins@hotmail.com to join the emailing list). Having joined a couple of matches already over the summer, I can assure you they are all a very friendly, welcoming and forgiving bunch!

Common Entrance Pre-Testing and Grammar School Tests and Atom Learning
As many of you are aware, two of our major Independent School destinations now ask pupils to sit a ‘pre-test’.  This term, Bryanston will be asking prospective Year 7 pupils to complete these tests in November.  Canford will be inviting Year 6 parents to enter their children for testing also in November.  The Grammar School tests are also this term and upon us shortly. I am grateful to the Director of Studies, Mrs Rielly, who is implementing the introduction of Atom Learning – an online resource aimed at supporting this. She has written to parents of those year groups today with more information on this.

Hobbies in the Prep School
These will start on Friday next week. The Hobbies options will be listed shortly on the Parents' Area of the school website and as you will see, there is a great variety with many choices, including movie making, dance, woodland games, music tech, allotments, Rubik's cube solving, LAMDA and T-ball.  Hobbies are allotted on a 'first come - first served' basis, so please encourage your children to go online and select their 4 choices as soon as possible, but by Tuesday at the latest. If you have any difficulties with making selections, or any questions about hobbies, please contact Mr Moulton s.moulton@dumpton.com.  The children will remain in the same hobby until half-term and then select new ones when the darker evenings prevent some of the outdoor hobbies from continuing.

Parents and Toddlers – Dumpton Ducklings
For anyone with young children under the age of 2, my wife Hattie will be taking over the of running Dumpton Ducklings from 8.30am to 10.00am each Thursday morning in the Pre-Prep Hall.  A good time to make new friends, with tea, coffee and Steph’s cakes to boot. It was really well attended yesterday which was lovely to see, but Hattie would love to welcome any new faces next week.

Minibus Service
The Bursar has asked me to remind parents that the Online Booking System is in place for anyone wishing to add or remove their children from individual journeys, up to one hour before departure. Drivers have their own school phones which are linked with the system, so they will expect the pupils as listed.  To send the driver a message, please use the online facility (please note the driver will be unable to reply via the system).  If you are asking a question that needs a reply, you should use the driver’s email address or text/phone them. The point of contact at school is busadmin@dumpton.com or 01202 847935.  

Sharing our School Stories
We are fortunate that so many wonderful things happen at Dumpton each day. Via the School’s Twitter feed (@dumpton) and our Facebook page, we hope to give you a real sense of what the pupils are getting up to, and share the most up to date news from the school. I will also be sharing my views at @DumptonHead. We do hope you will ‘follow’ or ‘join’, and enjoy keeping in touch with the latest from school.

Finally, I do hope that all your children have enjoyed a positive start to the term. The smiles on the faces I have seen around school over the last few days are a great sign, but if you do have any concerns at all, please always feel free to contact your form or class teacher directly by email. I am also available via my PA, Lerryn (secretary@dumpton.com).  

Best wishes,

 

Christian Saenger
Headmaster

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