Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 7 December

| 07 December 2018

Dear Parents

We are almost there now, but I have just a few more details for forthcoming events and snippets of news before I can formally wish you all a Merry Christmas next Friday.

Dumpton Music
I would like to start by saying very well done to everyone in the Music Department over the last week.  As well as managing the twenty music examinees yesterday and today, they have also staged a Year 2 Concert, and two Gala Concerts, for the junior and senior year groups, over the past week or so.  All occasions were delightful, with a real sense of musical community, and a whole host of different instruments, genres, and styles. There were some outstanding virtuoso pieces and the pupils, along with Mrs Watkiss and her team of peripatetics, should be congratulated on all their hard work this term.

Pre-Prep Plays
We are still smiling after four big dramatic productions in one week.  Congratulations must go to all those involved in the hours of patient preparation required, including the parents who had a hand in the wonderful costumes.  The Year 1 and Year 2 production ‘Starbright’ was a great success, with all pupils on stage throughout, performed twice for Year 1 and Year 2 parents.  This musical was written for Dumpton by our own Mrs Gray (words) and Mr Nye (music and songs) and performed at Christmas 2004 – it was very special to see it performed again this Christmas.

Similarly, the Nursery’s ‘Whoops-A-Daisy Angel’ and Reception’s ‘Shine, Star, Shine’ on Tuesday morning were both very special, with a wonderful atmosphere in the Recital Room.  The pupils surpassed themselves, once again, as did a very jolly Father Christmas, recruited by the Bursar.  We have again organised for all Pre-Prep productions to be professionally filmed.  The plays will be available as digital downloads from their website (see the letter sent last week). Passwords will be issued by email before the end of term.

In the final week, we have the Year 3 Play ‘Puss in Boots’ to look forward to on Tuesday (11 December) at 2.30 pm.  This will also be filmed by Curtain Call and made available as a digital download.  

Other Pre-Prep News
This Tuesday (11 December) Year 2 will be enjoying the Christmas Pantomime ‘Dick Whittington’ at The Lighthouse, Poole. Reception will be singing carols at Streets Meadow on Tuesday (11 December) and Year 1 will be enjoying their Victorian Day on Tuesday (11 December). Then on Friday, it will be Reception and Nursery’s turn as they welcome the entertainer ‘Jigsaw’ to Dumpton.  I believe Father Christmas may also be putting in another appearance at some stage in the week……

Christmas Lunch
More advanced warning – Steph and her team will be serving our Christmas Lunch on Thursday (13 December), with Form Parties in the Prep School to follow, so your children might need a little less sustenance than usual that evening.  Could we just ask that you consider bus arrangements as some children in the Prep School may wish to travel on a later bus than usual (space allowing).

Christmas Jumper Day – Thursday 13 December
Just a quick reminder that children and staff are all invited to wear a Christmas jumper over their normal school uniform (without blazers!) in support of Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group on this day.  There will be a suggested donation of £1.  

Carol Service
Meanwhile, plans for the Carol Service at 2.30 pm on Friday 14 December are right on track and we are all looking forward to a rich and varied programme. This year we will once again be assigning seats to the parents in different year groups – Mr Nye has written to you already with details of this, but please see the plan attached in case it has gone astray.

Sports Roundup
We closed another long and eventful sporting Autumn Term on Wednesday with some excellent performances.  I was delighted to see all 222 children in the Prep School invited (injury/illness allowing) to represent Dumpton this week in a total of 21 teams – sadly the weather put paid to one or two of them, but those that continued were well supported by parents despite the monsoon conditions, and pupils gave their all as usual.  Well done to Mr Randle and all of the coaches in the Sports Department for all of their hard work this term, with over 200 fixtures completed.

FoDS Christmas Party
A big thank you to all parents who supported the FoDS Party at Harbour Heights in Poole.  It was a very enjoyable evening - - Jo and I both really enjoyed catching up with so many of you.  Particular mention should go to the FoDS Committee for their faultless organisation and attention to detail.  FoDS Committee member, Anna Gregory would like to add her thanks for all those who bought raffle tickets for her running the London Marathon for the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.   

Nut free policy
Finally, could I just add that, while Christmas is undoubtedly a time for chocolate, we continue to observe a nut-free policy here at school (including food which may have come into contact with nuts).  This may apply to treats in Christmas cards.  I thought I would mention this as early as possible in an attempt to avoid cries of ‘bah humbug’…

Best wishes

Andrew Browning