Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 7 January 2022

| 10 January 2022
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 7 January 2022

Dear Parents

Resolute: adjective  "admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering"

It has been an excellent first couple of days here at Dumpton - despite some particularly wintery weather doing its best to dampen spirits! I spoke in assemblies to both the Pre-Prep and Prep School pupils about New Year's Resolutions, and stumbled across a lovely dictionary definition of the root word resolute (see above). I really rather like this: it strikes me as a particularly fitting description for much of what I see at Dumpton these days, both from our pupils, and our superb staff team. 

A particularly special welcome to all the new pupils and families who have joined the school this term - 13 in total. We wish you all the best for your time at Dumpton, and I am sure other parents will be quick to welcome you into the 'Dumpton family'! The school actually now has more pupils than it did before the Covid-19 pandemic began; it's reassuring to see the school going from strength to strength, despite the turmoil and disruption of the past two years. Something to be proud of, and a real testament to the efforts of this 'resolute' school community.

New Members of Staff
We also welcome some new staff this term, who I am sure you will all get to know in due course. Mrs Hilary Shaw joins us from King Edward's Southampton as Senior Deputy Head, and Mrs Sarah Mudd from Walhampton Prep as Director of Performing Arts - both Hilary and Sarah come with outstanding track records, and will have a significant role to play in the next exciting stage of Dumpton's development. Mrs Liz Bradbury returns to our EdX Department, and Mrs Sally Heffer - our former Matron - joins the Admin team. Mrs Bev Brehaut joins the Matron Team this term - and as a qualified Nurse and experienced school matron, she will work closely with Mrs Hayley Corben and Mrs Janette Clayden to give us a very strong Matron team.

Canford Pre-Test Success
I am delighted to report that for the second year in a row, all the Y6 and Y7 pupils who sat the Canford Pre-Test have passed. A big well done to all those pupils, who now progress to the Headmaster's List Day later this term, the final part of what is always a competitive admissions process. We wish all those pupils the best of luck for that day.

School Calendar
The School Calendar for the term ahead is now live. There are some lovely events to look forward to, including a 'Reception 2022 Coffee Morning' next Wednesday morning after drop-off. A reminder too that any assemblies in the calendar are broadcast via the usual Zoom link for parents to join from home - or indeed here at school if your child is performing.

Hobbies and DECA
All our clubs begin next week. We now have twice as many Pre-Prep Hobbies on Mondays and Tuesdays after school, and I am delighted to see some Reception children joining Pre-Prep Hobbies this term for the first time. DECA begins on Thursday (Water Polo, Moulding and Painting, Dance, Cooking and Arts and Craft), whilst Prep Hobbies begin on Friday (Cricket, Lego, Dance, DT Enrichment, Allotments, Chess, Lego, Model-Making to name a few).  Early Morning Tennis and LAMDA sessions also begin next week, as well as all the music groups and ensembles, Art Hub, and our new break time 'book groups'. It's wonderful to see so many opportunities available for our pupils.

Swim Squad Training
The Pre-Prep already swim weekly and this term the Prep School will also swim in their PE lessons – so please ensure swim kits are in school.  Mr Jeremiah will be overseeing swim training for the prep school which will begin next week. This will take place on Monday lunchtimes for the junior pupils (Y3-5) and on Thursday lunchtimes for the senior pupils (Y6-8) – these sessions may be particularly beneficial for those pupils wishing to be considered for the IAPS Swimming Gala later this term.

We all hope any disruption caused by Covid-19 can be minimised, both in terms of pupils needing to self-isolate, and in terms of our staffing levels at school. Time will tell, but we'll continue to do what we can to keep the school running as usual, even if this requires some creativity at times! Children self-isolating will also continue to have work provided by staff here so that they do not miss out - but as important as keeping up with work is, the main thing is for pupils to be happy and healthy over what is hopefully now a shorter period of absence. As ever, if you need any support or information get in touch with your child's form teacher.

Positive LFD Tests
In a change to previous guidance, from next week, those completing asymptomatic LFD Testing will no longer need to get a confirmatory PCR test if they test positive. Day 1 of the isolation period begins from the moment of the positive LFD test.  A reminder again however that any child with symptoms must still get a PCR test, not an LFD test which are only for asymptomatic cases. 

With best wishes

Christian Saenger

PS Flu Vaccinations (Reception – Y8) - A quick reminder that we are expecting the school nursing team on Monday morning.