Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 18 November 2016

| 18 November 2016

Dear Parents

Headmaster’s Breakfast
A big thank you to the ten parents who attended the inaugural Parents’ Committee on Tuesday.  Apologies that it turned into a two and a half hour marathon almost running into lunch!  Some year group reps are already in the process of feeding back to parents in their year groups – my PA Lerryn Chaffey is also producing a set of minutes which we will make available to parent reps on request.

Christmas Fayre – Friday 25 November – 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm:  A message from the Chair of FODs
The countdown has begun! It is now only 7 days until the Dumpton Christmas Fayre.  The Christmas Fayre information booklet will be with you early next week which will contain important information on school finishing times, children’s carol singing, children’s activities, the 35+ stalls, raffle prizes and food and drink. Please read carefully!   We really hope you come and spend some quality Christmas time enjoying the Fayre this year.  There are still a few workshop and Father Christmas slots remaining.  Finally, if there are any personalized gift/mug forms still outstanding please can you get these in by Monday at the very latest.

Children in Need
A huge well done to everyone involved in the Children in Need afternoon.  While Mr Moulton marshalled the troops, the whole event was driven by pupils from all levels in the school, putting their own ideas into practice. Thank you for providing the 50p, 20p and 10p pieces that fuelled the whole process.  Many thanks should also go to Dumpton parent Sam Dean and her team, who took on the recycled toy stall and were kept very busy throughout.   The overall total raised was an impressive £1660.
National Cross Country Championships
A huge well done to the Year 8 boys, Joshua S, Henry S, Joe W, George W and William B who travelled to Taunton last Saturday for the English Schools’ South West Cross Country Championships.  They ran really well as a team, coming 3rd overall with Josh finishing an impressive (5th), Henry (6th) and Joe (16th).  Their reward – a trip to Formby, Lancashire for the ESAA English Schools' Cross Country Cup Final on Saturday 3 December!  A big thank you to all the boys and parents for travelling such a long distance already, and for making plans to travel even further in two weeks’ time …

Sports Reports 
Another very busy week saw 20 or so Dumpton sides battling it out against a range of schools.  Special mention this week should go to the very successful U13 and U12 senior girls’ hockey sides who travelled to their respective IAPS National Tournaments this week, both coming 10th in the country (with 600+ IAPS registered prep schools).  Very well done to all involved.  Many congratulations also to Niamh Thompson (Year 7) who has been selected for the English Schools National Squad by the English Schools Ski Association.  

Music Concerts
Thank you to all those who supported the Singers’ Assembly on Thursday morning and Singers’ Recital earlier today.  We enjoyed a range of musical styles, with a mixture of solos and ensembles, supported by singing teacher Miss Attfield, pianist Neil Sissons and Director of Music, Mrs Watkiss.  We now look forward to the Drumming Concert which will be held in the Assembly Hall next Thursday (24 November), and the Christmas Concerts beyond.

News from the Pre-Prep
All pupils in the Pre-Prep are now busily preparing for a range of Christmas productions and we would like to thank parents in advance for all the wonderful costumes that we are already hearing about.  Year 1 pupils and staff had a lovely day at the Priest’s House Museum last week, looking an absolute picture in their Victorian wear.  Thank you also to the Year 1 Parents who attended the Coffee Morning earlier today.  It was good to catch up. 

Year 7 and Year 8 Examinations
Teachers in the Prep School are currently in the middle of marking examinations and writing reports. We hope to send examination results home on Friday 25 November.  Queries about these or any other academic matters should go directly to Director of Studies, Mrs Sharp (c.sharp@dumpton.com) in the meantime.

Staff changes
Mrs Gatward plans to start her maternity leave at the end of term, but we have already welcomed science specialist Patrick Davis to work alongside her in the run-up to Christmas.  Patrick will take the reins in the New Year with Mrs Sharp overseeing the Science Department until Mrs Gatward returns. He has worked at Dumpton previously and has also had experience as Head of Science at Prep School level.  We are delighted to have him back on the staff.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Browning