Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 16 December 2016

| 16 December 2016

16 December 2016

Dear Parents

Merry Christmas to you all and best wishes for the holiday period.  It has been another very long, eventful and busy term, and Jo and I would like to thank you all for your support over the past fourteen weeks.  Jo has written a Christmas card to every Dumpton family – I only mention this here in the hope that they have all arrived safely home in the school bags!

Carol Service
Perhaps a little prematurely, this is the last chance this term I will have to thank Mrs Watkiss and the other staff involved for the countless hours they have spent preparing for the Carol Service.  We are all looking forward to reaching the end of term in style, and if the rehearsals are anything to go by we will not be disappointed.  With around 200 pupils invited to sing in various choirs (plus 40 staff) it should be a real celebration of Dumpton choral music.  

Congratulations to Year 3 for their performances this week.  After leading school assemblies on Monday and Tuesday they then performed their Christmas Play ‘Scrooge’ to a full house and rave reviews. They impressed us all with their assured acting and confident solos.  Well done also to Mrs Williams, Mr Cox and Miss Hammick (and Mrs Watkiss) for their direction (and piano playing) and to Mr Cook and Mr Dawson for their support.  

Pre-Prep Christmas
It has been a busy week in Pre-Prep.  On Tuesday Year 1 had a lovely Victorian Christmas and Year 2 an enjoyable trip to the pantomime in Poole.  Reception also visited Streets Meadow Care Home to sing to the residents during the afternoon. Reception and Nursery very much enjoyed the visit of their Christmas entertainer, Jigsaw, this morning.  I hope Year 2 parents enjoy their jars of Christmas Granola, complete with sparkles, lovingly made by their children (with guidance from Sue Brown in the Food Tech Department) earlier in the week.

FODs Christmas Fayre and Christmas Party
I have just been informed that the very successful Christmas Fayre raised an amazing £3000 for Julia’s House. Very well done to all involved.  A big thank you to all parents who supported the FODs Party at West Beach in Bournemouth.  It was a very successful evening.  Particular mention should go to Sarah Schiel who set up these events and to the FODs Committee for their faultless organisation and attention to detail.  Planning ahead - the date for the FoDS Summer Ball is Saturday 10 June 2017...

E-Safety Day for All – save the date
Planning ahead, early next term there will be another E-Safety Day for parents, staff and pupils on Wednesday 1st February.  A member of the Dorset Police will spend the whole day here at school and will talk to each year group in turn, right down to the Pre-Prep.  Then Stella James from Gooseberry Planet will complete the day with a talk to all staff from 4.30 – 5.30 pm, and then a presentation to parents in the Recital Room from 7.30 – 8.30 pm. 

Valete and Salvete
Barbara Priddle will be stepping down at Christmas after 25 years working in the Finance Department at Dumpton.  Latterly as Finance Bursar, she has overseen some very exciting times, guiding the school to its current strong fiscal position. She has been committed and professional, always putting the school first, and we wish her every happiness in her retirement.  After Christmas the Bursar, Richard Martin, will be overseeing the Finance Department and any queries regarding bills should be directed to schoolfees@dumpton.com.  

We also bid farewell to Jenni Livermore after 30 years in the Learning Support Department (EdX).  There are many Old Dumptonians who will be forever grateful for her support, and many current pupils who will miss her quiet encouragement and enthusiasm; she has made a huge difference to so many children in her time here. We wish Jenni every happiness for her travels and the next stage.  Vicky Wakefield now will pick up the reins next term in the EdX, bringing with her a wealth of learning support experience from a number of schools.

Famed for his outstanding puddings, Neil Soppitt will also be leaving the catering team at Christmas after 7 very successful years in the department.  Similarly, we wish Jess Ford every success after her very positive term in the EYFS.  Finally, best wishes to Head of Science, Nicky Gatward as she leaves for maternity leave at Christmas.  Patrick Davis is already in place, and will take over all her classes from January.

End of Term Reports
We have started sending Autumn Term reports today and will continue after the weekend if necessary.  However, please let us know on Tuesday 20 December (secretary@dumpton.com) if you have not received your child’s report.  

Happy New Year
Finally, for those who have next year’s diary to hand, the Spring Term starts on Monday 9 January 2017. To stagger the demands on the car park on the first day back we would be very happy if the Pre-Prep parents dropped off their children a little later at 8.45 am.  Of course those with siblings in the Prep School will be welcomed at the usual time.  Just trying to think ahead - Happy New Year!

With best wishes
Andrew Browning

PS Please keep voting for Ore!  One more week to go…