Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 8 September 2017

| 08 September 2017

8 September 2017

Dear Parents

Welcome to the new Dumpton year, particularly to the new families who are joining us for the first time this September.  I hope you have all enjoyed a happy break.  

New Staff
We are delighted to welcome Daniel Clark to Year 2 in the the Pre-Prep team this term.  In addition, we have appointed a new multi-talented team of Student Teaching Assistants (STAs) including Sports Studies student William Nelson along with Old Dumptonions Charlotte Edwards and Ella Tucker, who join us from Cardiff University and Loughborough University respectively. With Bournemouth University Psychology student Molly Devine, international swimmer Savannah Barman and rugby coach Will Grogan also joining the staff, we have a very strong team, and look forward to a major contribution.  

Friends of Dumpton
As usual, a social event is planned for early this term.  The September Stroll on Sunday 17 September at 2.30 pm will be followed by tea and cakes, and is an opportunity to catch up on news and welcome new families to Dumpton.  Please see flyer from FODs Chair Sarah Schiel, which should have come home in bags today.  Then there is the popular FODs Quiz Night, on Saturday 14 October, so do keep the date free if you would like to come.

Common Entrance Pre-Testing
As many of you are aware, two of our major destination schools have changed their entrance procedures recently, including online Common Entrance Pre-Tests as part of the process.  This term, Bryanston will be asking prospective Year 7 pupils to complete these test in November 2017, and Canford will be inviting Year 6 parents to enter their children for testing this term in early November too.  We are inviting representatives from both schools to speak at Parent Seminars, next week, starting with Bryanston at 4.30pm and continuing with Canford at 5.00pm on Tuesday 12 September.  The respective Heads of Admissions Edrys Barkham and Mike Owen, will be present to assuage any fears about the process and give advice to those interested. 

DODs Football
Just a reminder that the Dads of Dumpton will be meeting as usual on the astro on Friday evenings from  6 pm for their weekly friendly football session (contact: ben.bayer@dbfoods.co.uk to join the emailing list).  All levels welcome – you can’t be any slower than the Headmaster …

Website - Parents’ Area
The website continues to be a vital source of information, particularly on match days for news about teams and timings.  

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 can also be accessed via www.dumptonsport.com.  The match reports and teamsheets are all password protected via this route too.  We endeavour to get teams on the system by Sunday evening before matches on a Wednesday.  Please remember to check the website for the most up to date information as fixtures and timings printed in the programme of events are subject to change.

Hobbies in the Prep School
These will start on Thursday next week. The Hobbies options are listed on the Parents' Area of the school website and as you will see, there is a great variety with many choices, including, Rock Band, Allotments, Tennis, Golf, Movie-Making, Animation, Outdoor Science, Girls’ Football, Chess and Cookery.  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 Ashworth g.ashworth@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.

OPRO will be visiting Dumpton on Monday morning (11 September) for mouthguard fittings.  If you would like your child to attend please visit the OPRO website (www.opro.com) to place your order by the end of today (Friday).  

Parents and Toddlers
For anyone with young children under the age of 2, my wife Jo will be running her Dumpton Ducklings from 8.30 to 10.30 am each Friday morning in the Pre-Prep Hall.  A good time to make new friends, with tea, coffee and Steph’s cakes to boot.

Minibus Service
The bus service is now up and running.  The Bursar has asked me to remind parents that the new 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 synched 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.   

Please feel free to contact your form or class teacher directly by email a.teacher@dumpton.com if any issue gives you cause for concern.  I am also available via my PA, Lerryn (secretary@dumpton.com).  As I say at this stage every year, we would much rather deal with people than letters or emails but will obviously respond to any form of communication you choose.  Either way, if in doubt, please contact us for reassurance.

I hope you are all looking forward to the new academic year as much as we are, and I will enjoy catching up with you all over the coming weeks. 

Best wishes

Andrew Browning

PS  If there are any keen skiers who are interested  in racing in a Dumpton team at Southampton on Sunday 17 September or Hemel Hempstead on Monday 25 September please contact n.williams@dumpton.com