Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 2 October 2020

| 05 October 2020

Dear Parents,

This week we have been celebrating our differences and diversity - and helping children understand how it is important not to fear those who look, think or act differently to us, but to embrace them, appreciate them and learn from them. 7T's assembly this morning really reflected the diversity in the world, and how language can unlock our understanding of other cultures, so we thank them for their efforts.

Seeking out diversity, rather than being fearful of it, is especially important in the modern world. Matthew Syed, in his excellent book, 'Rebel Ideas', argues persuasively for embracing diversity in life, and not striving for conformity: "think how comforting it is to be surrounded by people who think in the same way, who mirror our perspectives, who confirm our prejudices. It makes us feel smarter. It validates our world view.. these dangers are as ancient as mankind itself.”

I hope at Dumpton that children don't feel the need to fit into a certain mould. Whether they prefer sport or the performing arts, whether they are confident or shy, whether they love reading or gaming - we would hope children at Dumpton feel they can truly be themselves, and be valued and celebrated for who they truly are. Children can feel all sorts of pressure to be someone who they are not - and more than ever in an age of social media - to compare themselves to others. Matthew Syed has written a new book for children on this exact topic, called 'Dare to Be You'. I would certainly encourage it as an excellent read for any Dumpton pupils.

Mrs Liz Bradbury

Liz Bradbury announced her retirement this week. For 13 years, she has worked closely with hundreds of Dumpton pupils to support them with their learning as part of the EdX team. Liz has been a wonderfully supportive and positive colleague - we wish her all the very best for her retirement.

EdX - helping all pupils fulfil their potential

I wrote before the beginning of term about some positive changes to the EdX department this year, broadening our offering helps ensure every child is given the support they need to thrive at Dumpton and fulfil their potential. This may be in the classroom academically, or equally cover other areas of learning, particularly pupils' social and emotional development, which as you know is extremely important to us.

A programme of interventions, either in class, or in small groups out of lessons, is currently being rolled out to provide support for a range of pupils across the school. This is greatly increasing the number of pupils who will benefit from additional support. These interventions add an additional layer of support to complement the specialist SEN support delivered 1 to 1 by Mrs Wakefield and of course, the everyday support provided by teachers in the classroom.

I am very grateful to the EdX team of Mrs Gray, Mrs Wakefield, Mrs Appleby Ingram and Mrs Skinner for their efforts here.

Open Days

Both Canford and Talbot Heath, two very popular destinations for Dumpton pupils, have their open days soon. Talbot Heath are having a Virtual Open Day at 5pm on Friday 9 October with Canford’s Virtual Open Day taking place on Saturday 10 October. Further information may be found on each school’s website.


Further to the letter from the Management team earlier this week, a reminder that all pupils who can should come to school in their uniform each day from now on. It would be perfectly in order for children to return in winter uniform, which will be required after half term. As much as many pupils have enjoyed the ease of wearing Games kit, it will be lovely to see them in uniform again - one step closer to normality for us all.

Flu Vaccines

The School Nursing Team are due to carry out flu vaccinations here at school for all children in Reception through to Year 7 on Monday 23rd November. You will receive a letter directly from the NHS, which the team will need on the day of the vaccinations. Matrons will be collecting these letters and would be grateful if you could send them into school once you have received them. For the majority, the consent form will be online, again sent directly from the NHS. If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our Matron Department (matron@dumpton.com).

School Council

The School Council will meet next week for the first time. Well done to Clara M, Emeli H, Tabitha E, Georgina R, Sean F, James B, Joe C, Olivia O'S, Lily R, Fraser B, Xander J, and Oli L. A special mention to the Y8s Will T, Ava B and Joe S for being nominated by their whole year group. Our Y8s will play a prominent role in leading the School Council, and we look forward to adding further Y8 pupils to similar roles of responsibility over the year.

Absence from School

A reminder that to request absence from school please use the ‘Absence Request’ form on the Parents’ Area of the website. For planned absences of more than two days please contact me in writing with full details so that the request can be considered (headspa@dumpton.com).

School Policies

As part of our regulatory requirements, I am required to tell all parents annually that all school policies are available for inspection at any time and can be requested from the School Office. In addition, the Safeguarding Policy and School Ethos (Parents’ Booklet) is published on the front page of the School Website and the following are available on request and also on the Parents’ Area of the School Website under School Policies. There is also a list of all staff and their qualifications in the Parents’ Area, and academic performance and examination results are outlined each year on the website. It is also my duty to inform you that the Chair of Governors, Hugh Cocke, can be contacted at the school’s address (Dumpton School, Deans Grove, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7AF) at any time.

With best wishes for the weekend.

Christian Saenger