Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 30 April 2021

| 04 May 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 30 April 2021

Dear Parents

Assemblies are one of my favourite parts of the week at Dumpton, and this week our theme was Generosity of Spirit. We examined Desmond Doss's heroic life on Monday, and reflected on how we might all try to be a little more selfless, not selfish, and what that might mean for our community. On Wednesday Mr Nye shared some thoughts on 'reflection' and 'opportunity', and how we might banish certain words and actions moving forward to truly demonstrate the kindness we value so much at Dumpton. Finally, this morning we were treated to two superb performances from Chester N, Alex G, Nicholas L, Fraser B, Oscar G and Austin R.

A reminder that all Dumpton parents are welcome to join our assemblies virtually. Prep School Assemblies are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 08.30, and Pre-Prep Assemblies are every other Tuesday at 3pm, as per the calendar. The normal Zoom link still applies which can be found on the parents’ area of our website.

Captain Tom Day
It was superb to see the pupils celebrating Captain Tom today, and marking what would have been his 101st Birthday. We had all sorts of 'hundreds' completed by forms, and some real creativity on show! Mr Moulton has challenged individual children to try and do 100 of something over the long weekend. Do keep us up to date with anything you achieve - and we will be using next week to collect money and fundraising for our chosen school charities.

After over a year, we finally hosted some fixtures at Dumpton, with both the Girls' and Boys' 1st Teams playing Walhampton. We have cricket fixtures for all Y3 to Y8 teams next week - it will be lovely to have around 200 boys and girls all representing Dumpton against Castle Court. Do check the Dumpton sports webpage for all the latest information on these fixtures.

Emotional Support at Dumpton
A big thank you to all the staff at Dumpton for their efforts supporting any children having any wobbles at school. The ups and downs of emotions are entirely normal, but it's important that we have some support on hand for any children who might need it. The Art Hub at lunchtime has been a real haven for so many pupils - a chance for a chat, a bit of art therapy, or just some company, has been so beneficial for so many. The allotments too are providing a calm and peaceful environment for many pupils too, and we have a number of staff who spend time 1 to 1 with children as a listening ear. If you ever feel your child is a little down, or could do with some support at school, please do always get in touch.

Assessment and Exams
Mrs Rielly has written to Prep School parents today about the assessments and exams planned for this term. Our approach is sensitive to the age of the children, and aims to get the balance right in terms of recognising the importance of preparing children for important exams, alongside carefully managing any stress or anxiety that exams and tests might create. I do hope any assessments and exams go well for all the children.

Y8 Leavers Course
Mr Loe and I will be writing to Y8 parents early next week with an update on planning for the Leavers' Course. We're delighted to have secured a spot for a residential trip in the Purbecks, with plenty of exciting outdoor activities and adventure, to go along with a broad and varied programme of activities. My thanks to all the staff working hard behind the scenes on this to make the programme as special as ever.

Scholarship Evening - Thursday 13th May at 7.30pm
I will be holding our annual information evening on Scholarships to Senior Schools in a couple of weeks' time, via Zoom. All parents are welcome to attend, but it might be particularly of interest to parents of children in Y7.

From the Pre-Prep - Dinosaurs and Pamphill
Reception visited Mr Loe in the art studio on Monday. He showed the children how to sketch large scale dinosaurs with chalk pastels and they had lots of fun creating their own – such a fantastic way to start the week and work on dinosaurs! On Tuesday, Y2 had a lovely morning visiting Pamphill Green and the Bluebell woods. Their resident artist, in the guise of Mrs Dillingham, showed the children some skills for sketching before they all sat down and produced the most beautiful, detailed drawings. They returned to school ready for lunch and excited for their next outing! There are some lovely photos on our social media pages school-news

Primary Maths Challenge
Well done to Joshua DLH who was awarded his Bonus Round Badge this week. Joshua's performance in the Primary Maths Challenge this year puts him in the top handful of mathematicians in the country for his age - well done to him!

Mr Richard Nye
Finally, I wanted to share with the whole school community today the news that Mr Nye will be retiring at Christmas. Richard joined Dumpton nearly 20 years ago, and has played a fundamental role in turning Dumpton into the school it is today, in his role as Director of Studies, and for the last 11 years, Deputy Head. He has been a figure of integrity, inspiration, and kindness to hundreds of Dumpton pupils, families and staff over those years, and we will all, I am sure, miss Richard's presence at Dumpton greatly. On a personal level, Richard has provided steadfast support and companionship to me since I started at Dumpton - and especially throughout the last 12 months. He will leave huge shoes to fill - but he has laid the firmest and surest of foundations for whomever follows. We will all get the chance to thank Richard and celebrate his immense contribution to the school in due course. The Carol Service in the Minster this year promises to be a very special one indeed.

I hope you all enjoy the bank holiday weekend.

Christian Saenger