Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 5 March 2021

| 05 March 2021
Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 5 March 2021

Dear Parents,

It goes without saying that we are all looking forward to Monday - I think parents, staff and children have all been waiting for this day for some time. There will be some butterflies in tummies on Sunday I am sure (and not just the children's!), but once we are all back together after so long apart things will quickly feel familiar. We will make every effort to get the pupils back into their normal routines, but also to give them the chance to re-acquaint themselves with one another. We can't wait.

Today may have been, we all very, very much hope, the last day of Home Learning for the school. I know all parents will join me in thanking the staff for their efforts delivering lessons to pupils at home. I've calculated very quickly that we have taught around 3500 live lessons this term. Many of you have commented to me what a privilege it has been to see your children learn, develop and grow, and to get a sense of the wonderful teaching they are exposed to day in and day out at school. It has certainly brought us all closer together. Thank you for all your kind words, and for supporting your children and their teachers so wholeheartedly.

I would like to thank all the parents and family members who joined us for assemblies so far this term. It has been so lovely to get together as a community like we have, to sing, to share our successes, and to feel so very much 'together'. I'd like to say a particular thank you to Mr Nye and Mr Moulton for adding such musicianship to the hymns each morning - we are very lucky to have them both! Please remember that even with the children back in school we will be broadcasting assemblies, and parents are most welcome to join us - we have really enjoyed having you with us.

Holiday Clubs
We have had huge interest as we expected in the Easter Holiday Club, and I am delighted that Madame T and her team can just about accommodate everyone and will be able to set up such an enjoyable programme of activities. Madame T will be in touch again soon I know. Miss Walker has written to Nursery and Reception parents today to ascertain interest for the Early Years Club that will run at the same time - this will only be available for children aged 3 years and over.

World Book Day
It was a vibrant World Book Day as ever, and my thanks to Mrs Parker for her organisation, and to all the children who got involved in some way or form. Beyond a bit of dressing up and fun, World Book Day is really about inspiring children to read as much as possible, whether they find reading easy or hard. Regular reading has, arguably, more impact on a child's academic attainment than almost anything else - and it also happens to give so much pleasure too.

Junior Story
Junior Story this week saw a few of the regular attendees - Ollie L, Zak H, Clara M and Rosie E - read from stories of their own. Mr Nye and Miss Goodhew were so impressed, and it was a lovely way to round up the end of home learning, before Story begins back in school again next week.

Parents Evenings
It was lovely to talk with so many Y3 parents on Wednesday and Thursday, and huge thanks to Mrs Rielly for setting up the online booking system and virtual meetings which seemed to work very well indeed. We look forward to the Y4 Parents Evenings next week.

Y8 Scholarship Success
We have had more Scholarship success, with Patrick securing a Sports Scholarship to Sherborne School. Congratulations to Patrick, and best of luck to the pupils who are still waiting to hear how they got on. We look forward to hearing some more good news soon.

Grammar School Success
We congratulate all the Y6 pupils who have been offered places at their Grammar School of choice, with some pupils offered places despite being well out of the catchment area due to their outstanding performance in the tests. Whether you are accepting the place, or deciding to stay on at Dumpton for Y7 and Y8, we are really proud of you and your efforts.

Mrs Kirsten Rielly
Kirsten, our superb Director of Studies, will be leaving us at the end of this academic year. With her daughter starting at a new school in September, Kirsten feels it is time for her to move on, after 16 very happy years at Dumpton, and she will take some time away from teaching to support Pippa, and is even considering writing a book! Kirsten has been the most dedicated, hard working and kind colleague, and is so well loved by all. We will all have the chance to thank Kirsten for her immense contribution to Dumpton School at the end of the year. The search will now begin for Kirsten's replacement, and I will keep parents updated on this significant recruitment process of course.

With best wishes,
Christian Saenger