Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 7 December 2020

| 07 December 2020

Dear Parents

On behalf of all the staff at Dumpton, I wanted to give my sincere thanks to all of you as Dumpton parents for the patience, understanding and positivity you have shown this term. Whilst so much has been back to normal from the pupils point of view, it has been a strange term for you as parents I know - with so many restrictions in place, new systems to adapt to, and I am sure, a feeling of being 'distanced' from Dumpton more than usual. Having so many of you join us virtually for Prep School and Pre-Prep Assemblies, performances, class presentations, and evening talks has helped I hope. We hope also that you are enjoying the regular updates, photos and videos we are sharing through Twitter, Facebook, or for our younger pupils, Seesaw. And next week, of course, we hope to bring some Christmas cheer to you all, with various Christmassy broadcasts on nearly every day.

Nothing is quite the same as seeing you in person though. It goes without saying that we cannot wait for more normality to return, and this will be a key aim over the coming months as - we all hope - restrictions ease. Thank you for all your continued support from a distance. It means a huge amount.

Broadcasts and Recordings Next Week
With a range of exciting Christmas events next week (please do check the online calendar), I thought it would be useful to clarify that we are unfortunately unable to record and share any of our live assemblies during the 8.30am slot. However, for all other concerts, shows or performances (such as the Y3 Play, The Nursery and Pre-Prep Christmas Shows, and the Carol Service) we can share these recordings with you for you to enjoy at home – more details will be sent to you next week.

Scholarship Programme
Each of our Academic Heads of Department at Dumpton teaches scholarship sessions every week to all potential academic scholars. These extra sessions are always stimulating, challenging, and thought-provoking, and the pupils are pushed beyond the curriculum and encouraged to think creatively. It has been a pleasure to sit in on a few of these sessions - the pupils are hitting some impressive heights!

EdX at Dumpton and the Art Hub
Our EdX (Educational Extra) department exists to help ensure that all pupils at Dumpton are supported to fulfil their potential if for whatever reason they are struggling. This might be through organising academic support, or equally importantly, social and emotional support. I am pleased to announce two recent initiatives here. As well as increasing the amount of in class support and small group interventions, we are bringing our 1:1 EdX Learning Support sessions 'in-house' next term (rather than delivered by peripatetic staff), which is an important step forward for the School. I am also delighted that we have created the 'Art Hub', a break time option run by Mrs Skinner and Mrs Wakefield which has been a great success for those pupils who need a boost either socially or emotionally at any given time. My thanks to the whole EdX support team for their excellent work this term.

Christmas Cards and Secret Santa
A reminder that all Christmas Cards, gifts or Secret Santa presents should be brought to school by Monday at the latest. Thank you to all the pupils and parents for their Christmas generosity!

Friends of Dumpton
It was a pleasure to join the FODS Committee meeting earlier this week. The FODS are putting together an update for you, all which will be sent out to you soon - the committee do some wonderful work for the school community, and I would encourage as many parents as possible to help support these events and the FODS Committee in general. They are also always keen for new members!

Term Dates
For those looking ahead, the term dates for the next academic year are now available online.

Reading for Pleasure
Arguably, no habit is more important to nurture in children than regular reading. We would highly recommend all our pupils consider taking on the Reading Agency's 'Winter Mini' reading challenge over the Christmas break. Please visit www.wintermini.org.uk for all the information.

End of Term
A reminder that school ends for all on Friday 11 December at the times detailed below. There is no After School Club, but all minibuses will run at 4pm. Siblings should leave at the time of the youngest sibling.

Nursery from 3.15pm
Pre-Prep from 3:30pm
Years 3-5 from 3:45pm
Years 6-8 from 4:00pm

Year 8 Christmas Fundraising Day
The pupils have really enjoyed wearing their home clothes to school today and it has been lovely to see so many festive jumpers on display! Year 8 were determined to raise as much money as possible for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Service. The overall total raised through the mufti day collection and the very popular Christmas Craft Sale is a wonderful £598 - such an amazing effort from everyone involved.

With best wishes for the weekend.

Christian Saenger