Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 9 September 2016

09 September 2016

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 Developments
Mr Martin and his team have been very busy with lots of important projects over the summer.  Amongst the many general maintenance projects, the Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms have been totally refurbished, along with the Pre-Prep Hall and Pre-Prep ICT Suite.  Suggestions at the pupil-led Dumpton Parliament have resulted in two more water-fountains, which are in constant use at present in the warm weather.  In addition, the Library has been totally refurbished, and we have built a path for spectators along the length and breadth of the Tennis and Netball Courts. Finally, the new (lower) field was being mown today and is almost ready for use.

New Staff
We are delighted to welcome Rob Cox to the Year 3 team this term.  In addition, we have appointed a new multi-talented team of Student Teaching Assistants (STAs) including Sports Studies students Richard Metcalf and Daryl Fitzpatrick along with Old Dumptonions Harry Cook and Elliot Dawson, who join us from Canford and Millfield respectively.  With Harriet Higgins also arriving from Canford and Anna Hawley joining us midway through a Psychology degree, we have a very strong team of six, and look forward to a major contribution.  

World Champion!
Many congratulations to Natasha P (Yr7) who won two gold medals and a bronze, including an individual sparriung gold, at the Tae Kwon Do World Championships in Birmingham in July.  She now holds current British, European and World titles – extremely impressive, aged 11!

National IAPS Tennis
Well done also to Tim J (now Yr8) and William P (now Yr7) who were runners up in the National IAPS U14 Boys’ Doubles at the end of last term and congratulations also to Tim who was runner up in the U14 Boys’ Singles – both playing against boys at least one year older.  

Friends of Dumpton
As usual, a social event is planned for early this term.  The September Stroll on Sunday 18 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 be with you early next week.  Then there is the popular FODs Quiz Night, on Saturday 15 October, so do keep the date free if you would like to come.

Website - Parents’ Area
The website continues to be a vital source of information, particularly on match days for news about teams and timings.  The user name and password will be e-mailed to parents.  The end-of-week letter will also be posted on the Front Page of the website in case your email goes astray. 

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, Outdoor Science, Allotment Preparation, Tennis, Golf, Movie-Making, Animation, Badminton, Warhammer, Fun-time Science, Softball, 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.

Gumshields
OPRO will be visiting Dumpton on Monday morning (12 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 once again.  The Bursar has asked me to remind parents that contact should be made with the driver if their child will not be on the bus in the morning.  If for any reason your child will not be travelling on the bus in the evening, please inform Matron either by telephone (01202 843947) or written note in the pupil planner.  Any new minibus requests should be directed to Richard Martin in the first instance.

As ever, if any issue gives you cause for concern, please feel free to contact your form or class teacher directly by email a.teacher@dumpton.com.  I am also available via Lerryn (secretary@dumpton.com).  As I say at this stage every year, we would much rather deal with people than letters 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 Girl skier urgently needed for the morning of Sunday 18 September to join a mixed Dumpton team entered for English School Ski Association race at Southampton.  Must be in Year 3 - 8 and a confident and experienced skier. Please contact Nicole at nicoledan1@sky.com if available.

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