Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 9 December 2016

09 December 2016

Dear Parents

We are almost there now, but I have just a few more details for forthcoming events and snippets of news before I can formally wish you all a Merry Christmas next Friday.

Dumpton Music
I would like to start by saying very well done to everyone in the Music Department over the last week.  As well as managing the thirty music examinees on Thursday and Friday, they have also staged two very successful gala concerts, for the junior and senior year groups, over the past week or so.  Both evenings were delightful, with a real sense of musical community, and a whole host of different instruments, genres and styles.  There were some outstanding virtuoso pieces and the pupils, along with Mrs Watkiss and her team of peripatetics, should be congratulated on all their hard work this term.

Pre-Prep Plays
We are still smiling after four big dramatic productions in one week.  Congratulations must go to all those involved in the hours of patient preparation required, including the parents who had a hand in the wonderful costumes.  The Year 1 and Year 2 production ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ was an interesting take on the traditional story, with all pupils on stage throughout, performed twice for Year 1 and Year 2 parents.  There was an outstanding mix of dancing, singing, humour and some very strong acting.  Similarly, the Nursery’s ‘Christmas Singing Concert’ and Reception’s ‘Fishing for Stars’ on Tuesday morning were both very special, with a wonderful atmosphere in the new Recital Room.  The pupils surpassed themselves, once again, as did the Bursar as a very jolly Father Christmas.    We have again organised for all Pre-Prep productions to be professionally photographed and filmed.  Anyone wishing to buy stills should go to the Fraser Portraits website (www.fraserportraits.com). Any late orders for the DVDs should be directed to Heather Millward from Curtain Call Productions at hmillward@btinternet.com.

In the final week we have the Year 3 Play ‘Scrooge’ to look forward to on Tuesday (13 December) at 2.30 pm.  This will be filmed in house and made available on the school website.  

Other Pre-Prep News
This Tuesday (13 December) Year 2 will be enjoying the Christmas Pantomime ‘Aladdin’ at The Lighthouse, Poole.  Then on Friday it will be Reception and Nursery’s turn as they welcome the entertainer ‘Jigsaw’ to Dumpton.  I believe Father Christmas may also be putting in another appearance at some stage in the week……

Christmas Lunch
More advanced warning – Steph and her team will be serving our Christmas Lunch on Thursday (15 December), with Form Parties in the Prep School to follow, so your children might need a little less sustenance than usual that evening.  

Carol Service
Meanwhile, plans for the Carol Service at 2.30 pm on Friday 16 December are right on track and we are all looking forward to a rich and varied programme. This year we will once again be assigning seats to the parents in different year groups – Mr Nye has written to you already with details of this, but please see the plan attached in case it has gone astray.

Cross Country successes
Congratulations to the senior boys, Henry S, Josh S, Joe W, Dominic H and George W who travelled up to Lancashire last weekend to run in the English Schools Cross Country Championships, a huge occasion with 1000 runners taking part in different races.  Particular mention should go to Henry on his 5th place, with Josh not far behind in 24th.  The team were a very respectable 17th overall. Very well done to all, and a heartfelt thank you to all the parents (and Mr Loe) who made the long journey north.

Yesterday there were thirty seven Dumpton runners at a local PEDSSA cross country event at Ferndown, with teams including pupils from Years 4-8.  Special mention must go to Henry S, Josh S and Joe W who finished 2nd, 5th and 7th in their race, running against Year 9 pupils as well as Year 8.  Esther B was two paces behind the winner in the Year 7 girls race to come in second, Dominic H was a comfortable 9th in the Year 7 boys race.

Sports Roundup
We closed another long and eventful sporting Autumn Term on Wednesday with some outstanding performances.  Well done to the boys’ U13A rugby side on their 45-15 win against West Hill Park and also to the U12A side who completed an unbeaten season with wins against Stroud and West Hill Park.  Similarly, congratulations to the 1st VII girls’ hockey whose 7-0 win against West Hill Park rounded off a very successful term.  

Strictly Dumpton
It is time to declare our allegiance to Ore Oduba – he was a pupil here at Dumpton for many years and also returned to work here before heading ultimately for the BBC.  We are very proud of all he has achieved.  I am sure some of you have enjoyed watching him on Strictly Come Dancing, and if you are planning to vote, do please spare a thought for the only Old Dumptonian in the final stages…

Nut free policy
Finally, could I just add that, while Christmas is undoubtedly a time for chocolate, we continue to observe a strict nut free policy here at school (including food which may have come into contact with nuts).  I thought I would mention this as early as possible in an attempt to avoid cries of ‘bah humbug’ ……

With best wishes
Andrew Browning

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