Care and Respect for All20/11/2020
Thought of the Week:
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today,” said Pooh. “There, there,” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do”
A. A. Milne
Message From Mr Sutherland
We are already three weeks into the second half term and although we are facing unprecedented additional challenges every day, I am heartened by the way everyone has pulled together to make our wonderful school as “normal” as possible for our children. I hope you feel that the additional staff presence on the yard in the mornings and after school is still supportive. It is so humbling to see the children’s smiling faces on their way into school every day, full of positivity and excitement at the day ahead, even if they can’t remember what they did when you ask them at the end of the day! However, I know that for some of our children are struggling and have not found this transition easy. Everything we have in place in our school regarding nurture, inclusion and support is there for tough times like these and we have so many things in place to help your child and your family if you need us. Please let a member of staff on the yard or at the classroom door know if there is anything more we can do to help or feel free to call the school office and we will call you back as soon as we can.
I am conscious that since our last newsletter we have had to send a few class bubbles home. We were open for eight full weeks before finally having to close some classes and whilst I regret this was necessary, it was absolutely the right thing to do to keep our children and staff safe. Of course, school is the right place for children to learn but if that is not possible, we hope that our remote learning offer has supported your children’s education at home as best we can. I appreciate it is a lot for you as parents and children to deal with and manage and I know that many of you are trying to juggle this whilst also working from home and supporting other family members. Of course, it is new to us as well and we are learning very quickly about what works best under these circumstances. If you are having any difficulties or are unsure, please telephone the school office where we will be happy to help you. And remember, you only need to do what you can and what works for your own family circumstances – there is no pressure from us to complete a set amount of work, just for the children to do their best.
I know that some of you were able to join us virtually for or Remembrance Day commemoration. We would usually join with the community outside the church on Remembrance Sunday which of course wasn’t possible this year, but we wanted to pay our respects by creating our own memorial. I am so proud of the results which can be seen at the front of our school and of our children from School Council who attended and gave readings. I also wanted to thank you all for your generosity as a community for supporting our Harvest collection for FACT, which was collected earlier this week and is already being distributed. Not only that, but you also supported our Children in Need fundraiser last Friday when we raised the fantastic amount of £320.25 and had fun in our PE kits and spotty accessories at the same time. It is so wonderful that even during such tough times, our community comes together to help others. It’s what makes this such a special place to be.
Christmas is coming and there will be lots of information over the next few weeks, starting today. We promise to make it as special and magical as we can.
In the meantime, stay safe and have a great week!
Whole School Information
Christmas is on at Dunston Hill!
Our team of elves has been working hard to plan a magical, festive time for all our children, ensuring we adhere to all Covid guidance of course. We have all sorts planned; from a Winter Wonderland experience, Santa visits, Christmas jumpers to parties and Christmas lunch. Gifts and cards will still be exchanged, and all the usual magic will be here. It goes without saying that our Christmas festivities will be a little different to previous years; however, this year more than ever we want to ensure our children have a magical and memorable run-up to Christmas. There will be further details to follow but below are some dates for your diaries and information on what’s happening so far.
Dunston Hill’s Christmas countdown has begun, here is how you can join in the fun!
Christmas Clothes Day
On Wednesday 2 December children are invited to come to school dressed in Christmas jumpers or dresses or festive colours- red, green or sparkle. In return, we ask for a small donation towards our Christmas raffle and fundraising later in the month. Contributions can be any new items that we can add as prizes for our raffle, things like, new smellies, chocolates, gift sets, candles, books, biscuits etc. There will be a box outside each classroom for the donations. We have something fun planned on this day (sshhh…..it’s a secret!) that hopefully, you`ll get to see before we break up for Christmas.
Each class from Reception to Year 6 will have their very own sitting for Christmas lunch during the week beginning 7 December. On this day children can come to school in their Christmas jumper with their uniform. They will also need a warm coat and wellies because as well as enjoying a yummy Christmas lunch they will also have a session in our outdoor Winter Wonderland.
Please see the dates below:
|Christmas Lunch Day||Classes|
|Monday 7 December||Reception|
|Tuesday 8 December||Year 1 and Year 4|
|Wednesday 9 December||Year 2 and Year 5|
|Thursday 10 December||Year 3 and Year 6|
Remember – to enjoy the fun you need jumpers, wellies and warm coats!
Christmas Party Day
This year our children will have a Christmas party day. On this day they will have a Christmas movie, party games, dancing and fun. We are asking children to come to school dressed in their party clothes for the day. Mr Sutherland had a word with Santa, and it has been agreed that school will be providing a party lunch for all the children on this day. So packed lunches or dinner money will not be needed on this day. Rest assured, Santa will be adhering to all Covid guidance and social distancing.
|Monday 14 December||Nursery and Reception|
|Tuesday 15 December||Year 1 and Year 2|
|Wednesday 16 December||Year 3 and Year 4|
|Thursday 17 December||Year 5 and Year 6|
Remember to wear your party clothes to come to school!
Children are welcome to bring in Christmas cards from Monday 7 December – Tuesday 15 December. We ask that children post their class cards in their classroom post-box. If they have cards for other children or staff in the school, we will have a post-box outside the main entrance to pop them in on your way past. They will then be quarantined for 72 hours after this our school council elves will then sort and deliver them.
Christmas Wishing Tree
Look out for our school Christmas Wishing Tree. The children will be writing wishes and adding their own decorations; you`ll spot it each day on your walk around our site – we hope it makes everyone smile.
Christmas Grand Raffle Coffee Morning
It has been a long-standing tradition at Dunston Hill to have our Christmas coffee morning, play some bingo and games and draw our grand raffle. We still want this to go ahead, so we are asking you to save the date; Wednesday 16 December, grab your own coffee and a mince pie and join us on Facebook Live for a virtual coffee morning and grand raffle draw. We have lots of fantastic prizes again this year including a £100 Amazon voucher amongst other things. Raffle tickets will be coming home soon!
Reverse Advent Calendar
We wanted to share something our generous staff have decided to do this Christmas. Our staff team have chosen to join the Christmas Campaign through Gateshead Mutual AID and to do a reverse advent calendar. This involves buying an item a day through advent that will be donated to families that need them. Our staff contributions will be going to Lobley Hill Schools food co-op.
This week’s Class News is from …
Lower Key Stage 2:
We have had a terrific start to Year 3 thanks to the amazing positive attitudes of all the children – a big ‘well done’ to you all! Our highlights so far have been, without a doubt, the gorgeous self-portraits the children produced after studying the work of Frida Khalo – they have made a delightful addition to our classroom displays – it’s just like seeing a real art gallery. The children have also been super at creating information booklets about chocolate (yummy) after reading lots of different types of information such as maps, charts, written information and dictionary entries. Did you know that people have been using chocolate to drink for thousands of years? And that the Aztecs named their chocolate drink chocolatl which means ‘bitter water’? Well now we know! The children presented this information very well to their friends. Our finale to last term was our super magnetic games where the children put all of their knowledge from their science lessons into practice and made their very own game where magnetism was required to play it. They were brilliant and good fun too!
We are very impressed with how well our Year 4 children have returned to school. They have established our new routines and are continuously working hard with all of their school work. It has been great to have the children back in our classrooms and we know that they have enjoyed being back with their friends.
After half-term, we started our new Geography unit – Extreme Earth. The children were shocked to walk into their classroom and find that a natural disaster had occurred. They discussed what they would like to find out about our new topic and created some fantastic questions for us to explore. They have already started to answer some of their enquires by creating a model of the earth, using play dough, to help identify the different layers. As you can see from our photographs, they did an excellent job and thoroughly enjoyed the task!
We are delighted that some of our children have accessed all of their home learning and it would be great to see all of our children completing their home tasks from this week. It is brilliant to see that they are finding so much love in reading and it is having a great impact on their writing. We have particularly enjoyed reading our story about ‘The Bogeymen and The Trolls’ and have formed some superb ideas for a new ending!
What a lovely time we have had over the last couple of weeks; the children have been working together in their ‘bubbles’ with Mrs Cox, exploring feelings and ways to take care of their own wellbeing and that of others. This has involved activities such as playing games, reading, meditating, talking about life events and discussing emotions. Some children have found the mediation to be very relaxing – here is the link if you would like to give it a try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A0S54yAgEg
In Forest School, our lovely children created beautiful poppies for Remembrance Day using rocks and/or natural resources (found in the outdoors). Take a look at our fabulous photos.
Miss Tuart and Mrs Cox have launched our brand new positive talk system…PEG Time! PEG Time is a time for the children to Pause, Engage and Grow! Each child now has a peg with their name on it. Should they wish to have a 1:1 chat with Mrs Cox (this could be about worries, feelings, friendships, behaviour), they simply need to move their peg in the classroom from one washing line to another. Mrs Cox collects pegs at the end of each school day and ensures the children receive PEG Time the following day with her. The children seem to be really valuing this extra opportunity to talk.
Reception class places 2021
Nursery parents, you can apply now for your child to start reception class in September 2021.
Apply on-line at: www.gateshead.gov.uk/schooladmissions
On-line applications must be submitted by 15 January 2021. If you do not submit your form by this date you will reduce your chances of gaining a place at one of your preferred schools.
The menu for week commencing Monday 23 November is Week 2. All children can now have a hot main meal off our main menu.
A reminder that as part of our Healthy Schools programme, we ask that children do not bring crisps, chocolate or fizzy drinks in their packed lunches. Due to allergies, please ensure that no peanuts or items containing nuts are brought into school, including in the form of Snickers or peanut butter sandwiches. This is especially important to remember for children bringing in packed lunches or snacks.