Care and Respect for All22/07/2022
Thought of the Week:
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Message From Mr Sutherland
Welcome to our last Dunston News for this academic year!
As you will see, it is absolutely packed with news and events from the last few weeks and is a really good indicator of how busy we have all been. I am so happy that we appear to have achieved a level of normality after the momentous events of the last couple of years. Once again, I am left truly amazed as to how resilient our children have been and the return to normal school life illustrates how important all the social and pastoral aspects are to children’s development and how it isn’t all about academic subjects.
As challenging as this year has been, we have managed to accomplish so many positive things which, when added together, ensure we move forward into 2022-23 with the best possible provision for your children. Our new Behaviour Policy “Ready, Respect, Kind” was launched in September and, along with “Wonderful Walking” and “Legendary Lines” is now embedded across the school. Of course, this does not in itself eradicate all behaviour issues, but is something that the vast majority of our children are able to embrace and follow. “Hot Chocolate with the Head” is now one of the highlights of my week and a lovely way for me to be able to have a chat with children whose behaviour has gone “over and above”.
We have managed to squeeze in a trip or educational visit for every year group since restrictions were lifted which the children have loved. We have resumed whole-school assemblies which has been wonderful and in September will start every week with a Singing Assembly as we used to do. Lunchtimes in our school Hall are back to normal and in September we will re-commence the Golden Table every Friday which I know the children will be looking forward to. Once again, we have excelled at Sport across the school and our participation and success at external events has been notable. On that note, I am delighted to be able to let you know that our school has just been re-accredited as a Platinum School by the Gateshead Sports Partnership, which is the highest award available.
In September, we will continue to develop our curriculum provision for our children and firmly believe that it should offer not only the National Curriculum but also life skills and experiences beyond that. We have refined our Curriculum Drivers, the elements which underpin everything we do, and will continue to ensure that we “spark excitement”, “encourage resilience” and “inspire”. Our Daily Mile track is finally being laid, (my apologies for the delays which were out of our control), and the playground markings are being refreshed – all part of our continued investment on behalf of our community. We will also be launching our brand new website during the first half-term which we hope you will find simpler and clearer to navigate but still with all the information you need.
Another important aspect of school life is the Mental Health & Wellbeing of not only all our children, but our staff as well. I have recently completed training on this aspect of school provision which I believe is going to become even more important over the coming months and years. This excellent training will help to ensure that we can deliver a “whole-school approach” which I believe to be the cornerstone of a happy, safe and productive school life.
I wish our Year 6 children who are leaving us today every success and happiness in the future. We are all so proud of you and thank you for being part of our journey for all these years. Have fun making new memories and seeking out exciting adventures.
Thank you for your positive comments, especially regarding your children’s end of year reports – they really are appreciated and will be shared with relevant staff. And thank you for your feedback, constructive comments and helpful ideas, all of which contribute to making our school the wonderful place it is.
Finally, my thanks to the whole staff team who have been absolutely amazing. I am blessed to work with the most fantastic colleagues!
I wish you a happy, peaceful and relaxing summer break with your family and friends and I look forward to seeing you all again at the start of the autumn term on Tuesday 6th September.
Best wishes and have a great summer!
Whole School Information
School’s Out for Summer – but when are we back?
We would like to wish all our families a wonderful summer. We look forward to welcoming our children back on Tuesday 6th September. Please note school starts at 08.45am-08.55am. Our gates close promptly at 08.55am. After this time your child is late and will need to enter through our main entrance and this will be logged as late on their records. The start of the day is very important so please ensure your child is in their classroom no later than 08.55 am. Make this your new school year resolution so we can all start our learning by 9am. Thank you
We are very excited for Miss Jobey in Year 4 who gets married over the summer. We would like to wish her a huge congratulations and look forward to welcoming her back in September as Mrs Harris leading Class 4H.
Baby Osborne decided to make an early appearance arriving yesterday at 7.54pm. Mrs Osborne was in school in the morning and had delivered her healthy baby boy by the evening. We are delighted for her and can`t wait to meet him. They are all doing well and he arrived weighing a healthy 71b 3ox. Mummy, Daddy and baby- we are over the moon for you all.
As part of our commitment to improving attainment, we closely monitor pupil attendance on a regular basis. Government guidelines advise that every child of school age should be achieving a minimum of 97% to reach their full potential and this is our whole-school target for this academic year. Currently, our whole school attendance is well below this figure. Mrs Anglesea, Mrs Cox and Miss King will be working closely to support families where attendance is poor. If your child’s attendance falls below 90% they are identified as a persistent absentee and put on our monitoring programme. We ask that all parents contact the school before 9.00am on a child’s first day of absence. If families need support with improving attendance please get in touch with Mrs Cox our Family Support Worker. We do ask that holidays are not taken in term time. We are working tirelessly to close gaps in learning due to the pandemic and encourage you to have your child attend school wherever possible so no learning is missed. We do appreciate there are some exceptional circumstances where we are fully supportive of children needing time off.
Forest School will start from Week 2. Children should come to school dressed in PE uniform for Forest School bringing also, clothing suitable to the weather, warm coat, gloves and hat when cold. On their bottom half, they should wear PE shorts or tracksuit bottoms, these may get dirty in, a school hoodie and a t-shirt. They should bring their wellies to leave in a plastic carrier bag.
Tuesday: Year 3
Wednesday: Year 5
Thursday Year 2
PE days will start from Wednesday 7th September. Children should come to school dressed in their PE kit; school hoodie, t-shirt, navy or black tracksuit joggers and trainers for the full day.
Reception – No PE Day Autumn Term
Year 1 – Tuesday and Friday
Year 2 – Monday and Thursday
Year 3 -Tuesday and Wednesday
Year 4 – Thursday
Year 5 -Monday and Wednesday
Year 6 -Wednesday
Swimming will start from Week 2
Year 4 children will continue to swim every Monday.
Year 6 children will continue to swim every Thursday.
Family Forest School
We have been delighted with the response to our Family Forest School. Over the Summer Term, our children have enjoyed exploring nature in our outdoor area with their grown-ups. We’ve played hide and seek, chilled in hammocks, made our own puppets, built unique dens and cooked some scrumptious food on the campfire. We cooled off in the shade for our final week with a picnic in our local woods.
Family Forest School will continue in the Autumn term, so make sure you check your emails in September to secure a place? We can’t wait to see all the families have fun in the forest.
Thank you to all the parents who participated in our 123 Magic parenting programme. If you missed it, don’t worry. We are holding another 123 Magic programme in the Autumn Term on 13th October 2022. More details to follow in September.
123 Magic is a simple, precise and effective way of managing the behaviour of young children aged 2-12 years old. The programme will support you in controlling unwanted behaviour, encouraging good behaviour and strengthening your relationship.
Well done to all the children in Years 4 and 5 who applied to become a Play Leader. The applications were at a very high standard, and 20 lucky children were selected. Some of our Play Leaders have taken part in training at Whickham School, where they learnt all about teamwork and supporting others. Our Play Leaders are out every lunchtime to help other children, whether it be in our reading area, the field, our buddy bench or exploring Forest School. Our Play Leaders will continue in the new school year, so make sure you stop and say hello.
NEWS ALERT – We are appointing a new School Council in September.
What is a school council?
A school council is a group of children who act as representatives of their classmates in discussing school issues with the Headteacher and staff. They help to make decisions about how the school is run and take on projects that support children’s learning and development, such as organising charity events, representing the school at outside events or ensuring the school is environmentally friendly. It’s a brilliant way of representing and contributing to Pupil Voice in our school.
How do I become a School Councillor?
If you would like to be a School Councillor, an election will take place in your class in September. All you have to do is nominate yourself and campaign to your class why you should be their School Councillor. Then let the voting begin. There will be more information in September, so perhaps have a think about your campaign over the Summer.
The menu for week commencing Tuesday 6 September is Week 1.
Tuesday – Pork sausages, Mexican veggie and bean stew with rice and tortilla wrap, cheese wrap or jacket potato
Wednesday – Roast chicken dinner with Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes, broccoli and steam cabbage, Quorn Singapore vegetable noodles, ham baguette or jacket potato
Thursday – Beef Bolagnaise with pasta and garlic bread served with mixed salad, Broccoli and cheese handmade puff pastry parcels with mixed vegetables, potato and gravy, tuna sandwich or jacket potato
Friday – Fish fingers with potato twists and peas, baked onion and potato bhaji with pitta bread, salad and yoghurt sauce, BLT or jacket potato
The full menu for September will be available to view on the school website in September.
From September, school lunch will be £2.30 per day payable in advance on the school app Schoolgateway.
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.
Goodbye Year 6
This week we bid a fond farewell to our Year 6 children. To celebrate their time at Dunston Hill we have had an action-packed week of making memories before they begin their next chapter at their respective secondary schools. We started the week with a delicious breakfast made by Linda followed by a table tennis tournament in the hall – we definitely need the energy from our sausage and bacon sandwiches! Tuesday saw us “slip slap slopping” on the sunscreen and heading to Whickham Thorns for a great day of outdoor activities including crate stacking, high ropes and definite favourites – Laser Tag and Snow Tubing! Our Leavers’ Parade was a pleasure to be apart of and parents, children and staff enjoyed saying their final goodbyes with candyfloss and hotdogs! On Thursday the Great British Summer was in full force as we headed to the beach to paddle and build sandcastles with the obligatory fish and chip lunch!
We wish all of our Year 6 children the best for the future.
Lower Key Stage Two
Wow, what an amazing year Year 3 have had! From exploring our Winter Wonderland and the Christmas parties to our exciting visits to Dunston library and Broom House Farm, we’ve had a blast! In the last few weeks, we have rounded off our curriculum and enjoyed time back in forest school. The Year 3 staff are so proud of how much all of the children have matured this year and we know they are definitely Year 4 ready!! Have a fantastic summer and we will see you all in September.
The highlights of the year for Year 4 have been having a whole year of ukulele tuition from the fabulous Mr Langford, during which the children have learnt to play chords and melodies and put these together to play familiar songs from Star Wars and Harry Potter, to name a few. Finishing off our year with a trip to Beamish allowed our learning in history to come to life and we particularly enjoyed our ‘lesson’ in the Victorian schoolhouse.
Key Stage One
What a fantastic year our Key Stage 1 children have had! Year 1 – from bog baby hunting in Forest School, finding the lost toys in the Discovery Museum to performing at Sage Gateshead, they have learnt lots and had so much fun along the way. One of the main highlights for our Year 2 children was their visit to the Royal Navy Museum, Hartlepool. They were fascinated to find out about what it would have been like to be a sailor on board HMS Trincomalee 200 years ago. Key Stage 1 staff are so proud of what children have achieved this year and how much they have grown!
Our gorgeous early years – what a year you have had! We are so proud of the independence you have gained, risks you have taken, the things you have learned and the fun you have had whilst doing it. From visits to the farm to trips to Forest school, you have embraced everything Dunston Hill has had to offer and have made so much progress- it has been wonderful to see. Nursery- Mrs Warrilow and her team have worked so hard to get you Reception ready and what a good job they have done, I just know you will all settle really well into full-time school life- go for it! And to Reception… what a wonderful year you have had, I love seeing how you`ve come on, reading new sounds and books, writing sentences, counting to really big numbers and still making time to splash in muddy puddles, not forgetting the hugs I get when I come in. Your teachers have cared for you and worked so hard to make sure you are Year 1 ready – you are! Go and be fabulous. Its been a privilege to lead early years but I am delighted to be handing it over to Mr Lenagh who joins us in September. He comes to us with a wealth of experience and I just know will be a great asset to our school and team. Thank you Early Years children and staff for being simply wonderful- Mrs Anglesea.
Nurture News- Supporting Transition
To support our children with the transition into their next class, you will find social stories on the Curriculum News section of our website under SEND and Inclusion. Rest assured that all information has been shared with your child’s new class teacher to support with SEND and nurture needs so that they have the appropriate support and provision in place for September 2022.
Over the Summer, you may find some of the activities suggested by Kalmer Counselling to be of support to your child: www.dosemagazine.co.uk/resources
KS2 Orienteering Festival
Recently, some of our wonderful Year 5/6 children had a fantastic afternoon exploring the beautiful grounds of Gibside by putting their orienteering skills to the test. A number of Gateshead schools took part and we split into two Dunston Hill teams to navigate our route. The children were amazing! They did an excellent job at reading the maps and supported each other in finding the control points. The weather was gorgeous and we felt very lucky to have enjoyed such a fabulous afternoon using our map-reading skills. Well done boys and girls!
KS1 Orienteering Festival
It was then time for some of our Year 2 children to spend the day at Gibside, where they took part in the GSSP Orienteering Festival. They put their teamwork skills to the test as they had to follow their partner’s advice to make it to the end of the route. They also worked as a group to read a map and follow the clues. What a great day they had!
A few weeks ago, 10 of our Year 5 children attended the leadership day held at Gateshead Leisure Centre. Throughout the day, they learned many new skills which will help them during their new roles as Play Leaders. We are looking forward to September to see these skills put into practise.
Countdown Cricket Competition
Well done to our Year 4 children who recently attended the cricket event. They played so well and demonstrated excellent sportsmanship throughout the afternoon. One of our teams managed to walk away with bronze medals! We have discovered some excellent cricketers within our school and this is certainly something we want to practise more next year. Well done Year 4, we are so proud of you all!
A huge well done to our children who took part in the #INSPIRE Athletics Festival. They each did amazing and should be very proud of themselves. We achieved excellent scores in all of the events and we won 2 medals in the vortex howler throw, a medal in the spring jumps, a medal in the javelin throw, a medal in the 60m sprint and 4 medals in the girl’s relay. In addition, we have set a new record in the throw! The distance to beat was 38m, which was achieved back in 2016, but we achieved 40.1m! Well done Team DH!
Last week, eight of our Year 6 children visited Blaydon Tennis Club to compete. They played several games against other Gateshead schools and managed to finish in 3rd place. Mrs Ion was proud of the children for showing great determination and resilience throughout the day.
Girl’s Football Festival
To celebrate their successes in football, some of our Year 5 and 6 girls attended the football festival at Dunston Power League. They played many 5-a-side games, against children from many different schools and they won many of their matches. Mrs Cox was shocked to see results as high as 11-0! Well done on a successful year, girls!
This half-term, we celebrated Sports Week in School. As you know, we held three sports afternoons and it was great to see so many of you in school, cheering the children on. The children took part in various activities such as sack races, obstacle course and of course everyone’s favourite… the egg and spoon race! This year, the children were allocated a colour and they had to collect points for their team. The scores were close throughout the week, but the winning team for KS1 and KS2 was the blue team, and for Reception, it was the red team. Our youngest children in Nursery also enjoyed joining in as they bounced, ran, balanced and manoeuvred around obstacle courses whilst smiling along the way. Each child never gave up and they simply carried on. They are all winners!
A huge well done to everyone who took part, including the parents/carers who joined in!