Care and Respect for All28/01/2022
Thought of the Week:
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Message From Mr Sutherland
This has proved to be an extremely busy half term so far. In addition to day-to-day teaching and learning for our children, we have been working hard to moderate and check that key elements of school provision are in place and working to the high standards we expect. It is for our senior leadership team comprising myself, the Deputy Head, our SENDCo and Phase Team Leaders as well as our School Business Manager to evaluate areas of strength and areas to develop across the whole school. This is an ongoing process for us and part of school life – as one would expect for any organisation. This encompasses the safety of children and staff, teaching and learning standards and the quality of education we offer, behaviour in lessons and at playtimes and across our Early Years setting.
Occasionally we welcome in visitors either from the Local Authority or external organisations which help us still further in moderating our provision and expectations as a school across other Gateshead schools and indeed those nationally. Naturally, these visits have been strictly limited through the pandemic and when they have been carried out, they adhere to local and national guidance. However, in the last few weeks, we have been looking closely at teaching and learning, particularly in mathematics as well as behaviour – especially in the light of our new behaviour ethos of “Ready, Respect, Kind”. I am delighted to report that both visits concluded with extremely positive outcomes. The outstanding behaviour of the majority of our children was clear to see from the start of the day, right through to children leaving our site. Indeed, the politeness of our children was commented on. And in classrooms, the buzz for learning in mathematics was evident from Early Years up to Year 6.
We take away from these experiences huge positives and successes, but of course there are areas we can improve, enhance and develop further and rest assured these will be addressed in the coming weeks.
In the midst of the challenges we all still face I am very proud and still amazed at the resilience of our children. What a fabulous few weeks we have had!
Have a great weekend!
Whole School Information
Ready, Respect, Kind – Our School Rules
We began Spring Term 2022 reminding our children of our 3 rules at Dunston Hill. We all agreed New Year’s resolutions aren’t always kept so instead we agreed that we would all adopt the right attitude every day and try to keep our school rules. Through assemblies, we have looked at what each rule means and all our children have been trying extremely hard to keep them and demonstrate our values. Hot Chocolate with the Head is just one way we celebrate those children that go over and above each day. You may also find your child comes home occasionally with a positive postcard or you may even receive a positive phone call. We as staff are striving to give our first attention to best conduct. Ask your child about their class recognition board and what they have to do to get their name on it.
Children’s Mental Health Week
Children’s Mental Health Week is 7 – 11 February and we are looking forward to celebrating the importance of our mental health in school.
The theme this year is “Growing Together”; we will be encouraging our children to consider how they have grown, and how they can help others to grow.
Our staff are planning some exciting things around this theme, and we look forward to sharing these with you on Facebook and our school website! Stay tuned!
Hoodies have finally arrived!
There has been great excitement as our PE hoodies have finally arrived. Every child should have now come home with one. Please ensure their name is written inside.
Hoodies can only be worn on PE days and Forest School days. They are not to be worn for school as a coat or on any other day unless requested, i.e. a school visit.
As a school, we are delighted to have provided one hoodie per pupil throughout the school. We hope they will be looked after, as any replacements are the parent or carer’s responsibility.
We expect that all children will now wear full uniform all week. PE days means coming into school in black tracksuit bottoms, shorts or leggings, a white plain t-shirt or a school PE t-shirt and a PE hoodie.
On Forest School days they should wear old black or navy bottoms, a white polo t-shirt and their PE hoodie. The rest of the week is our standard school uniform.
We hope you are as happy as we are with them and we know the children are excited to wear them.
Please click here to view our uniform expectations and how to order more uniform.
Parent Consultations week beginning 14 February
Our Spring Parents Consultations will be via telephone calls or Microsoft Teams. Parents and carers will be invited to sign up for a 10 minutes slot via our online booking system SchoolCloud. Details and dates will be sent to you via email on Monday. We would encourage all parents to please book an appointment.
Healthy Packed Lunches
We would like to remind parents / carers of our Healthy Packed Lunch policy which healthy food choices based on the School Food Trust’s food based-standards. Our Staff have found that an increasing number of items with high sugar content such as fizzy/sugary drinks, chocolate bars and sweets are in children’s lunch boxes on a regular basis. We would like to ask that these items are substituted with:
- Drinks that are water, pure fruit juice (no added sugar), semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, reduced fat and sugar yoghurt, milk drinks or smoothies every day
- Puddings; that are fruit based such as fruit salad, tinned fruit with yoghurt or custard, fruity rice pudding, fruit smoothies, fruit-based crumble
I would also like to also take the opportunity to remind Parents/carers that we are a “nut free” school as we have a number of children who have a nut allergy. This is a life-threatening condition should they come into contact with nuts or products containing nuts, known as an anaphylactic shock. To assist us to minimise these risks we ask that parents/carers do not:
- Send in any home-made or shop bought food for your own child or for sharing with the rest of the class (for example, sweets, cake or buns for birthday celebrations) unless they are sealed in bags, ready to hand out to pupils at the end of the day.
- Provide your child with any nuts or products containing nuts in their packed lunch, which includes peanut butter sandwiches and other spreads containing nuts such as Nutella.
- Provide their child with items such as cereal bars, biscuits, bread, pesto and some desserts without checking the ingredients list – as a guide, please look out for any bold print that says the product contains nuts / some products contain nut oil which is also restricted.
- Allow your child to come into school without washing their hands and mouths if they have eaten something containing nuts, such as cereals or advent calendar chocolate containing nuts.
For further information, click here to view our Healthy Packed Lunch policy.
The menu for week commencing Monday 31 January is Week 1.
Messages from School
Are you missing messages sent from school? Messages from school will be sent to you using text messages or via the school app – Schoolgateway. Please ensure you have your notifications turned on to ensure you see all our messages as they are being sent. In your device, go to your settings, apps and notifications and search for Schoolgateway to enable your notifications. If you have previously downloaded the app on an old phone or device, you should download the app on your new phone or device because this system will still be sending your messages to your app. If you have any questions or require help with our school app, please contact the school office.
Secondary School Applications – September 2022
Parents/Carers will be notified on or around 1 March what Secondary School you have been offered for your child.
Primary Schol Applications – September 2022
Parents/Carers will be notified on or around 18 April what Primary School you have been offered for your child.
What a lovely start to our Spring Term – some of our Reception children are having a wonderful time playing with their friends, and some of the older children in our Dunston Den at lunchtime.
Miss Tuart and Mrs Cox are really enjoying the Facebook posts from Kalmer Counselling at the moment – if you have Facebook, you might like to read some of their helpful ideas and gorgeous, positive quotes.
UKS2 Phase News
What a busy start to the new year for our Year 5 and 6 children! We have started our new humanities topics where we are studying ‘The Vikings’ and ‘World War Two’ respectively. The children have loved getting hands on with their learning through research and exploration of artefacts.
Last week, we took part in a LIVE workshop with illustrator Axel Scheffler (famous for illustrating Julia Donaldson’s story books) as part of the workshops offered by the Seven Stories in Newcastle. We learnt a lot about his life as an illustrator, created our own miniature books and 6R were even lucky enough to have one of their questions answered by him… who would have thought that he hated drawing cows! Please keep your eyes on our Facebook page for further Seven Stories events you may wish to partake in at the weekends or during February half term.
We are very proud of our Year 5 children who are continuing their swimming lessons this term. Many of the children have had a go at swimming in the big pool and shown great determination and bravery if they were a little uncertain! We are so resilient!
Finally, some of our Year 6 children have begun their Reading Buddies programme with some of our Reception children. We have all had a chance to meet one another and to read at least once together in the Enchanted Garden.
Earlier this month, several children from our Reception attended the ‘EYFS Multi-sport Festival’, which this year had an ‘under the sea’ theme. They hopped, skipped and jumped their way through many obstacles, and worked as a team throughout various activities. The children thoroughly enjoyed their morning, in fact Poppy said ‘I wish we could do this every day!’ Well done to all involved.
We have lots more sporting opportunities coming up in the next half-term, keep your eyes peeled!