Care and Respect for All06/12/2019
Thought of the Week:
When a group of research professionals asked some children, ‘What does love mean?’ one replied, ‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and just listen.’
Message From Mr Sutherland
We are now in the full flow of Christmas preparations and celebrations at Dunston Hill Community Primary School. You will probably have seen the reminders about forthcoming dates, performances and parties. It would be really appreciated if you could regularly check our Facebook page or website in order to ensure that you have the latest information. We are very conscious of how busy everyone is, particularly at this time of year and we really do try to give you as much notice as possible. We update our pages as often as we can but if you have any questions or are not sure, then please contact our team at the School Office who will be happy to help and advise you.
It was wonderful to see a St. Nicholas’ Church so full on Wednesday evening for the lighting of the Christmas Tree. The atmosphere inside and as we all gathered around the tree later was so warm and welcoming and I was so proud of our children who sang beautifully. The smiles on their faces told me so much about what a special time of year this is for children and this was epitomised in their performance and their reaction when Santa Claus arrived to say “Hello”.
You may have read in the media or seen in the news over the last couple of weeks that there has been quite a lot of discussion around the giving of presents to school staff, not only in Gateshead of course, but nationwide. As ever, with such an emotive subject, opinions can vary widely, not only from parents, but teachers and school staff also. I have briefly talked about this with some senior staff and governors and all are agreed that we don’t want any child or family to feel any “pressure” to buy a present or a card. Some families have more than one child at our school and most families find this time of year really expensive already. As a class teacher for many years I certainly didn’t “expect” anything and some of the nicest gifts have received have purely been a handmade card or gift made by a child at home and given to me at the classroom door. You can see in their faces how much that means to them. However, we also certainly don’t want to appear ungrateful to those children or families who have bought a gift or a card for us already this year as we really appreciate the thought and gesture. Some schools have already asked parents not to buy gifts for school staff which I am reluctant to do immediately without having the chance to talk this through with parents first. We do have some ideas to suggest for next year which we will talk to you about at a later date – perhaps a Craft Day in school where all the children get the chance to make a card or gift for whomever they would like. Or donations to a community food bank or charity chosen by children and parents. We are happy to work with parents and consider any and all suggestions. So, please don’t feel any pressure to buy anything for school staff – a “Happy Christmas” at the classroom door means just as much to us.
Have a great week!
Whole School Information
It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!
Whilst not wishing to tempt fate, we have heard there may be some snowy weather on the way. Please find detailed below useful information in the event of disruption caused by inclement weather.
- A message will be put on Facebook as early as possible if school is to be closed.
- A message will be sent to parents/carers via our school app.
- Information will be put on the school’s website.
- Details will go on the Council website.
- Local radio stations- Metro Radio and BBC Radio Newcastle will be notified and announcements made.
Reception and Nursery Nativity
Our Nursery and Reception children love singing nursery rhymes so we thought what better way to tell the story of Christmas than by singing Nursery Rhymes! Think of all of the classic rhymes with a sprinkling of Christmas magic! From Three Wise Men to Sing a Song of Shepherds, we have them all. Our children have been working very hard to learn their lines, take on the role of traditional characters and learn the words to lots of new songs. They are very excited to share with you the traditional nativity story and can’t wait to see you all next week!
The Foundation Stage Christmas Performance ‘Nursery Rhyme Nativity’ will take place on Tuesday 10 December in the school hall. We will have two performances, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning performance will start at 9.30am, and in the afternoon at 2.30pm, the performances will last for approximately 30 minutes.
Year 1 and 2 Nativity
Our Key Stage 1 children have been rehearsing very hard for our Christmas Production “A Midwife Crisis” which is on Thursday 12 December. We are very impressed with how well our Year 2 children have been learning their lines and how enthusiastic all of our children are when singing the songs. The performance times are 9.30am and 2.15pm. Letters were sent home last week for requests for tickets, and you should have received your tickets this week. We can’t wait to put on our show for you, and we hope you thoroughly enjoy it!
For all our nativities, families are allocated two tickets. Please contact our school office should you require any more. Please do not bring young children to the performances. A creche place is available on request.
Christmas Dinner Day- wear your Christmas jumper!
This Wednesday 11 December is our Christmas Dinner day. Children are invited to come to school on this day in their uniform with a Christmas jumper.
Roast turkey breast with mini chipolata or Quorn fillet or vegetable tart (vegetarian option) served with roasted and creamed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and gravy.
Homemade festive cookie or fruit salad served with a Christmas cracker.
To help with orders, please complete the slip sent home to state if your child will be staying for Christmas Dinner. Reception and KS1 children will, of course, receive this free of charge. The slip should be returned to your child’s class teacher by Monday 9 December at the latest.
We are very excited for our Christmas Fayre next Friday 13 December. Please join us at 2.30pm. You can collect your child from their classroom doors and walk around to our main entrance. Entrance to the Fayre will be through the main doors, this year we will have a one-way system through our hall up to the Christmas cafe in the staff room and back into our IT suite, and down the corridor. This will hopefully reduce congestion in the corridors. We have lots of wonderful stalls, a surprise visitor, yummy treats, Christmas crafts and festive fun.
Raffle Tickets for Grand Raffle “Bongo-Bingo” morning
We have sent home raffle tickets for our Grand Christmas Draw. Once again, we have some super prizes to be won! We would love as many parents, carers, family members and friends to come along on Wednesday 18 December at 9.15am to join us for some festive fun. Last year we introduced Bongo Bingo and had lots of fun and giggles which certainly got us all in the mood for Christmas. During the morning you will be served mince pies and hot drinks while listening to our choir and groups of children from across the school sing some Christmas tunes. We`ll have a lively game of bingo and a quiz and finally draw our grand raffle. Please join us – everyone is welcome.
On Christmas Party Day, children have two options. A letter will be coming home next week with further details.
Option 1: Bring your party clothes into school in a bag, and the staff will get children changed for the party after lunch.
Option 2: Collect your child at 11.45 am and return to school for 1.15 pm party-ready.
A sheet with party food options will be outside your child’s classroom the week before for you to sign up for a small item to bring along.
Year 1 & 2 Christmas Dancing Club
Wednesday 11 December is their final session. Parents and carers are invited in to the school hall at 4pm to watch the children perform the festive dance routines they have been rehearsing.
The menu for week commencing Monday 9 December is Week 2. 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 kiwi fruit or peanuts 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.
This week’s Class News is from Early Years…
Nursery have enjoyed a variety of creative development during the past two weeks, ranging from singing our Christmas Nativity songs to painting in the outdoor area. Our favourite song is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and all teachers have been thrilled with the beautiful voices and actions our children have! Furthermore, we have had a keen interest in painting which started from painting puddles created by the rain. We took our brushes and powder paint to change the colour of the water. It was such good fun exploring! This week we used large sheets of paper and material to make new paintings and there wasn’t a paintbrush in sight. We used household squirty bottles that were filled with powder paint. Nursery have also been hands on by making their own Christmas decorations for our beautifully donned tree as well as wrapping presents too. The classroom is surely becoming a happy festive grotto! Nursery class certainly know how to be creative and we wonder what we will come up with next?
Christmas has arrived in Reception! This week, our children were thrilled to see the arrival of our Christmas trees, sparkling lights and snow-covered post boxes. They were also excited to see the arrival of some new elf friends who have come to spread festive cheer. So far, Elfie and Jingles have written the children special letters and messages about the good things they have seen. This has included seeing kind-hands, super tidying and good listening. Throughout the week, our children have enjoyed using their knowledge of sounds to write their own letters back to the elves and we are very proud of their enthusiasm for writing. In addition to letter writing, the children also decided to hold a birthday party for Jesus! They’ve made cakes, cards, invites and sang songs….some of which you will hear in our Christmas performance next week.
Able Writers Day
On Friday five children from Years 5 and 6 went to an Able Writers Day at Kelvin Grove School, where they met the author Jon Mayhew, writer of Mortlock and The Bonehill Curse as well as many other children’s books. The children learnt a variety of ways to improve their own writing. In the afternoon they had time to start to write their stories using the methods learnt. The afternoon ended with a question and answer session with Jon. Lauren said “It was really good and I have learnt lots of new writing skills.” Louie commented “I really enjoyed the day.”
All the children were a credit to the school with their exemplary attitude and behaviour.
Accelerated Reader – Year 3 to 6
A reminder to our Year 3 to 6 pupils that our Accelerated Reader Points cut off day is Tuesday 10 December. A huge well done to all of those children who have already achieved their personalised target set at the beginning of half term and a reminder to those that have not that we need to really try to read our home reading book every night at home and have this commented on in our Reading Diaries.
We will be starting to collect books in which have been borrowed using our Junior Librarian system from 10 December. A verbal reminder and then a written reminder will be sent out to pupils who have not returned books according to our tracking system by Tuesday 17 December.
Thank you for your continued support with reading….. “ Today a reader … tomorrow a leader!”
Last Friday saw our Year 6 Athletics team throw, jump and run to success as they clinched first place at the Cross-Cluster Sportshall Athletics Tournament at Gateshead Leisure Centre. There were some incredible note worthy performances – particularly from the girls in their relay races and the boys standing triple jump. All children were a credit to Team Dunston Hill and thoroughly deserve the 242 point win they achieved to secure them a place representing Gateshead in the Tyne and Wear County Finals in January. Their trophy is pride of place in our trophy cabinet! Check out the team photo in our photos section.
Our Headteacher Awards were presented today to the following children who have all impressed their respective class teacher:
RCH Theo Gray
RCY Ayler Gouldburn
1B Oliver Lane
1T Harley Moulding
2B Taylor Guest
2J Lewis Blackburn
3C Sophie McArdle
3M Brooke Harrison
4C Lewis Temple
4W Maddison Rutter
5B Lexi-Mae Easton
5O Isabelle Rogers
6P Millie Blackburn
6R Ruby Turnbull