Care and Respect for All08/03/2019
Thought of the Week:
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!”
– Dr Seuss
Message From Mr Sutherland
The wonders of modern technology have enabled me to send my contribution to the weekly newsletter as usual, even though I am thousands of miles away in Shanghai and 8 hours ahead of the time in the United Kingdom as I write. However, this almost feels in perfect juxtaposition to the simplicity and effectiveness of the teaching and learning I have observed whilst here. Naturally, there are significant cultural differences between China and ourselves, but I have been humbled by the welcome we have received from those we have met, from the teachers, school principals and senior dignitaries. Most of all, however, the welcome from the children has been overwhelming. At the end of the day, they are just children; full of ideas, surprises, dreams and ambitions in the same way as ours are, supported every day by the wonderful staff and parents around them to fulfil their potential and be the best that they can be. I believe that some of the ideas I have seen can be transferred to our school successfully and I will be talking to school staff about some of the possibilities over the coming weeks. In addition, because there has been significant Gateshead presence on this visit, including senior staff from the local authority, it is hoped that there can be a consistent approach applied for the betterment of the children in our school but also in other schools in the area too.
Our focus was mainly on observing how the Chinese teach their children to develop their gross and fine motor skills in Early Years which, it is believed, gives the children the foundation for all the other skills they will need as they grow; from constructing, painting and building to drawing and of course, writing. It gives the children greater capacity to succeed and be more resilient with these skills and others. A firm foundation will allow for greater outcomes as the children become adults and find their own way in the world.
As much as I have loved my brief visit to Shanghai, I have missed everyone at Dunston Hill and very much look forward to being back in school next week. I will of course ensure that some pictures of my visit are posted to our website as soon as I am back so that you can experience a little flavour of the Far East yourselves.
Have a great weekend!
Whole School Information
World Book Day
What a fantastic day we had in school on Thursday organised by Miss Parkin. Each teacher and teaching assistant across the school chose a book and created a workshop for the children to attend. Children could choose to visit whichever one they wanted for a morning of story sharing, craft, potions, cake, chocolate, space, art and so much more. Please take a look at our Facebook page for a flavor of the tremendous work that went on. What was lovely was seeing children from across the school; Year 1 to Year 6 working together. The afternoon was slightly calmer with stories being read with reading buddies and read and relax descended across the school. At the end of the day I asked Year 6 for feedback; what had they enjoyed and what would they change for next year? Their only advice was to make the workshops longer: they loved them! We shall take this on board.
Science Week – Next Week
Today is the start of British Science Week which is a 10 day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths. We will be joining in with the celebrations and staff have been busy planning a variety of exciting lessons for next week. We will begin the week with an assembly to introduce this year’s theme which is ‘Journeys’. In our afternoon lessons, children will explore the theme through a variety of activities which will help to develop their scientific skills as well as their problem solving and teamwork skills. They will also study the work of a famous scientist and the ‘journey’ that they have been on. Children will also be creating a poster for a national competition – this will be completed in school. Hopefully, your child will have lots to tell you about and you can see what they have been up to by checking out our Facebook page and class pages on our website.
Comic Relief – Friday 15 March
A reminder that next Friday we would like to invite all children to come to school dressed in red and bring a £1 contribution towards comic relief. From Monday, Mrs Cox will be selling red noses from the IT suite at break time at a cost of £1.25 (please ensure children have correct money where possible). This year the noses come in their own special box and there are numerous designs to collect.
E-Safety and Social Media Workshop
Thank you to the parents/carers who attended Mondays Internet Safety Workshop. The session explored the increasing dangers our children face while using the internet on social media, gaming etc. Parents/carers were provided parents/carers with advice about parental controls for their child’s devices and how to be ‘share aware’ and having regular conversations about what you child is doing online. The children attending our cinema creche also had great fun watching the wonderful cartoon ‘Peter Rabbit’ and eating popcorn.
We have shared the advice we received on our school website to support our school community on how to keep children safe. Click here to see the advice.
Road Safety Reminder
We have been asked to remind parents/carers to ensure that their children know how to stop at a zebra crossing and not to cross either until the lollipop person gives them instruction to do so or if a lollipop person is not available until vehicles on both sides of the road have stopped. For younger children, please ensure that a responsible adult brings them into the school grounds. This is following an incident that has recently occurred at a school crossing where a driver failed to stop at the zebra crossing and a child was knocked over.
Gateshead Dance Festival
This week, an email was sent to parents/carers of those children who are performing at the Dance Festival at the Sage, Gateshead on Wednesday 3 April 2019. The email included information on how to purchase tickets for the performance, transport details and how to give your consent for photographs and video footage to be taken. Initial allocation of two tickets per per child must be purchased online by Wednesday 13 March.
A huge well done to our trainee teachers who have just finished their placement with us today in Year 1. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to our children at Dunston Hill. We wish you well with the remainder of your training.
More about World Book Day
Wow! What a totally incredible day we have had in school for World Book Day! This year, our theme for World Book Day was ‘Share a Story’ and this was brought to life through a range of exciting workshops around the school. Children had the opportunity to visit different teachers and teaching assistants across the school, sharing in a story or text that they love. These ranged from picture books and novels right through to poems and non-fiction books. There was definitely a buzz around school, with the children loving the opportunity to be creative! We’ve seen shaving foam planets, playdough, chocolate tasting and many more… the children loved getting messy! We hope you loved seeing the crafts they brought home!
This Week`s Class News Comes from Year 3…
Year 3 visit to Saltwell Park & Shipley Art Gallery
We had a lovely time on Thursday when we went adventuring in Saltwell Park on a sculpture trail. We found ten sculptures ALL completely different. We sketched some, recorded the materials used by the artists to make them and decided which ones we liked. The children behaved well around other members of the public and were keen to find more sculptures in our everyday life.
“I like this one because it’s a sculpture you can use as a place to meet people and talk to them so it’s a sculpture and a seat!” Olivia, talking about the sculpture near Saltwell Towers
In the other half of the day, we visited Shipley Art Gallery to get some inspiration from works of art by other artists. We found that if a piece of art is labelled as porcelain, stoneware or earthenware, this means it was made from clay so we made our own clay pots with Kerry from the Art Gallery. We used two techniques; a pinch pot and a coil pot. We are really looking forward to painting them when they’re dry!
Last Friday our girls football team smashed it at Swalwell football club. Both teams were outstanding and are all waiting with anticipation for the next round in the tournament.
Our Year 5 &6 hockey team on Thursday took part in a tournament at Whickham school against very tough competition. Our children showed determination and skill but sadly did not make it through the Gateshead finals. Well done everyone!
Our Headteacher Awards were presented today to the following children who have all impressed their respective class teacher:
RCH Alexis Ingham
RCY Rafailia Biniakou
1B Oliver Storey
1C Katie Fleming
2B Lola May Rutter
2C Olivia Foster
3B Gabriel Topham
3M Indie O’Hara
4B Tobi Dunningham
4C Zak Tulip
5J Charlie Breen
5O Lauren Bainbridge
6P Rebecca Carr
6R Ben Corner