Dunston News – 11.07.24

Jul 11, 2024Dunston News

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Dr Seuss

Message From Mr Sutherland


The end of the summer term is nearly upon us with only one more week at school before we complete another academic year at Dunston Hill Community Primary School.

From a personal perspective, it has not been quite the year that I had planned and I had no idea that when I welcomed everyone back at the start of the year, I would shortly be heading off to support another school as Headteacher for 6 months.  Looking back, I do believe it was the right decision as it enabled me to support a Gateshead school in the secure knowledge that the leadership and staff at Dunston Hill would continue to provide teaching, learning and pastoral care for our children to the highest standards.  However, I have loved being back for the whole of this term and seeing our confident, independent children flourish as they move towards the next stage in their adventures.

As I write, children are moving to their new classes for Transition Day and a chance to spend a day with their new teacher in their new classroom.  I always loved this time of year as a teacher; I used to feel very proud of sending my children up to their next year group and excited to meet my new children who I would get to know over the coming year.  The whole transition process has evolved significantly since those days and we really ensure that all children, and staff, are fully prepared to make a fast start in September and to alleviate those anxieties about change that we all have.  Please rest assured that every teacher has completed a full handover so that your child’s new teacher has a really sound knowledge-base from which to start.  Transition will look different for everyone and it is a strength of our provision that we now offer some of the most inclusive and individual provision we have ever done.

It would be impossible to list everything we have done in school this year, but I do know that we have tried our very best to give your children a variety of experiences and opportunities, as well as a broad and rich curriculum of academic subjects.  They have seized these opportunities with relish and it is one of the joys of our lives as teachers when we see a child connecting with an idea or concept, loving a lesson or making huge progress in an aspect of a subject they thought they couldn’t do!  We will shortly be publishing the latest statutory data on our website and I can tell you that I am immensely proud of children and staff for these outcomes and I know you will be too.

Tomorrow we will be sending home your child’s end of year reports and, having read each and every one personally, I know you will be absolutely delighted with them.  I would be very grateful if you could take 5 minutes to complete the online form to indicate that you have received your child’s report and let us know if you are happy or if you have any questions.

I would also like to wish our Year 6 children every success and happiness as they go on to secondary education.  They are ready to leave us, as sad as we are to see them go, and I know they will go from strength to strength.  Thank you Year 6 and good luck!

Finally, as I have already acknowledged, it is almost time to say goodbye to Mrs Anglesea.  Once again, I would like to thank her for everything she has done for our school – its children, families and community over the past 22 years and for supporting me personally over the last 6 years.  She will be a huge miss here but our loss Larkspur Primary School’s gain.  She will be a wonderful Headteacher there and of course she has an open invitation to come back and see us at any time.  Thank you Mrs Anglesea – you will be forever in our hearts!

Have a wonderful, safe summer break!


 Whole School Information


Goodbye and Thank you from Mrs Anglesea

I can`t believe that after 22 years, the time has finally come to say goodbye to a community I love very much.

The decision to leave Dunston Hill was not made lightly as our school has been more than a workplace to me. It has been a home filled with cherished memories, supportive colleagues, and, most importantly, amazing children.

As I prepare to step into my new role, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you. The children of Dunston Hill who have been at the heart of all I’ve done,  the dedicated staff members and the community as a whole, who have always shown me unwavering support and encouragement, making Dunston Hill a truly special place.

While I am excited for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as Headteacher of Larkspur Primary School, it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Dunston Hill.

This school will always hold a special place in my heart.

Mrs Anglesea x


Year 6 Leavers’ Celebrations

We invite all our Year 6 children’s families to join us in celebrating on Wednesday 17 July at 5pm where the children will share memories and songs to mark the occasion! We will then move onto the yard to meet staff from their past years and indulge in some treats!

Diversity Week

We had the best time celebrating Diversity Week again at Dunston Hill this half term. Miss Ornsby began the week by reading a special book in assembly called ‘All The Ways To Be Smart’. We talked about how smart is not just ticks and crosses, but caring and sharing too, before thinking about what makes us smart. The children then got to read their own special book with their class which reminded them that being unique is something special and is to be celebrated. We ended our week with ‘Rainbow Friday’ where children enjoyed celebrating that they are all different and all beautiful.


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 by the end of next week. 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 2024.

Over the Summer, you may find some of the activities suggested by Kalmer Counselling to be of support to your child:


Family Learning

Outdoor Explorers was a great hit this term with our families.  Every week, our families created a craft using recycled or natural resources, and these were all linked to stories.  Scarlett from 3O  said, “I had the best time making my birdhouse, and it’s now hanging in my garden”.

In September, our Family Learning Workshop will be aimed at Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, with the theme being ‘Story Sacks ’. More details to follow in September.

Toddlers will continue from Wednesday 11 September: every Wednesday 8.50am-9.45am. We would love to see you there.

Family Forest

This week, we had our final Family Forest session. We had a fabulous time visiting Whickham Thorn Centre, where we enjoyed a woodland walk, played hide-and-seek, and had a picnic. If you haven’t already attended with your child, don’t forget to sign up in September.

Love Dunston – Summer Fayre

All our staff had a fabulous time at Dunston park earlier this term at the Love Dunston Summer Fayre, where we made nearly £600. We want to thank everyone who donated and made this possible.


School attendance is essential. If your child has attendance less than 90%, they are classed as persistent absentees and their attendance in school is monitored and targets set. You will receive a letter if your child is persistently absent or late for school advising you of steps that will be put in place for September if improvements are not made.  School attendance is so important, and Mrs Cox, our Family Support Worker, is always ready and willing to help any families that need additional support. If you have concerns re: attendance, please get in touch with her.

A REMINDER holidays taken during term time are not permitted and will be unauthorised.

School Lunch

The menu for the week commencing Tuesday 3 September 2024 is Week 1.  School lunch cost £2.80 per day payable in advance using the school app Schoolgateway.

As part of our Healthy Schools programme, we ask that children 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, chocolate spread or peanut butter sandwiches.  This is especially important to remember for children bringing in packed lunches or snacks.

UNIVERSAL INFANT FREE SCHOOL MEALS (UIFSM) are applicable for all children in reception and years 1 and 2 (KS1).  However for pupils currently in year 2, in order for the free school meal to continue when they commence year 3 in September 2024, parents will need to apply to the means-tested scheme and can do so via Gateshead Council’s website at Free school meals – Gateshead Council , by telephoning 0191 4333729 or by completing the free school meals application form.

Forest School from September

Children should come to school dressed in clothing suitable to the weather, a warm coat, gloves and a hat when cold.  On their bottom half, they should wear black trousers you are happy for them to get dirty in, a school hoodie and a white T-shirt. They should bring their wellies to leave in a plastic carrier bag.

Tuesday – Year 1

Other classes will be confirmed in September.


PE from September

Children should come to school dressed in their PE kit; school hoodie, white t-shirt, navy or black shorts/tracksuit joggers and trainers for the full day. Information on PE days will be shared in September.

Tuesday: Year 3 and Year 6

Wednesday: Year 2 and Year 4

Other classes will be confirmed in September.


Year 5 children will swim every Monday from Monday 9 September 2024.


Extra-Curricular Activities

Monday – Year 4, 5 & 6 Karate Club

Tuesday – Year 5 & 6 Art Club

Tuesday – Year 5 & 6 Boys Football Training

Wednesday – KS1 Multi-Sports

Information regarding after-school clubs will be emailed to parents/carers in September.


Recycling Batteries

We no longer have facilities in school to collect old batteries.

Lower Key Stage 2 News

Year 3 have had a jam packed Summer term! Looking back and reflecting on the year demonstrates just how much the children have matured and grown ready to fly the nest to Year Four. Over the term, the children have mentioned many highlights such as their visit to Broom House Farm. They loved zipping through the trees on the ziplines and finding out about the working farm and how some of our food grows. They were able to find out about seasonal fruits and vegetables which brought to life our Design and Technology unit, which was another highlight for many. Although the weather wasn’t on our side for Sports Day, we had a fabulous sporting afternoon with the children this week when they were able to take part in their own class mini Sports Day. Year Three would like to wish you a summer filled with fun and sunshine.

Upper Key Stage Two News

Year 5 are ready for September!

This half term have seen Year 5 start on their transition to Year 6. They have loved working with their teachers which they will have from September and ensuring that the are ready to be the “top of our school” and the role models we know they can be! During this time they have written some brilliant dilemma narratives, where Miss Parkin and Miss Reay have been impressed by their writers’ knowledge. They have also developed angle skills and completed some great inference work on Jaqueline Wilson’s ‘Opal Plumstead’. We are really looking forward to September!


Year 6 – So long … farewell!

How is it July already! We would like to take this opportunity to wish our Year 6 children a fond farewell as they leave us for pastures new in their respective secondary schools. Miss Parkin, Miss Reay and Mrs Ion have loved teaching our Year 6 children who are hardworking, fun-loving, caring and the embodiment of our school values! From fantastic SATs results, amazing residentials, brilliant progress in lessons to  laughs and giggles aplenty  we have had the best year! Good Luck Dunston Hill Class of 2024.

Year 6 Residential to Ford Castle

Our Year 6 children had a fantastic time at Ford Castle for their outdoor and adventurous residential earlier this half term. The children epitomised our school values of ready, respect and kind as they built rafts, traversed vertical challenges, learnt archery, and abseiled down 40 foot bridges! We are looking forward to taking our current year 5 children in September. ( photo attached)


Ready steady write!

What a brilliant first year we have had with our new whole school writing programme! The children have loved being immersed in new, exciting texts; exploring the features of writing and producing some incredible independent pieces! We are ready steady and raring to write again next year!


TTRS- Times Table Rock Stars

A BIG well done to all of our Times Table Rock Stars this year who have played consistently throughout the year and developed their times table knowledge. Many children have competed in tournaments with their peers and it has been lovely to see a range of children from different year groups topping the leader boards! Access to Times Table Rockstars will remain available over the Summer break so please encourage your child to login and have fun.


Climate Crew

We are so proud of how hard our fantastic Climate Crew have worked this year towards our sustainability goals. The children have raised the profile of Climate Change and environmental issues throughout the year and we are delighted to announce that we have now achieved Eco School Status. Our application process was lengthy and we had to provide lots of evidence to show that we had fulfilled our commitment to sustainability across many areas. Feedback from the Eco Schools assessment team was so positive that we have been awarded the Eco School’s  Green Flag, with distinction! We cannot wait to continue next year with our action plan towards making our planet a better place.

Sports News

Year 3 / 4 Quadkids

Earlier this half-term, some children from Year 3 and Year 4 were selected to participate in the Quadkids event, over at Kingsmeadow.  This event was made up of running, jumping and throwing and our children tried their best in all three areas.  They had a fantastic morning and finished with an impressive 1,299 points!

Year 6 Boy’s football

Recently, some of our Year 6 boys attended a sporting event at Gateshead College. To begin with, they competed in a football tournament. The first game they won 6-0, the second game they won 5-0 and the third game they won 3-0 – qualifying them for the semi-finals. Playing in the semi-finals, they won 5-0, taking them into the finals. Playing well, they were winning 2-1 with 2 minutes to go, when the opposition scored twice and won the final 3-2. Our boys played brilliantly and not only came ‘runners-up’ in the tournament, they won a trophy for the best sporting attitude as they also completed an orienteering challenge and various team building challenges as well.  Well done, boys. We couldn’t be prouder of you!

Year 5/6 Countdown Cricket

Miss Parkin and Alison had a lovely day at Whickham Cricket Club with some of our Year 6 children.  Although the team were not successful beyond the group stages, they still enjoyed a sunny day of wickets, catches and runs!

Year 5/6 Mini -Tennis

A few weeks ago, 8 of our Year 6 children attended a tennis competition against four other Gateshead schools. All of our children behaved impeccably and played brilliantly, which resulted in Dunston Hill being joint winners and coming away with a gold medal each. Well done team DH!

KS1 OAA Festival

Some of our children from Year 1 and Year 2 attended the KS1 Orienteering festival and had an amazing day! As well as orienteering around Gibside’s grounds, they took part in many other activities, including: tree rubbing, forest art, making mud pies and the blindfold challenge. What a great day!

Change 4 Life Festival

Some of our KS2 children were involved in the ‘Change for Life’ festival and in their words, they had the BEST Friday morning ever! They started with a yoga session, learning a sequence of poses then they went outside for some problem solving activities and archery!  Thanks so much to Emma and Andy who delivered these activities.  Keep an eye out for Change For Life clubs next year!

Athletics Festival

What a fantastic day at Gateshead SSP Athletics festival! Our children were amazing and certainly did us proud! Despite the rain, they kept a smile on their face and powered on.  The children each competed in a number of events, many of them progressed through to the semi-finals.  Two of our children, won the semi-finals, making it into the finals, where they both walked away with medals!  Well done to all those involved!