Dunston News – 15.02.24

Feb 15, 2024Climate Crew, Dunston News, Latest News

We can all make a difference…

“I`m so small,” said the mole, “yes,” said the boy “but you make a huge difference.”

Charlie Mackesy

Message From Mrs Anglesea

We’re almost halfway through the school year, and what a busy time it’s been. We started the new year by watching ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Link below if you haven’t seen it. We talked about kindness and the difference we could all make to our community. Staff and children chose a word rather than a resolution that would be their word for the year. Ask your child what they chose and how it’s going. My word is ‘Brave’. The children can tell you all the ways we can be brave!

BBC iPlayer – The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

This week, having parents in school for consultations has been lovely. We hope you’ve enjoyed looking through your child’s work and chatting with their teacher about progress and attainment. Working together at home and school is the best way to support your child’s progress.

Since our last newsletter, there have been many school highlights…

We said a special goodbye to Rev Atkinson as he’s moved on to new pastures. Our community and our school will miss him. The children and staff wish him the best of Luck.

We started working with the School Business Manager from Kingsmeadow, who is supporting us following Miss Briggs’s leaving at Christmas. We are very grateful to Kingsmeadow and Miss Bulman for their support. If you haven’t met her yet, you will see her on the gate on Market Lane on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Please pop along and say hello.

We continue to encourage safe parking around our school site and ask that parents do not drive on site. Closing the gates in the morning works well and the site feels safer for all children and families.

Dunston Hill continues to excel at sporting events (information below) but we must mention…

The National League Trust


Last week, our boys played well against some tough competition. They won 2 games and lost 2, and as a result, they finished 3rd overall. Around 120 schools were part of this league, and to finish in 3rd place is AMAZING!  Well done, boys – we are super proud!


Wow! Our girls’ team are exceptional. They are through to the next round at Chesterfield in March!  They won all four games, finishing at the top of the table. They then went into the final, finishing in 2nd place. The final score was 5-5 so it was down to penalties. They finished as runners-up and will now get ready for the next round. We are incredibly proud!

Children’s Mental Health Week

We loved celebrating the theme of ‘Your Voice Matters’ as part of Children’s Mental Health Week this year! In Reception, the children used guided meditation to help them regulate their emotions, which helped them to be mindful and to calm their bodies and minds. Up in Year 4, the children discussed how they all have the right to have their views, thoughts and feelings listened to and considered how grateful we are when someone has listenes to us and acts upon it. In Year 6, the children were lucky enough to have a session with Mrs O’Hara, who is a qualified yoga instructor, they completed some meditation and yoga routines – allowing them to take time for themselves.


Things to get excited about….

World Book Day Thursday 7 March 7 2024 

No dressing up is required! Information on the next page.

Aspirations Week

We are so excited to launch Aspirations Week next half term! We aim to provide our children with the chance to explore various professions, reflect on their strengths, and inspire them to set ambitious goals. Our staff are busy planning and working with volunteers who have kindly given up their time to come in and speak with our children. A big thank you to the parents and carers who have already signed up to do so! Look out for our Facebook posts the week commencing 18 March to see which job roles your children have learned about.

British Science Week

British Science Week 2024 is just around the corner, 8-17 March. We will be celebrating this in school the week commencing 11 March. The theme this year is ‘Time’ and children will be carrying out a variety of activities linked to this theme. They will also be learning about a range of different jobs linked to science, technology, engineering and maths. Look out for our Facebook posts.


Red Nose Day is back on Friday 15 March 2024!

It’s that time of year when we can be incredible joke-makers, t-shirt wearers, Red nose buyers and laugh till we cry. So this year we are doing something funny for money. Children can come to school with a funny, funky hairstyle and non-uniform for a donation of £1.

Your donations make a very real difference to people in the UK and around the world, whether you donate through Red Nose Day, Sport Relief or Comic Relief at any other time of year. To find out more, see Red Nose Day | Comic Relief


Dunston Hill Easter Egg Competition is back!!!

This year we are eggtastic about our Easter Egg competition all about our aspirations and who inspires us.

We are encouraging all children, including parents and carers, to create an eggcellent Easter Egg around the theme aspirations.

Why not enter our Competition for £1 and create an eggciting egg? This could show your dream job or what you want to achieve in the future.

Our Easter Egg competition will be held in the ICT suit on Wednesday 27 March.

Alongside our Eggciting Easter Egg competition, we will be holding an Easter Egg tombola after school on Wednesday 27 March, outside the ICT Suite. All donations would be greatly appreciated.

Whole School Information


Friday Surprise – Come to school on Friday  16 February

The final Friday of every half-term will always involve a surprise for our children. This Friday 16 February, be in school! It’s so important they are in school every day, and the final Friday of every half term is no exception. We ask parents not to take their children on holiday during term time. Instead, ensure they are in school learning and enjoying the experiences we have planned to make our final Fridays memorable and exciting for all. 

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

Reminder, we return to school on Monday 26 February 2024.


World Book Day Thursday 7 March 2024 – No dressing up required! 

Wow! What an amazing creative morning we have planned for this year’s World Book Day! The children will take part in two workshops with old and new friends across the school which they have signed up for. This will give them the opportunity to listen to a new story and then create something linked to the text. Last year we had potato people, herb gardens, and even inflatable rabbits! Our Reception and Nursery Children will complete a similar creative morning in their Early Years setting.

We love being creative and reading at Dunston Hill!

Your child will bring home their £1 World Book Day voucher on Thursday 7 March.  This voucher allows them £1 off any children’s book at participating stores or can be used to purchase one of the special World Book Day books ( shops which are participating are: Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco, The Works, WH Smiths and Waterstones.)

Please watch the clip to see which books are up for grabs for £1 this year!

World Book Day 2024: Official £1/€1.50 books and campaign reveal! (

Family Learning

A big thank you to all the families who took part in this term’s Family Learning ‘Chatter Boxes’. The children all had a fantastic time.

Healthy Lifestyles

Next term, we invite all our families across the school to join our Health Lives course. This will look at promoting healthy lifestyles. You will learn about food groups and the importance of eating a balanced diet. While also planning and creating some healthy snacks with your children. Every Friday for 4 weeks starting on Friday 1 March 2024 – 9.00am to 10.30am.


Easter Crafts

Why not explore our Easter craft activities with your child/ children at school next half term? We’ve got everything you need to have a creative, egg-citing Easter craft day with your child/children! So please sign up and join us on Monday 11 March. 9.00 am till 10.15 am for Early Years and Key Stage 1.

Both these Family Learning courses will be available soon to book through our Schoolgateway app.

Extra-Curricular Activities

After half-term, we will be offering the following after-school clubs:

Mondays – Year 4 & 5 Karate Club

Mondays – Year 3 & 4 Musical Theatre Club

Mondays – Year 6 Maths Booster

Tuesdays – Year 6 SPaG Booster

Tuesdays – KS2 Boys Street Dance

Tuesdays – Year 6 Boys Football Training

Thursday – Year 6 Reading Booster

Thursday – Year 4, 5 & 6 Chess Club

Fridays – Year 5 & 6 Dance Club

Swimming days

Year 5 children will continue to swim on Monday afternoons starting Monday 26 February 2024.


PE days

Children should come to school dressed in PE kit; school hoodie, t-shirt, navy or black tracksuit joggers, and trainers for the full day.

Year 1 – Wednesday and Friday

Year 2 – Monday and Tuesday

Year 3 – Tuesday and Thursday

Year 4 – Monday and Thursday

Year 5 – Wednesday

Year 6 – Tuesday and Thursday


Forest School

Year 5 will have Forest School on alternate Mondays starting with class 5CA.

Monday 26 February – class 5CA

Monday 4 March – class 5CO

Monday 11 March – class 5CA

Monday 18 March – class 5CO

Monday 25 March – class 5CA


Reception children will continue to have Forest School on Tuesdays. 

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 bag.


School app – Schoolgateway

Are you missing messages from school?

Parents/carers who have ever signed up to the app will only receive messages through the app, if you have not signed up, messages will be sent via text message.  Please ensure you have your notification settings enabled on your device for Schoolgateway so that you see messages as they are being received.  Note – messages to the app are free of charge for parents and school.

If you have any questions regarding the school app or email communications, please contact the School Office.


School Lunches

The menu for week commencing Monday 26 February 2024 is Week 2.

School lunch cost £2.60 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.


Class News

Early Years

This term, Early Years have continued to work hard both indoors and outdoors – hail, rain or shine.  We have enjoyed all weathers, and some days it feels like all seasons too.  Reception have been a part of an Early Years Ball Skills event at Kingsmeadow which we enjoyed very much.  We have visited the library along with Year 6 and borrowed books which we brought back to school and shared with our Reading Buddies.  Mrs O’Hara has given us some wonderful Forest School experiences; the highlight of which so far has been cooking our own pancakes over the fire on Pancake Day.
Nursery have had lots of fun with Mrs Osborne and the team too – learning through play, welcoming our January starters and even beginning some early phonics too.  We have seen lots of beautiful letters and pictures in Nursery.
We are excited to begin a partnership with the National Literacy Trust through the Gateshead Family Hubs.  The Early Words Together program is beginning at Dunston Hill next half-term which is very exciting.

Key Stage One

Key Stage 1 have had a fantastic start to the year and what an action packed six weeks we have had! A highlight for Year 2 would be our Design and Technology unit, based around making our own pizzas. After researching different types and looking at what would make a healthier pizza, we then tasted different breads and toppings, before designing our own pizzas. We then used our designs to create our own and we can confirm they tasted amazing!                                                                                                                                                                             
Year 1 have really enjoyed their Geography fieldwork unit. We have looked at the features of Dunston and completed a walk around the local area, discussing what we can see along the way. We then used our new knowledge to create a small map of our local area. Our Year 1 children have also been learning about recycling from our visitor, Laura, from ‘Groundwork’. We recycled old fruit to make bird feeders.     

Times Table Rockstars

Last week, children in Years 2-6 took part in the Number Rocks Times Table Rock Stars competition. Although we didn’t top the leader board in England, we did have some fantastic scores! Ensuring your child is accessing TTR’s for at least 30 minutes across the week will really support with the speed and accuracy in which they can answer multiplication questions. Knowing facts to 12 x 12 helps to build a solid foundation for lots of other areas of maths. Ask your child to share their ‘Heat Map’ with you. This shows which facts your child is super speedy at recalling and those which you could work on together to help them gain accuracy and speed.

Our Year 4 children really enjoyed welcoming their grown ups into school to share their work on times tables and how they are preparing for the Multiplication Check which will take place later in the year. A big thank you to those who were able to attend – we hope you found the session fun and informative.

Chinese New Year

This year, we began our Chinese New Year celebrations with a Chinese themed lunch, where children enjoyed tasting some of the popular dishes. Within classes, children explored the celebration further and were eager to watch videos and learn new facts about the meaning of Chinese New Year. Some children even shared their experiences of seeing the parade in Newcastle. As it is the year of the dragon, many classes focused on this and enjoyed using their creative skills to make dragon puppets and pictures as well as other Chinese crafts and decorations.                                                                          

Happy Safer Internet Day 2024

Last week, we celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID) – the annual flagship campaign to raise awareness of the importance of staying safe online. With a theme of “Together for a better internet”, it called upon all stakeholders to join forces to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people. Special assemblies have taken place in school to remind our children about this; our computing lessons have been focusing on keeping safe and sharing concerns with our trusted adults.

Climate Crew

Our Climate Crew are working behind the scenes to introduce our new battery recycling containers in class. The children are using recycled materials to create bespoke containers so that each class has their very own battery recycling station, which will feed into a whole-school recycling station for everyone to use. Once everything is ready,  we will be creating a video packed full of interesting facts which will be sure to make you think twice about throwing old batteries away! We can’t wait to share.

Sports News

Year 5/6 Netball: over the last few weeks, some of our Year 5 and 6 children have been practising their netball skills after school.  They then put their skills to the test and played in a netball tournament.  They team played really well and finished in 2nd place, securing silver medals and a place in the finals.  This week, the finals took place and yet again the children played really well, showing excellent sportsmanship during every match.  Mrs Cox and Mrs Harm are extremely proud of the children.

Nurture and SEND

We are very excited as Gateshead have launched a new SEND document called the SEND Thresholds – it is statutory for all schools within Gateshead to be using these Thresholds starting from September 2024 to help young children with SEND thrive. You can find the draft version on the Gateshead Local Offer page – SEND Thresholds – Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 years ( Miss Tuart will be arranging a meeting with parents/carers very soon to share the Thresholds and what this will look like in practice within our school.

Don’t forget, you can contact Miss Tuart using and Mrs Cox using