Dunston News – 15.12.23

Dec 14, 2023Dunston News, Latest News


“Stop to recognise a moment of goodness.”

Gabrielle Treanor

,Message From Mrs Anglesea

The festive fun is in full swing at Dunston Hill. We’ve got a naughty elf causing all sorts of mischief, nativities and sparkle it’s all going on! The school feels like a happy place to be and staff and children are enjoying making lots of wonderful Christmas memories.

As Headteacher, I feel immense gratitude to do a job I love, especially at this time of year. We’ve been talking with the children and staff about what gratitude means to us. Simply expressing thanks or feeling grateful for what you have. It’s stopping for a moment to recognise the goodness in that moment, in others, in the world. Whether its simply someone holding a door open for you, a winter walk in the snow, a hot chocolate on a cold day. The key point is to stop and recognise it as a moment of goodness and be thankful for it.

I am thankful for our children and their positivity, energy and enthusiasm every day. The staff who go over and above for our children and the community who support our school. Thank you!

This week, every child has been out to our Winter Wonderland, where Mrs Cox and Mrs O’Hara have worked tirelessly to create a magical experience. We are grateful to Santa too, who took time out of his hectic football-related schedule to come and visit our children and add that extra magic. 

Last Friday, we held our annual Christmas market, it was a huge success. Our visiting Donkey Bailey proved to be a huge hit, as well as Santa and the candy floss stall. Thank you to all those who attended. We raised over £1900 for our school fund, which will be spent on enhancing resources for our children.

For those who joined us for our nativities, I am sure you are grateful to the children and staff for putting on such gorgeous shows. It takes great bravery to stand on stage, sing and dance, and the children did themselves proud.

Earlier in the term, we celebrated  SPOTacular Children in Need . A big well done to everyone at Dunston Hill. We raised a fantastic £292.50 for a great cause. All the children and staff looked incredible in their spots and Pudsey clothing. 

We also ‘MADE A NOISE’ during Anti-Bullying Week! Our School Council launched the week with a special assembly where they discussed what to do when we see bullying and who our trusted adults are before looking at the difference between ‘banter’ and ‘bullying’. Each class spent time in class reminding themselves about the importance of speaking up and speaking out and breaking that silence. 

One of the highlights this half term was the Remembrance Day service we attended at St. Nicholas Church, followed by the joining of the whole community at the monument. The bagpiper led the way with our children and Colonel Philip Nunn, who joined our school group. Colonel Nunn joined the army at age fifteen from Dudley, Newcastle as a drummer boy and left age 55 as Lieutenant Colonel Philip Nunn MBE. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet him and I am grateful to him for coming along and being part of our school for the service.

 The term isn’t over yet! We still have a week to go. Please join us on Wednesday 20 December  for our Grand Raffle coffee morning, where children from across the school will come down and sing Christmas songs and songs from their nativities. There will also be hot drinks, mince pies, games and prizes. It’s set to be a festive and fun morning. We hope you can all join us.

I would like to end by wishing all our families a wonderful Christmas and thank you for your support throughout my first term as Headteacher. Merry Christmas!


Whole School Information

Staffing Update

This term, we have welcomed Miss Strike to our Year 4 team as Mrs Burn has started her maternity leave. Miss Strike already feels like part of the team and we are delighted to have her on board. We look forward to hearing of the safe arrival of baby Burn.

Sadly, we are saying goodbye to Miss Briggs, our School Business Manager.  Miss Briggs has worked in our school for over 12 years and will be a huge miss. We wish her well as she moves on to a new adventure. Miss Catherine Bulman, School Business Manager at Kingsmeadow, will support Dunston Hill until we appoint a new one next year.


Friday Surprise- Come to school on Friday 22 December

The final Friday of every half-term will always involve a surprise for our children. Next Friday 22 December, 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 8 January 2024.

Family Learning

Next half-term, Friday 12 January until Friday 16 February 2024, Family Learning are offering a ‘Chatterboxes’ course in school. You will make resources to help your child tell stories and use their communication skills, giving them an excellent basis for their learning in school.

Sign up soon using the Schoolgateway app.

Parent/Carer workshops

On Tuesday 16 January 2024 (9.00am until 10.00am), Clennell Education are delivering an Online Safety workshop in school. In the workshop, you will develop a greater understanding of keeping your child safe online. 

On Tuesday 23 January 2024 (9.00am until 11.00am), Clennell Education are delivering a Managing Behaviour workshop in school. In the workshop, you will have the opportunity to look at strategies and advice for improving your child’s behaviour at home. 

Places will be available soon to book using Schoolgateway app. There will be a free bacon sandwich and refreshments. 

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

Tuesdays – Year 6 Football Training for boys

Thursdays – Year 5 Traditional Board Games Club

Information on how to book these clubs will be emailed to parents on Monday 18 December.


Swimming days

Year 5 children will continue to swim on Monday afternoons starting Monday 8 January 2024.

Year 4 children will recommence swimming lessons in Year 5.


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

Reception children will have Forest School on Wednesdays.  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.

Reception School Admissions for September 2024

The closing date to apply for Reception class places for September 2024 is Monday 15 January 2024.  Click here to apply  Primary school admissions September 2024 – Gateshead Council

School Lunches

The menu for week commencing Monday 8 January 2024 is Week 2.

School lunch cost £2.60 per day payable in advance using the school app Schoolgateway.

There is a change to the 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

Lower Key Stage Two

Year 3 have had an action packed half-term. They have continued to learn about rivers, exploring the River Tyne from Source to Mouth and developing map skills to read 4-figure grid references.
In Design and Technology, the children have started their exploration of all things castles. They know the features of a castle and have created excellent designs to make when we return after the Christmas break. Be sure to save your carboard boxes and wrapping paper tubes as they will come in useful for our table top castles!
In Maths, the children have really enjoyed competing against themselves and one another on Times Table Rock Stars and it is great to see some super speedy rock statuses appearing along with green heat maps. Please ask your children to share these details with you when they login. This app can be used throughout the Christmas break.
In English, our children have blown us away with their fantastic stories linked to our class story, Fox. We’ve used similes, alliteration and WOW vocabulary. We can’t wait to reveal our new text next half-term and begin one of our favourite topics: Ancient Egypt.
Year 4 have thoroughly enjoyed settling into this half-term and our new English text, Leaf, thinking about how it would feel to be an outsider somewhere and what we would do. This culminated in us becoming experts on polar bears – writing information reports about them. Who knew that polar bears’ fur isn’t actually white?
All of the children have been working exceptionally hard on learning their times tables and we will be setting some tournaments over the Christmas holidays in case you need a break from all the chocolate and presents – see if you can score some points for your team!
We have begun thinking about timelines and where the Roman invasion of Britain fits in between times we have already studied. See if you can find out some information about the Romans over the Christmas holidays – dazzle us with your facts when we come back in the new year!

Upper Key Stage Two

Year 5 have had an action-packed half-term in which we have developed our understanding of space and celestial bodies in Science, as well as begun to learn about forces that act on us every day.
In English, our children’s writing confidence is continuing to grow; we have succeeded in using personification to describe and formal, emotive language to elicit an emotional response from the readers of our letters.
Year 5 have been especially creative during this festive season and particularly enjoyed challenging themselves to create 3D cards for our friends and family. We are very excited to revisit our structural design skills later in the year in our Design Technology lessons!  
Year 6 have had another busy half-term where the children have explored the Victorians and celebrated this with family and friends at our Victorian Christmas afternoon. In addition, they have developed their understanding of refugees and written some very empathetic and emotive pieces in their writing lessons about Rami and his fellow passengers as part of our Literacy Counts – Ready, Steady, Write programme.
Finally,  I know a highlight for our children has been completing their soft toy bears in DT and exploring the world of electricity in our Science lessons. We await what excitement our Spring Term will bring…

Climate Crew

The Climate Crew are very excited to be launching their own page on the school website, where you can keep up to date with the latest news, activities and of course, advice! We have our new logo which will be used on all of our communications. Keep a look out on our Facebook page for a video coming your way soon!


Sports News

Football: We won the cup! Earlier in the half-term, our Year 5/6 boy’s football team entered The National League Trust Cup, held at Gateshead Power League. We won the first match with an impressive 5-1; in the next game, we won 3-0 and then we won 4-0, putting us in for the quarter finals. Our boys kept the winning streak and made it into the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, we won with a score of 3-1, which meant we made it through to the final game. The final game came and the boys played amazingly, yet again, ending with a result of 3-1. This means both our girls and boys are The National League Trust Champions! Roll on the regional finals in January 2024!

Friendly matches: Recently, some of our Year 5 and Year 6 girls played a friendly over at Kingsmeadow.  In the first match, the girls played Year 5 vs Year 6, then the teams were mixed up and the children got the chance to play in different positions.  This was a great chance for the girls to use what they’ve learned during their training sessions. We will continue to run friendly football matches on a Thursday evening, and we are hoping to invite other schools to join us.

Our boys have also had the opportunity to play some friendly matches. In their most recent match, they played Year 5 vs Year 6, and after a close first half, the Year 6 team managed to creep ahead in the second half. 

High 5 netball: Lately, some of our children from Year 5 attended a netball event with Miss Cameron. The children played a number of games throughout the morning, demonstrating their netball skills and most importantly, excellent teamwork. The children managed to finish in 1st and 2nd place and we are extremely proud of them!

Athletics finals: After their success in the qualifiers, our Year 5/6 athletes made it to the Gateshead finals. Yet again, they made us proud and they tried their best in every event.  Out of the 40 schools involved, we finished in 5th place and we are super proud of them!

Year 1 Gym Skills: Recently, some of our children from Year 1 attended an event at Kingsmeadow. The children enjoyed working their way through the many circuits and they described it as ‘the best morning ever’. Miss Brent and Mrs Guyan were super impressed with the children – they were excellent role models for our school!


Nurture and SEND

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be full of busy and can be overwhelming for children and adults. Make this holiday season fun with some mindfulness activities – a very useful website with some lovely ideas such as peppermint hot chocolate, snowflake glitter jar and much more: 24 Days Of Holiday Mindfulness Activities For Kids » Making Mindfulness Fun

Don’t forget to look at our website to find useful links to in-school and external support. Miss Tuart (SENDCo/Inclusion Manager) and Mrs Cox (Family Support Worker) can be contacted via our school office or using the following email addresses: and