Dunston News – 17/02/2023

Feb 17, 2023Dunston News

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”


Message From Mr Sutherland

The awful events in Turkey and Syria recently serve to put so many things in perspective don’t they and my occasional grumbles about life in general just pale into insignificance when compared to what has happened to so many people.  I know that all our thoughts are with the families so tragically affected by the earthquake and with the relief agencies currently working so hard out there to help them.  I am so grateful for our community coming together last week to bring in much needed supplies and resources for the families and we were really happy to be able to act as a hub for the collection of those items.  My understanding is that they are already on their way to where they are most needed and I would like to thank the Dunston Hill community for their kindness.  The world feels just a little bit kinder as a result.

It has been lovely to see so many parents and carers in our school this week, sometimes with their children, to talk in person with their class teacher.  Whilst we are happy to continue to offer telephone appointments for those parents who require them, it has been fantastic to see parents looking through books in school, especially when they come across a “positive post-it” on their child’s work.  It is a lovely way for your child to share a piece of work they are really proud of with you and is extremely popular.  Don’t forget you will have been sent a link to a Questionnaire about your recent Parent Consultation.  It only takes two minutes to complete and we would be really grateful for the feedback.

The mornings and evenings are getting lighter, daffodils are beginning to emerge and there is a definite feel of spring being in the air.  We have lots of exciting things happening in the next half term so please read our newsletters and check your emails and Facebook for the latest news.

In the meantime, have a wonderful half term break! 

Whole School Information


World Book Day

On Thursday 3 March we are very excited to celebrate World Book Day as a whole school! The children in Year 1 to Year 6 will have the opportunity to join in two creative workshops based around an exciting story, factual text or poem. Our own staff will choose the texts and prepare the workshops for our children to enjoy. Our Early Years children will take part in a similar set of workshops with our Reception and Nursery children and staff.

Which books will we share? Which staff will you work with? Which new friends will we make when we join in the workshops?

Keep your eyes on Facebook to see our love of reading and creativity after half term!

Please note

  • Children are to wear full school uniform as normal. We are not dressing up.
  • Each child will receive a £1 book token to spend on a book of their own – more details will be shared on World Book Day.

Comic Relief – DRESS UP FOR JOY  

Red Nose Day is back on Friday March 17 2023. This year, we are dressing up in the best homemade costume ever, go RED from head to toe, or simply dig out your brightest socks. Wear something that makes you and your school smile in return for a donation of £1.


Parent Consultations

This week all parents and carers were invited for a parent consultation. Once you have attended your Parent Consultation for Spring Term 2023, either by telephone or in person, we would be grateful if you could spend a few minutes answering questions to help us improve our offer to parents and carers.  Please click here to complete the questionnaire.

Your feedback is really appreciated and will be read and acted upon by our Senior Leadership Team.


Children’s Mental Health Week

What a great week we had connecting as part of Children’s Mental Health Week! Children took part in lots of different activities in their classes, such as looking at how to connect with ourselves by showing self-love, as well as looking at all of the different people we connect with when we are at school!  To end the week, we loved seeing everyone express their true self with their amazing outfits – including Mr Rockstar Sutherland!


British Science Week

We will be celebrating British Science Week in school from Monday 13 March. The theme for the week is ‘Connections’ and we are busy planning lots of exciting science activities linked to this theme. We will share our work on Facebook and on our school website. 



Attendance at school is extremely important. By missing even a day or arriving late, your child misses out on crucial learning opportunities causing gaps in their learning. We appreciate when children are poorly, they should remain at home however we are aware of times when children are well enough to be in school but haven`t come in. Trying to keep an attendance of 97% is vital to your child’s progress. If your child has an attendance of less than 90% they are classed as persistent absentees and staff in school monitor this and take attendance very seriously. To help your child achieve their true potential make sure they are in school as much as they can. 

Holidays in term time are not permitted and will be unauthorised.

Internet Safety

Last week, during our Computing lessons, we were focusing on how we can stay safe when using the Internet (to coincide with Safer Internet Day – Tuesday 7 February). This year, we were encouraged to discuss how we spend our time online. 

Parents may frequently chat with their child about how things are going at school or what’s happening in their friendship groups – but those discussions often don’t extend to youngsters’ online activities. In fact, National Online Safety conducted a recent survey which found that only slightly more than half (54%) of parents regularly talk to their children about staying safe online.

Checking in with your child about their digital life can get them thinking about online safety and alert you to any issues they might be having.  Discussing how misleading the online world can be, can be an important step to creating a ‘family agreement’ and ensuring our children always stay safe and share any worries.


Easter Holidays

School breaks up for the Easter holidays on Friday 31 March 2023 and NOT Friday 7 April as stated in the Reception Spring Term Curriculum Overview.


Industrial Action 

A reminder, classes 1B, 3O and 5B are closed for children on Tuesday 28 February 2023.


School Lunch

From Monday 17 April 2023 the price of a school meal will increase from £2.30 to £2.60 per day, or £13.00 per week. We still believe that this represents really good value and ensures that, should you wish it, your child is able to have a hot meal with a dessert and a drink whilst at school.

The menu for week commencing Monday 27 February 2023 is Week 1.  School lunch cost £2.30 per day payable in advance using the school app Schoolgateway.

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 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


News from Upper Key Stage Two

Year 5 have enjoyed developing their English skills this half-term with fantastic narrative writing and independent author sessions. They have learned new concepts in Maths and developed brilliant enquiry skills in Geography through their studies of Brazil and Russia. The children have been brilliant swimmers, showing determination to increase their stamina and pace at Dunston Pool.  Art has been a ‘journey of discovery’ where African mask-making has been the focus this half term, and the children can’t wait to make their final product soon!

Year 6 have thrown themselves into their love of Reading this half term with a visit to the library with our friends in Year 1 and starting our Reading Buddy programme with our Reception children. In the classroom, we have started our World War Two topic and have begun to explore artefacts from the period. If you fancy a trip out during half term, The Discovery Museum, Beamish and Eden Camp are brilliant!  

Year 4 Maths Multiplication Workshop

A big thank you to all those parents who were able to attend our multiplication workshop. It was great to see the children challenging their adults to times tables and showing them just how tricky it can be answering in less than 6 seconds (a big well done to our parents and carers who were good sports even when they got beaten by their children!). We looked at different ways you can help your child to practise their times tables and everyone was able to take away some resources to use at home.

Nursery News…

Nursery love a good story and this week were joined by Joanne from Gateshead Library. She used puppets to make stories come alive and we all joined in with the actions. Joanne left us a book pack to bring home which had an interesting book about minibeasts and a counting book called ‘One Banana, Two Bananas’. The children look forward to sharing them with you at home. Joanne also said that we are all welcome to visit the library and borrow some books. She looks forward to seeing some new faces soon! She was delighted by our children’s behaviour and super listening skills.  

Family Learning Workshops 

 This term, some of the Early Years parents/ carers and children took part in designing story sacks. The children created imaginative ways to read aloud and brought stories to life.


Building a Resilient Child 

Next term, we offer reception and key stage 1 parents/ carers the chance to participate in a five-week workshop- Building a Resilient Child. This will develop your skills and knowledge to support your children’s learning, development and mental health. The workshop will take place from 3rd March until 31st March – 9.30am to 10.30am. Sign up in the Clubs section of our Schoolgateway app to book a space.


Easter Craft 

Early Years parents and carers, why not come to school and enjoy Easter craft time with your child(ren). This 1-hour session will be eggciting and fun for everyone . Tuesday 28 March 9.00am to 10.15am.  Places are limited, so please book your place on the Schoolgateway app.

Nurture and Inclusion

Kalmer Counselling (a service we use for some of our children) have some great activities that you may wish to try out over the half-term holiday: from cooking to yoga)…

Introducing Dose Magazine

Introducing Dose Magazine

An online magazine providing a hub of happiness to empower children to use happy hormones DOSE, to manage their happiness and wellbeing