Dunston News – 19.10.23

Oct 19, 2023Dunston News

“A little boogie every day makes things seem okay”

Emily Coxhead

Message From Mrs Anglesea

The summer now seems like a distant memory, but it is also hard to believe that seven weeks have flown by.

Thank you to all the parents who have supported me in my new role, came up in the yard for a chat and passed on their congratulations. I hope you all had a chance to read my letter. If not, please click here.

There has been so much to celebrate this half term, and the staff and I were reflecting on the highlights to date.

Hopefully, you will have seen our post on Facebook last Friday that celebrated Mrs Ion working for Dunston Hill for 25 years. We feel incredibly grateful she has supported us for all this time, and it was lovely to read your comments on our Facebook, noting how she had supported many of your children.

Harvest Festival, although slightly different to our original plan, brought the school together, and I know FACT were extremely grateful for the donations.

Our Macmillan Coffee Morning was the busiest yet, with an array of delicious treats on sale and a fun bingo game and raffle that made the morning a success. We raised in total £168.95.

Our School Council has been established this half term following class elections. Mrs Cox is eager to get going, and they have already started working on our climate work. Watch this space; I think they will significantly impact this year.

We are delighted to have our buddy bench installed in our playground. The play leaders are always on hand to support, and our children know where to go if they want a friend.

World Mental Health Day was celebrated in school, and seeing everyone supporting in yellow was lovely. The children loved sharing what makes them happy, and a lovely area is now established in school to celebrate the happy news.

Friday Surprise – The final Friday of every half term will always involve a surprise for our children. Wait until you see the fun planned for Friday 27 October – make sure they are in school to be part of it!

Don`t say the ‘C’ word…

It’s been so busy, but there is lots more to come as we look forward to Christmas term – the plans and excitement are already building, and we hope to get Christmas dates out to you early after half term.

One thing I can share is that we will be taking our children in Years 1 to 6 to the theatre to see the  Panto  Beauty and the Beast in the final week of term.  We are delighted that we are able to offer this experience to our children and are especially grateful we have been able to secure the theatre just for Dunston Hill. We hope they will love the panto- oh yes we do!!

I wish everyone a happy half term from all our staff.

Whole School Information

Growing Healthy Gateshead App

A reminder of the Growing Healthy Gateshead App – it is an excellent (free) resource where you can access resources relating to areas such as sleep, routines, and toileting for your child. Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. You can also live chat with a school nurse.


Friday Surprise

The final Friday of every half term will always involve a surprise for our children. It’s so important they are in school every day, and the final Friday of every half term is no exception. We ask that parents do not 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.

Harvest Festival

This year, we celebrated Harvest Festival with an assembly from Mrs Cowan and Mrs Cox, where the meaning of Harvest was shared.  We would once again, like to thank everyone for the very kind Harvest donations. We were blown away with people’s generosity and FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together) greatly appreciated your donations.

World Mental Health Day

On 10 October, it was ‘World Mental Health Day’ and we celebrated all things happy with our ‘Happy News’ by Emily Coxhead and our touch of yellow! In our whole school assembly, we discussed all of the different things that made our minds and hearts happy and each class, throughout the week, completed a range of different ‘happy’ activities too. In Year 1, children sent home ‘hugs in envelopes’ to their families; in Year 4, they created their own happy news stories and turned them into newspapers!

Family Learning

Family Scrapbooking has been a great success this half-term. Our families have been crafty and creative whilst completing their Family Scrap Books. Jayne from 6R said, “It’s been lovely to learn about my family’s past and spend extra time with my Mam.” Keep a look out for our next Family Learning sessions – THRIFTY CHRISTMAS is coming soon!

Halloween Craft

On Monday 23 October at 2:00pm, some of our Reception parents/carers and children will be spooked out when participating in our Halloween Crafts with Family Learning. There are still places available – please see the school app to book your place.

Extra-Curricular Activities

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

Year 1 – Christmas Crafts

Year 2 – Film Club

Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 – Christmas Choir

Year 3, 4 & 5 – Maths Games

Year 5 – Karate

Year 5 & 6 – Minecraft

Year 6 – Boys Football training

Details will follow next week by email.

Occasional Day

Reminder, school will be closed on Monday 27 November 2023 for our Occasional Day.


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.

Secondary School Admissions for September 2024

The closing date for Secondary School places is 31 October 2023.

Apply online at

School Lunches

The menu for week commencing Monday 23 October 2023 is Week 2.  There is a change to the menu for Thursday, we will be serving Butter Chicken served with mini samosa, onion bhaji, naan bread and rice.   The vegetarian option is Quorn chicken curry.  Also available will be jacket potato and ham baguette. The dessert is mini doughnuts.  All other days menu remains the same.

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

Early Years

Nursery and Reception have settled into their new classes and routines beautifully since returning from the summer holidays.  I am delighted to welcome Mrs Osborne back from her Maternity leave, as well as welcoming Miss MacLeod to Reception. 

We have been exploring the indoor and outdoor provision, as well as starting our Forest School sessions with Mrs O’Hara – whatever the weather!

Nursery are working hard in their small group times to learn about the different areas and how to use our equipment respectfully.

Reception are now fully settled in and they are flying with their Read Write Inc learning, Mastering Number in Maths and they are also exploring our new story ‘The Something’ in Ready Steady Write. 

Our children are accessing the provision very well independently, and are using their knowledge to learn new skills through their play.


Key Stage One

We are delighted with how well our children have adapted to new routines in Year 1. We are learning to work more independently in our daily Maths and English lessons. At lunchtime, we love being able to play in the different areas – the creative area is very popular!  On the afternoon, we feel so energetic when we run the daily mile, and in our PE lessons; we have particularly enjoyed composing a dance based on a story ‘The Magic Toys’. This has linked beautifully to our story ‘Old Bear’, which we have been reading in our English lessons.   

We are also so proud of all of our Year 2 children who have settled brilliantly into their new routines. We have loved starting Times Tables Rockstars and taking part in class competitions. Our afternoons have also been packed full of learning and we have had a fantastic few weeks learning all about the Great Fire of London! 


Across the school, we have launched our new writing curriculum: Ready, Steady, Write! Our children have loved being immersed in new texts, from the war-torn streets of Germany in the book Rose Blanche for our Year 6 pupils to Mystery of The Something for our Reception children. It has been a joy to see the children so actively involved in their learning as they develop their sentence accuracy; analyse example texts and develop their writers’ knowledge before drafting and writing their own extended pieces. Miss Parkin looks forward to dropping in and seeing all of the children in their writing lessons next half term! 

Times Table Rockstars

Let’s work together to get your child to ROCK at their times tables!  

All children from Y2-6 have an individual login to Times Table Rockstars, which is a personalised, engaging way for children to learn their times table facts. These facts are the foundation to many areas of mathematics so becoming fluent in facts to 12 x 12 is a great way of supporting children in becoming super mathematicians.  

Please encourage your child to log on for small bursts of time across the week. As a school we celebrate all achievements, whether this be the class with the most points, the children who have made the most progress or someone who has simply shown dedication in being the best they can be!  Children can check out the progress they are making by looking at their heat maps and also share their rock status with you. This is based on the speed in which they can answer questions. We already have many children rocking out at speeds of less than 1 second per question! Pretty impressive and deserving of their Rock Legend status!  

EXTRA EXCITING NEWS! We have signed up to take part in ENGLAND ROCKS which is an England wide competition to see which school and individual class can achieve the highest average number of correct answers per pupil. The event will be launched in school and on our Facebook page and will take place between 14 and 16 November. Let’s show the country what Dunston Hill are mathematically made of!  

Climate Crew

Our Climate Crew have started the year with a bang! We have had our first official meeting and are in the process of designing a new logo that we will use on all of our communications. Last week, we had a fantastic assembly where we learned about food waste and food miles and then we took part in a workshop ran by Groundworks, where we explored zero-waste lunchboxes. The children are looking forward to sharing their knowledge and helping the school community to work towards reducing waste from our packed lunches. In addition, it was fantastic to be part of National E-waste week. Thank you to everyone who brought their unwanted small electrical items to school. It has been brilliant to be able to help the environment by recycling unwanted goods. We have much more planned – watch this space!


Sports News

EYFS festival:  Recently some of our children from Reception attended the EYFS festival where they put their hopping, skipping and jumping to the test. They had a great morning and the EYFS team were super proud!


Year 5/6 Tag Rugby:  Lately, some of our children attended a tag rugby event. Both teams performed exceptionally well and they displayed excellent teamwork skills. One of our teams were lucky enough to achieve silver medals!


Football updates:  Wow… more football success!  Lately, our girls competed in another tournament against 24 schools across Gateshead.  The National League Trust Cup! In the quarter-finals, we won 1-0, in the semi-finals, we won 2-0…leading us to the finals.  We WON – 2-0! Meaning we are through to the regional finals, playing schools from Scarborough, Blyth and other places.  We are all very excited and super proud of the team.

This half-term, our girl’s team also played in the Blaydon & District PSFA County Cup…

1st game – we won 3-0

2nd game – we won 2-0, putting us into the semi-finals.

Semi-finals – we won 1-0, which took us to the finals

Final game – we won 3-0! 

We are over the moon to have won The Blaydon & District Cup and as a result, we have progressed to the Durham County Finals in December!


KS1 Indoor FestivalA few weeks ago, some of our Year 2 children attended the KS1 Indoor Athletics Festival. This year the theme was dinosaurs and the children enjoyed taking part in a range of activities, putting their running, jumping and throwing skills to the test. 


Nurture and SEND

Our Dunston Den has been filled with laughter and fun each lunchtime this half-term with children from Reception through to Year 6 – Miss Tuart loves spending her lunchtimes there. Mrs Cox has re-launched PEG Time this half-term: an opportunity for children to PAUSE, ENGAGE and GROW through having a chat with Mrs Cox about any worries or concerns they may have (no matter how big or small).

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