Dunston News – 23.05.24

May 23, 2024Dunston News

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Message From Mr Sutherland


Welcome to our latest newsletter, packed with information about what has been happening in Dunston Hill recently and also with highlights of things to come in our final half term of the year.

I can’t believe that I have been back at Dunston Hill for the best part of 6 weeks already!  I would like to thank all the children, parents and carers as well as staff for their warm welcome back and my gratitude again goes out to Mrs Anglesea who did such a fantastic job as Acting Headteacher in my absence.

In my letter to parents last week, I talked of my pride in our Year 6 children for how they handled their SATs, but they are not alone, of course, in being required to take tests of one kind or another over the next few weeks.  Our Year 2s will show us what they can do on some Reading and Maths papers which wil be used by teaching staff to inform their academic assessments at the end of the year.  Our Year 1 children will take their Phonics Screening and our Year 4s will take their Times Tables test.  Our children are always prepared carefully for these events so that they are familiar with what happens and don’t feel worried or anxious.  I would stress to all our parents that teachers use various forms of ongoing assessment throughout the year so that we can accurately see what your child knows, where any gaps might be and what they need to be able to fill those gaps.  I know our teaching and support staff are doing everything they can to ensure the best possible provision for our children and that they themselves work hard every day and do their best.

We have lots of other exciting things coming up such as tomorrow’s Fun Run, Sports Week and lots more and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather improves for us – it can’t seem to make up its mind at the moment and as I write this newsletter, the rain is coming down in torrents.

I hope you enjoy the half term break and have a fantastic time with family and friends.  Just a reminder that school opens again to children on Tuesday June 4th, as Monday 3rd is an INSET Day for staff.  So I will see you all again at the usual times on Tuesday June 4th.

Have a safe and happy half-term break!


 Whole School Information


Good Bye Mrs Rippon

Today we said goodbye and good luck to Mrs Rippon, our Teaching Assistant who has worked with us here at
Dunston Hill for over 15 years, in a special assembly. She has been a huge and invaluable part of our staff team
during her time with us, supporting teaching and learning as well as the pastoral care of your children and
will be a huge miss. However, we are happy for her also as she is leaving us to start a new adventure of
her own. On behalf of children, parents, staff and governors we would like to thank her for everything she
has done for us; it has been a pleasure working with her. We wish her every success and happiness for the
future and remind her to please come back and see us anytime. Thank you, Mrs Rippon!

Sports Week

You have received this week an email about our Sports afternoons. The dates below are a reminder:

Tuesday 2 July – Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 (starting at 1.45pm)

Wednesday 3 July – Reception (starting at 2.15pm)

Friday 5 July – Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 (starting at 1.45pm)


Transition is thoroughly planned at Dunston Hill and all class teachers will visit their new class next half term and spend time getting to know the children. On Thursday 11 July all children will spend the full day in their new class with their new teachers. Staffing will be shared with you before this.



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. Next week 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.


Family Learning

Family Learning 

This term, our parents/careers have had their creative hats on.  Engaging in creative activities, they have made some fabulous pieces of art.

Next term, we are taking our creativity outside to our Forest School. So, if you would like to do outdoor crafts  using recycled and natural resources then please sign up for Outdoor Explores on Friday mornings 9:00 till 10:30pm using our Schoolgateway app.

Family Forest 

Once again, our families had an amazing time participating in forest school. We made dens, planted flowers and vegetables and even made puppets for an amazing puppet show. The children and parents/careers had a lovely picnic at Whickham Thorns Outdoor Activity Centre to finish your Family Forest. Next term, Family Forest will be on Monday at 2:05 p.m., so please book a place using the Schoolgateway app.

School Lunch

The menu for the week commencing Tuesday 4 June 2024 is Week 3.  School lunch cost £2.60 per day payable in advance using the school app Schoolgateway.  On Tuesday 4 June, we will be following Tuesday’s menu.

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.

Forest School from June

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.

Reception – Tuesday

Year 1 – Wednesday

Year 2 – Thursday

Year 5 -Tuesday

Year 6-  Monday

Years 3 and Year 4 will not have Forest school this term.


PE from June

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.

Monday Year 3 and Year 4

Tuesday: Year 2, Year 5 and Year 6

Wednesday, Year 1

Thursday Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5

Friday Reception & Year 1



Year 6 children will continue to swim every Monday from Monday 10 June 2024.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Monday – Change 4 Life Club Year 4, 5 & 6

Monday – Karate Club Year 4 & 5

Monday – Athletics

Tuesday – Painting Club Year 5 & 6

Tuesday – Science Club Year 2

Tuesday – Football Training Year 5 & 6

Thursday – Construction Club Rec, Year 1 & Year 2

All clubs finish at 4.15pm.

Early Years News

We have had a successful term in Early Years.  We have welcomed the return of our Afternoon Nursery, and with it some new children and families to Dunston Hill.  After a very quick period of settling in the afternoon children are familiar with their routines, and have made very good relationships with each other as well as the staff.

In Reception we have continued the hard work in Read, Write Inc and after our recent Assessment week are very proud of the hard work and wonderful progress shown by all children, thanks must go to that staff teaching the Read Write Inc groups too though, for their hard work and dedication throughout the year.  We have also started our PE with Coach Lucas on a Tuesday afternoon.  This half term has seen us developing our footballing skills.  The children have absolutely loved working with Coach Lucas and, their ball skills have shown some very promising progress.

Linked to our text in Ready Steady Write, we have planted beans, and a range of flowers in our outdoor area and the children have written instructions on how to plant seeds and look after them successfully.  We look forward to next half term for our seaside themed story and a visit to South Shields to inspire our writing further.

Key Stage One News

What an action-packed half-term our Key Stage 1 children have had! We are delighted that our Forest School sessions have started again in Year 1. We love being outdoors whatever the weather and one of our favourite activities was making ‘Dande-lions’. We had to carefully thread the stem of the dandelions through holes to produce the lion’s mane. We have also enjoyed developing our Design and Technology skills when making our very own windmills, we are just waiting for a windy day to test them out!

Year 2 have also enjoyed their Design and Technology lessons. We practised our sewing skills and made fantastic puppets, using a running stitch to secure them. The children made some beautiful designs and were very proud. Another highlight is our basketball skills! The children have worked hard at their dribbling and passing and have played some great games, showing fantastic sportsmanship along the way. In English, we have loved our new book ‘The King Who Banned the Dark’. It has been fantastic to see the children learning new vocabulary and apply this in their fabulous persuasive letters.

Year 6 Residential to Ford Castle


On Monday 24 June – 26 June our Year 6 pupils will head North to Ford Castle to participate in an action packed residential. The visit will see the children take part in activities including: raft building, bridge abseiling and archery as well as relaxing around a campfire and playing archery tag in the evenings. Our Year 6 children have had a brilliant final year at Dunston Hill and we can’t wait to spend this special time with them making life-long memories. For further details on Ford Castle please visit: Ford Castle – PGL Schools & Groups

If parents/carers have any questions please get in touch with our school office and Miss Parkin will get in touch with you!


Year 6 SATs

Our wonderful Year 6 children completed their SATs earlier this term. In all, they took a Spelling and a Grammar paper, a Reading paper and three Mathematics papers, encompassing arithmetic and reasoning. We have to say that their attitude and resilience was extraordinary and they tackled each day with renewed energy and enthusiasm. They all worked hard, showed the right attitude to learning, looked after each other and did their best and I don’t really think you can ask much more than that.


Year 5 Bikeability

Earlier this term, our Year 5 children took part in Bikeability which allowed them to ride their bikes safely both on and off our school site. The children learnt the correct hand-signals and how to stop and change direction safely. The instructors were very complimentary of the children’s attitudes and we are very proud of them! Thank you to Mrs Ion for all of her support in allowing this to run smoothly.

Climate Crew

Our fabulous Climate Crew have continued to work hard with their recycling activities and we are proud to say that we have collected over 4,000 batteries that have been sent to recycling and therefore we have saved some potentially damaging battery fires. We have also raised awareness around plastic recycling in our Earth Day assembly that we shared with the school and we made some heartfelt pledges to save our planet. In the coming months, we will start to focus on lowering our carbon footprint. We can’t wait to get started!

Sports News

EYFS Multi-Sport Festival

Earlier this half-term, a group of our Reception Children went to Gateshead Stadium to take part in a space themed sport festival. All of the children were extremely enthusiastic and they cheered each other on during every activity.

Year 5/6 Boy’s Football

A few weeks back, our boy’s football team played in the final round of the Blaydon District League. They had a very successful night, winning their 1st game, drawing on their 2nd game and then winning their final game. When these points were added to our scores from the Autumn term, we managed to finish the league in 2nd place.  Well done boys, great football and even better sportsmanship!

Year 3/4 Orienteering

Year 3 and 4 thoroughly enjoyed the SSP Orienteering competition which was held over at Kingsmeadow.  Throughout the afternoon, the children worked amazing as a team and they communicated well during each of the tasks, helping them to complete the course in a short space of time.

Year 5/6 Girl’s Football

Recently, our girls competed in round 1 of the Blaydon District League.  In their 1st game, they finished with a score of 3-0, in the 2nd game they managed another impressive result of 3-0.  The 3rd game came along and the girls scored 2-0 and then in the final game, the score was 1-0.  What a start to the league!  Miss Conway and Coach Lucas loved cheering them on from the side lines and hearing everyone compliment our team for their excellent performance!

Year 4/5 Football

We had another successful afternoon with football and one of our teams finished in 1st place, taking away the cup and resulting in us winning the tournament!  Both teams played amazingly and were excellent role models for our school.

Gateshead Fun Run

The Fun Run is back for another year and some of our children have been selected to represent our school at Saltwell Park on Friday.  We’re sure that the children will have a brilliant day and will hopefully finish with some great times.


Miss Tuart is very excited to launch the new Gateshead SEND Thresholds with parents/carers next half-term (watch out for dates/times). This is a fantastic new document to help children and young people with SEND thrive in education, prepare for adulthood and have the best experience possible. Take a look: SEND Thresholds – Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 years (

Check out the latest updates in DOSE magazine, and enjoy some mindfulness activities over the half-term holiday: DOSE Magazine – Free Resources and Articles to empower

As always, if you have any queries or wish to contact Miss Tuart, you can call our school office or send an email to