Dunston News – 25/05/23

May 25, 2023Dunston News

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”


Message From Mr Sutherland

The collective voices of our school and its community are absolutely vital if we are to learn from mistakes, value what is done well and celebrate our successes.  The coronavirus pandemic proved to be a significant barrier to our ability to evaluate such measures as we had the well-being of everyone as our main priority; it was not a time to focus on the additional factors and minutiae that help to make up a forward-thinking community.

To that end, we will be seeking out your voices and opinions after the half-term break.  We will be asking our parents and carers for your views on our school, its curriculum and all-round provision for your children.  I will be interested to hear what you think about the clubs we offer and about coming into school to see and work with your children, which we have increased this year.  There will of course be a place for your comments about things you feel we do well, things that we could do better and maybe things we don’t do at all that you would like to see.  Similarly, we will also be running a “Pupil Voice” survey, to capture the thoughts of the most important people of all – our children.  We are expanding the ways in which we enable children to have a voice in school about the decisions that are made.  As you know we have a School Council and over the next few weeks I will be talking to them about their own School Development Plan and Self-Evaluation, to mirror what I write for the school as a whole.  I am keen for children to act as ambassadors for a subject – for example, feeding back views on what is taught from children to staff.  We have our Eco Warriors and also children who will be working with me in the months to come as School Ambassadors for the “Daft As A Brush” charity.

Finally, I will seek the opinions of all staff in whatever role.  I am anxious to ensure the team ethos we have built here continues, and that we address any areas, large or small, which might be even the slightest worry for a staff member.  All results and outcomes will be analysed by myself and senior staff, anonymised and published, so that you can see what we do well and what can be improved.  If we can have open and honest conversations, imparting views which are robust if necessary but constructive, I am convinced this is the way we can all be stronger and more productive in the future.

All these surveys will be carried out shortly after the half term break.

There are so many exciting things coming up in the run-up to the end of summer term so please keep checking our Facebook page, our website and your emails for the latest news.

Enjoy your half term and remember, school is closed to pupils on Monday 5th June.  We re-open the following day, Tuesday June 6th at the usual times.


Best wishes

Whole School Information

LOVE DUNSTON – Dunston Community Fair will be held on Saturday 24 June from 12pm at Dunston Park. Fairground rides will be free to all children. There will be live music and a variety of stalls including our very own ‘hook a bag’. Hope to see you all there. 

Non-uniform day – Friday 16 June 2023

In preparation for our stall, children are invited to come to school on Friday 16 June dressed in summer colours. All we ask is for the children to bring a donation of items such as toiletries, chocolate, gifts, etc for our hook-a-bag.

Dunston Cup

After half-term, we are launching a whole-school project named the ‘Dunston Cup’.  The children will be split into teams and will work together to come up with their own team name, team logo and they each design their own strip.  Staff have lots of fun activities planned for the children which we’re sure that the children will love.

Over a two-week period, there will be football tournaments taking place in school.  Parents of children in Years 1 – 6 are invited into school to cheer the children on.  The dates are as follows:

  • Year 3 – Tuesday 13 June – 1pm – 3pm
  • Year 2 – Wednesday 14 June – 1pm – 3pm
  • Year 1 – Thursday 15 June – 1pm – 3pm
  • Year 5 – Tuesday 20 June – 1pm – 3pm
  • Year 6  – Wednesday 21 June – 1pm – 3pm
  • Year 4 – Thursday 22 June – 1pm – 3pm


Diversity Week

We are so excited to be celebrating Diversity Week on 26 June to 30 June. All classes will be taking part in some wonderful activities to remind us all that being unique is something special and is to be celebrated! We will end our week with ‘Rainbow Friday’ where children are invited to school wearing rainbow-coloured clothes to represent that we are all different and all beautiful.


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.


School Lunch

The menu for week commencing Tuesday 6 June 2023 is Week 3.  School lunch cost £2.60 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.


Forest School

Children should come to school dressed in clothing suitable to the weather, warm coat, gloves and hat when cold.  On their bottom half, they should wear trousers you are happy for them to get dirty in, school hoodie and t-shirt. They should bring their wellies to leave in a plastic carrier bag.

Reception – Thursday

Year 1 – Tuesday

Year 4 – Wednesday

Year 6 – Thursday



PE for all year groups starts on the 1st week back after half term.  Children should come to school dressed in their PE kit; school hoodie, t-shirt, navy or black tracksuit joggers and trainers for the full day.

Reception – Tuesday

Year 1 – Friday

Year 2 – Monday and Thursday

Year 3 – Tuesday and Wednesday

Year 4 – Wednesday and Thursday

Year 5 – Tuesday

Year 6 – Monday



Year 5 children will continue to swim every Monday from Monday 12 June 2023.

Year 6 children will continue to swim every Thursday from Thursday 8 June 2023.


Class News

Year 3

Year 3 has had a fantastic start to the Summer Term. They have been eager to find out about life in the Stone Age and are loving some of the gory facts we’ve found out. This topic will continue when the children return from the half term with one of the first lessons back using our Press Play headsets!  The children’s creativity has shone through in writing lessons. Ask your child where the staircase led them to in their recent Author Session or about the flying Banshee on Pandora. In Maths, we have been refining our knowledge of column methods for addition and subtraction before investigating fractions. We have lots to look forward to in Summer 2, including our end-of-year visit to Broom House Farm and a visit from a local Police Officer.

Year 4

Year 4 have worked their socks off this term to improve their times table scores and we are so proud of them! We’ve played games, chanted tables and raced against one another on TTRS. Keep practising, everyone, and you’ll smash the times table check in a few weeks’ time! We are also looking forward to our visit to Segedunum at the end of June. Keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon.


Year 5

Year 5 has had a brilliant half term, expanding their skills and knowledge in so many directions, which they showcased beautifully at their parents’ assembly. It was brilliant to see so many parents and carers together in our school hall with the children, celebrating their learning and experiencing the breadth of our curriculum. We proudly showed how we use our Kahoot platform as an assessment tool and it was wonderful to see the adults trying their best too! We were so grateful for the wonderful feedback that we received, which made the children so happy.


Year 6

We are incredibly proud of our Year 6 children who completed their KS2 SATs earlier this half term. The children were greeted daily with a scrumptious breakfast which set them up for their tasks ahead which included tests in: Reading, SPaG and Maths. The children showed positive attitudes, resilience and determination throughout the week. We loved having our therapy dog Barney come to visit us one afternoon and also are hugely grateful to ‘Treats by the Tyne’ who made us an afternoon tea and milkshakes as a ” Well done!” when we were all done! Our Year 6 children are looking forward to their final half term at Dunston Hill and in particular their residential to Ford Castle in July.



ECO Council

Our Eco Council members have been working behind the scenes, as we eagerly await our launch assembly the first morning back after the half-term break! The children have conducted a recycling audit and are very excited to share their results with the rest of the school! We are also looking at formalising our name and we will be opening a vote to all classes, so that everyone can be involved in choosing a name for our Eco Team. Once this is done, we will be creating an ‘eco board’ to display all of our activities so that everyone can keep up to date with the news. Exciting times are ahead!

Sports News

Year 3/4 Orienteering

A few weeks ago, some of our children attended an orienteering event held at Kingsmeadow.  The children were split into two groups and to begin with Miss Ornsby’s group put their teamwork skills to the test by joining in lots of games where they had to communicate with each other.  Mrs Harm’s group then made a start on the course and used the clues to locate the different points around the school grounds.  All of the children had a fantastic morning and were delighted to get to the final point.


Year 3/ Mini-tennis

Recently, some of our Year 3 and 4 children attended a tennis event at Whickham. Although this was a fairly new sport to some of our children, they picked it up very quickly and gave it their best go! The children came back full of smiles and were desperate to tell us all about it.


Year 5/6 Girl’s Football – Round 2

A few weeks ago, our girls played round 1 of the league and managed to win every match, without conceding any goals. Last week was round 2 and our team amazed us yet again! They kept a clean sheet and won every game, securing GOLD medals! We are so proud of you all, now roll on the finals!


Year 6 Cricket

What a lovely day our children had for a game of cricket! Earlier this week, twenty-four of our Year 6 children participated in a cricket tournament at Whickham Cricket Club.  The sun shone and a great day of sport took place. We finished the day victorious with gold medals for one of our teams and a place in the next round!  Miss Parkin and Mrs Ion loved being with a group of courteous, sporting, fun-loving children.



We have had another wonderful half-term: our Dunston Den, Dunston Retreat, Dunston Base, Dunston Hub and Forest School have been very busy with lots of children enjoying the wonderful provision we have on offer, such as Drawing and Talking Therapy, Sand Therapy, Lego Therapy, Pets As Therapy and Kalmer Counselling. All of which will be continuing for our final half-term of this school year.

Mrs Cox has enjoyed working with some of our families in Family Forest School each Monday 2-3pm. This will continue next half-term. Mrs Cox has lots of wonderful activities in store.

Wednesday morning Toddlers has been a great success – it has been lovely to see lots of smiley, happy faces. Next half-term, Mrs Cox is arranging a visit to the park with our wonderful Toddlers and their grown-ups – watch this space for more details.

Family Learning each Friday morning will continue next half-term. This is aimed at ‘Getting ready for school’ for our Early Years children.  

Don’t forget, our website has lots of useful information about nurture and SEND. If you would like to speak to Miss Tuart SENDCo/Inclusion Manager), you can contact her on and Mrs Cox (Family Support Worker) on


School Council – last week, some of our School Councillors took part in a School Council forum at Caedmon Primary School. The children met with other councillors to share school improvement ideas. The next forum will be held at Dunston Hill – we are really looking forward to it.