Dunston News – 27/01/2023

Jan 27, 2023Dunston News

“When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine!”

 

Message From Mr Sutherland

We are back after the Christmas break and “on it like a car bonnet” as someone very famous once said.  May I take this opportunity to wish you a belated Happy New Year and I hope you had a wonderful break with family and friends.

Our spring term is very much focused on progress within our fantastic curriculum and now that our children have had plenty of time to absorb class routines and really get to know their class teachers, this can be the time where consolidation of everything learned in autumn term takes place.  It is also a time when we see our confident and settled children right across the school begin to make accelerated progress in many areas.  For me, true academic progress can only be achieved from a firm foundation of happy children who feel safe and secure.  We are already seeing wonderful progress and not merely in core subjects of Reading, Writing and Maths but Foundation subjects also.

We are continuing to develop our knowledge around children’s cognitive learning and are receiving continuing professional development throughout the year on ensuring that we do not overload children’s working memory.  You will see that we have already adapted areas of our curriculum to make some of the steps smaller for the children, so that they fully understand them.  That doesn’t mean they are any less challenged as they can explore any concept further and to any depth they wish.  But it does mean that we as teachers are more certain that all our children understand a concept or idea and have practised it, before moving on.

This brings me to the forthcoming Parent Consultations which are noted elsewhere in this newsletter.  We are still offering a choice of face-to-face or telephone appointments to try accomodate your busy days as parents and carers.  Of course, the advantage of attending the face-to-face appointment is that you will be able to view your children’s work and progress in their books, but we understand that it can be a challenge to fit everything in.  I would strongly  encourage you to sign up for an appointment as good, productive communication between school and home is proven to be beneficial to your child’s learning experience.

Have a great weekend!

 

Whole School Information

The Grand Opening of our Daily Mile Track

We are excited to be welcoming two GB Athletes into school on Tuesday. They will lead an assembly for our children before officially opening our new daily mile track. Our generous sponsor from Primula will also be in attendance on the day. The children have the exciting opportunity to participate in some sports sessions throughout the day with the athletes. We are therefore asking that all children come to school in full PE kit with their school hoody.

Parent Consultations

Yesterday you will have received an email with information about how to book your parent’s consultation appointments for the week beginning Monday 13 February. The appointment dates are below.

Year GroupMorning/Afternoon phone  appointments onlyEvening in-school appointments
Nursery

Monday 13

12.30-2.30pm

Tuesday 14

1.00-4.00pm

Wednesday 15

3.30-6.00pm

Reception

Tuesday 14

9.00-11.30am

Monday 13

3.30-6.00pm

Year 1

Monday 13

1.00-4.00pm

Wednesday 15

3.30-6.00pm

Year 2

Thursday 16

1.00-4.00pm

Wednesday 15

3.30-6.00pm

Year 3

Wednesday 15

1.00-4.00pm

Monday 13

3.30-6.00pm

Year 4

Tuesday 14

1.00-4.00pm

Monday 13

3.30-6.00pm

Year 5

Monday 13

1.00-4.00pm

Wednesday 15

3.30-6.00pm

Class 6P- Miss Parkin

Tuesday 14

1.00-4.00pm

Monday 13

3.30-6.00pm

Class 6R- Miss Reay

Wednesday 15

1.00-4.00pm

Monday 13

3.30-6.00pm

Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week is w/c Monday 6 February and the theme is ‘Let’s Connect’. It is all about making meaningful connections and how connection is vital for our well-being, and survival. We thrive in communities and when we have healthy connections (to family, friends and others), this can support our mental health. Children will take part in activities linked to this, so they understand the importance of connection.

Christmas…what fun we had!

Wow! What a Christmas we had at Dunston Hill. Winter Wonderland, our very first Christmas outdoor market, the Grand Raffle and many Christmas Jumper days, plus all the activities that took place in school. We want to thank all the children, parents/carers, staff and our community for supporting us. We raised the grand total of £3109. We hope you all had as much fun as we did, and we can’t wait for Christmas 2023.

School Sports

Year 5/6 BEE Netball

This half-term, some of our Year 5/6 children attended a netball event at Gateshead Leisure Centre where they played several matches against children from other schools.  We had some tough competition but still managed to win some of the games.  Mrs Neve was proud of the children for showing excellent teamwork and sportsmanship throughout the afternoon.

EYFS Multi-Sport Festival

This year the theme for this event was ‘step into space’ and that’s exactly what ten of our Reception children did.  During the morning, the children enjoyed many different activities and were given the chance to show off their skipping, jumping and running skills.  They were super excited to tell us all about it when they returned to school!

In the next few weeks we have the Year 3/4 Mini-basketball competition and the swimming gala – Wish us luck!

School Lunch

The menu for week commencing Monday 30 January 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.

 

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 Curriulum Overview.

 

Industrial Action 

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

 

Online Safety Workshop 

Gem Education will be delivering an online safety workshop in school on Friday 10 February 2023.  The course content:

  • Raising awareness of online risks under 4 main themes, Commerce, Content , Conduct and Contact
  • Examples include: websites, social networking, mobile phones, gaming, and cyberbullying
  • Parental controls
  • Further advice
  • How to report

Book your place using the school app Schoolgateway in the Clubs section.

Class News

 

News from Early Years

Nursery

Nursery staff are over the moon having welcomed new friends to join them to play and learn. In only two weeks all children have settled in beautifully and are learning the routines as well as making new friends. Staff have also enjoyed getting to know our new families and sharing positive news about their children. The children have explored the sand, water, role-play, reading den as well as the wonder of the outdoor area, and so much more! We are very proud of the older children who have helped our new friends feel very welcome. Together, we are excited about further adventures in Nursery! 

Reception

This half term Reception are learning through Journeys.  We have read ‘The Train Ride’ and then written about our own Journey around Dunston Hill.  We are currently reading the Jolly Postman, and we are very busy working in our own post office, wrapping parcels, writing letters and postcards and making sure they are delivered safely.  We will be looking for volunteers to come on a walk to post our letters, so let us know if you would like to join us. We are in the middle of Read Write Inc assessments and the progress made by all of our children in Reception is fantastic.

We have started PE with our coach Henry on Tuesday mornings, and we are loving learning new football skills.  Henry is very impressed with how ready and respectful we are during our PE sessions too.  All of our children have been in their PE kits ready to go, so thank you, parents for that too.

 

Reading in our school community and beyond…

 

This half term our Year 6 and Year 1 children enjoyed a visit to our local library at Dunston Activity Centre. Wonderfully walking all the way their and back, the children loved working with their buddies to be safe in the community. When we arrived at the library Miss Parkin explained how it worked and then the children read to one another, completed some jigsaws and selected a range of books to share back in class. We were very good at stamping our books out. Thank you Dunston Library. 

If you would like to sign up to borrow books the library is open 10am-4pm Monday – Friday

We have started our Reading Buddie programme with a selection of our children from 6P and 1L. This allows the reception children to select and have a story read to them once a week in our Enchanted Garden.

Ellen (6P) commented, ” I love being a reading buddy and helping the children to chose a book.”

Michael (6P) commented ” The little boy who I read to is becoming more confident and chatty when we read now – I think he likes it!”

Maths Messages

Times Tables 

Times tables are a huge focus in our school because having quick and accurate recall of times table facts to 12 x 12 supports our children across the maths curriculum. Gone are the days of just standing and chanting tables! We work hard to provide our children with a number of different opportunities to play games, sing songs and look for patterns within the multiplication facts. Our children learn that multiplication facts can be said in any order, which also supports them in learning facts more quickly. One game we play regularly in school is Times Table Rockstars.  

Times Tables Rock Stars is a maths programme that takes all the worry out of learning times tables and has a proven track record of boosting children’s fluency and recall in multiplication and division. 

You can support your child in becoming a ROCK HERO, which means answering questions in less than 1 second, by encouraging them to login to TTRS and playing ten minutes a day.  

Our children love taking part in class and school tournaments so watch out for certificates for the most valuable class players. All children from Y2-Y6 have logins. Please contact your child’s class teacher if you would like any further information. Information can also be found on the maths section of our school website.  

Nurture and Inclusion

Just a little reminder of some of the provision we have in place in school:

Dunston Den – a happy place: somewhere to go to chat to friends and adults, play a game, share an activity or just sit quietly and think. 

Dunston Retreat – our fully equipped, state of the art sensory room – another safe space for our children to access.

Dunston Hub – a place where children can chat to Mrs Cox, access calming strategies or simply take a little breather. 

PEG Time – PAUSE, ENGAGE and GROW! 1:1 same day chats with Mrs Cox (about anything).

 

External support: The Gateshead Local Offer is a really helpful platform to access should you wish to seek support for your child and/or your family: Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 Years – Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 years (gateshead-localoffer.org)

Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 Years – Gateshead Local Offer SEND 0 to 25 years

Support for children and young people with SEND. The Gateshead Local Offer brings together information for children and young people aged 0-25 years with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families.

gateshead-localoffer.org

 

SEND update

Miss Tuart is in the process of contacting parents/carers to ensure you have an update of the provision your child has in place if they are accessing SEND support and to discuss any queries you may have.

Our school website has lots of helpful information about SEND and Nurture should you wish to explore.

Reminder

Contact email for Miss Tuart (SENDCo/Inclusion Manager): sendco@dunstonhillschool.co.uk
Contact email for Mrs Cox (Family Support Worker): fsw@dunstonhillschool.co.uk