Dunston News – 27.03.24

Mar 28, 2024Dunston News

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Winne the pooh

Message From Mrs Anglesea

Well.. two terms have flown by as Acting Headteacher of Dunston Hill and what a privilege it has been to lead the school. I feel incredibly honoured to have had the opportunity and would like to thank the children, the fantastic staff and the community for all their support. Mr Sutherland will be back in post as Headteacher from Monday 15 April and we are looking forward to the exciting things we have planned for the summer term. I will leave Dunston Hill at the end of the summer, starting as Headteacher of Larkspur Community Primary School in September.

Last week was Aspiration’s week, which was undoubtedly one of the best weeks we have had in our school. Miss Ornsby worked tirelessly to plan and deliver what was a very inspiring week for our children. The buzz around school was infectious and the visitors who came in, giving up their time, encouraged our children to ‘dream big’. I have personally written a letter of thanks to all our visitors as without them this certainly would not have had the impact it has. Our special visitors have truly inspired our children, and we are beyond grateful to them. From zoo keepers to quality technologists, journalists to dentists, garden designers to civil engineers, cabin crew to NHS workers and musicians – we have really showcased a range of ambitious jobs. Our children loved the sessions they took part in and learned so much about the wider world. Thank you.

Another successful week was Science Week. Children across the school enjoyed various STEM activities, carrying out investigations linked to the theme ‘Time’. From biscuit dunking to creating mazes, children certainly developed their scientific, problem-solving, and maths-measuring skills.

We always have a sporting success story to share, and hopefully, you will have seen our Facebook updates on The National League Girls Football. We are incredibly proud of our team!  To make it this far in the National League is just amazing!  We discovered that over 1000 teams were involved, and we can proudly say that we are winners in the Gateshead and North East regions.  Last week, the girls attended Chesterfield, where there were some challenging games. Our team won 1, drew 1 and lost 1, missing the semi-final by a goal difference of 1!  Hold your heads up high girls. You have all been superb throughout!  We’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to those parents who joined us on the long journey down to Chesterfield, we really appreciated your support!

As if last week wasn’t busy enough, we still found time to attend the Gateshead Schools Dance Festival at The Glasshouse. We took along our boy street dancers, who have worked so hard during their after-school sessions, to put together a routine.  Miss Conway and Mrs Cox are super proud of them!  We also took our amazing Year 5/6 dancers who have worked alongside Scott and myself, on a Friday evening. The theme this year was ‘Equality’, and they certainly put across this message through their fantastic performances.  Videos of their performances can be found on our school Facebook page.

Also this half term Miss Ornsby and myself held an important assembly and introduced the term ‘young carer’ to our children as we are aware that some of our pupils are Young Carers themselves. A Young Carer is someone under 18 years old who is caring (unpaid) for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. They often take on responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. We know that Young Carers may need a little extra support to enjoy and do well at school and we are committed to ensuring that all pupils who are Young Carers are identified so we can support them effectively. In the next half term, we will be looking to plan something special for these children.

I would like to end by wishing all our families a Happy Easter. Yesterday, the school was awash with decorated eggs which were outstanding in design and creation. Thank you to all those children who entered. Our winners will be announced on our Facebook page.

We have ended our term today with a special ice cream treat to thank our children and staff for being amazing.

Children return to school on Monday 15 April.

Whole School Information


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.

On the last day of term, our children with 100% attendance for the whole year will receive a special certificate.

A REMINDER holidays taken during term time are not permitted and will be unauthorised.

Climate Crew

We are looking forward to celebrating Earth Day on 22 April and taking part in some linked activities that week. We are also taking part in our Big Battery Hunt which was launched recently by our Climate Crew.

Family Learning

Healthy Lives was our Family Learning course this term. Children and parents/carers enjoyed working together to promote healthy lifestyles.

Next term, we invite all our families across the school to join our Mixed Craft course. If you want to get crafty with your kids, join us every Friday morning at 9:00 am.

You can find out more information and sign up for any of our Family Learning courses through our Schoolgateway app.

Family Forest School

This term in Family Forest, we all had an eggcellent time den building, fire lighting, cooking, Easter egg hunters, and a lovely family picnic to end our term.

Next term, Family Forest will be on a Monday at 2:05 pm if you would like to join us.  To book a place, please go to the clubs section on the Schoolgateway app.

Extra-Curricular Activities

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

Monday – Year 4 & 5 Karate Club

Monday – Year 1 & 2 Board Games

Tuesday – Year 6 SPaG Booster

Tuesday – Games Workshop Gaming

Wednesday – Year 6 Boys Football Training

Wednesday – Year 6 Maths Booster

Thursday – Year 6 Reading Booster

Thursday – Year 3, 4 & 5 – Running Club

Swimming days

Year 6 children will now swim on Monday afternoons starting Monday, 15 April 2024.


PE days

Children should come to school dressed in PE kit; school hoodie, t-shirt, navy or black tracksuit joggers, and trainers for the full day.

Reception – Tuesday

Year 1 – Wednesday and Friday

Year 2 – Monday and Thursday

Year 3 – Tuesday

Year 4 – Monday and Thursday

Year 5 – Tuesday and Wednesday

Year 6 – Thursday


Forest School

Reception children will continue to have Forest School on Tuesdays.

Year 1 children will have Forest School every Wednesday.

Year 3 children will have Forest School every Thursday.

Year 6 children will have Forest School on alternate weeks.

6R – Monday 15 April, Monday 29 April and Monday 13 May.  6P – Monday 22 April and Monday 20 May.

For Forest School, 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 bag.


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.

School Lunches

The menu for week commencing Monday 15 April 2024 is Week 3.

School lunch cost £2.60 per day payable in advance using the school app Schoolgateway.

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

Lower key Stage Two

Lower Key Stage Two have had a jam-packed half term! In Year 3, the children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about Ancient Egypt. They loved handling a range of artefacts and were able to find out lots of facts about what life was like in Ancient Egyptian times. They were fascinated by the process of mumification and couldn’t believe they were handling a brain hook! In Art, the children have enjoyed using papier mâché to create their very own canopic jars. They had such creative ideas and worked hard to mould their creations before bringing them to life with paint and their knowledge of colour mixing. We’re sure you’ll agree the end results are fantastic! In English lessons, our children are continuing to enjoy being fully immersed in a number of new texts. This half term, we have written stories linked to Jemmy Button’s journey across the globe.  In Maths, our focus has been developing an understanding of column addition and the children have loved applying this knowledge to solve a range of problems. A number of children have impressed us with their speedy recall of times table facts on Times Table Rockstars with some joining the Rock Hero club! Well done!


Year 4 have enjoyed a super busy term, beginning with our very successful times table workshop. It was great to see so many parents and carers coming to support their children (and challenge themselves as well!). The impact on your children’s times table knowledge has been invaluable so THANK YOU! We rounded off the term and our history topic with a visit to Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields. The children explored ancient artefacts and ruins and we were astounded to think we were standing on the same stones as someone almost 2000 years ago!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A highlight of the half term for all of our Year 3 and Year 4 children has been Aspirations Week. Our visitors were so inspirational and it was a delight to hear how our children’s mindsets changed as they witnessed the statement of ‘you can be anything you would like to be’ come to life in front of them. A BIG thank you again to all of our volunteer visitors.

Upper Key Stage Two

What a busy and exciting half term we have had… Spring is very much in the air and in our steps!

This half term, 5CO have shown lots of enthusiasm in their Computing sessions. The children explored and evaluated different online games and then designed their own with the theme Rainforests. Mrs Cowan was really impressed with their ability to create different sound and action effects on their games. 

5CA have broadened their artistic horizons this half term when we experimented with using charcoal to create observational drawings of African masks. Miss Cameron was really impressed with how the children adapted to the messy medium and their growth mindsets when using something unfamiliar to create their artwork! 

The children in 6P have really excelled in their writing this half term where they have written both a documentary narrative and balanced argument about wolves! Miss Parkin is so proud of the children’s resilience and determination to better the quality of their writing. 

6R are extremely proud of the progress they are making in preparation for their SATs in May. Be it SPaG, Reading or Maths, they are familiar with the expectations of each and it has been lovely to see their confidence continue to grow along the way. Well done, 6R. Miss Reay couldn’t be prouder! 

Times Table Rockstars

Times Table Rockstar competitions and tournaments are continuing to prove popular amongst our children in KS2. We have some super speedy children topping our whole school leader boards with an impressive answer time of less than 1 second per question! There are a number of tournaments set for over the holidays so please continue to encourage your children to login. All KS2 children should be able to login and share their heat map with you also. This indicates which facts children know really speedily and which facts they could focus on. If you need any help accessing Times Table Rockstars, please contact your child’s class teacher. 


Sports News

EYFS Ball Skills: Earlier this half-term, half of our Reception children headed to Kingsmeadow for the EYFS Ball Skills event. However they had a very nice surprise, as ALL of Reception were invited, and they had the whole event to themselves!  All of our children performed fantastically, were supportive of each other and had a healthy competitive spirit.  We would like to thank both the staff and sports leaders from Kingsmeadow.

Swimming gala / County finals: A few weeks ago, we had the first round of the swimming gala.  We were up against 24 other school from around Gateshead and we had to compete in many different races.  Our team all performed amazingly and gained lots of points which added to our overall score.  In addition, we had some children win medals for their individual race:

1st place – boy’s breaststroke

2nd place – girl’s front crawl A

3rd place – girl’s front crawl B

2nd place – boy’s medley relay

Overall, we finished in 3rd place and the whole team were awarded with bronze medals.  Our team then made it through to the South Tyneside County Finals, held at Haven Point.  Again, our team swam their best and made us proud throughout the day.

KS1 Multi-sports festival: Lately, some of our Year 2 children attended a KS1 multi-sport festival and this time, the theme was Disney.  The children took part in lots of fun games such as: Balance like Aladin, Jungle Book Jump, Simba Sneak, Shark Chase, and Shoot like Mirabelle.  The children were so enthusiastic and enjoyed practising their sporting skills.

Year 6 Quicksticks Hockey: Our year 6 hockey teams had a triumphant morning in their tournament, where they won 7/8 of their games and drew one!  They each were awarded a gold medal and made it through to the County Finals.  A huge thank you to Alison for accompanying them!

Year 1 Girl’s Football: Recently, some girls from Year 1 attended a football event held at Power League. The children had a gorgeous morning and developed their ball skills. Well done girls!

Year 3/4Quicksticks Hockey: Last week, some children from Year 4 thoroughly enjoyed the Year 3/4 Quicksticks hockey which was held at Whickham School.  Each team played 3 matches and Team A made it to the semi-finals winning themselves a Bronze medal. Well done to both teams for representing our school brilliantly!

National League – Football: We are super proud of our team!  To make it this far in the National League is just amazing!  We found out that there have been over 1000 teams involved and we can proudly say that we are winners of the Gateshead area and North East region.  However, last week the girls attended Chesterfield and there were some really tough games. Our team won 1, drew 1 and lost 1, missing the semi-final by a goal difference of 1!

Hold your heads up high girls – you have all been amazing throughout!

We’d also like to say a HUGE thank you to those parents who joined us on the long journey down to Chesterfield, we really appreciate your support!

Dance Festival: Last week, we attended the Gateshead Schools Dance Festival at The Glasshouse.  We took along our boy street dancers who have worked so hard during their after-school sessions to put together a routine.  Miss Conway and Mrs Cox are super proud of them!  We also took our amazing Year 5/6 dancers who have worked alongside Scott, on a Friday evening. The theme this year was ‘Equality’ and they certainly put across this message with their fantastic performances.  Videos of their performances can be found on our school Facebook page.



Nurture and SEND

Take a look at the DOSE Spring newsletter and see what exciting things you can do with your child over the Easter holidays. School Newsletters (

Don’t forget, you can contact Miss Tuart using and Mrs Cox using