Dunston News – 24/11/2022

Dec 8, 2022Dunston News

Message From Mr Sutherland

Last week we finally got the call from Ofsted that we have been expecting for a while, and you will know that we received a two-day visit from one of His Majesty’s Inspectors on Thursday and Friday. This was an Ungraded Inspection by Ofsted, which refers to routine inspections of schools judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ carried out under section 8 of the Education Act.

During the course of her two days, the inspector visited lessons and activities, spoke with children, staff members, leaders and governors, and considered surveys from children, parents and staff. Many of you engaged with the inspection and we had a wonderful response to our parent survey – thank you for the time you took to tell the inspectors about your and your child’s experience at our school. We are very grateful for your constructive and helpful feedback about our provision.  At the end of their visit, the inspector gave her judgements on different aspects of the school. They gave feedback to senior leaders, including governors. These judgements are confidential at this stage, until the Ofsted report has been drafted, checked by school and published. This process can take at least a month from start to finish.  I can, however, pass on the inspector’s thanks to the school community for their help and support over the two days and I am delighted that she was able to see and comment on so many positive aspects of school life here at Dunston Hill.

As soon as the inspection report is published, I will send you all a copy and elaborate a little more on the findings. In the meantime, I am so proud of all our children who represented the school so well in so many different ways and were a great credit to you.

As you can imagine, we are currently a hive of activity across school as we begin to prepare for Christmas in Dunston Hill.  There are lots of dates for your diaries so please make sure you check them carefully – we wouldn’t want you to miss anything.  This year, there are opportunities for parents and carers throughout school to join their children for a Christmas activity, as well as the usual whole-school events such as the Christmas Market.  We hope you will able to join us for some, if not all of these.

I also wanted to let you know that every class will be having a Class Assembly or Celebration some time either in spring or summer term 2023, where you will be able to join your child as they share some of the learning they have been doing this year, along with their classmates.  There will be more information coming home about this next term.

In the meantime, have a great weekend!

Best wishes


Whole School Information

Christmas Plans

Further to the letter sent out earlier in the week by email, please see below the calender of Christmas dates:

Thursday 1 DecemberLook out for our Naughty Elf’s antics on our Facebook Page
Friday 2 DecemberFestive Friday- wear Christmas clothes and colours and bring a donation to our school raffle
Tuesday 6 DecemberYear 2 Christmas Afternoon – Parents Invited 2pm
Friday 9 December

Festive Friday- wear Christmas clothes

Dunston Christmas Market- join us from 2.30pm

Monday 12 DecemberYear 6 Christmas Afternoon – Parents Invited 2pm
Tuesday 13 December

Winter Wonderland Year 1 and 5

Year 5 Christmas Morning – Parents Invited 9am

Year 1 Christmas Afternoon – Parents Invited 2pm

Wednesday 14 December

Winter Wonderland Year 3 and 6

Year 3 Christmas Afternoon – Parents Invited 2pm

Thursday 15 December

Winter Wonderland Year 2 and 4

Year 4 Christmas Morning – Parents Invited 9am

Reception Christmas Nativity 2.15pm

Friday 16 December

Festive Friday- wear Christmas clothes

Christmas Dinner Day

Winter Wonderland Nursery and Reception

Nursery Christmas Morning – Parents Invited 10.45am

Monday 19 DecemberYear 1 and Year 2 Christmas Party- come to school in party clothes!
Tuesday 20 DecemberYear 3 and Year 4 Christmas Party- come to school in party clothes!
Wednesday 21 December

Reception Christmas Party- come to school in party clothes!

Christmas Grand Raffle coffee morning in hall – all parents/carers welcome

Thursday 22 December

Year 5 and Year 6 Christmas Party- come to school in party clothes!

Year 4 Polar Express Day- come to school in PJ’s

Friday 23 December

Festive Friday- wear Christmas clothes

Nursery Christmas Party

Toddler Group – Toddler Time

Our little ones and parents/carers have been having a fabulous time at Dunston Hill Toddler Time. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be taking part in lots of Christmas crafts. We are also hoping to organise a toddler-time Christmas party.

Toddler Time is held every Wednesday 9:00 – 9:45am in our main hall. You don’t need to worry about booking. Just come and join in the fun for £1. 
There will be lots of fabulous toys, singing, craft sessions, stories, and fun activities. Oh, and of course, refreshments and fruit for the little ones. We can’t wait to see you there. 


Anti-Bullying Week

We have had a great week for Anti Bullying Week! Miss Ornsby kickstarted the week with a whole school assembly on Odd Sock Day to remind us how important it is to stand out from the crowd and dare to be different. As the theme this year was ‘Reach Out’ there have been so many wonderful activities going on across school to spread kindness and ‘reach out’ to one another. In KS1, children wrote postcards to their friends and made friendship bracelets, whilst in KS2, children created kindness calendars and set each other challenges about how they were going to reach out to a friend in need.


Children in Need

The Great SPOTacular

Dunston Hill came together with BBC Children in Need and joined The Great SPOTacular.

It certainly was spotacular at school last Friday. All the children came to school dressed in spots and donated £1.

We would like to thank all the children and parents/carers for their kind donations and for making such a fantastic effort.

A big well done to our School Council, who went above and beyond to raise some extra money for children in need. In total, we raised a fantastic £386.05.


Nursery Parents – Primary School Admissions for September 2023

Online applications are now open for parents/carers to apply for their child’s school Reception class place for September 2023.  Apply at  Closing date is 15 January 2023.


School app – Schoolgateway

Are you having trouble accessing or using our school app? Here are a few pointers to help you… 

Getting started – Download Schoolgateway from your app store to your device.  You will require your mobile number and email address to log in for the first time.  This information must be the same as we have in school.

Messages – 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.

Emails – Please check your emails regularly as the majority of information from school will be sent to parents/carers using email.  The first email you receive may go into your spam/junk folder.

If you have any questions regarding the school app or email communications, please contact the school office.


A reminder, children’s absences must be reported to the School Office by 9am daily.  You can do this by telephoning 01914334021, sending an email to or sending a message using the school app Schoolgateway.


Return to school January 2023

School will open again after the Christmas break on Tuesday 10 January 2023.

School Lunch

The menu for week commencing Monday 28 November 2022 is Week 3.

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 or peanut butter sandwiches.  This is especially important to remember for children bringing in packed lunches or snacks.

Class News

Class News from Lower Key Stage 2

Year 3

This half term, Year 3 are continuing to enjoy their topic of Rivers. Building on from seeing the River Tyne in school during their workshop delivered by the Water Trust, the children have developed their understanding of the water cycle and the different parts of the river from source to mouth and all features in between. Last week, they focussed their learning on the mouth of the Tyne and this week they will compare this local area to one further afield, that of the mouth of the Thames. The topic will then look at rivers around the world with a particular focus on the River Jurura in Peru. Throughout the topic, our children have been developing their map skills and using 4 figure grid references to locate places and key features. Great Geographical skills Year 3.  

Year 4

Year 4 have been working extremely hard since September to improve their confidence in the water at our weekly swimming sessions! This term, the children have improved their ability to move smoothly through the water using an arrow shape, as well as begin to perfect some strokes. Some of our children have even moved on to backstroke! At the end of the half term, they applied their knowledge and newfound skills to enjoy a game of pool ‘football’! Many goals were scored and fun was had by all!

Non-Fiction November

This month we are celebrating Non-Fiction November throughout school. So far we have been treated to a snippet of a text called, ” Poo – An natural history of the unmentionable” by Miss Parkin via our speaker system; a super assembly by Mrs Anglesea where we unwrapped favourite non-fiction books of our teachers and our whole school reading areas are rammed with popular non-fiction books, annuals and magazines for us to share with our classes. Before the end of the month, we will also be lucky enough to have a different teacher come and share a non-fiction text linked to our learning during our storytime! What fun! I wonder what the month of December will bring to help us celebrate our love of reading?


Nurture update

We would like to remind you of the support and services that we can reach out to as a school should you/we feel it would be beneficial in supporting your child’s development:

Speech and Language Therapy  – support with speech and language (including understanding and ability to express/communicate)

Early Years Assessment and Intervention Team –  support the development of Nursery-aged children

Educational Psychologist – assess children’s cognitive abilities and offer strategies

High Incidence Needs Team – support from specialist teacher, e.g. autism, cognition and learning  and communication and interaction

Low Incidence Needs Team – support with hearing and eyesight impairments

Occupational Therapy – offer strategies for sensory processing, self-care and motor skills

Early Help  offer direct, practical advice for families

Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) – offer neurological assessments (e.g. autism, ADHD)

The Emotional Wellbeing Team  – support with worries, anxieties, mental health

School Health – support the health needs of children aged 5 and over (e.g. sleeping, eating, weight)

Behaviour Support – support with extreme and/or persistent behaviours


We would also like to re-share some information that might be of help to you and your child/children:

The Autism Hub:

Early Help

DOSE magazine:

Please don’t hesitate to contact Miss Tuart (SENDCo/Inclusion Manager) or Mrs Cox (Family Support Worker) to discuss any of the above or for any support/advice. 


Sporting Updates

Year 5/6 Indoor Athletics Competition

Wow…Gold medals galore! Recently, some of our Year 5/6 children attended the indoor athletics festival held at Gateshead Leisure Centre.  We competed in a number of track and field events, against nine other schools from Gateshead, and we are thrilled to announce that we won the entire competition, making it through to the county finals!  We are super proud of each and every one of our wonderful children who represented our school brilliantly. Go team DH and good luck for the county finals!


KS1 Indoor Athletics Festival

Lately, some of our Year 2 children represented us at the Key Stage 1 Athletics Festival.  This year there was a dinosaur theme which the children loved!  They had a great afternoon balancing, running and jumping their way through the dinosaur games.  Well done to the children for being such good sports