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Giant T-rex brings lessons to life at South Hylton Primary

The pupils at South Hylton Primary Academy had their dinosaur writing project brought spectacularly to life.



The 7ft high, 16ft long king of the dinosaurs towered over pupils as they gathered in the school hall. Pupils at South Hylton have been learning about the time when T Rex and other huge reptiles ruled the earth.

The 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus, known as Rex, was the star of a packed week of dinosaur learning for pupils.

They also got to meet two baby dinosaurs and are nurturing their own ‘dinosaur egg’ in a classroom, working out what they think will hatch from it.


Rex and the baby dinosaurs were brought into school courtesy of Dial a Dinosaur. These dinosaurs are state-of-the-art animatronics, blinking, roaring and opening their mouths.

Pupils weren’t put off by the fearsome rows of razor-sharp teeth sported by the T Rex which was under the watchful eye of his keeper and safari ranger Mike Phelan, of Dial a Dinosaur. Mike said: “Dinosaurs are something that children especially love.

“When you have a seven feet tall, huge dinosaur come towards you it can be frightening at first, but we have Rex knock my hat off with his tail which brings the children forward to pat him and make friends.

“We also brought in two baby dinosaurs for the little children as well, they thoroughly enjoyed it. We help make so many memories when we come into schools with the dinosaurs.”

South Hylton’s deputy headteacher, Angela Roberts, said: “Some of the reactions from the pupils to seeing the T Rex were wonderful, they didn’t know he was coming in. “They are so fired up by the project we are running and the T Rex just took things to another level for them, bringing what they are learning about to life.

“We are having a writing project called Dinosaur Week and at the beginning of the week we put a great big egg out in the nature garden which all the classes went to have a look at. “They’ve been trying to work out what it was, one of the boys thought it was a Pterodactyl’s egg as he thought he saw one up in the sky.”

Sunderland school unites to help brave Ruby


Caring Sunderland schoolchildren have raised nearly £7,000 to help their fellow pupil Ruby Dunn, eight, in her brave fight against a brain tumour.

Every child at South Hylton Primary Academy gathered to watch Ruby, her mam Danielle, dad Joseph and little brother Joseph junior let go a balloon launch on the school playing field, taking message of her fight for health far and wide.

Each of the 945 balloons launched represents fund raising efforts by the pupils and their families to support Ruby who is undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy to treat an aggressive brain tumour.

Just six weeks after being diagnosed, Ruby has had an operation to remove 90% of the tumour – and she now faces eight months of intensive treatment to eradicate the remaining 10% under the supervision of specialists at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital.

Ruby has been diagnosed with a Grade 4 Astrocytoma – an extremely rare cancer in children and more commonly found in middle-aged adults.

She suffered from headaches, high temperatures and vomiting and her parents were given the devastating news by doctors after an MRI scan that she had a brain tumour.

The cash raised for Ruby by her school friends will help her parents – who have put their lives and jobs on hold while they devote their time to caring for their daughter, visiting hospital five times every week.

Mam Danielle Wanless, 30, who works for Gala Bingo in Pallion, said: “The day that we found out our whole world just turned upside down.”

Dad Joseph Dunn, 36, a construction worker, said: “It doesn’t seem real and there’s a part of you which doesn’t take it all in. You cry when you’ve got to cry but we keep strong in front of Ruby. We are now just concentrating on trying to get Ruby well.”

Ruby is still attending school when she feels well enough and has astounded her family and friends with her energy and upbeat attitude. The family from Pennywell, Sunderland, hope to use some of the funds raised for a family holiday in Majorca if Ruby is well enough.

“We just couldn’t believe what the school has done for Ruby, it’s unreal,” said Danielle. “It’s heart breaking what’s happened but heart warming in the way everyone has helped out. It’s very emotional.”

Joseph added: “We never pictured ourselves being in this position, but how fast people come together and help you is absolutely unreal.”

The Ruby Red balloons for the launch were specially chosen by the school to reflect Ruby’s first name and her initials – RED, Ruby Elise Dunn.

Ruby’s Year 3 form teacher Lisa Collins, said: “When we found out it was such a shock. We knew the family would have to stop working and the expense of the travelling they would have to do for Ruby and we knew we had to help.

“We made a target of £1,000 by getting sponsorship of at least £2 for each balloon and the response we’ve had and generosity of our parents and wider community has been quite overwhelming.”

Welcome from the Headteacher

On behalf of the Governors, the staff, the pupils and myself it gives me great pleasure, as Headteacher, to welcome you to the South Hylton Primary School website.

The school website is a very important tool in celebrating the amazing activities that take place at South Hylton Primary Academy. It is also a vital tool in communicating with parents, carers and visitors as well as providing information about the various policies, practice and procedures in our school. Our new website has been designed to give you a taste of our school as well as providing regular updated information for parents but to find out more please contact the school. 

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26 Feb 2018
Parents Evening

27 Feb 2018
09:05AM -
Mr Donaldson's Class Assembly

02 Mar 2018
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Miss Maughan's Class Assembly

06 Mar 2018
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Mrs Collins' Class Assembly
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