Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

There are signs that summer is on its way. The weather today is glorious, and the days are still getting longer. I certainly hope that the weather remains this way over the weekend.

Once Year 11 start study leave we move to single lunch, and other areas of the campus are open to students at lunchtime. Students often eat their packed lunches outside in the sun, and relax on the grass and near the trees. These are memorable times for students, and we are proud of the way that the environment is respected by the youngsters; they use the bins for litter and tidy up after themselves.

The school does offer a variety of activities over lunchtime – do encourage your children to get involved.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher



Dates For Your Diary

  • Year 11 Study leave begins – Wednesday 21st May
  • School breaks up on Friday 23rd May for Summer Half Term (one week)
  • Term begins – Monday 2nd June 


Year 7 Parents - Language Options for Year 8

Your child will have recently received a letter regarding their language options.  In Year 8, your child will study two foreign languages. They will choose either French or Mandarin and one other language from German, Spanish or Latin. If they wish, they will also be able to study a third language in a lunchtime masterclass. 

Your child will receive a letter via their form tutor explaining the choices available and we would like you to discuss these options with them. Please complete and return the tear-off slip at the bottom of the letter with your child’s preferences. 

Choices will be met as far as possible however; if a language is heavily oversubscribed it may not be possible for some students to study their preferred language. It would be helpful if you could indicate any additional reason why your child would like to take a particular language e.g. if you have relatives in Germany or Spain etc.

The weekly lunchtime masterclass is an excellent way to learn a further modern foreign language and may be of particular interest to those students who choose Latin.

If you have any questions on the second language option process, please contact Miss Schwaiger either by phone or email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Miss Schwaiger, MFL Department


Durham Johnston World Cup

A reminder that we’re now only 27 days away from the Fifa World Cup. During the tournament we will be running a range of international events to coincide with the tournament in Brazil.

Each form between years 7 and 10 has been linked with a country taking part in the World Cup Finals. To view the draws and download a spreadsheet of the fixtures please follow this link:


There will be separate football tournaments for the boys and girls and everyone wishing to participate in the football will be given an opportunity to do so (each form will play a minimum of three games).

For those not interested in football, we are treating it as a truly International Event and therefore there will be non-football related activities and competitions to take part in, giving students the opportunity to learn about the different countries and cultures across the world.  

Mr Garside

Newcastle University Maths Challenge 14

Earlier this year a number of Durham Johnston pupils took part in Challenge 14. These are mathematical quizzes designed by the Mathematics department at Newcastle University for pupils in Year 8 and below and Year 10 and below. 

The problems are attempted during February half term and must be completed independently by the pupil.  There were over 800 entries this year and the standard was very high.

We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Lessels from Year 8 was among the 20 year 8 pupils from the region who were awarded a certificate.  Rebecca attended the prize giving ceremony on Monday with her family and her mathematics teacher, Miss Brown.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Mathematics


IFS Results for Year 13 students

As part of our Sixth Form enrichment programme, we offer students the chance to study for an Intermediate Certificate in Personal Finance.

  • What is it?  Intermediate certificate in personal finance is accredited by the Institute of Financial Services (IFS School of Finance), a charity with a Royal Charter, founded in 1879 – to regulate and train people in the financial services industry (mainly banking).
  • Why do we offer this course?  As young adults, students will be encountering financial situations that are new to them – the more knowledge and understanding they have regarding financial matters, the better their decisions are likely to be – potentially saving (or making) significant amounts of money.

This year we have had 34 Year 13 students studying this course since October, sitting their final two exams last week.  100% A and A* grades!

Well done to you all!

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Visit to Caterpillar in June for Year 10 Engineers



Following on from the Year 10 engineering group's successful visit to the National Railway Museum in Shildon. Students now have the opportunity to visit a number of other local engineering companies in the area including Nissan, Caterpillar and BAE.

 We have the first of a series of factory visits during which students will engage with and experience a real life engineering workplace. Students will learn about the apprenticeship opportunities available and to realise that with hard work and effort that these opportunities are within their grasp.

Mr Kennedy, Design and Technology/Engineering


Visitors from Granada

Last Wednesday our Spanish exchange partners arrived from Granada to stay with the families of Durham Johnston students.

Twelve Year 9 students and their two teachers spent six days visiting local attractions which included the ever popular Beamish museum, Durham Cathedral, various landmarks in Newcastle and the North East coastline.

On Monday they travelled to York, accompanied by our Spanish assistant Srta. Gloria Moreno where they visited the Minster, completed a treasure hunt and explored the Shambles. Despite being caught in a hail storm, a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all, rounded off by a farewell meal in Durham in the evening.

Durham Johnston students will be travelling to Granada on 18thJune to meet up once more with their exchange partners and spend one week practising their Spanish and discovering the city of Granada.

Miss Granlund, MFL Department


Creative Café Update

Creative Café pupils have been working on some lovely projects this year. They undertook a lot of work to do with Chinese New Year, including origami, paper cutting and using chopsticks. They have devised their own versions of the ‘Scream’ painting by Edvard Munch depicting what most frightened them, and have done a number of drama based activities for example learning about slapstick. Some pupils are using the skills learned towards a certificate with help from Miss Ayrey. Pupils were involved in last week’s War Horse activities and this week have completed a miners banner representing life in the North East.

They are also devising board games to teach Year 6 pupils about life at Durham Johnston. Creative café takes place every Wednesday after school in the library. For more information about how to get involved please ask Miss Smith or Mrs Coady.

Ms Smith, Learning Support


Music Festival 2014

The Durham Johnston School Music Festival 2014 will take place in James Hall on the evening of 3rdJuly. Entries must be submitted by Thursday 22ndMay. For further information and the entry form please click here.

Wind band Rehearsals for performance in Birmingham on 25thJune.

The first of the three extra wind band rehearsals (20thMay, 10thJune and 24thJune) takes place onTuesday. The rehearsal will begin promptly at 2.45 and finish at 3.30. Students who are already on study leave do not need to wear uniform for these rehearsals.

Mr Holmes, Subject leader for Music


Teams Of The Week

Another very busy and successful week:

On Monday afternoon our Year 7 cricket team took on St Bede’s, Peterlee in the County Cup. Despite the rain we played some great cricket to record a very easy win. We scored 132 for 0 then bowled them out for 55. Special mention to James Hindmarsh who scored 54 not out and Tom Hetherington who was 48 not out. Also, Joe Brown who amazingly took 4 wickets in 4 balls.

On Tuesday our athletics teams travelled to Monkton Stadium, Jarrow for round 1 of the English Schools Cup. After an excellent day’s competition against 5 other of the best schools around, we achieved the following results:

  • Junior Boys – 1st
  • Junior Girls – 2nd
  • Inter Boys –  2nd
  • Inter Girls  – 3rd

These results mean all 4 teams may qualify for the regional round in June and we were the best school overall. Well done to Sam Bradley who won both his events.

Following the athletics success our Year 7 football team travelled to Newcastle for the Tyneside Schools Football final. This is a prestigious competition open to schools from across the North East. We met an outstanding team from St Cuthbert’s and despite a great battling performance they proved too strong and we eventually lost 5 – 2.  Still, it was a great achievement to play in the final.

On Wednesday our Year 7 basketball team were in action against St Aidan’s school from Darlington. Our Year 7 team get better with every game and this turned out to be very one-sided as we won 82 – 0!!

At the same time our Year 7, 8, 9, & 10 rounders teams were playing Parkview. Again, more success as all four teams won their matches.

Also on Wednesday our Year 9 football team were at Bishop Auckland FC ground playing in the Bishop’s Cup final. As with the Year 7 football team they gave an outstanding performance and were a credit to the school throughout. Against a very physical and strong team from St John’s who were already County Champions we battled well and at full time the score was 0 – 0. Unfortunately they hit 1 unstoppable shot in extra – time to win 1 – 0.  Special mention to Stefan Werres who was voted Man of the Match.

On Thursday our U13 boys A and B teams along with our U13 girls’ tennis teams travelled to Barnard Castle for league games. We proved too strong for Barnard Castle with all 3 matches finishing 6 – 0 to Durham Johnston.

Finally, good luck to our U13 boys’ and girls’ cricket teams who are at Brandon CC all day Friday competing in the Durham “Chance to Shine” competition.  Hopefully news of more success next week.   

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE