Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

There has once again been a lot going on in school of late, and preparations for Wellbeing week are nearly complete. It is exciting to see the range of opportunities available to our young people. These are the experiences that young people will remember later on in life as they look back at their school days. Events in and around school will help students develop wider skills of leadership and team work, and will help build self-confidence and resilience. The final days of term will also be a lot of fun.

Do enjoy reading today’s bulletin, and have a nice weekend.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Proposed Strike Action

Please click here to read the letter issued to parents regarding the impending industrial action on Thursday 10th July.  A final decision regarding the closure of school will be announced early next week.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Dates for Your Diary

  • Tuesday 8th July - Year 12 UCAS Parents' Evening at 6 pm 
  • Thursday 10th July - 20th Durham Johnston Annual Sports Presentation Evening,S t Hild and  St. Bedes's, 7pm
  • Term ends at 1.30pm on 17th July 2014


How to collect exam results

Please be aware of the following guidance that was issued to all students before the public examinations began in June.  We regret that we cannot give out exam results over the phone or by email.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


Collecting your results

Examination results will be available for collection on the following dates.





Thursday  14th August 2014

A2 - 8.00am   AS - 10.00am





Thursday  21st August 2014

YEAR 11    10.00am

YEAR 10    11.00am


You may collect your results personally on the relevant dates above.  If for any reason you are unable to collect your results in person you may either:

  • Leave an A5 stamped addressed envelope with Ms Gillham, Examinations Officer before you embark on study leave.

  • Authorise a representative to collect the results on your behalf.  The person you nominate must produce a letter signed  by you before the  results are released.

For reasons of security the school is not able to give out examination results over the telephone or via email


World Cup Carousel 


On Tuesday and Friday of this week, students in Years 7 and 8 took part in a languages based, World Cup carousel in James Hall.  The event was designed to give students the opportunity to learn about world culture and languages. 

Students engaged enthusiastically in a series of events including Find the Fuleco Treasure Hunt in which students took part in a quiz followed by a timed puzzle and a race to find the Brazilian mascot, a penalty shoot-out competition with a sign language challenge, and a ‘pin the mascot on the country’ atlas and language challenge.

All involved approached the challenges with great gusto, and both events proved to be a huge success. 

Mrs Jackson, Miss Granlund and Mr Garside


Durham University Visit - Wellcome Trust 

Fifteen Johnstonians spent the whole day at Durham University on Wednesday 2nd July, in preparation for a Law in Action day next week. We met with other students from Framwellgate School Durham, Northumberland CE Academy, Ashington and St. Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College, Washington.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, students spent the day preparing for a mock parliamentary debate on a stem cell bill. The event was organised by Vanessa Kind (Reader in Education), Benedict Douglas (Lecturer in Law), Shaun Pattinson (Professor of Medical Law and Ethics) and Mary Howell (Science Education Consultant).

Students were introduced to stem cells, the concept of ethics, parliamentary language and a lecture on limbal stem cells from Professor Figueiredo from Newcastle University.

We are looking forward to the Law in Action day, which will take place on Friday 11th July and a further update will follow shortly. Well done to all the students who have taken part.

Mr Bowman and Miss Murphy


Newcastle University – Life As An Undergraduate


Last Friday 40 Year 10 pupils visited Newcastle University for a taste of life as an undergraduate. They attended guided tours of the campus, subject fairs and talks, and came away with a load of freebies!

Thankfully, it did not rain and the day was a great success.  The day gave them plenty to think about when it comes to deciding their future paths. As ever, they were fine ambassadors for the school.”

Mr Simpson, Head of Year10 


The Girls Network event 

Last week our Year 12 girls’ and six other county schools spent a day working with a team from top firms based in the City of London.  The aim was to boost their employability skills for the future.

This is to pilot a scheme which will be rolled out to schools across the country to chip away at the glass ceiling and improve progression to the top graduate jobs.  The girls will be able to access mentoring and support throughout their studies and into working life. 

Mr McArdle, Head of Sixth Form


All-comers Rowing Regatta 


On Sunday 29th June, a group of teachers and pupils from Durham Johnston took part in the Durham Amateur Rowing Club All-comers Regatta.

Each crew of four consisted of three absolute beginners and one experienced rower.  Pupils from Durham Johnston, who are also members of the rowing club, were designated the positions of experienced rower and cox for each boat.  The crews were allowed a maximum of four hours of training before the competition on Sunday.

Of the nine crews taking part in the event, three were Durham Johnston crews.

Mrs Slattery, Miss Pounds, Mr Grogan and Elliott with cox Tess Armstrong won the mixed crew event racing under the name "A slice of Pi" while in the men's event Mr Hopper, Mr Humberstone, Mr Tighe, Thomas Jackson otherwise known as "The Painful Experience" won their event.

It was a wonderful day and all of the teams had lots of support from pupils and staff.

Miss. Rush, Subject Leader for Maths


Music News

Durham Johnson School 7th Annual Music Competition

The Durham Johnston School 7th Annual Music Competition took place on Thursday this week, with 27 pupils entering across three classes. The standard of performance was extremely high, with difficult decisions for each of the adjudicators to make. The adjudicators praised the performers for the stage presence and deportment, as well as their technical and interpretive skill. A huge variety of repertoire was presented from Bach to Blackadder, making it an enjoyable evening for those who had come to support the performers.

The results were as follows;




Winner: Claire Mitchell (Piano)

Runner Up: Gabriella Suggett (Voice & Guitar)

Most Promising Performer: Freya Swinburne (‘Cello)






Winner: Edd Phillips (Bassoon)

Runner Up: Mark Humphries (Oboe)

Most Promising Performer: Josie Moir (Flute)






Winner: Zak Bonnington (‘Cello)

Runner Up: Gareth Johnson (Cornet)

Most Promising Performer: Adam Gatenby (Piano)


Music For a Summer Evening - Friday 11th July at  7pm

Tickets, which include light refreshments and first drink, are available from the Music Department for £6.


Sky Sports Living for Sport Programme – Fencing

Gemma Collis our athlete mentor for the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme came into school on Monday to work with our Year 7 boys in preparation for the fencing competition that will take place at Durham Johnston on Wednesday 9th July.

Gemma gave the boys great advice on how to stand, win points and parry really well.

Mrs White, School Sports Co-ordinator


Pond Life


As you will be able to see in the photos below, Miss Robson, Mrs Argument and Miss Swaine have continued their hard work to maintain the school pond. 

This week’s task was to  dredge the bottom of the pond and extract unwanted weeds such as Canadian Pond Weed (elodea), water cress, bull rushes with huge roots!  Staff were very careful not to destroy the thriving habitat of tiny frogs which like to jump up trouser legs!

The aim of the team is now to design a tool which will extract the weeds without having to physically get into the pond.

We will continue to update as work progresses.


Teams of the Week

An excellent week with more cricket and tennis success.

On Monday our U13 boys’ tennis team were at the Puma Tennis centre for the North-east play-offs. As County Champions they were representing Durham against the other county winners. We played some excellent tennis throughout the day. We did not lose a set and won the final game against Egglescliffe 6 – 0 to become champions. Well done to Tom Davies, Michael Herbert, Orin Varley and Nic Thompson.

It was the turn of our U15 boys’ tennis team on Tuesday to represent Durham in the North-east finals this time at David Lloyd, Middlesbrough. Again the final game was against Egglescliffe. After some excellent tennis we won 5 – 1 to become champions. Well done to John Heppell, Jack Vaulks, Nathan Varley, Joe Blackbourne and Mark Lilly.

On Wednesday our Year 7 cricket team was also in action against Egglescliffe in the County cricket semi-final. They scored 99 runs in their 20 overs but we managed to get the winning runs with 4 overs to spare so are now through to the County final which takes place in September.

On Thursday both our Year 7 and U15 boys’ tennis teams reached the Tyneside Schools final. Unfortunately we lost both finals in close games to finish runners-up.

Good luck today to around 80 of our children who are taking part in various sporting competitions around Durham as part of the Level 3 School Summer Games.

Finally don’t forget that next Thursday is our 20th Annual Sports Presentation evening starting at 7.00pm at St Hild & St Bede college – it is now sold out so should be an excellent evening.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE