Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

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Friday Bulletin

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Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

Yesterday saw the 20thannual Sports Presentation Evening. It was a superb event, but what was absolutely spectacular was the number and  range of awards and trophies that students at this school have won over the course of the academic year. Five tables covered in awards, and hundreds of students mentioned for their commitment to and success in sport. It represented for me, all of the hard work of the students and staff in maintaining such a high quality extra-curricular offer – both sporting and non-sporting. We have had wonderful musical and dramatic events too this week. On behalf of you as parents, the governors and the school leadership, I should like to thank the staff for their commitment.

Tennis, football, basketball, rugby, inclusion sports, cricket, athletics, mountain biking, to name but a few, were represented at the awards evening. An exceptional evening, for an exceptional cohort of youngsters.

There is certainly a lot going on at this time of year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of the activities which have been going on this week.


Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Dates for your Diary

  • Term ends at 1.30pm on 17th July 2014
  • Term begins Wednesday 3rd September


End of Term Reports: Years 7, 8, 9 and 10

Paper copies of reports for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 were issued to students on Wednesday and are now available to view on ePortal.

If any parent has difficulty in logging on to ePortal or has forgotten or mislaid their login details, please 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.

Mr Bancroft, Assistant Head


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, we regret that the the school is not able to give out examination results over the telephone or via email. 


Madagascar - World Challenge 2014


On Friday 2ndJuly students and team leaders met in school for the final preparation day before they began their expedition to Madagascar.  The teams from Durham Johnston have now arrived in Madagascar are in the project phase of their visit.  Later this month they will explore Ranofama and Andasibe Mantadia National Parks as well as having opportunities to immerse themselves in the culture of the region.  They will enjoy a rest and relaxation phase before returning to England on 4thAugust.  Mr Grogan, Mr Wells and Mrs Dunn, together with leaders from World Challenge, are travelling with the students.  We look forward to hearing about their adventures in September.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Maths


20th Annual Sports Presentation

The 20thAnnual Sports Presentation took place on Thursday night at Caedmon Hall Hild & Bede college. It was another very successful year with the result that more trophies and medals were awarded than ever before.

The pupils were presented their awards by two local Basketball players; Mark and Paul Elderkin who play nationally, and have received international caps.

The evening was a wonderful way of celebrating achievements throughout the year in winter and summer sporting events.   

The final presentations of the evening went to one boy and one girl from each year group who were nominated by staff to receive a reward for their dedication to school sport throughout the academic year.  Selecting students is never easy task for staff as the school is  fortunate to have so many dedicated and committed young people.

Year 7-  Owen Chaplin  and  Freya Hawthorne, Year 8-  Dan Ferguson and Beth Neil, Year 9-  Lauren Donaghy and Harrison Whitfield, Year 10-  Oskar Maata, Joe Severs and Eleanor Curry, Year 11- Ellen Holland and Sonny Childs with Jessica Shearer winning our special John Sinclair trophy for her work with the PE department throughout her years in Durham Johnston.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Durham Johnston World Cup Winners


After four and a half weeks the Durham Johnston World Cup has come to a close. The Year 7/8 boys final was won by Chile (8H) who have shown energy and enthusiasm throughout the tournament. Runners up were the well supported Russia (8M) who as always attended the game with their giant Russia flag.

The Y9/10 girls final was won convincingly 6-0 by Ivory Coast(10&10J). Hannah was the clear woman of the match. Japan (9D/10D) had worked very hard to get to the final, holding their nerve to win the semi-final on penalties.

Y9/10 boys final played today was on paper a comfortable win to the USA (10A), beating Switzerland (9C) 4-0. USA took an early lead and took advantage of momentum, scoring all 4 goals in the first half. Switzerland rallied at half time and although didn’t manage to score did play much better in the second half.

In the Y7/8 girls final was a very tense affair between South Korea (7A) and Chile (8H). The score ended 2-1 to Chile who’s form can now proudly stay they won the boys and the girls tournament. South Korea deserve a mention as Chile could only field 4 players, so the Year 7 girls agreed to also only play 4 players to keep the contest fair.

The event has been particularly well supported by forms this year, many flags, banners and customised t-shirts were made with students taking the opportunity to learn about new cultures.

Thank you to the students and staff for helping to make this an enjoyable event for all involved.

Mr Garside, Mrs Jackson, Miss Granlund


Reward trip to Dalguise


Friday 4th July saw the third Year Leader Reward trip to PGL Dalguise since Year 8.  20 students made the four hour plus journey to the geographical centre of Scotland for a fun filled weekend. 

The fun began with a wet ambush which quickly descended into a water fight.  Students spent the majority of the weekend soaking wet as they were drenched during the water fight, dunked on raft building and capsized on open canoes.  However, the weather was very kind to us and we enjoyed some warm sunshine whilst taking part in a variety of activities.  The ‘Who won?’ dispute between Mr Bowman and Ardy was finally put to bed after a stellar performance by Mr Bowman during the rifle shooting (the results of the scalp will be framed and  hung on the wall of the office for many years to come)!  

Students gave a good account of themselves and the school by their impeccable behaviour throughout the weekend.  They arrived back around 5.45pm on Monday night exhausted from their efforts.

Please click here to read the blog for further details of the trip and the various activities.  The next rewards event is planned for September, when 30 students will visit PGL Boreatton Park in Mr Weaver’s home county of Shropshire.

Mr Bowman, Head of Year


North East Schools Industry Partnership                      

Last week four of our Year 12 Chemistry students spent a residential week at Durham University working on research projects in the Department of Chemistry and staying in Van Mildert College.  This unique opportunity gives students the experience of both living in University Halls and of working in a real research environment. 

Daniel Todd and James Fawcett worked on designing simple microfluidic devices with Dr. Richard Thompson from Durham University.  Lucy Clark and Sophie Iqbal were involved in investigating the best way to extract metal ions from industrial waste water with Drs Sarah Oakley and Rob Hetterly from Johnson Matthey Davey.   The students had to communicate their projects to academics from the University both at the beginning of the week and again at the end when they had collected some data.  This was a challenge for the students as much of the practical work was unfamiliar to them and the scientific concepts involved were complex.  However our students rose to the challenge andhad a great week.

Dr. Bolton, Subject Leader for Biology


Durham Secondary Schools Challenge


After a last minute entry and with only 4 school days to prepare, the Durham Johnston team won the challenge trophy for the overall competition at the Durham Secondary Schools Maths Team Challenge on Tuesday.

Zak Beattie, Ardeshir Ehtashami, Oskar Maatta and Yuriy Tumarkin took the lead early in the competition and never looked back.  The team manager, Mr Hamilton, said that they were wonderful amabassadors for Durham Johnston and were gracious and deserving winners.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Maths


Malaga Blog....

This year we will have a Malaga Blog on the website for parents and pupils to access. This will include photos and an updated diary every day!

Parents can find the blog on the website by looking at news / extra-curricular / Malaga Blog. 

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

This has been a very busy week for the students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh’s award at all levels. The Bronze group in Year 10 successfully completed their final expedition at the weekend and are preparing their presentations ready for September. The year 13 students undertaking their Gold Award then completed their four day final expedition in Yorkshire, climbing the Yorkshire three peaks and exploring the area, whilst battling the weather and the midges! All 21 successfully completed their expeditions and are now putting the finishing touches to their awards. Congratulations to all!

Ms Clay, Mr Ferguson and Mr Smith


Granada – Spanish Exchange

In June, 16 students, accompanied by Ms Savin and Mr Rhodes went to Granada to for the second part of the Spanish exchange, for which our school is twinned with IES Miguel de Cervantes.

The students returned with many stories and thoughts which they would like to share, some of which are included below.

We try to run 2 exchanges to Spain each year if possible, one to Granada and the other to Murcia, these trips are of enormous benefit to students, they gain confidence in their language skills and it gives them an excellent opportunity to experience day to day life in Spain.

“I enjoyed the final dinner because it was a great way for us to finish off an amazing week. We had lots of fun and got to try all types of Spanish food. We all got along really well and had an amazing week with our exchange partners and I think we have built lasting friendships with our new friends, Spanish and English alike.”

Joseph, Year 9


“I enjoyed visiting the Water park, we had a lot of fun and I went on lots of slides, it was amazing, the highlight of my trip! “

Ben, Year 9


“I really enjoyed my time in Granada; the times that enjoyed the most were when we went out as a big group, both English and Spanish students. We visited the mall and the town. I learned a lot from the Spanish family that I was staying with, and I got so used to speaking and hearing the language that when I was thinking, I found myself thinking in Spanish.


I had a fantastic time in Granada and I would definitely do it all over again.”

Marnie, Year 9


Miss Granlund, Modern Foreign Languages Department



Last Friday, two Year 12 students and I attended the annual Stonewall ‘Education for All’ conference in London. As you all know we are a Stonewall champion school for our outstanding work in dealing with homophobia and raising awareness of lesbian, bisexual and gay issues.

The students who attended the youth conference have come back full of ideas as we launch our own youth group in September here in school. The group will develop and build on the excellent work we have established over the last two years.

Mr Weaver, Assistant Head


Visit to Sunderland University


50 Year 7 pupils visited the University of Sunderland on Monday where they participated in construction, marketing and presentation activities.

All were commended for their behaviour and enthusiasm.

Miss Brown, PE Department


Music Notices

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all pupils, parents, carers and colleagues who have supported our various musical endeavours in so many ways during the last academic year. I’m sure that many people will have their own memories and it may seem unfair for me to single one group out, but Junior Orchestra’s performance in the Christmas Concert was just brilliant.  The timetable for ensemble rehearsals will remain the same next year and rehearsals for all groups will begin in the week beginning 9thSeptember. More details, including concert dates, will be available at the start of next term.

Please would parents and carers ensure that all musical instruments are taken home over the Summer and that at least a little work is done during the holidays.  Instrumental/ Vocal Tuition will resume in the week beginning 9thSeptember. Timetables should be up on the music notice board by Friday 6thSeptember.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Sports News 

Girls Triple Jump

Emily Gargan won silver medal in  the International Girls Triple Jump at Birmingham and will receive the England vest next week!


This week we hosted the first fencing competition for schools in our sports hall. Our fencing team, taken from Year 7 boys’ PE took on pupils from Durham Community Business College and Trinity school. The competition was very fierce but all of our boys fenced very well.

County Summer School Games


On Friday 4th July teams from Durham Johnston competed to represent Durham City at the Level 3 County Summer School games at Maiden Castle. We were very successful in the earlier rounds fielding competition from all other schools in Durham City

Again, Durham Johnston School had more teams representing the city than any other school.

In the Summer School Games we had representation in disability swimming, disability football, boccia, mountain biking, girls cricket, girls’ rugby 7’s, boys’ rugby 7’s and golf.

After a fantastic day of competing we came away with gold and silver medals in swimming, netball, girls cricket, boccia, mountain biking, boys’ rugby and disability football.

Mrs White, P E Department