Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

The summer has arrived for the students.  At our final assembly of the year (before DJ’s got talent) I talked to the students about three people and asked them what they had in common. The first, a young man who from school had a deep sense of justice.  He did not like to see people disadvantaged, he had an interest in animal welfare at school which he did not forget during his time as an MP in parliament, where he continued to fight for the rights of others. The second, a phenomenally intelligent young man who excelled in the sciences at school, and used his career in medical research to improve the life chances of those who are ill.  The third, a young woman who had a natural way with people, who is empathetic and caring.  She is a first rate artist, who won a prestigious prize whilst at school and is continuing her career path now.

The students were able to spot that the common factor was that they all went to Durham Johnston  - all three are Johnstonians.  I underlined the fact that all of our students can excel in different ways, and that is what the staff, students and parent body are working towards. We can’t all be famous, but we can all have a positive impact on those around us.

As in any community there have been successes over the year. I have written about the music, dramatic and sporting events of late. We know that the school has a long history of academic success, and we are looking forward to the results that our students will attain in the summer. We are also aware that there have been losses and illness within our community, and the staff and students reflected on this during the assembly.

I concluded by asking the students to rest, enjoy their holiday, and return refreshed for another year at the Johnston. I wish you all a good summer too.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Dates for Your Diary

·         Wednesday 3rd September – Term Begins


Year 10 Business Enterprise Event: You’re Hired……You’re Fired 

This event was arranged for GCSE Business students to culminate a year of hard work.  It was loosely based on the successful programme “The Apprentice.”  The students were given a number of team tasks to complete which required them to use a range of entrepreneurial skills. 

Each team had to complete the morning by giving a sales pitch to the judges. The judges (Our Business Ambassadors) were highly appreciative of the efforts put in by the teams, commenting on their high level of motivation and engagement.

Well done to the winners, aptly named “Inspiration.”.  A big thank you to our Business Ambassadors, who were very impressed by the manner in which Year 10 approached the activity.

Mr Tait, Curriculum Leader Business & Enterprise


Year 10 & Year 12 Study Visit Bad Ischl - Austria July 2014

Our trip to Bad Ischl was tiring, but absolutely amazing. We managed to do so much in a short space of time, including a vast number of things that we had never done before, and will never forget. A big advantage of this trip was that we were able to make friends and meet lots of young Austrian people, which we really enjoyed, without the pressure and potential stress of living alone with a host family. The opportunity to meet our exchange partners was extremely valuable – we shared some fantastic experiences and were able to speak a lot of German.

Having had contact with the partner school was a good idea because it taught us about the lifestyle of Austrian people our age. We love Bad Ischl, it was a good location for a school trip because we felt safe and the people were really friendly.

We were given a great insight into the culture of Austria, including learning the Viennese Waltz, which was a really good laugh. We were glad we took part in this activity - it was something we wouldn’t have done otherwise. Some of our favourite experiences were the dancing, the views from the top of the mountains (and cable cars), the boat we went on in Gmunden and visiting the Dachstein and the Krippenstein caves.

It was particularly good that we managed to do so much, without us needing extra money as it was all included, and we found it great value for money.

Ultimately, it was the best school visit any of us have ever been on, and we really appreciate the teachers for organising it, as it was so well organised and we had an absolutely amazing time.

Saskia Byng, Grace Dixon, Amy Dresser, Lillie Dracup, Emily Gillham, Rosa Hackett, Alexandra Hendry, Sally Hughes, Freya Kalus, Sarah Rowell, Tarin Taleb and Cara Woods.

Miss Schwaiger, MFL Department

Art News (June - July 2014)

A level Art Exhibition

The annual A level Art show was a resounding success with many invites guests amazed at the quality of work on display. The exhibition showcased the talents of both AS and A level Fine Art students that included large scale drawings and oil paintings, printmaking, photography and even fashion sculpture. The evening was busy from start to finish and many staff and students took the opportunity to view the work the following day.






Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition Online 2014

Success for two A level Fine Art students shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Arts A level Summer Exhibition Online 2014.

To follow in the success of students in previous years, Jennifer Cuthill and Eleanor Graham, both in Year 13, were successful in having their work selected for the prestigious Royal Academy Online Exhibition. They both received certificates and their work can be viewed on The RA website.





First Year Sixth Form Art Students Visit Tate Modern in London

A level Art students jumped at the chance to see the Matisse Cut Outs exhibition at Tate Modern and the BP Portrait exhibition at the National Gallery in London this week.  Both exhibitions were remarkable and students felt that the work would inspire and motivate them in their A level Fine Art.




Mrs Hitchcock, Subject Leader for Art


Key Stage 3 World Cup Poster Competition



During the last week of timetabled lessons, students in Key Stage 3 took part in a poster competition in their Maths lessons.

With the World Cup Final looming the following Sunday, students had to use the data from the matches that had already taken place to try and predict the score and time of goals in the final.

Classes eagerly began their analyses. Tally charts, bar charts and pie charts were drawn.  Means, medians, modes and ranges were calculated.

Germany then threw an 8 goal spanner in the works on Tuesday night.

Unperturbed, groups ploughed on (either ignoring the anomaly or adjusting previous calculations) and the best in each year group went to the following students:

Year 7 - Charity Weekes, Louise Duncan, Tian Metcalfe and Chloe Tyler (7Q1)

Year 8 – Megan Robson and Megan Ridley (8X3)

Year 9 – Erin Munro and Sophia Booth (9E3)

However, in a very competitive contest, the overall winners were:

Laura Haubold, Mollie Coe and Rachel Ivory (7P1) who predicted a tight match (2-1) with the goals coming late in the game as had been the trend in previous games.

The most bizarre request during the competition has to go to the student who wanted to know the size of Thomas Muller’s boots.

Prizes will be awarded in September.  Well done to all who took part.

Mr Hamilton, Maths Department


Pondlife Progress Update

  • Rescued willow tunnel from being removed now manageable and looking the part.
  • Cleared pond as it was becoming choked and stagnant now so frogs and friends  have a nice swimming pool.
  • Created planters from recycled timber from wood pallets – this is to allow the start of an inter house competition on growing various plants and keeping the best kept planter.  
  • Over the summer hoping to have some paved areas installed around the pond to make it more accessible to all to ensure the continued use of the pond during exploratory science lessons on outdoor habitats and to make it  also accessible by wheel chair so that all students can participate in activity.

The future...... 

  • More planters to be made.
  • Bird boxes created to encourage small bird life and hopefully a camera installed to monitor birdlife.
  • Pond to be levelled, and area landscaped to be used as an outdoor class room.



Pupil Wellbeing Week

Here are some photographs which represent some of the activities students have enjoyed during Pupil Wellbeing Week 2014.