· Year 7 Parents’ Information Programme, Maths in Year 7 – Wednesday 24 September, 6.00 p.m.
· Thursday 25 and Friday 26, photographer in school to take student individual photos
· Year 6 Open Day – Monday 29 September 10.00 a.m., 6.00 and 6.30 p.m.
· Sixth Form Open Evening - Monday 6 October 6.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
· Year 11 Parents’ Consultation Evening – Monday 17 November 4.00 – 6.00 p.m.
· Year 13 Parents’ Consultation Evening – Monday 1 December, 4.00 – 6.00 p.m.
· Year 12 Parents’ Consultation Evening – Monday 8 December, 4.00 – 6.00 p.m.
Dear parents and carers,
I hope you have had a restful summer. The staff and I have enjoyed welcoming back our returning students this week. A warm welcome also to those students who are starting with us this year, both in Year 7 and starting with us in sixth form.
You will see from the press releases below that our students performed very well in the last academic year, both maintaining very high attainment at A level, but also producing the best set of results at GCSE in the history of the school. However, as we all know, behind each of these sets of results are countless stories of students, staff and parents working hard to understand new concepts, internalise knowledge and revising successfully. Well done to all of our students.
In assemblies this week I talked about ‘random acts of kindness’. You may have heard about these, sometimes surreal, but always helpful acts that help brighten up someone’s day. I wanted to highlight one of the differences between friendliness and kindness. Through one lens, friends are people we choose. They are often people who are like us, who have the same set of values as we do, who often have the same interests as we do. These are people with whom we choose to spend time. Some of the younger students were surprised to hear that teachers actually have friends too. Kindness, however, can be seen as to have an independent quality: we are kind to people who we do not necessarily agree with, may not have similar interests as we do, and people with whom we may not necessarily have an affinity. It is inclusive in its nature. I wonder how many students took up the challenge of performing random acts of kindness at home for their parents?
I hope you have a restful weekend.
Congratulations to our GCSE students on their exceptional performance this year
There are many, many individual success stories for our Year 11 students this academic year. Students of all abilities and backgrounds performed well and have made excellent progress. The national picture of changes in examinations and rules for performance tables makes comparisons more complex. However, results are beyond expectations: 81% of students attained 5 grades at A*-C including English and mathematics. This is the best result in the history of the school, and 20 percentage points above the national (using last year’s data set).
Michael Wardle, Headteacher, said, "Students and staff at school have worked so hard over the past five years and I am delighted that our young people have done so very well. Our focus on academic rigour is key to these results; we ensure that the content delivered in lessons provides academic stretch and that our teaching styles fully engage all of our students.”
Congratulations to our A level students on another set of outstanding results!
Durham Johnston students are once again celebrating outstanding successes in today’s A-level and AS level results, marking yet another year of excellent academic and personal achievements for students at school.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher, said, "We are absolutely thrilled with the success of our students. It has been a busy morning and we are pleased to see so many of our students achieving their expected places at Oxbridge and a wide range of other universities. 15 students will be taking up their offers of places at Oxford and Cambridge or will begin a course in medicine. Students also secured top university places such as Durham, Manchester, Sheffield and Edinburgh, among others.
At A2 level 49% of grades awarded were either A* or A – an exceptional achievement. Nearly three quarters of grades awarded were A*, A or B. A staggering 31% of students achieved three or more A* or A grades. This underlines the hard work and determination of our students, the commitment of their families, and the support of our staff.
The Johnston community is rightly proud of all of its sixth formers, with students from all backgrounds performing very well indeed. Durham Johnston seeks to ensure that all of our students have high aspirations, attain well and are able to compete with the very best. Once again, our students have risen to the challenges set before them, and we wish them all the best as they begin the next stage of their education, training or employment."
Late buses will operate again this term for students participating in extra-curricular activities. The buses will run from Monday to Thursday to Bowburn and to Brandon and will leave school at 4.30 p.m. This gives the opportunity for students to stay behind at the end of the school day to access the wide variety of events and activities, even if they live quite a distance from the school. More information about the clubs and activities on offer before lunch, at lunchtimes and after school will be available on the website soon.
Please click here to see details of musical rehearsals, activities and events for this academic year. Please could I confirm that all instrumentalists are welcome to attend enrichment activities, not just those receiving lessons in school.
Instrumental and vocal tuition from both Durham Music Service and Music Works begins next week. Lesson timetables are displayed on the notice board in the music corridor. If pupils have any questions or concerns, please do encourage them to come and see me. Year 7 pupils are often very anxious about how music lessons work in secondary school, as they are not collected by their instrumental teacher, it usually takes a few weeks for things to settle down. Please do assure them that all will work out in the end.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
Victoria Simpson in Y10 was awarded the “Star Pupil” award at a Code Camp sponsored by a national newspaper. Victoria was shown around the Google headquarters in London and then given a challenge to write code to improve a game. As a result of her code and logical thinking on the day she has won the “Star Pupil” award and now she and her family will be flown to Silicon Valley in the USA to visit the Google HQ as well to visit YouTube Space in Los Angeles.
We’re very proud of Victoria at Durham Johnston, especially as she attended our after school code club last year.
Mr Garside and Miss Bittlestone, Computing Department
Term and Holidays Dates 2014-2016
Term and holiday dates up to July 2016 can be viewed here.
On Thursday our Year 9 cricket team were competing in the County Cup cricket final at Sedgefield CC. They faced a very strong team from Barnard Castle School. We were put into bat first and after a slow start performed very well to reach 116 runs in our 20 overs. Well done to Cain Leight who scored 50 and Josh Clifford who scored 36 including a six.
An excellent bowling and fielding performance restricted Barnard Castle to only 37 runs after the first 10 overs. They eventually needed 17 runs from the final over – they only scored 6 so we beat them by 11 runs to become County Champions.
Congratulations to: Ben Stewart (C), Dean Storey, Cain Leight, Josh Clifford, Dan Ferguson, Callum Reid, Luke Hawkins, Ollie Johnson, Jack Hawthorne, Luke Marsden, Edward Moreland, James O’Neill.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Ski Visit - Payments
A quick reminder that the 4th instalment for the school ski visit in January 2015 is due in by Friday 12th September.
Mrs Hopper, PE Department