Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (23)

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May (4)

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2014 (37)

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October (4)

September (4)

July (3)

June (4)

May (1)

April (12)

February (2)

Dates for Your Diary

  • Year 6 Open Day – Monday 29 September 10,00 a.m., 6.00 and 6.45 p.m. please click here for further details
  • Sixth Form Open Evening - Monday 6 October,  6.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
  • Year 10 GCSE Modern Foreign Languages Information Evening - Thursday 9 October 6.00 – 7.00 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.



Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

Can I take this opportunity to highlight one of the submissions in this week’s Friday bulletin? At school we offer a really wide range of extra-curricular activities for our students. We believe in education in its widest sense and want our students to develop their interests as well as their intellect. You will see from our schedule of events during lunch time and after school that we offer a wide variety of sporting activities, including football, basketball, netball and cheerleading. We support students’ development as musicians, and you will see chamber choir, orchestra, theory club among other activities. These combined with Lego club, connect 4 club, creative writing club, debating club, Christian Union, F1 in schools challenge, arts awards and many, many other events, help our students to make friends, and to feel safe as part of a community.

On your behalf, I thank the staff for giving up their free time to run or host these activities, and I ask you to encourage your children to have a look at the activities on offer.

Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher



Extra Curricular Activities for the Autumn Term

Please click here to view details of the extra-curricular activities and clubs which take place during 1stand 2ndlunch and after school.

Late buses are available from Monday to Friday to transport students who live in Brandon or Bowburn catchment areas.  Buses leave the school site promptly at 4.30.  Sheets are available at the Reception desk for students to sign before 2.45 o,n, on the day they wish to travel home.



The school offers the facility for parents and carers to access their child’s attendance record, timetable and reports using a secure service called ePortal.

Login details for this service have been posted out to those parents and carers whose children who have recently joined the school.

Parents whose children already attend Durham Johnston will have previously been provided with login details.

If you wish to receive a reminder of your 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.


Young Geographer of the Year

This year, members of the recently formed, Young Geographers Club are preparing to participate in the ‘Young Geographer of the Year’, a national competition organised by the Royal Geographic Society (RGS).  Each year, competitors are posed a challenging question.  This year’s question is “How can geography help you?”

The competition is open to all year groups. Students in KS3 and 4 will work on producing an A3 poster.  A-Level students have to complete a 1,500 word essay.

The club will run every Tuesday and sessions will focus on the competition until the 21st October.  Future activities are planned and will be announced shortly.

Mr Ray, Geography Department


Year 10 GCSE Languages Information Evening for Parents

On Thursday 9th October there will be an information evening for the parents of all year 10 students who are studying French, German, Spanish and Chinese. There will be a presentation followed by the opportunity to ask questions. We hope this will provide the necessary information to help parents support their child with their language studies.  Please click on the following here to read the letter of invitation.

Mrs Wood, Subject Leader for French


Maths Event – Year 7 Parents Induction Programme

More than 60 parents of pupils in Year 7 attended the first session of the Parent Induction Programme (PIP) on Wednesday 24thSeptember.  The event began with a demonstration of wide range of activities that are used in maths lessons at Durham Johnston.  Parents were then able to try out some of the activities for themselves.  Year 12 students were on standby to help if necessary. Mini white boards and jigsaws both proved to be very popular. Mr Hamilton explained how we encourage problem solving and communicating mathematical ideas through “Think for Yourself” tasks.  Parents were also given useful website addresses for NRICH (http://nrich.maths.org/frontpage) and MyMaths (www.mymaths.co.uk)

Parents learned about the structure of teaching groups and were given a brief outline of the process of allocating pupils to sets.

Those parents who attended the session were very gracious in their feedback and made many positive comments.

Thank you to all who came along.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Maths


Year 7 Visit to Durham Cathedral

The whole of Year 7 visited Durham Cathedral and World Heritage Centre over Wednesday and Thursday this week. This is part of the school’s response to the Henley report, which encourages schools to offer opportunities for children to experience high culture, including heritage sites. The pupils took part in a carousel of activities. They completed work on pilgrimage with the Ethics and Philosophy department, a whistle-stop tour of the whole cathedral with the History department, observational drawing with Art, and had the opportunity to re-design Palace Green with Geography.

Year 7 enjoyed the day, with many of them describing it as ‘fun’, ‘interesting’ and ‘a good way to learn about where we live’. A huge number of pupils enjoyed the art activity, as they liked the opportunity to look closely at the detail of the building. Lots of them told us that they found it interesting to visit parts of the cathedral that people often miss out. A great deal of interest was shown in learning that it was a prison for a short while during the 17th Century, and in visiting the room used as an air raid shelter by choristers during WWII (now the Chapel of the Holy Cross). The Geography department are enjoying reading the pupils’ suggestions for improving Palace Green, though they fear ‘a massive slide’ might not go down well with UNESCO!

We hope this visit means that when we return for our carol service in December, the pupils will have a better understanding of the great building they are visiting.

The pupils’ behaviour was a credit to the school, and we were complimented by several members of cathedral staff as well as a number of members of the public.  Well done!

Thank you to all the staff who accompanied the visit, helping to make it such a success.

Miss McKenzie, History Department


Music Department News

Prizes for past students

Congratulations to Emma Hall (Year 13 2013-2014) and Helen McGlade (Year 11 2013-2014) who received prizes for their examination compositions at an awards dinner on Wednesday evening. Emma was awarded first prize in the over-16 category for two songs for female voice and piano inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby,  and Helen received a runner-up prize in the under-16 category for a minimalist composition for flute, piccolo and piano. Both students received a generous cheque from the members of the St Cecilia Lodge in recognition of the high standard of their compositions.

Generous Donation

The department would like to express their sincere thanks to the Jardine family, who made a very generous donation to the music department at the end of last term. With the donation, the department have purchased a piccolo and some senior orchestra music for the Spring Concert which will be called ‘Stage and Screen’.

School Ensembles

All school musical ensembles have made an excellent start to the year. Please would parents/ careers remind pupils that all who need to use the late busses must reserve a seat on the last busses by writing their name on the folder at reception at morning break on the day which they wish to use the last bus?

Christmas Concert

Finally, sorry to mention this in September, but the Christmas Concert is on the evening of Thursday 11th Dec. If your child is a member of any of the school ensembles (Junior Choir, Junior Orchestra, Wind Band, Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra or Chamber Choir) , please would you ensure that you child is able to perform that evening, or let me know if there is a problem in the near future? More details on this soon.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


House News  -  Design Competition

Outside of the science department are 4 planters to grow a variety of plants and vegetables. Each House has ownership for one planter. We are therefore looking for a large label to go on the front of each planter and the best designs should represent each of the 4 Houses. The winning designs will be attached to each planter for the duration of the academic year.

The design needs to be rectangular in shape therefore form tutors will find appropriately shaped pieces of paper in their pigeon holes tomorrow morning on which students are to submit their designs.

Although there will be 4 winning designs, house points will be awarded for every entry so please encourage participation.

Deadline for entries is Friday 10thOctober, all entries to me in Language 4.

Mrs Jackson, English Department


Teams of the Week

Another excellent week with two more trophies won. On Tuesday our football teams were in action against Belmont. Our Year 7 team won 8 – 2 to remain top of the league. It was the same for our Year 8 & 9 teams who both recorded comfortable victories to remain unbeaten in the league.

On Wednesday our Year 11 netball team were competing in the Durham Schools netball tournament at Durham School. They produced some excellent netball to win all their games comfortably. The second half of the tournament will take place in February.

On Thursday our VIth form football team travelled to St John’s for a league game. A very competitive game ended in a 3 – 1 victory with Ben Cahill scoring an outstanding goal and a great penalty save from Sonny Childs.

Also last night our cross-county teams travelled to Emmanuel College for the first competition of the season. Our two girls teams finished in 3rdplace, only beaten by RGS and Newcastle Girls School and our Junior Boys were 4th. The outstanding performance came from our Inter boys team who won the competition beating Dame Allans into 2ndplace. Matthew Pinkney was 4thand Luca Bloomfield, Ben Horsfield and Jordan Tindale all finished inside the top 12.

Finally last night the Annual Durham & Chester-le-Street Sports Awards were held at the Town Hall. The PE department had been nominated in the Secondary School contribution to Sport category along with St Leonard’s and Durham Community Business College. It is a pleasure to announce that Durham Johnston won the award in recognition of the outstanding sporting success throughout the year. We now go on to represent Durham at the County Sports Award evening in October.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Durham Johnston Sixth Form  -  Weekly Notices and Information

For Sixth Form students, we draw up a weekly notices / information sheet.  It is an eclectic mix of opportunities, meetings, deadlines and events – and the occasional admonishment!

We emphasise the importance of developing effective communication throughout Sixth Form, and accessing and acting on the information on the notices is part of this process.  Form Tutors and A level subject teachers are given a weekly copy and all Sixth Form students receive it by email.

If you want to keep up with what’s going on – please click here!