Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary

  • Durham Johnston Sculpture Park Opens Monday 6 October - Free, Open week days,  9am - 6pm, click here for Sculpture Park Guide

  • 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,

Next week sees the start of Durham Johnston Festival of Culture 2014. You can download the programme from the home page of our website. This year we have a classics working breakfast where Natalie Haynes writer, broadcaster, and reviewer will speak to some of our students. Other contributors to the festival include poet Daljit Nagra who will retell stories from Rama's quest to rescue his wife Sita from her abduction by Raavana, Lord of the Underworld to a multi-cultural, multi-faith audience. We also have the Carnegie Medal-Winning author Meg Rosoff introducing her sixth novel Picture me gone. This year our sculpture park is extended to include over ten pieces, and these will be on show near the front of the building. Do come and see them! It is going to be an exciting few weeks.

We thank all of our festival partners for their support for this venture.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Possible strike action

GMB and UNISON are planning strike action on Tuesday 14th October. Members of staff in these unions provide health and safety cover for the school, in addition to lunches, administration and first aid. Should the strike go ahead there will inevitably be disruption to the school. Please look out for messages on the website, announcements in this bulletin, and text messages over the course of next week to this end. Industrial action is on a national level and not against this particular school.

Prof Simon Morris, Chair of Governors


Driving onto the school site

You will be aware that we have only limited space on the school campus for parking. We operate the rule that parents are only to drive onto site during the school day if they have a pre-arranged appointment (the exception being mobility issues).  Specifically, it causes additional hazards if parents drive onto the site just before school or just after school. This can become quite dangerous, and we have a duty of care for all of our staff and students – your children.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher 


Durham Johnston Festival of Culture 2014  -  Year Two and Growing!

We are delighted to announce a magnificent programme of cultural opportunities for our students, partner schools and the general public.

Running throughout October, Durham Johnston School will host literary events in conjunction with Durham Book Festival 2014 and theatrical events in conjunction with Take-Off Festival 2014.

Durham Johnston’s annual Festival of Culture is made possible through the existence of multiple, informal social enterprise contracts. Via these contracts, the school is able to trade marketing, venue, logistics and front of house expertise for events with festival partners. No money exchanges hands and there is no cost to the school budget. The brochure and other miscellaneous item costs are covered by our festival sponsors to whom we are extremely grateful.

Our Festival of Culture 2014 promises to be even bigger and better than last year’s festival with two days of Durham Book Festival for Schools events and a sculpture park which builds upon the success of last year’s temporary installation.

The programme has something for Young People of all ages from KS1 / early years to older teens; Q & A’s with award winning authors; cutting edge, experimental theatre and unique literary events.

Following last year’s highly successful temporary installation of Ray Lonsdale’s 15ft-tall weathered steel sculpture; The Last Cigarette of Michael Duffy, we are delighted once again to provide a temporary home for a range of installations by contemporary sculptors.

The Festival of Culture sculpture park area will feature works by Tom Maley, Graeme Hopper and William Harling among others. Each piece will be fully described through information boards to be enjoyed, free of charge, by the general public and visitors including pupils from partner primary schools and local secondary schools.

Please see our Festival Partner websites for ticketing details;




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!


Student Photographs

We have now received this year’s school photographs and these have been distributed via form teachers.  If you have any queries regarding your child’s photographs please contact the school office.

Mrs. Kerr, Administrator


Visit to Sunderland Empire - The Lion King! 


On Wednesday 100 pupils from Years 7, 8 and 9 saw The Lion King at Sunderland Empire. The show was spectacular and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed it. Their behaviour was impeccable. Many of the pupils had not been to the theatre before so it was great that such an outstanding show was their first experience.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


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 here to read the letter of invitation.

Mrs Wood, Subject Leader for MFL


Sports News


Another successful week started on Tuesday as all five of our football teams were in action against Sedgefield. After very competitive games our Year 8, 9, 10 & 11 teams all won with the best result a 9 – 1 victory for our Year 9 team. Our only defeat came for the Year 7 team – their first league defeat of the season.

Unfortunately our Year 11 team couldn’t follow that victory with more success on Wednesday losing an excellent County Cup game to St Thomas More 3 – 2.

On Thursday our U16 rugby team travelled to Jarrow RFC for the first County tournament of the year. The battled well in every game but suffered from several injuries as the competition went on.

Also last night our VIth form football team were in league and cup action against Lanchester St Bede’s. The game was played in an excellent spirit but unfortunately we tired in the second half eventually losing 3 – 1.

Finally last night our Y7, 8, 9 & 10 netball teams were playing Durham High. All the games were of a high standard and our girls never stopped trying but were unable to get a win.

Also good luck to our U16 girls football team who tonight are playing a County Cup game away at St Bede’s.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Click here to view the Sports Bulletin