Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2017 (29)

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2015 (37)

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October (3)

September (5)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (3)

February (3)

January (3)

2014 (37)

December (3)

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September (4)

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May (1)

April (12)

February (2)

Dates for Your Diary

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

  • 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,

You will know that our Festival of Culture is underway. I was fortunate enough to attend the session led by Meg Rosoff where she spoke to Year 9 about her life and how she became an author. The session was fascinating and really gave the students an insight into how life is complicated and brings challenges, but that we need to grasp all of life’s opportunities and chase our dreams. I was particularly struck by some of Meg’s comments about life’s pivotal moments (or T-junctions, as she referred to them). She talked about some small decisions that she made that had had a major impact on her life. This deep level of thinking is what our Festival of Culture is all about. We want students to think about and appreciate culture in all of its different forms. Do ask your children which their favourite piece from the sculpture park is. Then ask them why.

We are in the middle of a busy term, so please do check the dates for your diary and other notices.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Tuesday 14 October -  School Open As Usual

The industrial action planned by GMB, UNISON and UNITE which was due to take place on Tuesday 14 October has been cancelled.  School will open as usual. 


School Photographs

Just to remind parents and carers that if they wish to order a school photo of their child, then orders and payment must be received in school no later than 20 October.  Forms and payments should be handed in to staff on Reception.




The Festival of Culture Sculpture Park is now open to the public on weekdays between 9am and 6pm. Please do come and see the magnificent range of sculpture on exhibition including work by Tom Maley, William Harling and Graeme Hopper. If you like our Sculpture Park and believe everyone should be able to access sculpture and art and if you want more next year - please, please make a donation! You can donate via the collection box in the Sculpture Park or via school reception. 

Festival events, delivered by our partners New Writing North and Durham Book Festival, kicked off on Monday 6th October with a poetry show by Daljit Nagra. Durham Johnston pupils and visitors from other secondary schools enjoyed a live literature production ‘The Retold Ramayana’. The event was attended by over 200 young people.

On Tuesday 7th October, over 400 pupils attended an event with award-winning author/illustrator team Mick Manning and Brita Granström. The event brought to life, through words and images, the experiences of Mick’s grandfather, Charlie, during World War One; from the trenches and guns to the friendships and songs soldiers shared. Mick and Brita then signed artwork and books for pupils and visitors before delivering an outstanding Q & A / illustration workshop for fine art students in our art department alongside Mrs Hitchcock, Head of Art.

Over 265 early years pupils from Durham primary schools attended an event with author / illustrator Helen Stephens. A loudly roaring audience learned to sketch fabulous lions in a party atmosphere after which they had books signed too. Helen Stephens is the winner of multiple awards, particularly for the much loved Fleabag and How to Hide a Lion, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Red House Children’s Book Award.

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Carnegie Medal-winning author Meg Rosoff to Durham Johnston, as she introduced her hugely anticipated sixth novel, Picture Me Gone. Meg Rosoff’s debut novel, How I Live Now, won the Guardian and Branford Boase awards and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Fiction as well as the Whitbread. Meg has written four more critically-acclaimed novels including Just in Case, which won the Carnegie Medal in 2007.

Meg delivered a humorous and thoroughly engaging event to over 420 DJ students and visitors from other secondary schools before hosting an intimate Q&A session with some of her biggest fans among the DJ pupil population. Following this, a reception was held for Meg attended by pupils, parents, staff and Governors.

A wonderful day of literary events was enjoyed by all thanks to informal partnerships with Durham Book Festival and New Writers North. We are thankful to them and to all visiting authors for their enormous talent and enthusiasm in meeting with and inspiring our pupils; the future generation of writers and illustrators.

Helen Charlton, Business Manager


MFL Year 10 Parents Evening

Last evening was the MFL Year 10 Parents Information Evening.  Parents who were unable to attend the event can view the presentation by clicking here.

Miss Schwaiger, MFL Department



Teams of the Week

Another successful week with more trophies in the cabinet!

On Monday our cross-county teams travelled to Hummersknott for the 1st round of the English Schools Cup. In appalling weather conditions our teams battled hard to produce excellent results. Our Junior boys were 1st with Sam Gibson finishing in 3rd place. Our Inter boys and girls teams both finished 2nd with Matthew Pinkney and Amy Jack finishing in 5th place. All three teams now qualify for the North-East regional round which takes place on Saturday 8th November.

On Tuesday our Year 7, 9 & 11 football teams were in action against Teesdale. All 3 teams had comfortable victories with the Year 7’s winning 9 – 3, the Year 9’s winning 10 - 0 and the Year 11’s winning 7 – 1. Also on Tuesday our Year 8 team were playing Cardinal Hume in the County Cup. There was an outstanding game against excellent opposition. Despite going 1 – 0 down we never gave up and eventually went on the win 3 – 1 to progress to the 3rd round. Our Year 10 team were also in County Cup action on Tuesday away to Whitburn. It was a really close game which we eventually lost 1 – 0.

Wednesday was a very busy day with our U13 boys and girls table tennis teams playing in the Durham Schools Championships at Belmont. We completely dominated both boys and girls competitions.  Our girls were 1st and our boys A team were 1st with our B team finishing 2nd. Our teams now go on to the County Championships in March.

Also on Wednesday we were hosting the Durham Schools U19 netball tournament. The standard was very high and our girls performed very well to finish in 3rd place. The 2nd half of the tournament takes place after Christmas when our girls are hoping to improve on that position.

Finally on Wednesday our Year 9 football team met St Joseph’s in the County Cup. They continued their unbeaten start to the season with a straightforward 8 – 0 victory and now face Biddick in the next round.

On Thursday our Year 7, 8 & 9 football teams were playing King James in very wet conditions. Again we had excellent results winning all 3 games 7 – 0, 10 – 0 and 7 – 3 respectively.

Also last night our Year 8 & 9 rugby team travelled to Houghton RFC in the County tournament. Against very strong opposition they battled well winning 3 games.

Our netball teams were also in action with matches against Framwellgate. All 4 teams were successful with the Year 7’s winning 5 – 0, the Year 8’s  27 – 1, the Year 9’s  22 – 4 and the Year 10’s winning 13 – 2.

Good luck tonight to our Year 7 & 8 rugby teams who are playing St John’s in a friendly game.

Finally, good luck to the PE department who are attending the Annual County Durham Sports Awards this evening representing Durham & Chester-le-Street in the category of “Contribution to Secondary School PE & Sport”.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE