Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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2014 (37)

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Dates for your Diary

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

·         Term ends – Friday 24th October

·         Term begins – Monday 3rd November

·         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.


Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

Next week is ‘family friendly week’ and this year’s theme is ‘cook together, share together, laugh together’. The following is taken from their website:

Cooking is something most families will do at some point during the working week. Many of us have memories of cooking with parents, siblings and grandparents, and some of us use the recipes we learned with our own children.  Cooking is a great way for parents and carers to focus fully on being with their children, whether teaching them how to weigh ingredients, mixing and stirring, talking through recipes, or even sharing the washing up afterwards.

It is important that both schools and families work together to ensure that the choices our youngster make around what they eat are both positive and healthy. Clearly, food on offer at school needs to meet nutritional guidelines, but it is vital that students understand the importance of a balanced diet across a day and across a week. This is covered in the curriculum, but if this week you could also remind your children of the need to eat healthily, and perhaps also take the opportunity to cook together.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Festival of Culture 2014 - In defence of the Classics


The VI Form Latin classes had a most uplifting start to the week on Monday morning.  Natalie Haynes, writer, journalist and broadcaster who was in Durham for the Book Festival very kindly called in for a classics working breakfast with pupils.

Ms Haynes, an alumna of Cambridge University where she read Classics, was to be heard on BBC Radio 4 earlier in the year in her four highly entertaining and informative programmes “Natalie Haynes stands up for the Classics”.  During her visit Ms Haynes spoke with great charisma and enthusiasm about all things classical, including Virgil’s Aeneid and Greek tragedy.

She talked briefly about her new novel The Amber Fury and gave assorted advice and tips along the way and ended by answering questions.  It was a most inspiring occasion and one which we hope we shall be able to repeat in the future.  



Many thanks to Ms Haynes and our festival partners Durham Book Festival and New Writing North.

Mrs Sutton, Teacher of Latin


Local schools visit DJ Culture Festival

During the first week of our Festival of Culture we were delighted to welcome visitors from numerous local primary and comprehensive schools.  To read some of their reviews of their experience at Durham Johnston please click on the links below.

We are delighted that they all enjoyed their visit to Durham Johnston and hope to see them again at next year's festival! 





Music Notices


On account of events taking place in school and pupil absence, we will need to cancel Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and Senior Orchestra rehearsals next week, however Chamber Choir, Wind Band and Senior Choir will rehearse as normal.


Please could I ask parents and carers to ensure that musical instruments do go home after the lessons and rehearsals? There will be some occasions when pupils need to leave instruments overnight, but these should be the exception rather than the rule. There are two reasons for my request; firstly, the instrument being at home greatly increases the chance of a pupil being able to practise and secondly, we do have limited storage and instruments are in greater danger of damage when the instrumental stores are very full. I also have a stock of name tags which help to ensure that pupils do not take the wrong instrument home by mistake. Please ask your child to collect one from me if their instrument is unlabelled.

School Christmas Concert – Thursday December 11th – James Hall – 7pm

The 2013 School Christmas Concert was a fantastic success, so much so that we managed to fill the James Hall and several people needed to remain in the Atrium for the first part of the performance. Several parents expressed concern that they had not had the opportunity to purchase tickets before the event, so this year we are going to trial a new way of selling tickets as we have even more pupils involved in the concert.

From Monday November 17th each pupil performing in the concert will be able to purchase two tickets from either Mrs Sutton or Music Department staff. The remaining tickets will be on sale from Monday 1st December. We very much hope that this will be seen by parents and carers as a much fairer way of distributing tickets.  

Tickets are £4 and £2 (Concessions – under 16 and 65 and over).

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Year 9 and Year 10

We have 50 tickets available for the performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Thursday February 5th 2015.

The show itself is a ground-breaking National Theatre production which has won awards for its imaginative and spectacular design and staging. This is the first time it has toured the UK from its London base.

The tickets are £20 which includes travel. Tickets will be sold first come first served to Y9 and Y10 pupils. Cheques (payable to Durham County Council and pupil’s name on the back) or cash should be given directly to Mr Bancroft.

The bus will leave school at 1pm: the show starts at 2pm. We will leave Newcastle at 4.45pm arriving back in Durham after 5.30pm: the buses will drop off at school only.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


Sixth Form Notices

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.

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form

Sports News

On Tuesday our Year 7 , 8 & 10 football teams were hosting Staindrop. All the teams played well and we won 5 – 0, 3 – 1 and 4 – 3 respectively. This keeps both the Year 7 & 8 teams top of the league.

On Wednesday afternoon our boys U19 tennis team travelled to Newcastle to play the RGS in the Winter League North-east play-off. It was a very close match which finished 3 – 3. That meant we had to have a 10 point tie-break. It was a very tense finish which we eventually won 12 – 10. Congratulations to Nathan Varley, Isaac Byng, Sam Byng, Sonny Childs who now move on to the National knockout stages in January.

Also on Wednesday our U16 boys and girls table tennis teams were at Belmont in the Durham Schools Championships. Our girls A team finished 2nd and our B team 3rd and the boys A team were 3rd and the B team 4th.

Thursday was a busy day with our Year 9 & 10 netball teams hosting Durham High B. Both teams had comfortable victories winning 28 – 3 and 12 – 2 respectively. Our VIth form football team were also in action against Durham VIth form centre. They played very well to win 5 – 1 with a hat trick from Daniel Knowd.

Also on Thursday our Year 8 rugby team were in Sunderland for the County tournament. They played four very physical matches but continued their excellent form from last season to win the tournament after winning three games and drawing one.

Finally good luck tonight to our Year 8 football team who are playing Monkwearmouth in the County Cup and our U13 girls football team who face North Durham Academy also in the County Cup. 

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE