Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2017 (42)

December (4)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (2)

January (5)

2016 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (2)

September (5)

July (3)

June (2)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (3)

January (4)

2015 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (3)

February (3)

January (3)

2014 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (4)

September (4)

July (3)

June (4)

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

·         Term ends – Friday 24th October

·         Term begins – Monday 3rd November

·         Sixth Form Internal Exams – A2 week beginning Monday 3rd November

·         5 November Sixth Form 2015 Application Deadline 1

·         Year 7 Parents' Induction Programme (English in Year 7)  Tuesday 11 November, 6.00 p.m.

·         Sixth Form Internal Exams - AS week beginning Monday 10th 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.

·         Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - 8 December , 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.



Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

This has been a busy term for staff and students alike, and I am sure that your children will benefit from a well-deserved rest over the next few days.

Just a quick glance at our Friday Bulletins over the past seven weeks gives a glimpse of our busy and exciting school.  Numerous sporting events, music events, the visit to Durham Cathedral, geography and maths competitions, and much more. We are coming to the end of our annual Festival of Culture which has been amazing, there is a visit to Le Portel underway, and I even heard the music department practising for Christmas already!

Clearly, academic studies are also central to the life of a school. During the next half term all of our students will be working hard in order to see improvements in their attainment which will be reported on to parents by Christmas. Our sixth formers will be assessed soon after half term. You will know how important regular revision of concepts and knowledge is, and that it leaving revision and learning until the last moment does not lead to a long term retention of information. Next week is a time to recharge batteries, however, so that the whole community is ready for the next  half-term and all the work and challenges that this brings.

Have a good week.


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


House Competition – Pumpkin Selfie


Ski Trip – Instalment Required by Monday 3rd November

Reminder - the final ski instalment is due by Monday 3rd November.  The payment due will be £172 and cheques should be made payable to Durham Johnston School.  Please take your payments to Mrs Hopper in the PE office.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department





The Sculpture Park, open to the public from 6th to 24th Oct, has been well visited!

Thanks to everyone for comments and compliments. We’re very glad you enjoyed it.

Also, thanks to sculptors Tom Maley, Graeme Hopper and William Harling for the loan of your magnificent works.


Sculpture and Maths!

Pupils from Durham Johnston Maths Department have used the Sculpture Park as a maths resource; YR8 pupils visited and tried to devise interesting maths questions such as ‘what angle is the beak on Two Crows?’ and ‘How can you measure the span on Millennium Bug?’.  Thanks to Miss Brown for inspiring this unique use of the Sculpture Park.

Sculpture and Art!

The Art department at Durham Johnston has taken classes down to the Sculpture Park and encouraged students to look and analyse and make sense of the meaning behind the artists’ work.

KS3 students have taken time, in their art lessons, to look at and analyse all the sculptures and articulate their thoughts in discussions and presentations. Equipped with drawing boards and drawing materials they produced studies of their favourite sculpture to develop their skills in visual awareness.

The diverse collection of sculptures has really inspired KS4 students to research the sculptors and make attempts to understand the concepts behind their work. Evidence of their conclusions is supported by photographs of the work and has very much enhanced their GCSE portfolios and sketchbooks.

KS5 students are expected, as part of their course, to visit galleries and exhibitions and write reviews about the work of others. The Sculpture Park has been a real inspiration to 6th form art students and they have embraced the opportunity to study this work exhibited in the grounds of their school. The exhibition has developed their awareness and appreciation of the work of sculptors.

Photography students have taken hundreds of photographs of the sculptures with consideration of the aesthetic of the work using close-up, unusual angles and interesting lighting to the pure documentary imagery. The resulting images have also enhanced their portfolio of work for GCSE Coursework.

Mrs Hitchcock, Head of Art


We have hosted visiting groups from other schools; YR9 iSparks pupils from The Academy at Shotton Hall as well as pupils from Wolsingham Community College had the opportunity to browse the artwork in our grounds.

Sharks and Dolphins classes from Bowburn Infant & Nursery School visited Durham Johnston School as part of their topic on Sculpture.

The Sculpture Park at Durham Johnston School has given everyone at the school and in the local community the unique opportunity to experience site specific sculpture first hand.

Helen Charlton, Business Manager


Festival of Culture 2014 – Theatre Hullabaloo’s Angel


Over 350 young people from Durham Johnston and other schools enjoyed the play Angel on Tuesday. The themes of the play included childhood and ageing, friendship and memory; helping to demystify the condition of dementia.

Commissioned by Theatre Hullabaloo and delivered by our festival partners TakeOff, Miranda Thain, Theatre Hullabaloo’s Creative Producer explains the story and why she thinks it’s an important story for young audiences;

“I first read Kevin Dyer’s play, which was originally titled Fool on the Hill, two years ago and was immediately struck by how beautifully he had crafted this very unusual friendship between an eccentric old woman called Miriam and a lonely tomboy kid, Bill. The friendship is unusual, not just because of our characters, but because, outside of families, young people rarely spend time with older people.

This is one of the reasons that I think the play is important because the relationship shows us that, however old we get, we can still play and laugh and enjoy each other’s company.

The play is also important because it shows us the devastating effect of dementia on the life of Miriam, who is funny and witty and brilliant, as she struggles with the frightening reality that she can no longer remember. The play addresses the difficult question that many families face of how we appropriately care for older people – the battle between institutionalised tidiness of the elderly and the fear that they are not safe.

This is a play based on a real woman who lived in a house just like the one in the story… It is a timely play for us all.”

“A play about the relationship between young and old, dealing with dementia and memory loss… Angel is an unqualified success… This is children’s theatre at its best!”

British Theatre Guide, 2012

The play is delivered in conjunction with Age UK who also provide comprehensive learning resources to accompany the production connected to PSHE and Citizenship Work (Differences and Similarities, Generation Gap, Challenges of Ageing Populations) and Literacy: Speaking and Listening (Oral History).

Miss Charlton, Business Manager




Curriculum Links: PSHE, Literacy, Citizenship, Speaking & Listening, Creativity & Critical Understanding.


On Thursday and Friday 140 young people, aged over 14 years, attended a new interactive show which takes audience participation to new levels.

Gatecrash by Zest is experimental theatre by young people and for young people. The production explores challenging themes of alcohol misuse and alcoholism, abandonment and sibling rivalry in a set designed to be the front room of a house; the audience gatecrash a typical 17th birthday party. Wireless headphones allow audiences to explore the set, mingle with the actors, have a dance, down a (soft) drink, and get as near to or far from the action as they like.

Zest Theatre’s ground breaking, interactive production gives audiences control of the conversations they listen to through Silent Disco technology.

Durham Johnston pupils, staff and visitors put on wireless headphones, stepped through the front door and experienced the night unfold all around them as they Gatecrashed the party.

‘Writer/director Toby Ealden and designer Myk Hoyle have woven a fascinating form from the experiences of the teenagers they worked with, and assembled a talented ensemble to perform the show. It’s an engaging, entertaining experience of the most invigorating kind’. British Theatre Guide, Oct 2014.

Miss Charlton, Business Manager



New College Taster Day

On Thursday 24th October 45 Year 11 students attended a Taster Day at New College Durham to sample some of the vocational courses that are available for next year. Subjects included Health and Social Care, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying, Carpentry and Joinery, Travel and Tourism and Media and each student chose a subject for the morning and afternoon sessions. The students approached the sessions with interest and enthusiasm.  Overall it was a great success and we thank the staff at New College for acting as fantastic hosts during the time we were there. This is part of Durham Johnston’s commitment to give our young people as much opportunity and information to enable them to make the informed decisions about post 16 career ambitions. It also further strengthens the excellent community links that we have with New College going forward into 2015.

Mr Kennedy, Design & Technology Department


Sports News

On Monday our Year 9 football team travelled to Biddick in the County Cup. Strangely their team didn’t turn up apparently having not ben told abut he game so we won the game and now go into the 3rd round.

On Tuesday our Year 7 football team beat Bishop Barrington 6 – 2 to remain top of the league going into the winter break. Also the Year 11 team drew 1 – 1 in an excellent game.

On Wednesday our Year 7 & 8 netball teams were in action against Durham High B teams and both recorded comfortable wins, 9 – 0 and 20 – 4 respectively.

On Thursday both our Year 9 & 11 football teams were in league Cup action against Ferryhill. The year 11 team had an easy 6 – 0 win but the Year 9 game finished 5 – 5. After extra time the score was 6 – 6 so penalties were needed. Two very good saves from Raphael McCall saw us win and progress to the quarter finals.

The Year 8 team were in Newcastle playing St Cuthbert’s in the English Schools Cup. Against an excellent team they played very well but unfortunately lost 2 – 1.

Also on Thursday our Year 7 rugby team were in Jarrow for the County Tournament. In their first competition they performed very well winning two games and  drawing one.

Finally good luck to our U16 girls football team who are playing St Robert’s tonight in the County Cup.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE