Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates for Your Diary


·         26th November Regional Team Chess Challenge Tournament 3-6pm Years 7-13

·         28th November Year 12 Internal Deadline for Durham University Supported Progression scheme

·         1st December – Year 13 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4-6pm

·         8th December – Year 12 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4-6pm

·         18th December Year 13 Internal Deadline for UCAS applications for 2015

·         18 December, Annual Christmas Carol Service at Durham Cathedral

·         18 December – Term ends

·         5 January – Term begins


Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

Earlier this month I was in Newcastle walking past Fenwick’s and was astounded that the Christmas window was already in place. Time is passing quickly, and today I have been preparing the message to write in the Durham Johnston Christmas card. I decided on a traditional message.

However, I was considering a quote from the film ‘The Imitation Game’ which is a historical drama based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. Alan Turing was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, who, according to Churchill, made the single biggest contribution to allied victory in the second world war. The following quote is used several times in the film: ‘sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine’. It reminded me that we need to identify talent wherever it lie, and that sometimes students have hidden strengths that they are not always willing to show to or share with others. The Johnston strives to include everyone, celebrate what they bring to our school community, and we seek to imagine great things from all of our students.

Have a good weekend.


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Stop press ….

The Sunday Times Parent Power guide is published this weekend, and we are delighted to be able to inform you that the Johnston has been named top comprehensive in the North East. Clearly, behind these headlines lie individual stories of success from a wide range of students last year. We are very proud of all of our students, and are happy that last year our examination classes did particularly well.  There will be press coverage over the weekend, but you can find one article on the link below. 

Follow this link to read more....

Michael Wardle, Headteacher

Road Safety

We have been reminding students about the importance of keeping themselves and others safe when walking to and from school. Please can you support us in this by talking about road safety at home too.  Lapses in concentration can lead to accidents, as can silly behaviour. You know that we do not allow cars onto site in order to keep the campus safe at the beginning and end of the day. Students, parents and school need to work together when it comes to issues of safety and safeguarding.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


KS5 End of Term Reports

End of Term reports for KS5 students will be available on ePortal after 3.30 p.m. on the following dates;

Year 13 – Tuesday 25 November

Year 12 – Tuesday 2 December

If parents or students have difficulty logging on to ePortal or have forgotten or lost their log in details, please email the school (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Routes into Languages Programme

On Friday, 14th and 21st of November, Dr. Ursula Lanvers and Dr. Kristina Hultgren from the Open University introduced Year 9 French students to the Routes into Languages Programme, Languages and the World and Languages and the Brain.

The programme highlighted the importance of language learning and the advantages of bilingualism/ multilingualism. Students and staff enjoyed both sessions.  The  programme will now be introduced to all students in KS3.

Miss Schwaiger, Deputy Subject Leader MFL


Year 8 Languages Enterprising Event

On Thursday and Friday, 20th and 21st of November, Year 8 students took part in the Languages Enterprising Event.

The purpose of the Y8 Languages Enterprising Event is to create an awareness of the use of languages in the workplace. Students and staff thoroughly enjoyed trading in multiple languages (French, German, Spanish …) and became real trading experts.


Miss Schwaiger, Deputy Subject Leader MFL


E-Safety – Information for Parents and Pupils

For links and resources to useful websites relating to e-safety, including recently published advice on cyberbullying from the Department for Education, please click here to view the E-Safety section on the school’s website.

Mr Garside, Computing Department, Web and ICT Manager


Music Notices

Evensong – Monday 18th November, 2014

Congratulations to Chamber Choir for some very accomplished singing at Evensong in Durham Cathedral on Monday. They were thanked for their mature musicianship and decorum, and the Dean of the Cathedral, Michael Sadgrove, later tweeted that it had been a ‘beautiful evensong’. Compliments were paid to Rosa Hackett in year 13 who sang the solo in the anthem ‘Lead me Lord’ by a former Durham Johnston pupil Will Todd.

Durham County Youth Choir Concert – Saturday 15th November, 2014

Also, congratulations to those pupils who performed with Durham County Youth Choir in the Concert in Durham Cathedral on Saturday night. The concert was a joint performance with The Durham Singers, who organised and funded the occasion. It gave our pupils the fantastic opportunity of singing with a Baroque orchestra.

Friends of Durham Cathedral Christmas Concert­ – Durham Cathedral - Wednesday 10th Dec 7.30pm

Each pupil performing in this concert (Wind Band and Chamber Choir) may have up to two free tickets for these events. Pupils may collect these from the Music Department.

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

All musical ensembles are performing in this concert and each pupil may purchase two tickets from either Mrs Sutton or from a member of the Music Department. The remaining tickets will be on sale from Monday 1st December. Tickets are £4 and £2 (Concessions – under 16 and 65 and over).

Durham and Darlington Fire Service Carol Service – St Cuthbert’s Church, North End – Monday 15th Dec - time TBC

Chamber Choir have been invited to sing at this service. Please could yellow reply slips be returned to the Music Department as soon as possible?

School Carol Service - Durham Cathedral – Thursday 18th Dec 1pm

All members of Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra and Chamber Choir should have received a green or white letter about the rehearsals for this. Please could reply slips be completed and returned to reception as soon as possible? Members of Junior Choir are performing in the service, although they do not need a letter as they will not need a rehearsal in the Cathedral on the day of the service.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Future Chef Competition

A big congratulations to Ceri Cooper who got through to the next round of Future Chef to be held in Halifax in February. Both Ceri and Sophie Nimmins worked extremely hard to represent the school in this national competition competing against pupils from Greenfield Community College, Hurworth School, Kirbie Kendal School, Parkside Academy and St Leonards School.

Mrs Begum, Design and Technology Department


Senior Mathematics Challenge

On Thursday 6th November almost 100 pupils took part in the annual Senior Mathematics Challenge, a national competition aimed at pupils in Years 11 to 13.  Once again, Durham Johnston students achieved fantastic results.

Yuriy Tumarkin (Year 10) and James Timmins (Year 13) were the top scorers and have qualified for round 1 of the British Mathematical Olympiad.  Cameron Bain (Year 12) and Jacob Bradley (Year 13) have qualified for the invitation only Senior Kangaroo Challenge.  Both of these competitions will take place on Friday November 28th.

For more details of these and other challenges please visit www.ukmt.org.uk

Congratulations to all of the successful candidates.  Certificates will be posted soon.

Miss A Rush, Subject Leader for Mathematics


Durham Food Bank Christmas Appeal 

Over the last few years Durham Johnston has held regular collections to support Durham Foodbank. This year Durham Foodbank are hoping to offer special Christmas hampers alongside the normal emergency food parcels. These hampers will contain items such as mince pies, snacks or nibbles and children’s selection boxes. These are the sort of items we all enjoy at Christmas time which many families in our region will not be able to afford. Each House: Annand, Kenny Heaviside and Wakenshaw is collecting food for this worthy cause until Friday 5th December.

Click here to view shopping list

Christmas Food Appeal Poster

Mrs J Dunn, Science Department


Sixth Form Notices  

If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on this link! W/C 24/11/14

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


The Angel Tree 2014

This year we are engaged, once again, in the Angel Tree project in association with the Salvation Army.  Every form will choose either a boy or girl as well as the age group of that child. Then the form will raise money with which they can buy a Christmas gift for their chosen child! Remember: every penny counts but donations of unused items are also welcome. Presents will be ready for putting under the Angel Tree on the week beginning the 8th December.

Mitch Marshall and Luke Hawkins (9JW)


Ski Visit Meeting

Reminder to parents that there will be a meeting for parents and pupils going on next year’s ski trip.  This will be held on Thursday 27th November in James Hall starting promptly at 6pm.  It should take no longer than an hour. Flight information as well as equipment required will be the main focus as well as other important information.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Sports News

Pupils set for competitive sport boost thanks to Durham Trinity School and Sports College

Durham Trinity School and Sports College in Durham City is set to lead an exciting innovation project to boost competitive disability sport across the region as part of the Sainsbury’s School Games.

The network supports other schools to further improve and extend provision for young disabled pupils to take part in competitive sport.

Just 12 schools from the network have been specially chosen to lead on a unique piece of work with one sport and Durham Johnston School isone of those that have been chosen.

Please click here to read more……


More sports news…..

On Tuesday our U13 Girls cricket team were at Framwellgate for their final league game against St Leonards. Our girls again produced some excellent cricket to completely dominate the game and win easily 66 - 13. They have remained unbeaten and have won the Durham Schools league.

On Wednesday our VIth form football team travelled to Whickham in the cup. Unfortunately injury and other commitments meant we only had 10 players and despite a strong start we tired in the second half eventually losing 3 – 1.

Also on Wednesday our U15 basketball team were in Newcastle playing St Cuthbert’s in the English Schools competition. We were losing by 5 points at the end of the first quarter but improved as the game went on and eventually won 47 – 43.

Finally on Wednesday our year 9 & 10 netball teams were in league action at St Leonard’s. Both were very close games with our Year 9’s winning 17 – 14 and our Year 10’s losing 13 – 14 with the last shot of the match.

Thursday was a very busy day. During the afternoon seven of our talented gymnasts performed a tumbling routine at the primary gymnastic festival at Deerness Gym centre. They opened the show and amazed and inspired the younger gymnasts. Well done Romane, Sophia, Tia, Lydia K, Lydia O, Brynn and Jennifer. A picture of them can be seen below.

Our Year 7 5-a-side football team were at Sedgefield in the league tournament. They made comfortable progress through the groups stages and eventually reached the final against the hosts. It was a seven goal thriller which could have gone either way but unfortunately we lost 4 -3.

Houghton RFC was the venue for our Year 8 rugby team for a County tournament. Ten teams were taking part and our boys finished joint top losing only one game.

Our VIth form basketball team were playing their first game of the season – a friendly against Queen Elizabeth College, Darlington. It was an excellent game which was close throughout. We just tired in the last quarter losing by 9 points.

Also on Thursday our Year 7 & 8 netball teams were playing St Leonard’s. As with the night before the games were very close but unfortunately we lost both (9- 11 and 6 – 8).

Finally, last night 12 of our rowers who had qualified from the Area competition last week were at Maiden Castle for the County Championships.

Congratulations to Owen Chaplin and Morgan Jobling from Year 8, Bethan Hall year 9, Stefan Szableswi Year 9, Harry Coe Year 10 and Corinne Hatton from the 6th Form who all qualified for the North-East regionals which take place in the New Year.

Finally good luck to our Year 8 and 9 basketball teams who on Sunday are both taking part in a basketball tournament at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre before the Durham Wildcats National League game against London.  Hopefully they can make the final which will be played at half-time in front of a large crowd.

Please click here to view the sports bulletin for next week’s activities.

Mr. Hopper, Subject Leader for PE