Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary

·         Monday 12th January – Year 7 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4pm - 6pm

·         Wednesday 21st January – Year 7 Parents’ Information Programme – Science in Year 7  - 6pm

·         Monday 26th January – Friday 6th February,  Year 11 Mock Exams

·         Monday 9 February – Year 9 Options Evening, 6.00 pm

·         Monday 23 February – Year 9 Consultation Evening, 4 pm – 6 pm

·         Monday 16 March – Year 10 Consultation Evening, 4 pm – 6 pm


Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

In assemblies this week I have been asking the students to reflect on the year that has gone, and think about the year that is just starting. We watched a clip from Back to the Future II, which was released in 1989. In it the characters travelled forward to 2015, where there are flying cars, hover boards, and microwaves that produce pizzas from thin air. Characters also had access to video phones, and flat screen televisions in the film responded to touch. They even had glasses which connected them to different media. Clearly, some of these predictions have come true, others we may be still anticipating.

I asked the students to think about what the world will look like in 25 years’ time. Many of you will remember the film, and also realise how time flies; here we are 25 years later. We reflected on what type of world we want to live in, and what we need to do as individuals and communities to get us there. We also thought about what type of person we want to be. In the assembly I focused on further developing patience and self-control over the next few months.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Important information for Year 11 Students and their Parents and Carers

Year 11 Mock Exams

Year 11 mock examinations are due to begin on Monday 26th January and will run until Friday 6th February 2015. This is a very important time for all Year 11 students as mock examinations test the quality of each student’s organisation, timing and understanding of the demands of a variety of subjects and examination papers. It is also very important that they use the mock exams to prepare for the reality of a very busy final examination period in the summer term. We are very keen to ensure that students have access to the best possible advice and support. Students have already been well prepared by their subject teachers and it is very important that they continue to seek clarification and guidance in class. In addition, Year 11 form tutors will also provide sensible advice as part of next week’s tutor programme. There are also some very helpful revision materials on the school website that can be accessed via the following links: an overview of revision advice from each department; some sensible suggestions for students about how and when to revise and some thoughts for parents and carers, as we know that you will want to provide as much support as possible at home.

Departmental revision advice

Revision advice for students

Revision advice for parents


Mr O’Sullivan, Assistant Head


Year Leader’s Message

Earlier in the year I wrote to you advising you of the different strands of support our pupils will receive as they pass through year 11. Next week during registration tutors will spend some time going through some effective study and revision habits to help with pupils’ preparation for the mock exams. Pupils will also be shown how to access revision materials on the school website, with advice from each subject about how and what to revise for those subjects. Following feedback from the mock exams, year 11 assemblies will be led from the point of view of helping pupils understand how thinking and revision processes actually work. This means that pupils are being given as much help as possible. We also appreciate the huge impact that support from home can have. Please help your child by encouraging them and keeping an eye on their work; agree the balance between work and social life; encourage them to talk to you or someone at school if they feel they are struggling; and remind them that the process does have an ending in sight!

Mr Simpson, Year Leader (11)


Appointment of Head Boy, Head Girl Team

Congratulation to the following students who were appointed to the Head Boy, Head Girl Team.


            Sebastian Carreer, Head Boy

            Ella Crawford, Head Girl

            Boyan Vassiliev, Deputy Head Boy

            Susannah Atkinson, Deputy Head Girl

They will work alongside the current Head Boy, Head Girl Team and will take up their posts officially from next week.  The students were selected from a very strong field of candidates.  We wish them well in their term of office.


School Nursing Service Review  -  A Chance to Have Your Say

Durham County Council are in the process of reviewing the school nursing service to ensure that they deliver the best possible services for children and young people across County Durham now, and in the future.

The health and wellbeing of children and young people has a strong association with academic attainment and ultimately health outcomes in later life.  The role of the school nurse is integral to partnership working across health, care and education.  There is an opportunity to contribute to the development of the future school nursing specification by completing various consultation surveys.  They are especially interested to get feedback from the following people.

·         Young people who attend secondary schools within County Durham

·         Parents and carers of all school aged children and young people

·         People working will all school aged children and young people

General information, online questionnaires and contact details can be found on the Durham County Council website on  http://www.durham.gov.uk/consultation

In addition to the surveys, they will be undertaking various focus groups across County Durham throughout January.  If you would like to talk to a member of the public health team in more detail about the review then please make contact at your earliest convenience. 

The consultation will close on 2nd February 2015.


Cuckoo Quarterley

The Cuckoo Quarterly, is a publication for young writers produced by New Writing North.  Year 11 student, Luke Davies has recently had an article published.  To read a copy of his article,  please click on the following link http://www.cuckooquarterly.com/?p=2534.

Ms O’Neill-Walton, English Department


Ski Visit – Urgent Reminder

Please could I remind  parents to send in passports and EHIC cards in one envelope and euros spending money in another marked with your child’s name and amount enclosed written on the front, by next Monday 12th January.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Business Networking Event – Monday 19 January 2015

Calling all parents/carers who are self-employed, small business owners or employees of companies or organisations based in the Durham area.

January 2015 sees the launch of a flagship event which will help Durham Johnston School generate a database of business contacts who can support and help the school enhance the Information, Advice and Guidance offered to students.

Details of the event and how to register for FREE, are available via the following link: Business Networking in a Class of its own!

The event is kindly sponsored by Teesside University , Federation of Small Businesses, Open Awards, New College Durham and Digital Durham,  who will be on hand to offer information on support available to local businesses. 

Join us on Monday 19th January between 5 and 7pm for this FREE business networking opportunity to promote and raise awareness of your own services and products and simultaneously help Durham Johnston School to support students.

For further information please contact Mr Kennedy on 0191 384 3887 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mr Kennedy, Careers Guidance


Careers Information for Year 11 Students, Parents and Carers

Open Days:

·         Gateshead College – Monday 12th January from 4.30-7pm

·         Peterlee College – Wednesday 15th January from 4.30-7pm

·         Houghall College Open Day – Saturday 17th January from 1-4pm


Any students who would like specific information or guidance regarding a course should come and see me as soon as possible.

Further information and links to FE colleges can be found in the Careers Section on our website.

Mr Kennedy, Careers Guidance


Annual Geography Photo Competition

This year the theme was “Change” and after long deliberation we have decided on two winners as follows:

Ella Sampson – 7CW


Dylan Glenton – 7HH

Well done to all of those who entered, it was a difficult decision to make!

Mr Lindley and Miss Cruise, Geography Department


Education Question Time


Durham Johnston is hosting the an NUT Education Question Time event next Friday 16thJanuary 5pm-7pm – confirmed speakers – Kevin Courtney (DGS NUT), Pat Glass (MP), Prof. Rob Coe (CEM Centre), Sean Harford (OFSTED), David Simmons (LGA). Come and ask questions. All Welcome!


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 12/01/15

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Craig McCann – Paralympian 2012 Visits Durham Johnston

This week the PE department welcomed Craig McCann a Sky Sports Living for Sport Athlete mentor to work with Year 10 BTEC PE students.  Craig, who represented team GB in wheelchair fencing at the 2012 Paralympic games, is now competing for the country in cycling. Craig was a fantastic motivational speaker discussing his life story and having second chances to improve his future prospects.

He outlined the 6 keys to success as being Mental toughness, Hunger to achieve, People skills, Sports and Life knowledge, Breaking barriers and planning for success.

Mrs White, PE Department


Christmas Ceilidh


On the night of Friday 12th December the Sixth Form held their first ceilidh in James Hall. After some confusion over partners and the difference between left and right feet, the band - Folk Up North - began to play, and kept going until everyone was exhausted. Luckily the Amnesty Group were on hand to provide refreshments, Fredos, Pringles and Sprite which fuelled the dancing late into the evening. The consensus was that the event was a roaring success, and vague plans are already being made for another one due to popular demand.

Sam Stewart, Deputy Head Boy


Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nightime


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


Holiday Discount Scheme

The Local Authority has negotiated a holiday discount scheme with Hays Travel to enable parents to receive a discount on any holidays booked with the company as long as the holiday takes place during school holiday periods.  Holidays in term time are not an entitlement - from 1 September 2013 the law states that schools may not grant any term time leave of absence unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

Download the voucher here. 

Mrs Coady, Attendance and Welfare Manager


Sports News

This year’s sporting success started on Wednesday. Our Key Stage 3 boys and girls badminton teams were at Maiden Castle competing in the Durham Schools Championship. We have had over 40 players regularly attending practice on a Monday night so competition even to make our team was strong. This strength showed as both our boys and girls teams remained undefeated to win the competition. Our boys B team finished in 3rd place. The teams now travel to Wolsingham later this month to compete in the County Championships. Well done to Dan Ferguson, Dan Silvester, Scott Bolton, Moyo Adewumi, Saskia Appleton, Flossy Stacey, Beth Neil and Grace Chow.

Also on Wednesday our Year 10 basketball team were at Sedgefield taking part in the Bishop Auckland Schools tournament.  Congratulations to them as they won the tournament. They played some outstanding basketball winning every game easily, including a 28 – 4 victory against Sedgefield. The final was against a very good team from Woodham but we raised our game to win 16 – 8 to become champions. Well done to Fergus Hawes, Joe Blackbourne, Matthew Pinkney, Thomas Bolton, Harrison Whitfield, Simi Adewumi, Jay Hughes, Jonny Brooks and Orin Varley (Year 9).

Last night the Year 10 basketball team were taking on Heaton Manor school in the English Schools competition. They are an outstanding team but we battled well throughout the game losing by only 12 points at half-time. We never gave up eventually losing by only 15 points. They now need to win their final group game next week to have a chance of qualifying for the National Stages.

Finally tonight we welcome 2 coaches from Durham County Cricket Club who are working with our Year 7 & 8 boys and girls during the winter in preparation for the cricket season.

Also I would like to thank MKM Building Supplies for the generous sponsorship of a new basketball kit for our older teams. Our Year 10’s had a winning start wearing it on Wednesday night.


Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE