Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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February (2)

Dates for Your Diary

·         Monday 16th to Friday 20th February – Spring Half Term

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

·         Wednesday 11th March – Year 7 Parents’ Information Programme (Languages), 6 pm

·         Monday 16th March – Year 10 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4pm - 6pm


Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

It has been a busier week than usual for staff here! We await official confirmation of the inspection outcomes and will distribute the final report once it has been published.

Can I take this opportunity to thank those of you who stood with us during the inspection. The number of heartfelt testimonials from parents sent directly to the inspectors was truly amazing. The staff and students were amazing, and we were able to show the inspectors many aspects of our work here. They saw lessons, talked to students, saw some of our extra-curricular activities and got a real feel for the school. Although a very stressful experience for staff, we welcome the level of accountability for all schools.

Enjoy the half-term break.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Year 13 Trip to Berlin!


Year 13 historians and linguists returned this week from a fascinating, enjoyable (and exhausting) four day visit to Berlin. The trip was full of illuminating contrasts. The beauty and vivacity of modern Berlin sat as a polar opposite to the unspeakable lack of humanity that informed every inch of the Stasi remand prison in Hohenschoenhausen; the imperial majesty of the Brandenburg Gate rose over the remains of the Berlin Wall; the powerful memorials to the victims of twentieth century tyranny sat quietly within slate grey edifices pock-marked with bullet holes. The key issues of the Cold War were brought into focus in a superb walking tour, and the museums (of which there were many) helped bring the role of Berlin - a key pivot around which the Cold War turned- into sharp focus. It’s also worth mentioning that currywurst and schnitzel also featured prominently. Our students, as they always do, proved a credit to the school;  engaged, keen and curious throughout the whole of a fascinating trip.

Mr Doyle, Miss McKenzie, Dr Tournier and Mrs McArdle


Code Club

Wednesday’s Year 7 Code Club got off to a flying start with over 30 keen coders in attendance.  The Raspberry Pi’s were put through their paces and the Minecraft gaming world was edited by our students – exciting stuff!

Students learnt how to set up and run the pi.  They also learnt how to manipulate and add to the game using Python code - synching the two!  DJCS staff and our visitor from Durham University were extremely impressed with our young coders – well done!  See you after half term for our next session.

Miss Forbes and Mr Garside - Computing


Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday February 10th our students took part in the Safer Internet Day campaign to raise awareness on how to stay safe online.  They all watched a video on cyber bullying to show the devastating effect this can have on our young people.  We encourage our students to speak up, to report and to be aware of their own actions.

Over the course of the week the IT department staff have embedded this content into lessons, particularly at KS3 to highlight the importance of staying safe online!

The information provided in the links below are aimed at helping parents to protect their children.



Miss Forbes, Subject Leader for Computing


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 23/02/15


One Billion Rising March – Durham 

I’m incredibly proud to say that our Feminist Society are speaking - at approximately 11.30.   The One Billion Rising march / rally tomorrow in Durham – (see attached).  If you are around – you might like to support them.  Click here to view schedule.

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Join us for an Evening of Theatrical Magic – Thursday 26th February

Ms Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama


Music News

School Spring Concert Tickets

‘Stage and Screen’ on Thursday March 19th in James Hall at 7pm Ticket Sales information.

From Monday February 23rd each pupil performing in the concert will be able to purchase two tickets from either Mrs Sutton or a member of the Music Department and the remaining tickets will be on sale from Monday March 9th.

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


Changes to Music Enrichment Activities

We have more students that wish to attend theory club than we have desks, so there will be some slight changes to the weekly schedule after half term. From Monday 23rd February the weekly routine will be as follows – changes are marked in red.



Spaces for Instrumental Tuition

We have space for new starters, or those that wish to resume tuition as follows:

·         Three trumpets

·         Three Orchestral Percussionists

·         Electronic Keyboard

Please see me, Mrs Sinclair or Mrs Holmes for more details.


The Great Charter

We are looking for a group of about 10 students, boys or girls, from Years 9 to 13, who would be interested in taking part in a specially commissioned musical based around the story of Magna Carta. The performances take place in Durham Cathedral on June 13 and Middlesbrough Cathedral on June 20 and although the part is in unison, it’s quite tricky in places and some acting will be necessary.

A letter containing further details may be collected from the music department.  The is an exciting collaborative between Durham Cathedral, Middlesbrough Cathedral, The Durham Singers and Durham Johnston School.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Sports News

Year 7 Rowing Programme - Week 3

Week 3 of the ‘Learn to Row’ programme for our Year 7 students at Durham Amateur Rowing Club.  This week the students have been taking on the role of a coach, setting up their own boats, lifejackets and giving each other feedback on technique and pointing out any areas for development. Week by week it is evident that the whole group are becoming more confident on the river and in the boat.



A very well done to the students above who have been chosen by the coaches at DARC.  They have improved their technique significantly during practice and competition. The boys received a prize and a medal for their efforts, well done.

Mr Kidd, PE Department


Sports Roundup

This week’s success started at the weekend.  Last Friday night our Year 9 basketball easily beat Dyke House 71 – 32 to win the North East group of the English Schools competition.  They now join our Year 8 team in the National Stages after half-term.

On Sunday several of our athletes were part of the Durham County Team competing in the North-East Regional Sportshall Athletics competition in Hull. The Junior boys team did particularly well winning to qualify for the National Finals which take place in Manchester in April.  Well done to Ben Donaghy, Sam Gibson and Moyo Adewumi.

On Monday our U19 boys tennis team travelled to Sedbergh School for the North of England play-off of the Senior Students Competition hoping to reach the last 16 schools in the country. We battled well but they are an excellent team and we eventually lost 5 – 1. It was still an outstanding achievement to reach the last 32 schools in the country and to be one of only a handful of state schools competing.

On Tuesday the second half of the football season began with our Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 teams all playing one of the top teams in the league from St John’s.  Matches against St John’s usually have a huge bearing on the league titles at the end of the season.  All of our teams raised their games and for the first time in many years we won all the matches. The Year 8 and 9 teams had comfortable victories but the Year 7’s battled hard, hanging on towards the end to win 1 – 0.  Performance of the night came from the Year 10 team. St John’s won the League, League Cup and County Cup last season and rarely lose. We were 4 – 0 up at half-time and although they fought back in the second half we went on to win 5 – 2 – the first time we have beaten them.

On Wednesday our Year 8 basketball team were at St Thomas More for a tournament. We won all our games easily to win the tournament. This included a 28 – 2 victory against Emmanuel College and a 16 – 4 victory over Dame Allan’s.

On Thursday all of our cross country teams were at Emmanuel College for the County Championships.  We were the only school to have teams in all 6 main races. We performed very well but are still waiting for confirmation of team results. Well done to Natasha Stephenson, Sam Gibson and Cameron Bain who all finished 2nd in their race.

On Thursday night our Year 9 basketball team were at home taking on Biddick in the Tyneside Cup semi-final.  After a slow start we dominated the game eventually winning 49 - 11 to set up a final against RGS, Newcastle.

Finally good luck tonight to our Year 7 girls’ football team who have a cup match kicking off at 1.45pm.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE