· Wednesday 11th March – Year 7 Parents’ Information Programme (Languages), 6 pm
· Friday 13th March – Non-Uniform Day for Comic Relief (Click here to read letter to parents)
· Monday 16th March – Year 10 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4pm - 6pm
· Friday 27th March to 13th April – Easter Holidays
· Monday 20th April – Year 8 Parents’ Consultation Evening, 4pm-6pm
· Monday 4th May – School Closed – May Day
Dear parents and carers,
Three weeks is a long time in a school! It seems a long time ago now that Ofsted came to inspect the school. You have had access to the report now for a few days, and today it went live on the Ofsted website. As I indicated in the local press we are pleased that inspectors noted some of the features which make our school so special. They spoke of the harmonious ethos, our focus on academic stretch and knowing exactly where our students are in their learning, and our inclusive approach. I believe that the report captures the school well and is testimony to the hard work of students and teachers alike.
Ofsted comes only once every few years, and now this process is completed life at school continues. This week, for example, it has been careers week at school, and today we have had an e-safety roadshow for younger students. Study clearly continues in lessons and at home, and on a lighter note students are planning for Comic Relief next Friday. Students in exam cohorts are receiving feedback on mock examination performance and looking at areas where they can improve.
Thank you for your continued support for the work of the staff at school. Enjoy this week’s bulletin.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
We will hold the fifth session in the Year 7 Parents' Information Programme on Wednesday 11th March at 6pm. We hope as many Year 7 parents are able to attend.
Members of staff in the department will describe how languages are taught to students in Year 7 and will provide you with an outline of what they will study in Years 8 and 9.
Mrs Wood Subject Leader MFL and Miss Schwaiger, Teacher I/C of KS3 MFL
May I remind parents and carers that the deadline for returning Year 9 Option Choice forms to school is Monday 9th March.
It is essential that we have all completed forms as soon as possible to assist with planning the timetable for the academic year 2015-2017. Please check with your child that they have handed their form into Reception.
Mrs Slattery, Deputy Head.
Today we welcomed an up and coming band “In Hindsight” to Durham Johnston to deliver an e-safety message to our year 7 and year 8 students. The band performed some of their songs before a question and answer session and some great advice about how to deal with cyberbullying and protecting personal information online.
All students were issued with a flyer at the end of the performance giving them the opportunity to claim free tickets to their show in Newcastle on Wednesday 8th April.
Mr Garside, Computing Department
Shepherd Construction is a member of an organisation called the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), who organise an event called ‘Open Doors Weekend’ once a year. During that weekend leading construction groups all over the country will be opening some of their most interesting sites for people to come and take a look around, with any questions being answered by those working on the projects.
15 of our Year 7 to 9 students visited the site today and were able to experience a ‘live’ working construction site that is involved in creating what will hopefully become a leading employer in the local Community in what is a growth area. The site itself is massive and I think all of the students were impressed by the sheer scale of the site and complexities involved in making sure everything is completed on time.
The tour of the facilities was precisely organised and the students were informed about a number of other things to consider beyond the site such as ecology, recycling, tree planting, geology and even the re-siting of a colony of extremely rare great crested newts.
All the students involved thoroughly enjoyed the visit and the TV footage is being shown tonight on the local BBC and ITV news broadcasts.
Mr Kennedy, Teacher 2nd i/c Guidance
Last month the school celebrated LGBT month. As a Stonewall Champion school we relish every opportunity to celebrate the outstanding diversity of our school community and the wider world.
A highlight of the month was an assembly given to the whole school during the week leading up to half term. These were put together and delivered by the Sixth Form Pride group with style, humour and reverence to the many of the issues and histories of the LGBT community. The new LGBT fiction section in Lydia has been very popular with a number of novels consumed by our pupils with a request for more!
We also had the pleasure of OFSTED in the audience and their feedback was outstanding. The Pride group also organised a poster campaign for all the tutor groups to research and present information about a whole range of LBTG people from history and the present. House points and gifts will be given to the top three posters.
Mr Weaver, Assistant Head
School Spring Concert Tickets
‘Stage and Screen’ on Thursday 19th March in James Hall at 7pm
Ticket Sales information: All remaining tickets will be on sale from Monday 9th March.
Tickets are £4 and £2 (Concessions – under 16 and 65 and over).
During the Concert there will be a raffle in aid of Music Department Enrichment Activities and we are delighted to announce that Barclays PLC have once again kindly agreed to fund match this venture. Any donations of prizes will be gratefully accepted.
ABRSM and Trinity Exams
Quite a lot of students have exams over the next few months and if this is the case for your child, please would you encourage them to do a little more practise that usual to ensure that they do themselves justice. Exams are a useful measure of progress and when pupils choose not to continue music after year 9, they are evidence of wider academic and cultural interest. If your Son/ Daughter needs to arrive in school late or leave during the school day, please would you write a note in their planner and ask either me or their form tutor to sign it. They will then need to obtain an off-site form from reception.
Music for a Summer Evening – Change of Date
Several year 13 pupils are unable to make the date that we already have in the diary for this (Thursday July 9th), so we have moved the date to Friday July 3rd. More details to follow.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
UCAS - Information and Advice for Parents
UCAS is the organisation that processes all full-time applications to UK universities and colleges. It is there to support parents – as well as your son or daughter – through every step of the application process. UCAS sends all applicants a monthly newsletter, full of useful information, reminders, advice and competitions. Parents and Carers can get information from UCAS too?
You can sign up to monthly parent newsletters quickly and simply online. They’re completely FREE and contain timely information and advice about your son or daughter’s journey to higher education and what you can do to support them.
For further information about the UCAS process, take a look at the advice for parents on ucas.com.
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 09/03/15
Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form
On Tuesday our Year 7, 9 and 11 football teams were due to play Parkside. Unfortunately Parkside conceded the Year 7 and 11 games. Year 9 had an excellent match between the top two teams in the league. Unfortunately it wasn’t our day as we lost 2 -1 (the first league of the season for the Year 9 Team).
Also on Tuesday our U16 girls’ football team were playing Houghton in the County Cup quarter final. A goal from Rebecca Francis inside the first 2 minutes settled our nerves and the girls never looked back going on to win 7 – 2. They now face Cardinal Hume in the semi-final.
On Wednesday our Y11 girls’ netball team were playing in the Durham City tournament. As several schools dropped out it came down to a game against Durham School which we easily won 23 - 4 to become champions. This victory was extra special for the girls as they were playing for the Tighe Trophy – a brand news trophy named in honour of Mrs Tighe and her services to netball over many years.
Also on Wednesday our Year 8 cricket team were at Parkview for the second round of matches in the winter league. We started with an easy victory against Fyndoune. Our next game was against a strong team from Parkview. They batted first and scored 43. The run chase was always close and we needed 12 from the last over. After losing a wicket we still needed 5 runs from the final ball. We managed to scramble through for 4 runs to end the game in a tie. We now need to win our final game in two weeks’ time against Hermitage to win the competition.
On Thursday our Year 8 & 9 football teams travelled to Bishop Barrington for league games. Both matches were close games until half time. Our Year 9 team dominated the second half to go on and win 10 – 0. The Year 8 game was a different story. We were 1- 0 down but battled back to draw 1 – 1. As this was a league and cup double we then played extra time to decide the cup game. We raised our game to score twice in extra time for a 3 – 1 win.
Also last night our Year 7 netball team were at Durham School for the league tournament. They played throughout the evening eventually finishing in 4th place
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Our Under 16 girls’ football team played in the quarter finals of the County Cup this week against Houghton Kepier School. Kepier is well known as being one of the top schools in the area for girls’ football, having their own football academy, so the girls’ had a little trepidation leading up to the game.
The game started well with an early goal within the first 5 minutes, and then the goals kept coming. The final score was 7 -2 to Johnston and the girls progress to the semi-finals against Cardinal Hume School at the end of the month.
Mally Harvey (the girls’ football coach) and Mrs White were very proud of the effort made from each member of the team and are looking forward to the next game!
Mrs White, PE Department