Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (38)

November (5)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (5)

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2017 (42)

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November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

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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

·         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


Headteacher’s Message

Dear parents and carers,

Since its launch in 1988, Red Nose Day has become something of a British institution. It’s the day, every two years, when people across the land can get together and do something funny for money at home, school and work. The Johnston encourages its wider community to be actively involved in helping others, often those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  Comic relief’s aim is to bring about a real and lasting change by tackling the root causes of poverty and social injustice. So, to drive this change grants are awarded to incredible projects on the ground that work to give people a leg up, not a hand out. To support this cause we have had a non-uniform day today (and staff leg waxing) raising a total of £1484.23.

Our students are generous of spirit and show a care for those around them. They have been enjoying the activities and helping raise money today.

As ever there is a lot happening at school. Enjoy reading about these events in our bulletin.

Yours sincerely,

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


E-Safety Advice – Updated Information from Durham County Council

E-Safety Update 1: ooVoo

There have been some issues reported by young people using the ooVoo app, who have received offensive and sexually explicit contacts from strangers. OoVoo's terms and conditions limit the use of the app to children over 13. However this does not make its use illegal, just in breach of their agreement with oovoo.

Children and parents should be advised that the app is not suitable for primary aged children and that the default privacy settings (which allow complete strangers to videoconference with the user) can render it quite hazardous.

For older children it would be wise to change the privacy settings so that they set them so no strangers can contact them. In the settings section, go to ‘Privacy & Security’ and it asks ‘When people search ooVoo, who can find me?’ They should then either select ‘People who know my email address or ooVoo ID’ or ‘No one’.

E-Safety Update 2: Chain Message of a Distressing Nature

Some schools have reported chain text messages with audio content being passed around pupils. In one instance, the message graphically describes a murder scene and explains that if the message is not passed on to 15 more people, then something gory will happen to the recipient.

Please be aware that some children will obviously be disturbed by this content. We advise children not to forward a chain message, but to tell a trusted adult.

We are in an age where unpleasant messages being sent are on the rise through digital devices. Most mobile devices have the option to set parental controls and privacy settings to make devices safer. Please check the manufacturers website for further information.

E-Safety is an ever evolving subject and is taught to every year group in our school. If any parents would like to know more please see the E-Safety section of our website where you will find information, guidance and further links to helpful websites.


Mr Garside, Computing Department


English Literature Examinations – Revision Packs

As you are aware, your child will be sitting their GCSE examinations in the Summer of 2015.  To help the pupils in their preparation for the English Literature examinations, I will send home a revision pack every half term, which contains revision activities that can be worked through to prepare thoroughly for the examinations. 

This week students will be bringing home the third and final English Literature revision pack of the year which is on poetry.  Please encourage your child to read this and complete the activities. 

If you would like any further information or guidance please contact me at school.

Mrs Walton, Acting Subject Leader for English


Year 7 Parents’ Information Programme - Modern Foreign Languages

The fourth session in the Year 7 Parent Induction Programme took place at 6pm on Wednesday 11 March. This session, which was for Modern Foreign Languages, was well attended. Parents enjoyed a typical Year 7 MFL lesson and were then given a presentation about language options in Year 8 and setting and assessments in Year 7 to Year 9. If you were unable to attend this evening, follow the link below to access the MFL information presentations.

Miss J. Schwaiger, Deputy Subject Leader MFL


Careers Week

Last week was Careers Week and Durham Johnston hosted a different event on each day.  This enabled Years 7 - 11 to get involved in activities ranging from identifying who did what job to mock interviews and identifying lifestyles. 

Many subjects were covered so that our young people can obtain impartial advice and information throughout KS3 and 4. Our visitors included members from the British Transport Police, Carillion, Durham Constabulary as well as  looking at Health and Social Care, Welding and Animal Care.  In total approximately 1100 students obtained access to Careers advice over the course of the week.

Outstanding careers education, information, advice and guidance is the holistic approach that ensures that we are capable of delivering young people who are inspired, motivated, educated and are fully prepared, knowledgeable and career ready.

At Durham Johnston we are committed to ensuring that our students develop as independent young people with excellent personal qualities and moral standards who can recognise personal strengths and weaknesses which, when added to the education in business career skills such as letter and CV writing and interview techniques will make them more employable and subsequently a valuable member of the local community and society in general.

Mr Kennedy, 2nd  i/c Guidance


Durham Johnston Debating Success

On Tuesday 11th March, nine Year 12 students took part in the regional EYPUK debate at Durham University. Four resolutions were presented, the final one in French. 

Our students were outstanding; they were praised by the jury for their team work, focus and depth of understanding and we would like to congratulate them on their success.

These students will now be representing the School, and the region, at the National European Youth Parliament hosted by Liverpool Hope University in July. Congratulations to:  Matthias Bash, Anna Sawicki – Smith, Callum Hunter, Susannah Atkinson, Adam Iqbal, Charlotte Austin, Harriet Chater, Peter Dowsett and Stefan Renstrom.


Miss Granlund, MFL Department


DJ Catering Presents – A Taste of Tuscany!

On Wednesday pupils have the opportunity to enjoy a Taste of Tuscany consisting of Linguine Amatriciana, 4 Cheese Tortellini, Italian Style Pizza and much more.  We hope this menu will tempt students to try new tastes.  Watch this space for future themed menus!





Young Americans

This weekend the Young Americans were back in the North East; working with 53 Durham Johnston pupils as part of a collaboration of 6 schools. 7 Through interactive workshops and a fun packed weekend of singing, dancing, acting and meeting new people from all over the world, our students performed in a Broadway style gala performance at the Sunderland Empire Theatre on Sunday evening.

Acts included: ‘Music through the Ages’; ‘The Magic of the Music of the Silver Screen’; a truly spectacular medley of songs from musicals such as Annie, Matilda, Newsies, and Peter Pan; culminating with the ensemble cast recreating the ‘Circle of Life/He Lives in You’ showstopper from the Lion King. Our students excelled themselves, with many performing solos and delivering performances worthy of the Academy Awards.

A big congratulations to all who took part and thank you to all families who came along to the performance or who hosted Young Americans in their homes for the duration of the event.

Mr Smith, Science Department


Music Notices

School Spring Concert

The school Spring Concert ‘Stage and Screen’ will take place on Thursday 19th March at 7.00pm. All the groups have been working hard over the course of the last term, and it promises to be an excellent evening. Tickets are now sold out. However, we want as many parents and friends as possible to be able to attend, so we would ask all ticket holders to be in their seats by 6.50pm so that we can fill up any remaining space. People arriving without a ticket will be issued with a number and at 6.50pm, when all ticket holders are seated, we will slot in as many extra people as possible, in number order, until the hall is completely full. For those who don’t fit in, we will arrange some seating in the atrium, for which there will be no charge as it will have a limited view.

Concert Raffle

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.

National Youth Orchestra Inspire Day 

The National Youth Orchestra will in residence in Durham over the Easter Holiday and on Monday 30th March they are holding an Inspire Day for orchestra musicians who are grade 6 and above. Successful applicants will join the NYO residency for the day and take part in rehearsals from 10.00 - 18.30. Apply online on the NYO website http://nyo.org.uk/pages/83 If you need any help or advice with your application, please come and have a word with me.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


6th 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 16/03/15

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Sports News

EV4 Form to be completed for Ski Trip

Please can Year 7 parents who have submitted their deposits for the Ski Visit 2016 complete an EV4 form as soon as possible and return it to Mrs Hopper.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Infant Agility Festival 


Today Key Stage 1 pupils from Langley Moor, Roseberry, St Hild’s, Bowburn Infant School, Cassop, Kelloe, Newton Hall and St Cuthberts came into Durham Johnston to compete in an Infant Agility Festival. The Year 12 and 13 A level sport students officiated and the children competed in running , jumping and throwing events watched over by Pawsome Panda the Durham and Chester Le Street School Sport Partnership Mascot.

Everyone had a fantastic morning and certificates were presented for outstanding performances.

Mrs White, PE Department


Year 7 Rowing Programme Week 5

Week 5 of the ‘Learn to Row’ programme for our Year 7 students and this week the boys were coached by our very own Year 10 student Tess Armstrong (10MK).

The students were set a maximal effort 1 minute challenge; with an aim to achieve the furthest distance in meters within 60 seconds.  For the past 4 weeks the students have been learning the essential techniques used in rowing; posture, rhythm and speed.

Below are our Year 7 Rowers showing their support for Comic Relief!


Mr Kidd, PE Department


Sports Update

We have had a very successful week particularly with basketball. On Monday our Year 9 basketball team were playing RGS, Newcastle in the English Schools North-east play-off. They were a much bigger and more physical team but we kept battling to lead by 10 points at half-term. A poor 3rd quarter let them get within 2 points and set up a tense finish. We managed to hold our nerve to eventually win by 4 points. Congratulations to Orin Varley who top scored with 27 points. They have now reached the last 16 schools in the country and face the Yorkshire and Humberside winners for a place in the National quarter finals.

On Tuesday our U13 girls were in Newcastle for the North-east badminton Finals. They had already won the Area and County Championships. After an excellent morning of high quality badminton they finished in an outstanding 3rd place only beaten by 2 private schools. Well done to Saskia Appleton, Flossy Stacey, Grace Chow and Beth Neil and Inga Marsden. Please see the photo below.

Also on Tuesday all 5 football teams were facing Whitworth Park. They always have good teams and this year was no exception. Our Year 7’s won 1 – 0, we lost 4 – 1 at Year 8. The Year 9 game was a 2 – 0 victory. The Year 10 game ended in a 4 – 2 defeat and probably the best game of the night was the Year 11’s where we scored a last minute goal to draw 2 – 2.

On Wednesday it was the turn of the Year 8 basketball team to try and reach the last 16 schools in the country. Having already won the North-east section of the English Schools Cup they travelled to Knaresborough to face King James School. This turned out to be another excellent match with never more than 7 points between the teams until the last 5 minutes when we pulled away to win. Congratulations to Tom Hetherington who top scored with 25 points. They now go on to face the Manchester group winners for a place in the National quarter finals.

Also on Wednesday our U19 netball team were playing in the League tournament. The standard was very high and the girls gave their best in every game to eventually finish in 6th place.

The primary schools netball finals were also taking place here on Wednesday. Congratulations to St Margaret’s who played some excellent netball to win. Outside the primary football continued in cold and wet conditions. Well done to all those who played and thank-you to the referee’s and umpires (Year 8, 9 & 10 students from Durham Johnston) who freely gave up their time to help.

On Thursday morning we were hosting a Key Stage 1 agility festival and nearly 200 children from local primary schools descended on the sportshall for a morning of physical activity. Everyone had a great time and thanks to Mrs White for all her organisation.

Finally good luck tonight to our Year 8 rugby team who are travelling to St Thomas More School, Blaydon to play in the Tyneside Cup quarter-final. Hopefully we can bring good news next week.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE