Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

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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

·         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,

I used a clip from YouTube in assemblies this week.  It asks the question ‘what would the world look like if it were a village of 100 people?’ The link is below this message.

It was interesting to reflect on some of these statistics with the students. If there were only 100 people in the world 33 would be Christian, 18 Muslim and 14 Hindu.  47 would live in an urban area. The clip highlights some statistics which students found shocking. 43 would live without basic sanitation. Only 7 would have access to secondary school education.  75 would be in a position where they do not have regular food, clothing, a bed and a roof over their heads. I commented on the fact that 53 would struggle to live on $2.00 per day, and linked this directly with the £1.50 (near enough $2.00) many students gave to comic relief for non-uniform and to watch staff leg waxing. Many of the students are aware that dealing with global inequality is more complex than simply giving money, but the point that we all need to work together to this end was clearly made.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher




Northumbria University Visit



Last week 12 of our Year 11 pupils visited Northumbria University and the Newcastle offices of Bond Dickinson LLP a national, commercial law firm to explore education and careers in Law.   It was a joint visit together with several other comprehensive schools from the area, organised by ‘AimHigher for Me’. 

The visit was, as always, a great success, with pupils being asked to role play in several exercises in court and around the negotiating table!  James Ray (11JW) has written about the visit below:

“I found the presentation about being a barrister in court the most useful, and enjoyed that part of the trip the most. We were spoken to by the Northumbria Law Course Coordinator as well as a practising barrister and a lecturer who specialised in constitutional law. Having been on the trip, I am confident that it would be an interesting and varied career but also that it would be very hard work; the law courses are also very competitive. 

Most of the students there seemed to be enjoying studying law, although some did seem quite exhausted by what is apparently a massive workload. Bond Dickinson was a modern building near Quayside, and there we took part in a practice negotiation exercise that is also used to train prospective solicitors. It was a great trip, both interesting and enjoyable, and I'm glad I went!”

These visits are a great opportunity for our pupils to find out more about the careers they are interested in and to get an insight into university life and the working world beyond!

Mrs Sinclair, Music Department



Last week seven of our sixth formers travelled to Strasbourg to take part in Euroscola.

Euroscola is a unique event for schoolsto learn about European integration by experiencing it firsthand.

Students from the 28 EU Member States were selected to become a Member of the European Parliament for one day at the Parliament's premises in Strasbourg.

They take the floor in plenary and committee sessions to debate and vote on resolutions on current affairs, all the while practicing their language skills.

Our students were fantastic and collaborated with other students from across the EU, a thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all.

Miss Granlund, MFL Department



Dramatix Sixth Form Drama Group

Congratulations to all sixth form performers and the KS3 technical theatre group for a brilliant performance of Dennis Kelly’s ‘DNA’ on Tuesday 17th of March.

Dramatix sixth form drama group, consists of nine Year 12 students and one student from our main school and was established by the students themselves.

I would particularly like to thank; Hannah Booth, Isabelle Bradshaw and Stephanie Holmes- the creators of the group.

 Ms Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama



Code Club 



Code club was well attended again this week by students in Years 10 – 11.  Work  continued on Raspberry Pi’s using Python code to interact with Minecraft. Great to see our coders being creative with code including one student who coded a house made of water!

We also had a preview of what the students will be coding next week… The Pibrella. The Pibrella is a board that plugs into the Raspberry Pi that allows you to make lights flash and buzzers sound. If pupils in Year10 or 11are interested in coding, please come and join us!

Next week is the final week of Code Club and we have to say goodbye to the Raspberry Pi’s which were very kindly loaned to us by Durham University. We are also very grateful to Mr Ferguson who is final year student of Computer Science at Durham University and has been coming to help run the sessions.

Mr Garside, Computing Department


Durham City Secondary School Dance Festival

Three of our dance groups performed in the Durham City Secondary School Dance Festival at Belmont School on Wednesday.

The Year 7 cheerleading Squad,  DJ Cats performed an exciting number to ‘Footloose’; Laura Haubold in Year 8 performed a beautiful ballet routine to ‘100 Years’ and Nicole Colombai in Year 10 performed a contemporary freestyle piece to Kesha's 'We R Who We R'.

The cheerleaders will perform again on Friday at the Level 3 Winter Games opening ceremony, and also at the Gala Theatre on Monday along with Laura for the secondary dance showcase.

Mrs White, PE Department


Stage and Screen Extravaganza!

Congratulations to all pupils who performed in last night’s concert.  It was a very enjoyable evening and one which I’m sure will remain in memories for a long time. I would also like to thank, on behalf of pupils all colleagues, from both School and Durham Music Service who supported this event in so many ways.

Many thanks to Mrs Scrivens (a school parent and Assistant Brach Manager in Barclays Durham) for organising the raffle which raised £511, which will be fund-matched by Barclays PLC.

I have received many messages of congratulations which I would like to pass on to all performers by quoting one particular correspondent - ‘Huge congratulations for an excellent concert last night. Like the rest of the audience, I left on the crest of a wave!’

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 23/03/15

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Sports News

John Farnworth - World Freestyle Football Champion 


On Wednesday we had a visit from John Farnworth, (World Champion Freestyle Footballer) and the Fast Feet Football School. John gave a display of his freestyle skills and talked to pupils from Years 7, 8 and 9 about his successes over the past 12 years.  Pupils challenged John to try out different skills and asked him about his training. The longest John had completed a ‘keepy-up’ session was during a 26.2 mile marathon where it was thought he did 90,000 ‘keepy-ups’ without stopping.

Mrs White, PE Department



Year 7 Rowing Programme Week 6

Week 6 and the final session of the ‘Learn to Row’ programme for our Year 7 students at Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

Today the students used all of their previous experience gained over the past 5 weeks to set up their boats, life jackets and oars. The students took it in turn to row along the river, using different strokes, body positions and rowing techniques.

All of the boys have performed exceedingly well, completing weekly challenges and taking on the role of a coach.  A very well done to Daniel Cann, Jackson Duncan, Nic Hayes, Tom Johnson, Alex Martin-lynch, Harvey Poole, Conrad Rees, Jude Sellers, Alex Sloan, Dominic Young, Robert Bussey and Tyler Turnbull.

I would also like to say a very big thank you to all of the staff at DARC for their time, equipment and expertise.

Mr Kidd, PE Department


Level 3 School Games

Today approximately 80 pupils represented Durham City in the Level 3 school games at Maiden castle, Freemans Quay and Spennymoor sports centre.

Durham Johnston pupils represented the city in table tennis, basketball, sportshall athletics, New Age Kurling, disability swimming and girls rugby.

After some really difficult games and events the results

·         Year 7 girls sportshall athletics  1st

·         Year 7 boys sportshall athletics 1st

·         Year 8 girls sportshall athletics 1st

·         Year 8 boys sportshall athletics 1st

·         Year 7 boys basketball 2nd

·         Year 9 boys basketball 1st

·         Under 13 girls table tennis 1st

·         Under 13 boys table tennis 3rd

·         Under 15 girls table tennis 1st

·         Girls contact rugby 3rd

·         New Age Kurling 2nd

And in the pool Ben Rutherford won 3 golds and James Thomas won 1.

Well done to all of the teams and also the sports leaders for making the day a success.

Mrs White, PE Department