Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates for Your Diary

·         Monday 4th May – School Closed – May Day

·         Monday 25th May – Summer Half Term (1 Week)

·         Saturday 16th May – Alumni Gathering Event


Headteacher’s Message

This week I have been enjoying listening to students in Year 13 present their findings from their Extended Project Qualification. This course is designed to teach sixth formers research and presentation skills, and mirrors the process of writing a thesis at university. Students are provided with a supervisor who guides them and advises them, but the responsibility for organisation, planning and research is on the shoulders of the student. I have been impressed by the outcomes both by way of essay and project, and their answers to probing questions after their presentations.

As a school we seek to teach and grow skills in addition to knowledge and understanding and these projects are an example of this.

It will not have escaped your attention that it is a bank holiday on Monday. Enjoy the weekend.


Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher



Important information for Year 11 Students and their Parents and Carers

Year 11 examinations start this term and it is vital that Year 11 students are organised and that they have started to revise.  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. 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 11 Leavers’ – 13th May 2015

Please view the following information regarding Year 11 pupils and the structure of their last full day in school.

·         The Year 11 Leavers’ Assembly will take place on Wednesday 13th May. 

·         Year books will be given out during registration.

·         Periods 1-2 will be as normal and Assembly will be in James Hall after break.

·         Students will leave the site around 12pm.

·         Study leave begins on Thursday 14th May.


Departments including English and Maths have organised revision sessions and students will be notified in due course.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


Durham Johnston Alumni Gathering Event

Due to high demand for tickets please ensure your place by emailing your postal address to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  A ticket will be posted out to you on receipt of your details.

Annual Public Speaking Competition

An audience of parents, grandparents, friends and teachers were entertained last Thursday evening at the school’s Annual Public Speaking Competition.

Ten students from Years 7 and 8 each delivered a persuasive speech on a topic of their choice, with subjects ranging from serious consideration being given to the dangers of beauty pageants to the rather more light hearted issue of One Direction’s apparent lack of talent.

The panel of judges comprised Mrs Walton, Acting Subject Leader for English; Mr O’Sullivan, Assistant Head and Miss Granlund, Teacher of Languages and Chair of Debating Society.  After a lengthy discussion, they chose to break with tradition and award two winners: Zara Bomanji who delivered a passionate and extremely well researched speech on gender equality and Sam Gibson who entertained the audience with an engaging and very humorous account of embarrassing parents.

All the finalists had worked hard over a number of weeks to prepare for the competition and each should be proud of their performance.

The finalists were:  Zara Bomanji, Ben Donaghy,  Evie Edworthy, Madalyn Elmer, Sam Gibson, Laura Haubold, Megan Latham, James MacLaurin, Adam Nesbitt and Anouk Saint.

Mrs Everall, English Department


Olympiad Success for Yuriy

Mr Wardle and Miss Rush present Yuriy Tumarkin with his certificate of distinction, book prize and medal following a perfect performance in the Intermediate Mathematical Olympiad at the end of last term.  During a three and half hour paper Yuriy answered 6 questions and achieved a perfect score of 60 out of 60.

The Intermediate Olympiad is the follow on competition for the Intermediate Mathematics Challenge and this year 1700 pupils qualified to take part.  In each year group the top 100 pupils receive a medal and the top 50 also receive a book prize.  With a perfect score, Yuriy is one of the top ranking pupils in Year 10 in the country.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Mathematics

Geography Group visit Newcastle Ouseburn

The A2 Geography group visited Ouseburn, Newcastle on Friday 24th April for the afternoon.  They were investigating some of the issues associated with the redevelopment of old inner city areas and were guided around the area by Dale, a local volunteer.  They were able to directly see many of the conflicts associated with such change and witness the removal of the Gruffalo from Seven Stories!

Mr Lindley, Subject Leader for Geography


RCS National School Analyst Competition

In March this year chemistry students attended the regional heat of the Schools Analyst Competition at Sunderland University which involved solving a chemistry conundrum set by academics to test young scientific experts.

Students were challenged by science experts to use their knowledge of chemistry to test the water quality of a newly discovered spring – and discover if it was suitable to launch a microbrewery.   This year’s winning team was Framwellgate School with Durham Johnson School coming in a close second place. Well done to all our students taking part in the competition.

Mr Bowman, Science Department


6th Form Pupils Visit the Tyneside UCAS Convention

This week has been a busy one for Year 12.  Not only are they preparing for forthcoming exams but they are also planning their university applications.  On Monday they heard from the editor of The Good University Guide on choosing courses and institutions, on Tuesday a representative from Oxford University came to speak about applying to both Oxford and Cambridge and then on Thursday all of Year 12 visited the Tyneside UCAS Convention to meet representatives from 137 universities, colleges and employers. 

Mr McArdle, Head of Sixth Form


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 05/05/15 

Click here to view Institute of Financial Services – Summer 2015 results

Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Sports News

Athletics, tennis and cricket practices continued at the start of the week with a great turn-out for all clubs.

On Wednesday our Inter and Senior Boys athletes were at Monkton Stadium for the Tyneside Senior Schools Championships. This event always attracts the best schools in the North-east and the standard is always high. Our boys competed very well throughout the afternoon. Our Inter boys finished in 2nd place only losing to Emmanuel College by 7 points  because they were the only school to have a pole vaulter they scored  10 points for being first in that event. Our Senior boys also finished in 2nd place making us the highest scoring school at the Championships.

On Thursday our U15 girls had their first match of the season against Durham School. They played very well winning all but one match to eventually win 5 – 1. Rounders matches were also taking place against Durham School on Thursday. Both games were very close with our Year 7 team winning 53 – 52 and our Year 8 team losing 49 – 58.

Finally our mountain biking teams are competing tonight in a competition held by British Cycling. Unfortunately no other school in the area was interested in sending a team so it is more practice for our cyclists before they compete in the County Championships in July.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE