Dear parents and carers,
We are hosting an alumni gathering on Saturday. This is an exciting event for the school, and three of my predecessors will be present. We will be welcoming Sir John Dunford, Richard Bloodworth and Carolyn Roberts to celebrate the history of the school and to look forward to its future. Events like these clearly give past students the opportunity to socialise and to reminisce about old times. However, I will also be asking for supporters of the school if they are willing to share their expertise and skills with us for the benefit of our students.
I invite parents to do the same. There are many ways in which you can support the school. Parents in different professions come to talk to our students through our careers programme. Some give expert advice when this is needed by the senior team. Others support our benevolent fund. Do consider supporting the school community in these ways.
Have a good weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
The last day of five years at Durham Johnston School came and went this week. I am now bereft of my Year 11s, and it’s a strange feeling. For the Year 11s themselves the daily task of preparation for exams continues; some have had several already and are well into the exam routine, for others the first trials and tribulations begin next week. For all of them though, the final day before study leave commenced was a bittersweet day filled with emotion and goodwill.
Shirt signing began in earnest as they came into the building. Once yearbooks were given out in registration my morning was a blur of signing, photographs, and well-wishing. Pupils had been asked to avoid wandering between classrooms and this was immaculately observed. At least, until halfway through period 2 when an exam ended and the inevitability of the last hour in school melted through the corridors. There were some tears, a lot of smiles, and some moments of great poignancy as pupils said goodbye to tutors. The atmosphere was superb, and part of me didn’t want it to end, but it had to, and James Hall became the departure lounge for the next stage of their journey.
I managed to hold nerves in check and get through the final assembly hoping that the right tone was struck – how do you summarise 5 years and leave everyone with a good memory? The year group have left their mark on our school community and it has been a pleasure, as well as a challenge, leading them over the last two years from when I stepped into the role of Year Leader.
Many are still coming into school for revision sessions as well as exams, so no-one has left completely yet. Quite a number will return to the sixth form in September and we look forward to seeing them again. Wherever they go, the workplaces, schools or colleges that receive them will be the richer for our youngsters being there.
Take care Year 11 – make the rest of your lives extraordinary!
Mr Simpson, Year Leader
Mr McArdle, Head of Sixth Form
Each year the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Newcastle University send out a series of maths challenges to local schools. There are two categories; the junior challenge for pupils in Year 8 or below and the senior challenge for pupils in Year 10 or below. The problems are designed to be completed by pupils during the February half term holiday.
A number of pupils from Durham Johnston submitted entries this year and we are delighted to announce that four of our pupils were invited to attend the award ceremony on Thursday 13thMay.
Naomi Erlebach Prize
Magnus Bower Certificate
Zheneya Tumarkin Certificate
Megan Latham Certificate
Magnus and Naomi pictured with Mrs Cave and Dr Di Marco after the award ceremony.
Miss A T Rush, Subject Leader for Maths
The following information has been provided by Durham County Council in their recent E-Safety Newsletter for Durham Schools
Children love to play video games, but there are some risks involved. The two main areas of concern are:
The PEGI ratings should help you decide what is appropriate for your child
The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence is the most difficult to define since it can be very subjective in many cases, but in general terms it can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. More extreme bad language, the concept of the use of tobacco and drugs and the depiction of criminal activities can be content of games that are rated 16.
Videogames that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy character and/or non graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals, as well as videogames that show nudity of a slightly more graphic nature would fall in this age category. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.
Further advice is available from www.askaboutgames.com which will also provide advice on setting parental controls on games consoles to help ensure that play is safe for children.
It is also important to ask your children who they are playing with. One recent, extreme example was of a 19 year old grooming a 14 year old boy, Breck Bednar before murdering him. Most parents would want to know who their children are playing with in the real world; the same should also apply to the virtual world.
Year 13 students have completed a diverse range of investigations for the Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ). This is generally a 5,000 word dissertation on a title chosen and researched individually by the student. Sixth Formers choose titles after the AS exams in Year 12 and work on them through to spring of Year 13 when they hand in and also give a presentation on their work. Topics this year included:
Mr McArdle, Head of Sixth Form
There will be a meeting for the Year 8 French trip to Lésigny on Monday 18th May in the language department at 10:45am (break time).
Could all Year 7 students who will be going on the trip please attend.
Miss Granlund, MFL Department
Instrumental and Vocal Tuition
Instrumental and vocal tuition continues during public examinations, and pupils on study leave are encouraged to come into school for their lessons wherever possible. They do not have to be in school uniform if they are only coming into school for an instrumental lesson. If pupils are unable to make lessons, please would you encourage them to inform their teachers so that their lesson times can be reallocated.
School Music Festival 2015
Entries are now open for the 2015 Durham Johnston School Music Festival. If your child plays an instrument, or sings please click here.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
Bishop Auckland Schools League Cup Final
Last week our Year 9 boys played against Parkside at home in a league cup final. Having already lost to Parkside in the Bishops Cup we had the worst possible start; going down to 1-0 due to an own goal where the team remained behind at half time.
Going down to 1-0 was the motivation we needed and the comeback was on! We equalised in the second half due to Josh Clifford’s precise finish. With the wind in our sails we went on to score another 6 goals in the second half, eventually winning the game 7-1, avenging the previous cup defeat. The game was played in very good spirit by both teams, well done to Fin Gibson who was voted as man of the match.
Mr Kidd, PE Department
On Tuesday our Junior and Intermediate boys and girls athletics teams were at Monkton Stadium competing in the first round of the English Schools Cup. All our athletes performed very well achieving the following results. Junior boys – 1st, Inter boys – 2nd, Inter girls - 2nd, Junior girls – 3rd. We will find out next week which of the teams have qualified for the Regional round held in June. Also on Tuesday our Year 9 boys cricket team were playing at home against Hetton in the County Cup. They batted first and scored a very good 110 runs. After a slow start Josh Clifford came in and scored an excellent 66 runs to take us within 10 runs of victory. Dan Ferguson hit the winning runs with 1 over to spare.
It was not so good news for our Year 10 team on Wednesday. A very poor batting display saw us only manage 29 runs. We made them work hard but eventually lost. Also on Wednesday our Year 10 rugby team were playing in the Durham City & Chester-le-Street competition. Despite being runners-up to Parkview we still qualify for the School games in July.
Finally on Wednesday our year 7 & 8 rounders teams were at Parkview for league matches. They were both very good games with our Year 7’s winning 48 – 13 and the Year 8’s winning 71 – 25.
On Thursday our Year 9 cricket team were playing a friendly against Castleview. We scored 110 runs thanks to another very good 44 runs from Josh Clifford. Five wickets from Ollie Johnson saw us bowl them out for 102 to win by 8 runs. Also on Thursday our Year 9 & 10 rounders teams were at Parkview for their league matches. These were very close games with our Year 9’s losing 40 – 42 and the Year 10’s losing 50 – 55.
The week of cricket continued today with both our U13 boys and girls teams playing in the Durham City “Chance to Shine” event at Brandon CC. Both the boys and girls started with very easy victories against DCBC. The boys won 125 – 7 and the girls 136 – 29. The other games were slightly closer but both teams remained unbeaten to win the competition. They both now go on to represent Durham City in the County finals next month.
Finally good luck tonight to our Year 7 cricket team who are playing St Thomas More in the County Cup at Blaydon CC. Hopefully we will bring good news from the match next week.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE