Dear parents and carers,
I was grateful to attend the vice chancellor’s garden party this week. What was striking about the event was how many former students and parents past and present were in attendance. It was good to speak to a wide variety of people with connections to the Johnston and to hear how grateful they are for being able either to attend the school, or to send their children here. The whole event reminded me of the need of the leadership and governors of the school to honour the success of the past, and also to ensure that our provision supports students in today’s world.
The school clearly does plan for the future, and information as to our strategic planning is available for parents to see on the website.
I hope that the sun continues to shine this weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
Public Examinations – Information for Students in Years 11, 12 and 13
For your reference a link to a copy of the information leaflet relating to public examinations which was issued to students in May can be found here.
Mrs Gillham, Examinations Officer
On Wednesday 17th June between 6pm-7pm we will be running an E-Safety session for Year 7 parents. The session will be hosted by Mr Garside and Mr Weaver (Assistant Head - behaviour) and will aim to cover some of the risks our students are exposed to when using technology as well as to provide practical advice on things that parents can do to engage with their children on this topic.
Next Wednesday we are offering Year 10 students an exciting opportunity to learn coding skills using a Raspberry Pi computer in order to apply to become a Durham Johnston School Digital Leader.
Over the coming weeks we will teach skills on how to use the raspberry pi to control hardware such as alarms, buzzers, lights and robots, as well as how to use python code to interact with Minecraft. We will then set students a challenge of coming up with a creative project using the raspberry pi that could be taught to our Key Stage 3 students.
We hope to appoint 4 to 6 digital leaders who would help us run code clubs next year and help our young students develop their skills in coding, creativity and problem solving. In return we would give our newly appointed digital leaders a free Raspberry Pi to develop their projects.
The first session starts Wednesday 17th June in ICT3 3pm-4pm. If you already own a Raspberry Pi, please bring it along to the session.
Mr Garside and Miss Forbes, Computing Department
Following an invitation from the Local Authority specialist inspector for Art and Design, Ian Lightfoot to host an Art and Design Secondary Network meeting at Durham Johnston, we were delighted to welcome 25 Subject Leaders and teachers of art from Durham and Sunderland.
Delegates had the opportunity to see a selection of the outstanding work done in the department from students across all year groups. This was followed by a presentation from Mrs Hitchcock, Subject Leader for Art on Philosophy of Art Education and the impact this has on the work produced in the school. The presentation included exemplar work produced by students over the last few years, some of whom have gone on to study Art at some of the top universities such as Oxford for Fine Art and Art History, UCL for Architecture, Central St Martin’s for Fashion and Print and Chelsea, Wimbledon, Goldsmiths and Glasgow School of Art amongst others.
Ian Lightfoot praised the work of the department and feedback from delegates was very positive.
There has been some fantastic news in the Geography Department this week, where our Year 8 students have been awarded third prize in the secondary category of a national competition. The competition required the students to create a presentation on the importance of fruit farming in South Africa.
The judging was very fierce, with 2 rounds of judging held last week at the South African High Commission in Trafalgar Square then at a very high profile event called the London Produce Show at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane, both in London. A total of 21 judges were involved from all different backgrounds including journalists, a South African honorary consul, South African fruit growers and importers, a buyer from Waitrose, horticulture students, South African embassy staff and even TV star Aggie Mackenzie from ‘How Clean is Your House’ fame.
Well done to Mark Humphries, Nicholas Khoze and Adam Morris who produced our award-winning entry!
Geography club will be starting again on Tuesday 16th June afterschool from 3:00-4:00pm for students wishing to participate in the annual Young Geographer of the Year competition.
Mr Ray, Geography Department
Local Band THIS SIDE UP to Perform at Durham Fishtank – 22nd June
Earlier this year the band @THIS SIDE UP' performed a gig to students in Years 8 and9. Following the fantastic response they received and have since had on social media they have added a Durham gig to their Home to Home tour.
They will perform at Durham Fishtank on 22nd June at 7pm. Cost is £5 or £7 on the door. Under 16's must be accompanied by an adult.
Click here for more information.
Mr Kennedy, 2nd in Guidance
We are in the process of planning our eighth exchange visit with our partner school, the Lycee St Exupery, Lyon for 2015-16. The exchange is open to all current Year 10 students and also to Year 9 students who intend to continue studying French at KS4. If you would like your son or daughter to be included we would be grateful if you could complete and return the tear-off slip on the letter and return to the school office, together with a deposit cheque for £50.00 no later than Friday 26 June.
Miss Granlund, Enrichment Co-ordinator, MFL department
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 15 June.
Mrs Lennon, Deputy Head of Sixth Form
Milburngate Bridge Closure – 12 July 2015
Many of you will already be aware that work is to start on Milburngate Bridge over the summer holiday. However, although the majority of work will be done during the sixth week holiday period, work starts on the 12 July and is likely to impact on travel to school in the final week of term.
For further information please click on following link to the Milburngate Bridge web page which contains further details about the project.
We were interested to hear news of Sophie Cordery who left the Sixth Form in 2014. Sophie, who is currently studying languages at Edinburgh University is also a member of The City of Edinburgh Universities Officers Training Corps and was one of two female OTC cadets selected to fire the gun salute at Edinburgh Castle to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday on Wednesday.
Last Friday night our U13 and U15 boys tennis teams were playing St John’s in league matches. Both recorded very easy wins with the U13’s winning 6 – 0 and the U15’s 4 – 2.
On Monday our Year 7 football team were playing in the league cup final also against St John’s. This was a very close game and an excellent final. The score at full time was 0 – 0 and even extra time couldn’t separate the teams. Penalties followed and unfortunately we never recovered from missing our first two going on to lose 4 – 2. Also on Monday our U13 girls tennis team were playing Durham High in a league match. Again this was very close ending 3 – 3. A tie-break followed which we unfortunately lost.
On Tuesday afternoon our Year 7 cricket team were playing Hetton School in the county cup quarter final. We batted first scoring an impressive 118 runs in our 20 overs. We took some early wickets and the result was never in doubt as we bowled them out with 1 over to go to move into the semi-final.
Also on Tuesday our U15 boys and girls tennis teams were both at Barnard Castle in league games. The girls had a comfortable 4 – 2 victory. However the boys game was much closer again ending up 3 – 3. Another tie-break followed, however this time we were successful winning 10 – 3.
Finally on Tuesday our Year 9 mixed rounders team were at Parkview in the first ever Durham Schools mixed rounders tournament. This event capped a very successful day as we won all our games comfortably to become champions.
On Wednesday our Year 10 cricket team were playing Emmanuel College in the Tyneside Cup. We scored an outstanding 198 runs in our 20 overs which included a 104 not out from Harrison Whitfield. We won the game easily restricting them to 128 for 8.
Also on Wednesday afternoon our U19 boys tennis team were playing the Scottish National champions, Merchiston School, Edinburgh for a place in the National Finals. This was always going to be an uphill battle, against what is technically the Scottish Tennis academy team. We battled hard but they proved too strong for us. Still a great achievement for the boys to be North of England Champions.
On Thursday our U14 boys and girls athletics teams were at Monkton Stadium competing in U14 County Pentathlon. They all do 5 events over the day and scores are added up. This was a very successful day as both our boys and girls teams won to become County Champions and Natasha Stephenson and Morgan Jobling won the individual competition.
Also on Thursday our U15B boys tennis team were at Greenfield School in the County Cup quarter final. This was a straightforward 6 – 0 win which moves us into the semi-final against Barnard Castle.
Finally good luck tonight to our Year 8 cricket team who are at Consett CC playing Consett Acdemy in the County Cup quarter-final and our athletes who are Monkton stadium on Saturday competing in the County Championships.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE