Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary

  • KS3 Drama Club Production, The Mystern of Oz - Friday 10 July, 7.00 p.m. in James Hall (tickets available on the door)
  • Summer term ends - Thursday 16th July
  • Autumn term begins - Thursday 3 September
  • Year 6 Open day - Monday 28 September, 9.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.
  • Sixth Form Open Evening - Monday 5 October, James Hall, 6.00 - 8.00 p.m.


Headteacher's Message

Dear parents and carers,

Next week is wellbeing week. We are very much looking forward to the wide range of activities on offer for different year groups. This is a real opportunity for the school to broaden the curriculum for the students and to spark their interests in different areas. Many students are also taking part in residential trips and visits next week. On your behalf, I would like to thank the staff who will be working with students to ensure that they have new and exciting experiences, whilst remaining safe and secure.

A quick reminder that for students in school, uniform will be required (and PE kit for some activities).

Yours sincerely,



Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Collecting Examination Results

Here is a reminder of procedures for students collecting their exam results.

We regret that we are unable to give out exam results over the phone or by email.


Examination results  will be available for collectionon the following dates.


AS/A2  -           Thursday  13th August 2015

                          A2 - 8.00am   AS- 10.00am

GCSE   -            Thursday  20th  August 2015

                          YEAR 11 10.00am

                          YEAR 10 11.00am


Students may collect their results on the the relevant dates above.  If for any reason students are unable to collect their own results in person they may either leave an A5 stamped addressed envelope with Ms Gillham, Examinations Officer or authorise a representative to collect the results on their behalf.  The person nominated by must produce a letter signed by the student before the results are released.       

Please note that for reasons of security the school is not able to give out examination results over the telephone or via email



Wellbeing Week Activities

Wellbeing Week this year is an opportunity for students to experience things outside of the curriculum that they may not have done before or have the opportunity to do in the future.

An exciting programme of  varied and challenging events is planned and will offer  children the opportunity to be reflective long after an event finishes  including ‘Show Racism the Red Card (Years 9 and 10)  and Building a Sustainable Community (Year 8) which will encourage active participation through debate and group work, whilst getting the message across in a fun environment.

During the week there will be the traditional trips to  Howtown, Malaga,  and the Battlefields. In addition we have a Year 10 Taster Day at New College for 50 of our students and trips to Lightwater Valley.

One of biggest events planned involves Durham Fire and Rescue Service who are coming to school to work with the whole of Year 8. The educational aspect of the event is to inform and advise about the dangers of fire and our waterways, especially given the local tragedies we have seen recently with students losing their lives.  They are also bringing in specialist fire and rescue equipment including the high ladder and cage which some lucky children will get the chance to ride in. We will have races to roll the fire hoses out and in, firing the water hoses and obstacle courses wearing fire apparatus including possibly staff versus firefighter races. There will also be a rescue boat and lots of opportunity to get photographs across the day.

Specialist experts from ‘If You Care you Share’ Foundation will work with small groups of our Year 9 students and will tackle the difficult subject of teenage depression, anxiety and suicide.  Year 7 students will spend the day tackling Anti-Social Behaviour and the effects on the community with Durham Constabulary. There will be a Sexual Health event for Year 9 students and a Healthy Lifestyles for Years 8 – 10.  

All year groups will spend half a day participating in various sporting activities such as tennis, football and dance with a couple of expert coaches supported by members of staff.  In addition there will be sporting activities within ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and the event with Durham Fire and Rescue Service’.

In addition to all of the above we also have welding with chocolate, creepy crawlies and exotic snakes, dinosaur fossils, a dissection lab for our Year 10 triple scientists, a ‘journey to the centre of the universe’

Finally, to complete the week on Thursday we have a live music concert with performances from a singer/songwriter and a band.

Mr Kennedy, 2nd in Guidance


End of Term Reports for Years 7-10

·         End of Term reports for pupils in Years 7-10 will be published on ePortal by Tuesday 14th July.

·         Pupils in Years 7-10 received a paper copy of their report from their form tutor on Thursday 9thJuly.

·         Pupils in Years 7-10 discussed their report with their form tutor on Thursday 9thJuly.

·         Parents who have requested a paper copy of their child’s report should receive a copy before the end of term.

·         Years 7-9 percentage tables of levels in each subject are given on each child’s report.

·         KS4 students and all parents who have difficulty logging on to ePortal or have forgotten/lost their log in details, please email the school ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it)· 

Year 8 Reports

We have discovered an inadvertent error on the recently issued Year 8 reports.  Your child's report will say that he / she is part of a special Year Leader Intervention Programme.  In fact this applies to only a  very small number of pupils:  these pupils are already aware and yesterday, they all met with Year Leader Mrs Bell.  Corrected versions are available to download.

Please accept our apologies for any upset this may have caused.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


House News

This year members of all Houses, namely, Annand, Kenny, Heaviside and Wakenshaw, have taken part in numerous competitions to win points for their houses. The students have also taken part in competitions in school such as quizzes, rounders, four square, Humberball and many more. Activities also include raising money and awareness for national charity events for Children in Need and Comic Relief and local charities such as Durham foodbank and the Salvation Army in our area.

The ethos of the House system is to build a sense of community within the school, good natured competition and extracurricular enrichment.  We are pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s House Competition is Wakenshaw.

Well done to Wakenshaw and to all who have taken part this year!

Mrs Dunn and the House Team


Future Business Magnates Success


Eight of our year 8 students have won this year’s Future Business Magnates (FBM) competition.

The team competed against 23 other County Durham Secondary schools to finish the eight month competition in first place with a record number of points.

The Durham County Council FBM competition is now in its 10th year and encourages young entrepreneurs to form a business and create a new product idea linked to a theme set by the judges. This year’s theme was to develop a product which uses light in an innovative way. A series of business challenges are set throughout the school year where the teams compete for points.

The Durham Johnston students formed a business called Hydreco and came up with a unique tap design called the GlowFlow eco tap which uses light to warn the user when water is being wasted.

The team was successful in every Challenge and at the Annual Awards Dinner on Friday 3rd July was awarded with the winners trophy, £2,000 for the school and individual prizes of £50 each.Today this winners took part in an afternoon of fun, games and ice cream to conclude another fantastic year. A house trophy will also be awarded during assembly in September.

Mr Martindale, Business Studies Department


Geography Winners

Pictured below are Mark Humphries, Nicholas Khoze and Adam Morris who today received their certificates and a gift voucher for £10.00.   The students, whose award winning entry on the importance of fruit farming in South Africa won 3rd prize in a  recent national geography competition, also won £250 for the school.




European Youth Parliament Debating Success

DJCS was represented at the National final of the European Youth Parliament debates last week, following the team’s success earlier in the year at the regional stage.

Harriet Chater, Peter Dowsett, Callum Hunter, Adam Iqbal, Matthias Bash, Anna Sawicki Smith, Charlotte Austin, Susannah Atkinson and Stefan Renstrom travelled to Liverpool where they stayed for 4 days, debating with candidates from a variety of schools around the country, competing against state, selective grammar and private schools.

Though the team were not selected for the International stages, they performed exceptionally well, and we await news regarding potential individual selection.

This is a fierce competition where the standard of debating is very high. Our students are to be commended on their attitude and resilience, ability and team work.

Miss Granlund, Languages Department


French Exchange 2015/16

In November this year we will be taking a group of Year 10 and Year 11 (current Year 9 and10), students to Lyon, France, for the ninth annual exchange visit to our partner school Lyon St Exupéry.

The second part of this trip will take place in March 2016 – most likely the week prior to the Easter holidays.

This is an excellent opportunity for KS4 French students to make substantial progress in their spoken French, as well giving them an opportunity to form friendships, many of which will last for years.

Students gain confidence in the language and learn an enormous amount about the culture.

There are still places available, if you would like your child to take part please ask them to see Miss Granlund in the languages department as soon as possible.

A letter with further information will be given to interested students.

Miss Granlund, Languages Department



Karine Polwart Protest Workshop

A last minute cancellation by another school meant that we welcomed acclaimed folk singer/songwriter Karine Polwart into school on Tuesday morning.   Linked to Durham’s ‘Magna Carta’ celebrations,  she led a workshop for year 10 music students about protest songs, and their importance and influence in historical and modern revolutionary campaigns.

From ‘Siya Hamba’ – a marching song used first by the apartheid movement to ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’, best known from anti-nuclear protests, we learned about the common musical features of these songs and sang some too, before creating our own protest chants and performing them.  Issues such as Women in Sport, Uniform and Freedom of Expression and Inflation,  linked to the price of chocolate inspired the participants to create songs, to rap and to chant for change!

Thanks to Karine for her time and expertise and to the Palace Green Library Learning team, from Durham University, for facilitating this session 

Mrs Sinclair, Music Department


Jack Drum Arts - Music Workshops

Please see attached information about summer holidays young people music workshops by Jack Drum Arts where participants will use natural materials and sounds to create stories and soundscapes.

Venue: Hamsterley Forest

Dates: 21st -24th July 2015

Ages: 10+

Cost: £5 per day

Free transport available from Crook

For more information or to book please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Maths Challenge


Team Durham Johnston did really well at the Maths Challenge competition on Tuesdayand coming second overall (out of 22 teams). They did particularly well in the speed round where they came top by a long way, and in the team round where they came second. They also won the separate poster competition on ‘Order and Chaos’.

Congratulations to Josh Erlebach, Aleks Carver, Matthew Roxby and Ardy Ehteshami

It was a great day!.

Miss Pounds, Mathematics Department



Active Kids Vouchers 2014-2015

Well done and thank you to all  who have helped collect the Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers 2014/15.

The grand total raised was 27009 vouchers which will be exchanged for athletic equipment which would have otherwise been very expensive for the school to purchase.

A BIG thank you to the individuals who handed in incredible numbers of vouchers;

·         George Daglish         890

·         Mollyanne Maguire    627

·         Ben Donaghy           579

·         Andrew Butcher        400

·         Thomas Wright        309


Many thanks also to the following forms 8C and 8J who raised 1867 and 1750 vouchers respectivly.

Finally, well done to Wakenshaw who were the run-away winners of the House Competition.

Have a great summer..

Mr Humberstone, PE Department


The Big Bang Fair

On Tuesday 16 students from years 7, 8, and 9 attended the North East Big Bang Fair. These students were drawn from those students who participated in the F1 in School’s Challenge earlier in the year. The event allowed our students to take part in a number of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workshops which included a CSI forensic science lab and a workshop about how 3D animation and computer games are generated. They also visited many of the70 hands-on’ stands in the ‘Drop-In’ areas. These stands included Nissan, HP Enterprises Ltd, Cundall Engineering, The Welding Institute and ‘welding with chocolate’, Tomorrow’s Engineers, Nuclear Institute and ECITB, into Film, Northumbria University, British Engines, Army, RAF, Cancer Research, Manic Science and PII Pipeline Solutions to name a few. They were also treated to a roadshow called ‘Zombie Science – Brian of the Dead’ which described that what everyone needs to know about how to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Here are a few comments by the students on the day:

Year 7

Joseph  – ‘the Big Bang Fair offered us lots of different job opportunities’.

Jude  – the Big Bang Fair showed spectacular whilst funny things’.


Year 8

Morgan  – ‘the Big Bang Fair is always a fantastic trip and always makes me think about careers after each stand or workshop. This makes it so interesting’.

Adam  – ‘I always look forward to the Big Bang Fair because I learn lots about careers and job opportunities’.

Tom Yr9 – ‘the hosts of the various events were very funny and interesting. I also tried on a RAF flight helmet’.

Mr Kennedy, Design and Technology Department


Get the Buzz Durham

On Wednesday the school were host to Jo Lyons from ‘Get the Buzz Durham’. This was a careers event that was seen by all students in Yr8 and Yr9 and involved visitors from the RAF, Police and Keepmoat who are a construction company. Here is what the organisers had to say:

‘Get the Buzz Durham’is a week-long inspirational and aspirational opportunity for schools to throw open their doors to local employers who want to tell young people face to face what the world of work is like, what they can do to make themselves more employable, help young people appreciate the massive variety of career choices available and above all connect their learning to their future working success’.

The event finished with an inspirational and very famous video clip entitled ‘My robot is better than your robot’ and features famous people like Jack Black, Justin Timberlake, Will I Am and Snoop Dogg talking about what science brings to the world. Here is a link to the clip:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYuOKb3gO7E

Mr Kennedy, 2iC Guidance and Careers


Sports News

The final week of competitive sport has again been very successful.

On Monday both our Year 8 and Year 10 cricket teams were at Blaydon CC for the Tyneside schools finals. Both teams played well to win the competition, both beating St Thomas More. This caps an outstanding cricket season as we have now won all four Tyneside cups – the first time any school has ever done this.

On Tuesday our Year 7 athletes were at Monkton Stadium for the final competition of the season. This is a Miniathlon in which they all compete in 3 events. After a very successful morning we ended up in 2nd place, only losing to a very strong (and big) team from Carmel.

Following that on Tuesday our U15B and U19 boys tennis teams were at Egglescliffe school for their north-east play-offs. Both matches were very close but we eventually won the U19 match 4 -2 to become north-east champions. He U15 game ended 3 – 3 so a tie-break shoot out was needed. Ben Stewart and Luke Marsden held their nerve to win 10 – 8.

It was an outstanding evening on Wednesday as our 21st Annual Sports presentation evening took place at the Ramside Hall. Thankyou to everyone who turned up to celebrate such outstanding success this year – in so many sports.

Finally our Year 10 cricket team wee in York on Thursday playing in the northern region “Chance to Compete” cricket finals. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite our day, particularly with the bat, and we had to settle for 5th place.

Hope everyone heading to Malaga on our sports trip is looking forward to it as much as we are. Don’t forget the early start on Sunday morning – at school for 3.00am! Mrs Hopper will be keeping in touch with twitter (via the school web site) while we are away.

Hope everyone has a great summer break.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


A Level Art Exhibition

Pictured below is of the some of the outstanding art work by students in Year 13 that which was on display at the recent  A Level Art Exhibition.  The event was a great success and well attended by parents, staff and governors.