Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates for Your Diary


  • 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,

The summer break is now upon us. I wish you all a good break, and hope that the students enjoy their summer and come back refreshed for the new academic year.

I spoke at the end of wellbeing week to the whole school community. We reflected on the past year and looked forward to the break. I mentioned academic successes, and all of the awards that students have won through our extra-curricular activities. I also mentioned some hidden aspects of our students’ lives. I spoke of those across the year who had shown compassion to family members by looking after them and caring for them. I spoke of those across the year who quietly organised charity events and raised money for worthwhile causes. I spoke of all of the students who see the talents and strengths of others, and celebrate these traits in others. I spoke of those who had specific talents that we don’t often see being used at school – magic and unicycling being examples of these.  Academic success, extra-curricular success, and examples of young people becoming rounded individuals ready to take their place in society.

Best wishes for the summer. 

Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Information For Parents And Carers

Please find below a link to information issued earlier this week.

Headteacher's end of term letter to parents and carers

Briefing paper on government changes to examinations and assessment


Collecting Examination Results

The procedures for students collecting their exam results in August are as follows. 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 - 8.00 am                    AS- 10.00 am

GCSE   -            Thursday  20th  August 2015

                          YEAR 11 10.00 am          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 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

Wellbeing Week has now come to an end and I am really pleased about how the events have been received by our students and how enthused they have been all week. The highlight of the week for me would have to be Tuesday when County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service came to school and brought with them 2 fire engines, a 100 feet high level platform, a flood rescue team, a water rescue team including all boats and vehicles and lots of equipment for the children to get ‘hands on’ with over the course of the day. They were supported by the RLSS with the important message that although we all love to be around water we should be aware of the dangers that can be present and enjoy a safe summer.






Following is a copy of the press release issued by CDCFRS with links to their webpages and social media sites.


Firefighters run a busy day of activities for Durham school

Firefighters joined 200 pupils from Durham Johnston School to run a busy day of activities focussing on water safety and physical fitness on Tuesday 14 July.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) sent a fire and swift water rescue team crew, a number of vehicles and appliances as well as their health and fitness advisor to put all of Durham Johnston’s year 8 pupils through their paces.

Each of the four sessions on the day included a water safety presentation by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS); participants then took part in the following activities with the fire service:

  • A look at the flood response unit and a chance to try on some of the rescue equipment (including dry suits) and opportunity to use throwlines
  • A look at the swift water rescue boat and a fire engine
  • A game where participants practiced hitting targets with water jets
  • A fitness session with CDDFRS advisor Joe Astbury; this included a warm up and a competition timing pupils to run out fire hoses. Children also got the chance to go up in the fire service aerial ladder platform to take in views over Durham.

Andy Bruce, assistant community protection and prevention manager for CDDFRS, said: “This was a really good day combining important water safety messages with fun activities, which were perfect for the end of the summer term. We enjoyed meeting the pupils and staff at Durham Johnston and passing on information and advice about how they can look after themselves as well as their friends and family when spending time outdoors this summer.”

Paul Kennedy, a teacher at Durham Johnston School, said: “The day was a great success and everyone involved really enjoyed all elements of what was such a memorable event.”

For more information visit the CDDFRS website www.ddfire.gov.uk

Follow the Service on Twitter www.twitter.com/CDDFRS

Or Facebook www.facebook.com/CoDurhamAndDarlingtonFireAndRescueService


In addition we had experts from ‘If You Care you Share’ Foundation who worked with small groups of our Year 9 students and tackled the difficult subject of teenage depression, anxiety and suicide. Year 7 students spent the day tackling Anti-Social Behaviour and the effects on the community with Durham Constabulary. There was a Sexual Health event for Year 9 students and Healthy Lifestyle events for Years 8 – 10.

All year groups spent half a day participating in a vareity of sporting activities such as tennis, football and dance taught by couple of expert coaches who were supported by members of school staff. There were also sporting activities within ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and Durham Fire and Rescue Service event.

In addition students had the opportunity to try welding with chocolate,  handle creepy crawlies, exotic snakes and dinosaur fossils and, for Year 10 triple scientists, the experience of working in a dissection lab.  On the last day we took our Year 7 and Year 8 students on a journey to the centre of the universe.

Finally, to complete the week we had live music from Max Restaino, a singer songwriter from Sheffield and Pryme Kingz from London to finish. Here are the links to their webpages and social media sites:

Max Restaino






Pryme Kings


www.soundcloud.com/PrymeKingz or www.youtube.com/PrymeTymeOnline



Mr Kennedy, 2nd i/c Guidance and Wellbeing Week co-ordinator



Science News

There have been a number of out of school activities taking place in Science this term.



The annual A level biology field trip to the rocky shore at Souter’s light house took place in June. 

Four students attended the North East Schools Industry Partnership residential week at Durham University to carry out chemistry industrial research projects with Johnson Davey Matthey and with Epax Pharma UK Ltd.  Pictured above are the students giving their presentations.

Some of our A level students a attended a workshop at the Law School of Durham University on the ethics of human cloning. Year 12 student Josephine Armstrong wrote 'Cloning and mitochondrial donation are currently two very controversial topics within both science and the media. 14 budding scientists and lawyers from year 12 have spent 2 weeks working in collaboration with Durham University to debate the issues surrounding these techniques. Through mock parliamentary debate and Supreme Court case, the students took on professional roles including the speaker, senior councillor and researches. We also gained knowledge surrounding the scientific techniques behind the processes through an amazing lecture from Professor Mary Herbert (Newcastle University).  We would like to thank Durham University for the opportunity to undertake in such a unique experience, with particular thanks to Prof Shaun Pattinson, Dr Benedict Douglas, Dr Vanessa Kind and Mary Howell, without whom we could not have produced such a convincing argument.'




Congratulations go to our record nine A level students pictured below who took part in the Biology Olympiad competition this year, a very challenging exam organised by the Society of Biology.  The photo shows students with their certificates seven of whom also received medals; one gold (Cara Woods), two silver (Lucy Plowman and Georgia James) and four bronze (Sam Clifford, Sophie Erdmann, Youssef Salama and ShaoHan Wang). 



Thank you to staff in the department who make these extra activities possible for the students.

Dr Bolton, Acting Head of Science



Mystery of Oz

Congratulations to all KS3 students involved in the Mystery of Oz musical performance last Friday.  All performers and technnicians were fantastic.  Thanks to the Year 10 performing Arts students who also choreographed, designed and co-directed.

Miss Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama



Austria Trip 2015

This year's visit to Austria was a resounding success.  You can read a travelogue written by two of the students here.




Former Pupil to Perform at St Oswald's Church in August

A former pupil of Durham Johnston School,  Sylvan Rackham is returning to Durham to perform with the a capella singing group from Exeter University, Semi-Toned.

The band will perform  Game of Tones in St Oswald’s Church in Durham on 5 August 7.00pm.   


Sports News

Mr Hopper is away accompnaying students in Malaga this week.  In the absence of his usual weekly sports report the department thought that parents might be interested to read about the team and individual successes during the year which were acknowledged at the annual Sports Presentation Evening last week.  Sports Presentation Evening programme.