Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (38)

November (5)

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2017 (42)

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2016 (37)

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May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (3)

January (4)

2015 (37)

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November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (3)

February (3)

January (3)

2014 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (4)

September (4)

July (3)

June (4)

May (1)

April (12)

February (2)

Dates For Your Diary

  • Year 7 Parents Information Evening (Maths and Science), Wednesday 21 October 
  • School breaks for October half term holiday at 2.45 on Friday 23 October for one week.  School re-opens on Monday 2 November
  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 16 November 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 30 November 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 7 December 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Headteacher's Message

Dear Johnston families,

There are quite a few events happening at school before the half term holiday starts at the end of next week. Today we are hosting Joe Slater (Lennie from BBC Waterloo Road) and Dhillan Bhardwaj who is a fashion designer and entrepreneur. They are in school to deliver an empowering careers message discussing their successes and experiences.  Joe is also a singer songwriter and will also be performing for our students. Next week as part of the Festival of Culture many of our students will have the opportunity to watch ‘Rise up’, a play about the ‘Freedom Riders’ who drew attention to discrimination in the 1960’s in Alabama and Mississippi. In addition, Saltmine Theatre will perform the play  ‘Stand for it?', which deals with the process and effects of radicalisation and extremism. It is exciting that elements of the PSHE programme are being delivered in interesting and engaging ways.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


School Term and Holiday Dates  2015-2017

Please click on the following link for term and holiday dates up to Thursday 20 July 2017.  Term and holiday dates 2015-2017


Classics working breakfast with Clare Pollard

Monday morning, bright and early, the Year 11, 12 and 13 Latin classes welcomed the poet, Clare Pollard to school for a Classics Working Breakfast.  Clare was in the Northeast to perform her poetry show, “Ovid’s Heroines” at the Durham Book Festival.

In the late 1st century B.C. Ovid wrote his “Heroides”, poems in the form of letters from famous ladies of antiquity to their husbands/lovers telling them what they think of them.  However, the emotions expressed in the poems are still very recognisable today and Clare Pollard’s interpretative verse translations capture this and present the poems in such a way that Ovid would definitely have approved.



During the course of her talk, Clare performed two contrasting poems, Penelope to Ulysses and Medea to Jason, holding her audience mesmerised.  Clare also talked about the process she had used in creating her translations and answered assorted questions from the floor.  This was most interesting for those us used to the straightjacket of translation for examination and opened up new possibilities for more creative interpretation.

We are most grateful to Ms Pollard and the Durham Book Festival for Schools for giving us this opportunity.  It was an occasion which will not be forgotten quickly.       

Mrs Sutton, Subject Leader (Latin)


Equalities Group working breakfast – Crocodile Soup

From September 2015, Durham Johnston’s Equalities Group membership extended to approximately 25 students who participate in ‘Equality for All’ meetings each week and also meet / communicate separately as members of the Durham Johnston Feminist Society and the Durham Johnston Pride Society - at school and using social media.


On Tuesday, the group worked alongside published authors and New Writing North to consider Julia Darling’s LGBT coming-of-age novel Crocodile Soup; a classic tale of the search for love, identity and acceptance, as told by an unconventional and none-too-reliable narrator.

Ms Charlton, Director of Resources



Year 9 Study Visit to Eichenkreuzheim

At 10pm on Saturday 26th September, 45 Year 9 students and staff set off on a journey to Eichenkreuzheim in Germany.

The journey was long but as pleasant as could be expected, despite some interesting detours through Yorkshire’s roads!

The 5am ferry crossing was smooth and students had their first taste of adventure exploring the shops and cafés aboard the boat. We arrived six hours early in Eichenkreuzheim giving us more time than expected to enjoy the glorious weather that awaited us.



The next four days consisted of early morning and late night lessons, with fantastic days out in between exploring towns and cities such as Vluyn, Düsseldorf, Köln and Kempen.

Students particularly enjoyed climbing the Rhine Tower, visiting the Cathedral and chocolate factory in Köln, the Düsseldorf food market and interviewing locals in Kempen.

Highlights included several cake and ice cream tasting sessions, finishing with a barbecue which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

Miss Schwaiger and Mrs Banner (MFL Department) 



Encouraging Creative Writing

The English department has been working with the Literacy Trust.  In particular some of our current Year 9 students were involved in a Premiership Reading Stars scheme, promoting reading through football related texts such as; autobiographies, fiction, fanzines and poetry. As part of this, we were then able to invite a local author into school to promote reading and writing to younger students in Years 7 and 8.

We were delighted to welcome, Bea Davenport which is the writing name of journalist Barbara Henderson, who is based in Berwick.  Bea presented the process of writing her first children’s novel The Serpent House which was written as part of the Creative Writing PhD she successfully completed at Newcastle University.

Bea was also kind enough to be interviewed by Mark Humphries in Year 9 who, as well as attending Creative Writing Club every Wednesday lunchtime, is working towards his Bronze Arts Award.

Ms Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama



Year 11 Revision and Subject Guidance

It is a very important year for our students in Year 11. A number of parents have recently requested advice and guidance with regard to revision. As part of our support for Year 11 students we discuss revision techniques as part of our assembly programme and subject teachers offer regular support for students regarding exam technique and how to prepare for examinations. This is a very busy time of year for coursework and controlled assessments and many teachers, voluntarily, give their time to help students after school. Students are being well prepared by their subject teachers and it is very important that they continue to seek clarification and guidance in class. In addition, Year 11 form tutors will also provide sensible advice as part of next week’s tutor programme. 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



Visit to St. Margaret's Primary

On Wednesday 7th October members of of Durham Johnston's MedSoc visited pupils at St Margaret's Primary to talk about healthy living.  The pupils in Years 3 - 6 were very eager to get involved and helped demonstrate how the heart rate is raised after exercise.  We then asked them to guess how many sugar cubes are in certain food and drinks. 

We thoroughly enjoyed talking to the students and they have promised that they’re going to make an effort to be healthier! 

Ellie Colling, Year 13


Celebrity Entrepeneurs Visit Durham Johnston

This morning we were joined by three celebrity entrepreneurs to deliver an inspiring careers message to students in Years10 and Year 11. We welcomed Joe Slater (Lennie from BBC Waterloo Road),  Dhillan Bhardwaj (Ratchet clothing) who is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who at 18 has a business turnover of over £1 million and Hussain Manawer who is a YouTube vlogger and campaigner for raising awareness for Mental Health.

Whilst in school they delivered an empowering careers message discussing their successes and experiences and, as  Joe is also a singer songwriter he performed songs from his latest EP.


Hussain is currently 1 of 3 finalists in a competition to blog from space. Vote for him at #SendHussainToSpace

The event was really well received by our students and the atmosphere afterwards was buzzing with lots of selfies and autographs being taken. Below are the social media sites for them all so please look them up and follow them all.



Hussain Manawer

Instagram: Hussains_House

Twitter: HussainsHouse


Joe Slater

Instagram: MrJoeSlater

Twitter: @MrJoeSlater


Dhillon Bhardwaj





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 Monday 19 October.

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form


Final Ski Instalment - Reminder

May I remind parents whose children are going on next year's ski visit that the final instalment of £155 is due to be paid by Friday 6 November at the latest.

Mrs G Hopper, 2nd in PE



Paralympic Athlete Visit

Last week the Year 10 BTEC group were visited by guest speaker for the day, Gemma Collis (GB Paralympic athlete). Gemma is a Sky Sports mentor and has represented Great Britain at the 2012 Malchow Wheelchair Fencing World Cup, and, just ten months after taking up the sport, competed at the London 2012 Paralympics. She competed as part of the womens' Team Epee, alongside Gabi Down, Justine Moore and the trio finished in 8th place.

The group spent the day listening to Gemma’s inspirational journey leading her to London 2012 Paralympic games and taking part in team building activities.



For more info on Gemma please see https://livingforsport.skysports.com/mentors/gemma-collis

Mr Kidd, PE Department



Sports News

On Monday our Year 7 basketball team were at Emmanuel College playing in their first match against a combined Year 8 & 9 team. We played some excellent basketball to win easily 63 – 22 – a great start for what promises to be a very successful team. Also on Monday our U18 girls' football team travelled to Whitby for an English Schools game. This was a great match which went to extra time before we unfortunately lost 5 – 4. The only consolation was the girls got to have fish and chips before the journey home!

It was the turn of the boys' football teams on Tuesday as our Year 7, 8 & 10 teams travelled to Staindrop for league games. It was another one-sided win for our Year 7’s who eventually won     11 – 1. Our Year 8’s were also successful winning 3 – 0. The only disappointment came for our Year 10’s who had a difficult night losing 2 – 1. Also on Tuesday our Year 11 team were at home against Parkside. The won a comfortable game 4 – 0 which included a hat trick from Callum Hodgson.

On Wednesday our girls and boys Junior and Inter cross-country teams were at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough for the Durham & Cleveland round of the English Schools Cup. There were 16 of the best schools in the area running but we managed to produce some outstanding results.

Junior Girls – 1st (Emily Salmon finished 2nd)

Junior Boys – 1st (Sam Gibson finished 3rd)

Inter Girls – 1st (Rina Sebastiao finished 4th)

Inter Boys – 3rd (Ben Horsfield finished 2nd)

This means all 4 teams qualify for the North-East Regional round which takes place at Preston Park on Saturday 7th November.

Also on Wednesday our VIth form football team were playing Southmoor in the quarter final of the County Cup. They dominated the game to win 8 -1 – their only goal coming from an excellent header from their goalkeeper.

The busy night continued as our U15 boys and girls table tennis teams were at Belmont for the Durham City tournament. Our girls continued the success from last week beating Belmont to win the competition. Unfortunately our boys lost to a very strong team from Framwellgate to finish runners-up.

Finally on Wednesday our Year 7, 8, 9 & 10 netball teams were all at Durham High for netball matches. These are always difficult games and this year proved no exception as we lost all four matches.

On Thursday our Year 7 football team travelled to St Cuthbert’s for a Tyneside cup quarter final. They are always a very strong team who are regular winners of this competition. In another outstanding performance for this team we dominated the game to win 5 – 0.

Very well done to Harry Cookson in Year 8, and Tom Davies, Nic Thompson and Adam Crawford in Year 9.  The boys beat Newcastle School for Boys 6 - 0 in the regional Team Tennis Schools Lawn Tennis finals.  We are now the last school left in the North East and possibly the last state school left in the whole competition.  Watch this space for further news!

Finally, good luck tonight to our Year 10 and Year 11 football teams who are both in County Cup action.


Mr Hopper - Subject Leader, PE


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Football Fixtures 2015-2016


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