Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates For Your Diary

  • Children in Need non-uniform day - Friday 13 November
  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 16 November 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Ski Visit 2016 - information evening for pupils and parents - 26 November, 6.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. in James Hall
  • 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 parents and carers,

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in many countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. The time of reflection is used to consider conflicts and their impact on individuals, families and countries. As is our custom at the Johnston, the school will become silent at 11.00 on Wednesday. Students and staff will spend a moment in quiet, and a wreath will be placed next to the memorial plaque in James’ hall.

This year I am reminded of a quote from Mother Teresa. ‘Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile’. The more people that strive to live like this, the greater the impact on families, communities and even nations. Clearly, challenges in global politics are not as solved as simply as this, but as we struggle to help the students understand current conflicts and see many of them wanting to help build a better world, this is not a bad place to start.

Have a good weekend. 

Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Children in Need Campaign 2015

The school will be holding a non-uniform day on Friday 13 November to raise funds for this year's Children in Need Campaign,   The donation requested for those students participating is £1.00,  However, it is not a compulsory requirement for students to attend in non-uniform.

Please note that it is a normal school working day and school regulations still apply - no jewellery or make up should be worn.  If your child travels to by school transport, please remind them to carry their bus pass. 

Further information on this year's campaign is available from www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk



Durham University - Celebrate Science Event

During the half term break, four of our students took part in the Celebrate Science event hosted by Durham University. Joshua Erlebach, Joel Richardson, Thomas Zhang and David Matthias hosted a stall demonstrating applications of mathematics. They showed how maths can be used to perform magic tricks and to guess someone’s birthday. The students spent several weeks working with Dr Jean Matthias from Durham University to develop posters and activities to demonstrate to the visitors on the day.



The boys did an excellent job of representing the school and the University. On the day that we attended there were over 2500 visitors, this was a record for the event! The university said that the day would not have been such a success without the enthusiasm and effort of the volunteers.  

Miss Urwin, Mathematics Department


Senior Mathematics Challenge

80 candidates from Years 13 – 10 took part in the senior maths challenge on Thursday 5th November.  The 90 minute multi-choice paper consists of 25 increasingly challenging problems.  Durham Johnston pupils have a very good record of success in this competition and we expect several will qualify for the follow-on rounds later this term.

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Maths


Kids’ Lit Quiz

Two teams, comprising eight Year 7 and 8 students, spent Tuesday afternoon pitting their extensive knowledge of literature against 35 other teams of like-minded young readers from over 20 schools plus a team of authors which included Anne Fine.  The occasion was the regional heat of the international Kids’ Lit Quiz competition and the venue, Gosforth Middle School.




Our teams consisted of Year 7 students,Eleri Sawicki- Smith and Amy Zhang and Year 8 students, Josh Brown, Fleur Smith, Ellen Moir, Natasha Stephenson, Madalyn Elmer and Ben Hadfield.  Reserves were Year 8 students Peter Chater and Thomas Scannell.

Despite missing out on a place in the top three, both teams had a hugely enjoyable afternoon participating enthusiastically and answering questions on a wide range of children’s literature.

Pictured above are the students with quiz master Wayne Mills.

Mrs Everall, English Department



Durham Johnston Young Author

We were delighted to receive the news that Year 8 pupil Shweta Banerjee, a keen poet and creative writer has been awarded a certificate of merit by Young Writers for 2015.  One of her poems has been selected for publication in a book called Magical Moments - A Collection of Poetry. The book will be available at libraries across the UK and Republic of Ireland including the British Library from February 2016.

Well done!



Remembrance Day

The school will mark Remembrance Day with a one minute silence at 11.00 on Wednesday 11 November.  School governor Councillor Nigel Martin will lay a wreath at the school's war memorial.

Royal British Legion poppies are available in school for those staff and students who wish to make a donation.


Music Notices

School Christmas Concert – Thursday 10th December, James Hall

First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.

Second Half (7.30pm) to include Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.

Tickets for each part of this concert may  be purchased from either Mrs Sutton (LA8) or a member of the Music Department from Monday November 9th.  To ensure that as many parents, relatives and friends as possible can attend this event, we would encourage you, please, to purchase tickets only for the half in which your child is performing? There will be some pupils who are performing in both halves, in which case audience members will need to purchase tickets for both parts of the concert. Please note that pupils who have siblings in the other half will be able to attend that half of the concert without a ticket.

We shall ask everyone to vacate the hall at the end of the first half and the audience will be readmitted in time for the second half to start at about 7.30pm. Tickets will be £2.50 or £2 concessions for each half. Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Johnston School.


Haydn’s Creation – Chamber Choir

Chamber Choir will be participating in a performance of the Haydn’s Creation in Durham Cathedral on Saturday 21st November and there is a special ticket price for parents, carers and supporters of pupils taking part in this performance. These tickets are available from the Music Department for £15 for front of the nave seats (usually £20) and £10 for rear of the nave seats (usually £15). Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Singers’ and these ‘special price’ tickets will only be available until Monday 16th November.

Mr Holmes, Subject leader for Music



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 9 November 

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form



Sports News

On Monday our Year 7 football team travelled to Monkwearmouth in the County Cup. They continued their outstanding season completely dominating the game to win 11 – 0 – an amazing result against a strong footballing school. They have now scored over 100 goals in the first half of the season and only conceded 7. We now face St Leonard’s in the quarter final which will be played in the next two weeks.

On Tuesday our Year 9 & 10 netball teams were at Durham School in league games. Both matches were close with our Year 9’s winning 23 - 10 and the Year 10’s losing a close game 9 - 14.

The netball matches continued on Wednesday as our Year 7 & 8 teams played St Leonard’s. The girls played really well to win both matches 8 - 0 and 9 - 7. In a busy night for the Year 8 team they then went on to play Durham High B and maintained the winning streak with a comfortable 13 - 2 victory.

Also on Wednesday our Year 7 basketball team travelled to St Cuthbert’s for a friendly. It turned out to be a one-sided game as we played some excellent basketball to win 52 – 11. This was very good practice however for the English Schools games which start next week.

On Thursday our Year 10 and Year 11 basketball teams played each other again in preparation for English Schools games next week, with the Year  11 team eventually winning by 20 points.

Last night,  the County indoor rowing finals took place at Maiden Castle. This competition is for the best rowers in the county, all of whom had to qualify through local competitions. As always we were well represented and managed to win lots of medals. Niamh Laing was 3rd and Dylan Swinburn 2nd in the Year 7 competition. Ellie Hall was 2nd in the Year 9 event and Owen Chaplin won to become County Champion closely followed in 2nd by Morgan Jobling. Bethan Hall was 2nd for the Year 10’s and Harry Coe also 2nd in the Year 11 event.  Hope Cessford easily won the VIth form girls event to complete a very successful evening. All of these rowers now go forward to the North-East round after Christmas.

Good luck tonight to our Year 7 rugby team who are at Emmanuel College for a friendly match.

Finally,  good luck tomorrow to our junior and intermediate boys' and girls cross-country teams who are running in the English Schools north-east regional round at Preston Park, Stockton. They are competing against the best 12 schools in the north-east but if any of the teams can finish in the top 3 they will qualify for the National finals which take in Bedford in December.

Mr Hopper - Subject Leader, PE


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Football Fixtures 2015-2016


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