Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary

  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 30 November 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.  For a copy of the letter of invitation please click here.
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 7 December 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.  For a copy of the letter of invitation please click here.
  • Friday 18 December - Annual Christmas Carol Concert in Durham Cathedral 


Headteacher's Message

Dear parents and carers,

There has been a lot of talk about money this week. I am sure that you will have noticed the autumn spending review this week, and have been thinking about its implications. There will be implications for schools across the country, I am sure. Today has come to be known as Black Friday.  It has become the biggest shopping day of the year, when retailers knock prices across much of their stock to kick-start the gift-buying season. It seems that public bodies and families alike need to ensure that they use money wisely.

I remind myself that it is the love of money that is said to be the root of all evil, as opposed to money itself. It is important for public bodies to be accountable for the way in which it spends money. You will see from our bulletin last week that we are seeking applications for parent governors. Governance is an important feature of school life, and I encourage those with skills to share and time to commit to consider applying. Governors oversee the academic, practical and financial work of the school.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,


Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Parent Governor Vacancies

With effect from 1 December 2015 there will be vacancies on the school's Governing Body for two parent governors and we invite nominations from parents.  Please click on the following links to download a copy of the information letter and the nomination form.    Printed copies will be issued to students to bring home to you on Monday.  Please note the deadline for submitting nominations is Monday 30 November 2015.

Further information regarding the work of the Governing Body is available on the school's website


HSBC Mandarin Speaking Competition

Six of our Mandarin students in Year 8 and 9 have been chosen to represent the school in a speaking competition. Leona  James Samuel  Parrish Liam  Thompson  James Whitaker (Year 9 ) and Ellis  Jackson Sophie McLaren (Year 8) will take part in the HSBC Mandarin Speaking competition on Monday 30 November at Newcastle University. They will be competing against students from Scotland and the North of England. Mrs Yibulayin and Miss YuXia have been working hard to prepare them for this. We wish them the best of luck.”

Mrs Wood, Subject Leader for French


Minecraft and MakeyMakey

This week in Code Club we showed the students how you can use Python code to make changes to the Minecraft world. We started with making messages appear on the screen, then we learnt how to teleport Steve (the character you play in Minecraft) to random places on the map before finishing off with building a house of TNT and blowing it up. We were really impressed with how some students took the ideas and the coding concepts and experimented with their own ideas. One group coded their game to leave a trail of TNT wherever they went and then they blew it up producing a domino effect of explosions.

{youtube} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66zhCeTzzzE{/youtube}

Our Y11 Digital Leaders were also on hand and demonstrated how you could hook up fruit and veg to the computer to make sounds play. They have some great ideas of making a human piano in code club next week.

{youtube} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rjw8fAcztU{/youtube}

We’ve created a youtube channel of the activities we’re doing and if anyone reading this would like to have a go at the tutorial we made to help the student program Minecraft please click on the following link.


We also note the exciting news that the new Raspberry Pi has been released yesterday. The Pi Zero costs only £4 and at that price is a very exciting new product. Maybe a good stocking filler for creative young minds this Christmas? We of course have purchased a couple to test out in code club next week. Click on the link below to read more about it and where you can buy one from.


Miss Forbes and Mr Garside, Computing Department




E-Safety Danger - Omegal

We would like to bring to your attention a website named Omegal (http://www.omegle.org.uk/) which we consider to be a significant danger to young people.  It is a website that allows you to connect "Talk to Strangers" giving the user the choice to connect via a chat window or a video chat.  The video chat automatically activities your webs cam and connect to another user's web cam.  This is an anonymous website as it doesn't require the user to sign up to start chatting.  Pictured below are screenshots from the site.



Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will likely allow you to set up parental controls.  We recommend that you activitate these services and review the settings.  If possible it would be worth checking that these settings are in place by doing a Google search for Omegal and making sure that you are not able to access any of the link.

Mr Weaver, Assistant Head and Mr Garside, Strategic Lead in ICT


Music Notices

Haydn’s Creation

On Saturday evening Durham Johnston Chamber Choir joined the Durham Singers in a performance of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio ‘The Creation’ which took place in Durham Cathedral. After frequent rehearsals both in and outside of school we, alongside the Durham Singers, were able accompany the 5 soloists singing the parts of Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel (the Angels) and Adam and Eve. During the rehearsal and performance we were able to see and hear the different instruments that made up an orchestra as it was in Haydn’s own time. Interesting instruments included a harpsichord, wooden flutes and classical contra bassoon, which was over 7 feet tall.

Emma Clifford and Bea Smellie


Friends of Durham Cathedral Christmas Concert

Wind Band and Chamber Choir will be performing alongside other musicians in a Charity Concert in Durham Cathedral at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9th December. Each pupil that is performing in the concert is entitled to two complimentary tickets and further tickets may be purchased on the door for £10 each.


School Christmas Concert – Thursday 10th December, James Hall

First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists. Only 38 tickets left

Second Half (7.30pm) to include Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists. Only 69 tickets left

Tickets for each part of this concert may be purchased from the Music Department.  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.

Tickets will be £2.50 or £2 concessions for each half. Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Johnston School’

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

Thank you to staff and students who supported this year's Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.  A total of £62.60 was raised.


Geography Photography Competition

Congratulations to the three winners of this year's Geography Photography Competition.  This year's theme was 'Modern Society'.

The standard was incredibly high and making a final decision was very difficult.  The winners are:


            Photo taken by Daniel Elcoat - Year 13


            Photo taken by Mark Humphries - Year 9


                Photo taken by Mark Humphries - Year 9


Senior Maths Team Challenge

On Friday 20th November a team of four Durham Johnston students from Years 11, 12 and 13 won the Durham regional heat of the Senior Maths Team Challenge.   Cameron Bain, Jenny Simon, Joseph Dean and Yuriy Tumarkin successfully competed in three rounds against teams from across County Durham, Newcastle and North Yorkshire, winning first place. 



The team have earned themselves a place in the national final in London, where they will compete against the winners of all of the heats from around the country.

Mr M Patterson, Team Manager.



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 30 November 2015.

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form



Sports News

On Tuesday our Year 7 basketball team were taking part in the Bishop Auckland Schools tournament. One team failed to turn up so we also put in a B team. Both teams completely dominated the opposition. The closest game our B team had was a 12 -4 victory over Sedgefield. Their only defeat was against our A team. The final positions were Durham Johnston A 1st and Durham Johnston B 2nd. We now go on to face Staindrop in the final.

Also on Tuesday our U13 girls' indoor cricket team were due to Framwellgate. Unfortunately they cancelled at the last minute meaning we won the games and have therefore won the competition and now qualify for the County finals in February.

On Wednesday we were hosting an U19 rugby tournament. The standard was high and we lost a close game to St John’s. Our final game was against Cramlington which we easily won to finish in 2nd place.

Also on Wednesday or Year 9 basketball team travelled to Woodham for a friendly match. We played very well to take a 20 – 0 lead. From there we controlled the game going on to win 62 – 24. Finally on Wednesday our U19 boys tennis team were playing RGS needing to win to progress to the next round. Despite some excellent tennis they proved too strong for us as we lost 4 – 2.

On Thursday our Year 8 rugby team were at Harton for a CVL competition. They lost to the hosts but played well in all their games winning 2 matches.


Finally last night our Year 9 football team were at Shotton Hall trying to reach the quarter finals of the County Cup. The result never looked in doubt as we dominated from the start going on to win 8 – 2. They now face Hurworth in the quarter final”

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader, PE


Football Fixtures 2015-2016