Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

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Dates for Your Diary

  • Thursday 17 December - Santa fun run in aid of St Cuthbert's Hospice.  For further details please click here.
  • Wednesday 16 December 2015 - Christmas Jumper Day. For further details please click here.
  • Friday 18 December - Christmas Carol Service in Durham Cathedral.  For further details please see links below: 

       Carol Service Arrangements - Years 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13       Carol Service Arrangements - Year 11.  

  • Term begins Monday 4 January 2016
  • Monday 11 January - Year 7 Parents' Consultation Evening 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 20 January - Year 7 PIP (E-Safety) -  6.00 p.m.
  • Year 11 Mock Examinations - 25 January - 5 February.  Please click on the following link for a copy of the Year 11 mock examination timetable.



Headteacher's Message

I am sure that your preparations for Christmas will be going well!

For those of us lucky enough to attend the Christmas concert yesterday, I am sure you will agree what a marvellous performance that was. We heard from the wind band, junior and senior orchestra, the hand bell groups, soloists on different instruments, clarinet groups, and we all sang a carol together. A real treat as we approach the Christmas season.

Next week we have a wide range of activities also, in addition to continuing lessons, and thinking about academic progress across the course of the term.

Do check the bulletin for information as to arrangements for next week and the new term in January.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


End of Term Reports for Years 7-11

  • End of Term reports for pupils in Years 7-11 will be published on ePortal by Wednesday 16th December 

  • Pupils in Years 7-11 will receive a paper copy of their report from their form tutor on Thursday 17th December

  • Pupils in Years 7-11 will discuss their report with their form tutor on Thursday 17th December

  • 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

  • KS4/5 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.).

  • Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head



Uniform Reminder

We would like to bring to your attention that the senior team will be checking standards of uniform in January.  Please click on the following link for a copy of the uniform list for students in Year 7 - 11.

In the event that you are considering purchasing replacement items of uniform during the holidays please may we remind you that:

  • Skirts should be of a reasonable length and must not be skin tight.  Skirts should not be made from stretchy or knitted fabric.  Skirt should be worn with black opague tights
  • Trousers should not be worn skin tight.  They should be full length and the hem should rest on the top of the shoes.  If you can see the ankle then the length is not correct.  
  • Trousers must not be worn tucked into boots.  If trousers do not fit over the boots then either the trousers are not sufficiently loose or the boots are too wide.

Maintaining a high standard of uniform is vital.  It helps set the climate for learning and we appreciate your support in upholding the high standards we set.


RAF Recruitment Team Visit

On Wednesday this week we were joined by a member of the RAF recruitment team who carried out a very informative presentation to approximately 30 of our Year 10 and Year 11 students. The aim of the presentation was to inform and inspire our young people to consider a career in the RAF and to show that it is not just about being ‘Tom Cruise in Top Gun’. He showed that there roughly 40 different career choices ranging from gunner, aircraft mechanic, chef, police officer etc.

There are also 17 roles that offer apprenticeships the opportunity to earn £14,600+ per annum from day one, going higher once they progress into their phase two training while a civilian apprentice earns £6,864 annum/pa from day one on average.






Mr Kennedy, 2nd in Guidance


Supporting SEND - Transition to University

The North East Raising Aspiration Partnership is holding an event on Wednesday 20 January 2016 at Northumbria University from 5.00 p.m. until 7.30 p.m.  The evening is for parents and carers who have young people in Year 11 and above, to provide information about the available support at Higher Education and an update on Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).  There will be a vareity of optional workshops which on the topics of student finance, UCAS application and DSA application process.

If you wish to reserve a place please telephone 0191 208 3128 or visit their website.


Music Notices

It has been a busy week for Durham Johnston musicians. On Wednesday evening Wind Band and Chamber Choir performed in the ‘Friends of Durham Cathedral’ Christmas concert alongside musicians from St. Chad’s College, Durham School and the Durham Cathedral Young Singers. This was a good warm up for Thursday evening, which saw James Hall packed for our annual School Concert. This event has proved so popular in previous years that this year, in effect we did two concerts, one at 6.30pm for Junior Choir, Junior Orchestra, Hand Bell Group, Wind Band and soloists, and one at 7.30pm for Senior Orchestra, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Clarinet Group, Singing Group and more soloists. The size of the ensembles has increased this year, with over 200 pupils performing, and the musical standard was as high as ever, with repertoire varying from Junior Orchestra’s rousing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ to the sublime Renaissance polyphony of ‘Angelus ad Pastores ait’ from the Chamber Choir and everything in between! All the choirs and Senior Orchestra will be in action again on the last day of term for the Carol Service in the Cathedral, providing seasonal music to get pupils, staff and parents into the festive mood!

Instruments and Music Service Tuition

Please would you ensure that your child takes their instrument home for the Christmas break and please note that although school term begins on Jan 4th, lessons from Durham Music Service will resume on Jan 5th.

Mr Holmes - Subject Leader for Music



Code Club

This week has been a particularly exciting week in the Computing department as it is international Hour of Code week. A lot of our students have been given the opportunity to spend an hour completing coding challenges ranging from Y8s building their first webpages using just HTML, Y11s completing their Computer Science controlled assessments where some are up to writing 50+ lines of code to our code club students using Python to made LED lights flash.

As we have said in previous bulletin items, coding is for everyone regardless of age, gender or past experience. If you haven’t tried your hand at coding before, why not give one of the following activities on the Hour of Code website a go and see how you get on? We recommend the Star Wars themed tutorials.


This week was our last week of code club for our Year 7 students and it great to see the same faces still attending and enjoying the sessions. The final session involved students rotating around stations led by our Digital Leaders who showcased various different fun activities you could achieve through computer science. The stations were as follows:

·         Making a Jelly Baby Scream (Using the GPIO pins of a Raspberry Pi)

·         Colouring in pixels through code (Raspberry Pi)

·         HTML coding

·         Making things happen in Minecraft (using Python)

·         Making a reaction time game (using Scratch and the MakeyMakey kit)



We were very pleased to see how far the students had come in such a short space of time, particularly highlighted in the video below showing one of students confidently being able to describe the code that they had written and the impact of the changes that he was making.

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

Mr Garside & Ms Forbes, Computing Department



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 14 December 2015

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form



Sports News

On Tuesday our U13 girls basketball teams were playing in the Bishop Auckland schools tournament. Our B team played well and finished 3rd in the group just missing out on a place in the semi-finals. However our A team only lost one group game to Staindrop to finish in 2nd place. This meant we played Whitworth Park who had won the other group. This was the best game of the night as we hung on to win 12 – 10 as a last second shot from Whitworth just missed. This set up a final against Staindrop (the only team to beat us). This time we played very well and the result was never in doubt as we won 14 – 6 to become champions.

On Wednesday our Year 9 boys basketball team travelled to St Robert’s in the Tyneside Cup semi-final. This was a very one-sided game as we completely dominated the game, eventually winning 76 – 14. We now face St Cuthbert’s in the final after Christmas. Also on Wednesday our VIth form football team were playing Bede Academy in the quarter final of the Tyneside Cup. This was an excellent game which we won 4 – 2 to reach the semi-final.

Thursday was a busy day. Our boys’ cross-country teams were at Emmanuel College for the Tyneside Championships. Our Junior team produced an outstanding performance to win the competition easily. We had 4 runners in the top 5 positions to win by over 30 points. Our B team even manage to beat many top schools to finish in 4th place. Our Intermediate team also ran well to finish in 3rd place.

Later yesterday our Year 7 and 8 boys and girls sportshall athletics teams were at DCBC competing in the Durham City finals. We always do well at this event and this year was no exception as we dominated nearly every event to win all four competitions. This included winning 29 out of the 32 running races! All four teams now go on to the County Championships in March. Also yesterday our Year 10 football team were playing St Robert’s in the County Cup. We took an early lead but ran out of steam in the second half losing 2 – 1. Finally yesterday our Year 9 and U16 rugby teams were at Maiden Castle for CVL competitions. They both played some excellent rugby. The Year 9 team won the event and the U16’s were 2nd.

Finally good luck today to our Year 11 basketball team who are travelling to Nottingham for an English Schools match against Nottingham Academy – a team that only beat us by 5 points in the home game.


Mr Hopper, Subject Leader, PE



Football Fixtures 2015-2016