Dear parents and carers,
Thank you for your support for the school over the past term. It has been a busy half term both academically, and of course by way of all of the extra activities that are on offer at school. I presented a list to the governing body just yesterday of opportunities on offer just over the past two weeks as highlighted in this bulletin. The list is impressive. On your behalf I thanked the staff who give up their spare time in organising all of these events.
Time passes quickly and we are already over half way through the academic year. Do encourage our students to have a rest as well as continuing to revise over the holiday, ready to continue their learning after half term.
Have a good break.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
Tuesday 9th February was Safer Internet Day and this week the students have been discussing e-safety with their form tutors. Years 7 and 8 have been focusing on cyber bullying and the impact it has on others; whereas years 9 10 and 11 have been focusing on the consequences of sharing inappropriate images of themselves and others.
You may have seen the “Be Like Bill” meme that has been going around the Internet recently. Our students have been asked to design their own “Be Like Bill” memes and below are a selection completed by 9DA (Mr Atkinson’s form).
Teaching e-safety is a vital part of our role at Durham Johnston and we also do our best to support parents in guiding young people in the digital age. Please look at our e-safety guide for parents and keep an eye on the Friday bulletin where we will inform parents of any new dangers we become aware of.
Mr Garside, Computing Department
Ski Visit 2017
Next year's ski visit to Serre Chevalier in the French Alps will take place from 14 - 21 January 2017. May I remind parents and carers that the closing date for applications for a place on the visit is Friday 4th March. Copies of the letter issued last month are available from the PE office or by clicking on the following link.
Mrs Hopper, 2nd i/c PE
Year 12 Geographers Fieldtrip to Blencathra
This week 62 AS Geography students spent three days around Blencathra in the Lake District on fieldwork to prepare for their skills investigation paper. Spectacular scheduling meant they could examine the effects of sustained flooding in dry, sunny snow-capped conditions.
Mr McArdle, Assistant Head
Year 7 students have been enjoying a variety cultural activities run by one of our Chinese teachers, Miss YuXia and Chinese volunteers from the local Chinese community this afternoon. The students have been celebrating the year of the monkey and watching demonstrations of different skills (calligraphy and knot making included) before trying them out for themselves.
Mrs Wood, Subject Leader for French
After the presentation our students were challenged with many team building tasks and problem solving that was designed to test their leadership skills and camaraderie.
All in all they completed the event, thoroughly enthused, very tired and incredibly muddy.
Mr P Kennedy, 2nd in Guidance
This month is LGBT month and as a Stonewall Champion school we always celebrate our diverse community here at Durham Johnston and reflect on LGBT issues and concerns in the wider world. This week the sixth form Pride Group prepared and delivered a range of assemblies to the whole school; key role models and moments in transsexual history was a key focus alongside the often controversial issue of the role of faith and religion.
All tutor groups will continue to explore these themes after half term.
Mr Weaver, Assistant Headteacher
English and Drama Department News
Congratulations to all Key Stage 3 Drama Club and Technical Theatre Club students who were involved in last night’s performance of Alice in Wonderland.
Congratulations to all year 10 Performing arts students on their first ever production last night. This was an adaptation of two modern texts exploring the issues of being a young woman in today’s society and what we can learn from our older female relations.
A small group of students attended ‘An Inspector Calls’ performance at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Wednesday 10th Feb. This was to support their study of the text for their GCSE English Literature.
Miss Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama
The next Science careers presentation will take place on Thursday 25th February from 3pm to 4pm in the library. Mr. Ahmed Ali-Khan, a consultant in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the University Hospital of North Durham, will give a presentation entitled “Science, Silicone and Pig Skin”.
Pupils from year 10, 11, 12 and 13 are welcome to attend. Please could pupils let Dr. Bolton know if they intend to come along to give an idea of numbers to expect.
If there are any more parents who work in science-related careers who would be willing to come into school during the next academic year please email the school for the attention of Dr. Bolton.
Dr. Bolton, Subject Leader for Biology
Music Department News
North East Festival of Youth Choirs’, Saturday 27th February, 7.00pm, Durham Cathedral
Please note that two thirds of the tickets for this event are already sold, so if you plan to go, then it is advisable to purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
Chamber Choir takes part in a festival of choral singing. Rehearsal at 1.00pm.
Tickets (£7 and £3 concessions) available from the Gala Theatre Box Office.
School Spring Concert - Thursday 17th March - James Hall
Following the success of the two-part Christmas Concert, we have decided to have the same arrangements for the Spring Concert.
First part (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.
Second part (7.30pm) to include Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Big Band, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.
Tickets for each part of this concert may be purchased from the Music Department from Monday 22nd February. 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
On Wednesday our U13 girls cricket team travelled to Gateshead Leisure Centre for the County Indoor Finals. They dominated all their group games to reach the semi-finals. Unfortunately one poor batting performance saw them lose. We eventually finished in 4th place despite beating the eventual winners in the group stages.
Also on Wednesday we had two teams at the U16 Tyneside Schools Futsal tournament at Parkview. Both teams performed well with our A team finishing runners-up to the hosts and our B team finishing in 4th place.
On Thursday our Key Stage 3 girls and Key Stage 4 boys badminton teams were at Wolsingham School for the County Finals. After an excellent days competition our boys team finished runners-up losing to a very strong Wolsingham team. Our girls went one better winning all their games to become County Champions. They now go on to represent Durham at the North-East finals in March. Well done to Flossy Stacey, Claire Mitchell, Aisling Ellis and Saskia Appleton.
Finally good luck tonight to our Year 9 boys' basketball team who are playing St Cuthbert’s, Newcastle in the regional round of the English Schools competition.
Yesterday the Year 7 boys' rugby team competed at the County Sevens Tournament held at Durham School.
The team's performance was excellent and they beat St John's, Emmanuel and High Tunstall. Unfortunately the boys missed out on the final, narrowly losing their match with Yarm School. The performance was described by the host school as 'some of the best Rugby seen from an under-12 team this season!'
Mr Humberstone, PE Department
Gilesgate Roundabout Roadworks
For up-to-date information regarding the forthcoming work due to start on Gilesgate roundabout please visit www.durham.gov.uk/gilesgate.