Dear parents and carers,
I do hope that you have a good Easter break.
I was teaching Year 7 taster classes in German this week, and we were looking at Easter traditions. It was at that point I noted that both Easter and Ostern (German for Easter) both begin with the word East, and as a linguist I decided to look at the etymology of the word Easter. The word is linked to the rising of the sun in the East, new day dawning, and by inference, new life in Spring. Clearly, Christian tradition also teachers of new life, resurrection, putting to rest failures of the past, and looking ahead to the future with confidence and expectation.
Each Easter in my message I encourage families and students to reflect on the past term, and to look forward to the next term. For our examination cohorts, this is especially important – to reflect on current performance and to decide to go that extra mile for their results in the summer. All of our students today will have been reflecting on their school work in tutor intervention morning. I also ask that students reflect on relationships at home, with staff, with their peers, and to commit once again to supporting and caring for others.
Enjoy the break.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
On Tuesday 22nd March, Durham Johnston hosted one of a series regional finals of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge. 26 teams from as far afield as Richmond and Alnwick came to school for the event. Teams of four pupils took part in a range of activities across the day finishing with a very exciting relay race.
1st Place Durham Johnston
2nd Place St Leonard’s,Durham
3rd Place St Hild’s School, Hartlepool
Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Mathematics
Big Bang Fair
Last week Stefan Renstrom (Year 13) travelled to the Big Bang Fair at the Birmingham NEC, representing Durham Johnston and the North East in the finals of the national science and engineering competition. Stefan’s project assessed the accuracy of clinical tests of renal function for cancer patients and was completed last summer at the University Hospital of North Durham and at the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University. About 200 projects developed by students aged between 11 and 18 years were selected to compete for the titles of UK Young Scientist and Engineer of the year. Stefan commented that it was an incredibly fun and formative experience.
This week 120 Year 11 students watched a live performance of their examination text, ‘Animal Farm’ in James Hall. The production, which lasted 80 minutes, was well received by students and brought to life the examination text.
Mrs Walton, English Department
Science Careers Talk
Professor Karl Coleman from the Chemistry department at Durham University gave a very interesting presentation last Thursday about his area of research – graphene. His presentation explained how graphene can be prepared, how and why it is currently used and the possible applications that it may have in the future. Students were also able to replicate the experiment which helped to win the Nobel Prize for Physics – involving some graphite and sticky tape!
Our next presentation will be given by Dr. Kit Erlebach on Chemical Engineering in the Food and Pharmaceutical industry. It will run as usual from 3 to 4pm in the library and is on Thursday 28th April.
Dr. Coleman, Subject Leader for Science
On Tuesday our Year 7 – 11 football teams were playing their final league games against Woodham. Our Year 7 team won 14 – 0 to complete the league title without losing a game. Our Year 9 team also won easily to confirm them as league champions – again without losing a game. Our Year 10 team also had a straightforward 9 – 0 win. The Year 11 game was closer but we still came out on top with a 4 – 1 victory. The only defeat came in the Year 8 game which we lost 3 – 2.
On Wednesday our Year 7 and Year 9 football teams travelled to Bullocksteads Sports grounds, Newcastle to play in their respective Tyneside Cup finals. The Year 7’s were again outstanding completely dominating the game to win 6 – 1 against St Thomas More and become Tyneside Senior Schools Champions. The organiser of the finals commented that it was some of the best football he had seen in a long time.
The Year 9 game against St Cuthbert’s was a much closer match. With the score 0 – 0 at full –time we headed into extra time. With the light fading and penalties looming Liam Graham came up with two goals in the second period of extra time to give us the victory. An excellent evening for Durham Johnston who claimed two titles.
To complete the success our VIth form team also won last night 4 – 0 against St John’s.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Eight, Year 9 pupils performed a contemporary ballet piece for the secondary schools dance festival at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Their self choreographed piece entitled Angels and Demons was performed beautifully.
Pictured below is Year 9 student, Laura, performing her ballet routine on stage at the Gala Theatre for the secondary dance show. She performed a beautiful traditional ballet to Tchaikovsky and was a credit to the school.
Mrs White, PE Department
Gilesgate Roundabout Roadworks
For up-to-date information regarding the ongoing improvements to the Gilesgate roundabout please visit www.durham.gov.uk/gilesgate.