Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates for Your Diary

  • Science Careers Presentation, 28 April, 3.00 - 4.00 p.m. 
  • Year 10 mock examinations Tuesday 3 - 13 May 
  • Monday 2 May - school closed for May Day Bank Holiday


Headteacher's Message

Dear parents and carers,

On Thursday we hosted the first of our meetings with our new Year 6 students and their parents. We were able to talk about how the school works and to talk through some of the nuts and bolts of life here at Durham Johnston. There was a question from a parent about pastoral care. We were able to explain to parents about the role of the form tutor and how this is integral to communication with the school. The form tutor is the person who gets to know their tutees and their families very well, and is the first person to contact should there be an issue. This system works very well, and gives parents and students a sense of ‘family’ in what is a large institution. Do remember to use this contact should you need.

Another busy week here at the Johnston. Do enjoy reading about some of the activities students have been involved in this week.

Hopefully the weekend will be as nice as the week has been, but I hear that the weather forecasters think differently!

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Year 10 Mock Exams

Year 10 mock exams begin on Tuesday May 3rd and continue until Friday May 13th . Pupils were given the overall exam timetable before Easter. They will receive a personalised copy which includes seat numbers on Tuesday April 19th.  For your information a copy of the generic timetable is available here.

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Headteacher


Important information for Year 11 Students and their Parents and Carers

We are very keen to ensure that all our students have access to the best possible advice and support as they prepare for their GCSE exams.

Students have already been well prepared by their subject teachers and it is very important that they continue to seek clarification and guidance in class. There are also some very helpful revision materials on the school website that can be accessed via the following links: an overview of revision advice from each department; some sensible suggestions for students about how and when to revise and some thoughts for parents and carers, as we know that you will want to provide as much support as possible at home.

Departmental revision advice

Revision advice for students

Revision advice for parents


Mr O’Sullivan, Assistant Head


Healthy Child Service

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) are the new provider for a health visiting and school nursing service (Healthy Child Service) for the Local Authority.   For further information please click here to read the letter from Durham County Council introducing the new provider of the 0-19 Universal Healthy Child Service.

Mrs Coady, Attendance and Welfare Manager



Science Careers Presentation

The next Science careers presentation, “bread, bubbles and biotechnology; chemical engineering in action” will take place on Thursday 28th April from 3pm until 4pm in the Lydia.  Dr. Kit Erlebach, who works for Fujifilm,  will talk about his career as a chemical engineer in the Food and Pharmaceutical Industry.  All welcome.

Dr. Bolton, Subject Leader for Biology


Studying in the USA    

Year 12 students and parents from schools across County Durham attended a talk from Harvard University on Wednesday evening.  In addition to explaining the differences between the UK and US university systems, the session explained the application process and financial aid packages available.

Next Thursday all of our Year 12 students will visit the UCAS convention in Newcastle to find out more about what is available in the UK. 

Mr McArdle, Director of Sixth Form


Duke of Edinburgh's Award 

Last weekend, a troupe of 12 brave Year 11 students completed their practice expedition for the Bronze level of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Scheme. Braving the elements on Saturday they completed a 15km hike, carrying full kit, accompanied by volunteer staff members and camped overnight  near Durham.  

After a (chilly!) early rise on Sunday, they completed a further 15km hike to be greeted at their final destination by a National Cycling competition – and of course smiling family and staff supervisors! 

All participants successfully completed the navigation, campcraft and expedition skills necessary and will move on to complete their final, assessed expedition in September.

Well done to all!

DJCS DofE Team -  Ms Clay, Mr Smith, Mr Briggs and Mr Cooke


Ski Visit 2017

Thank you to all parents who have paid the 2nd instalment for next year's ski visit.

Please find below a reminder of when the next instalments are due:


3rd Instalment £155 by Friday 1st July

4th Instalment £155 by Friday 16th September

5th and final instalment by Friday 4th November


Mrs Hopper, 2nd i/c/ PE



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 25 April 2016

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form



Music Department News

Instrumental/ Vocal Examinations.

If your child has been entered for an ABRSM or a Trinity exam, please would you encourage them to commit to a regular practise routine to ensure that they achieve their potential. If they would like support in preparing for the aural part of the exam, please ask them to speak to a music teacher so that we can arrange a time to do this.


Voluntary Donations to assist with the cost of instrumental/vocal tuition from Durham Music Service

Many thanks to those of you who were able to make a contribution towards the costs of your child’s instrumental/vocal tuition last term. If you are able to make a donation this term then it would be helpful if cheques could be given to Mr Holmes in an envelope marked ‘Music Tuition’ by the end of next week.


Big Band

Rehearsals this term will take place on the following Friday’s in MUS1 (2.45 to 3.30) on the 29th April, 6th May, 13th May and17th June.

These are in preparation for our performance at the Key Stage 3 Celebrations Evening on Tuesday 28th June, 6.45pm. If you cannot make a rehearsal or the performance please contact Mrs Anderson.


Silver Sounds

The first rehearsal of the new flute group for advanced flautists ‘Silver Sounds’ takes place on Tuesday 26th April at 2.45pm in MU1. If you are a flautist working at Grade 6-8+ level and you have not received an invitation, but would like to join, please contact Mrs Holmes.


Year 9 Sonic Pi Workshop

Through a partnership scheme with the University of Durham, the Music Department is able to offer two workshops on the art of music coding using Sonic Pi. This is a new exciting form of composition/ performance where instead of strumming strings or modifying vibrations via an instrument, you create and modify sounds using code.

These workshops will be delivered by Mr Langford from the University Music Department and will held after school on Friday 29th April and Friday 6th May between 2.45pm and 4.45pm in MU2.

The 20 places available for this short introductory course and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. For further information and an application form please click here.


Durham Johnston School Music Festival

The School Music Festival will take place on the evening of Monday 27th June in James Hall and there will be three classes

Class 1 (Grade 1-3)                           Whinney Hill Music Cup                                                 6.00pm

Class 2 (Grade 4-5)                           Crossgate Moor Music Cup                                            6.45pm

Class 3 (Grade 6+)                            Durham Johnston School Music Cup                             7.45pm

The competition is open to all pupils who take music lessons outside school (including piano and singing) as well as those who receive tuition in school from Durham Music Service. Pieces, which must be solo (accompanied or unaccompanied), must last no longer than 3 minutes for Classes 1 and 2, and 4 minutes for Class 3. Pupils who play more than one instrument may enter a maximum of two different classes and the grades for each round refer to the standard of the piece performed and not to any formal qualification held.

For more details and an entry form, please click here.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Sports News

Over 80 athletes turned up on Monday for athletics practice in preparation for competitions which start next week – things are looking good for an excellent season ahead.

On Wednesday our U13 girls' football team were at Maiden Castle taking on Peterlee St Bede’s in the County final. This was an excellent game in which we were 2 – 0 down 10 minutes into the second half. An outstanding 15 minute spell saw us score 4 goals going on to win 4 – 3 to become County Champions. Please see a more detailed report and photo from Mrs White.

Also on Wednesday our Year 10 football team were playing Parkside in the Ben Potts Cup semi-final. This was a close physical game which we eventually won 2 – 1.

On Thursday night both our Year 7 and 8 football teams were taking on Sedgefield in league cup semi-finals. After a tight first half our Year 7 team went on to score 4 second half goals to reach the final and continue their 100% record this season. Unfortunately it was a different story for our Year 8’s who couldn’t overcome a very strong team eventually losing 5 – 1.

Finally good luck tonight to our Year 9 football team who are at Maiden Castle taking on Easington in the County Cup final.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


County Champions

On Wednesday the Under 13 girls' football team played in the County Cup Final against St Bedes Peterlee. After a very tense start, going 2 – 0 down the girls played some outstanding football. The final score was 4 – 3 to the Durham Johnston team, making them the County Champions for the first time in 6 years. Team Captain Molly-Anne Maguire lead the team all of the way.

Mrs White, PE Department


Football Fixtures 2015-2016




May Bank Holiday Event:  Fly the Tyne

A spectacular flyby is due to take place on the May Bank Holiday weekend (either the 28th, 29th or 30th) where up to 50 aircraft will fly the length of the Tyne, starting from the North/South River Tyne intersection before flying over Hexham, Corbridge, Prudhoe and following the Tyne all the way down to Tynemouth to mark the 25th Anniversary Year of Streetwise Young People’s Project.

Further information is available below.



Leases Bowl Roundabout Roadworks

The work on Leazes Bowl roundabout (next to the Prince Bishops car park) as part of the Durham City traffic improvement scheme, will start on 11 April 2016 and will last for approximately 25 weeks. 

The works will be carried out between 7.00am - 7.00pm, subject to some on and off-peak restrictions.  We will aim to restrict the most disruptive work to off-peak hours, weekends and overnight, although there will be some significant unavoidable disruption and delays.

During part of the scheme the bus stops next to Leazes Bowl roundabout (at the end of Milburngate Bridge) will be closed and relocated to Claypath.  There will also be disruption to the buses that take routes over New Elvet Bridge later in the project.  Information about disruption to services will be available at Go North East and Arriva buses or at our public transport map and timetable finder.

Access will be maintained at all times for residents and businesses, however alternative routes and modes of transport should be used to avoid the area if possible.

The works will be carried out in five phases, starting with phases 1A and 1B which will be carried out concurrently over the course of one week. Diagrams of these phases are attached.

There will be an overlap between the beginning of the new works at Leazes Bowl and the end of the final phases of Gilesgate roundabout from 11 April 2016 until the beginning of May 2016.


For more detailed information please visit www.durham.gov.uk/leazesbowl or follow #leazesbowl​





Gilesgate Roundabout Roadworks:  Final Two Phases

Phase 7B

Works will take place on Sunday 1 –Thursday 5 May, from 8.00pm-6.00am. During this work the eastbound carriageway (towards the A1M) from the city centre, over the roundabout to the dual carriageway will be open. There will be a signed westbound diversion in place.

Much of the work will be noisy and may cause some vibration, however for safety reasons the work will have to be done at night. The duration of works has been minimised as far as possible, however it is essential for maintenance of the road.

We apologise in advance for any disruption and disturbance caused and thank you for your continued patience.

For all the latest information please visit www.durham.gov.uk/gilesgate or follow #gilesgate

There will be an overlap between the beginning of the new works at Leazes Bowl roundabout (next to the Prince Bishops car park) and the end of the final phases of Gilesgate roundabout from 11 April 2016 until the beginning of May 2016.


For more information on the Leazes Bowl works please visit www.durham.gov.uk/leazesbowl or follow #leazesbowl