Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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2015 (37)

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June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

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February (3)

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2014 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (4)

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May (1)

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  Dates For Your Diary

  • School breaks for Summer Half term week on Friday 27 May and re-opens on Monday 6th June
  • Monday 13 June - Year 12 students return from study leave
  • Thursday 30 June - 6th Science Careers Presentationn - 3.00 p.m. in Lydia
  • Thursday 30 June -  UCAS and Higher Education finance briefing for parents -  6.30 - 7.30 p.m., James Hall


Headteacher's Message

Dear parents and carers,

On your behalf I should like to thank the teachers and other members of staff for their efforts over the past few weeks. When I look around school at the end of the day, I see colleagues giving up of their time running a vast array of extra-curricular events, be they sporting, musical, artistic or linked to some other interest. I have also seen over recent weeks an increasing number of revision lessons, and one-to-one sessions to help support students in the run up to exams. We even had pizza-Tuesday this week in preparation for a GCSE exam. Today we formally say goodbye to Year 13, having already said goodbye to Year 11. Now it is over to the students to do their best in the coming exams. We wish them well.

On a separate note, thank you all very much for your gifts for Miss Bittlestone’s daughter. These are now in excess of £3,490. Thank you for your generosity. The online fundraising page will be open for another three weeks. I do encourage you to donate.

Have a good half-term break,

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


After School Buses

We have received funding for 5 week’s operation of the Bowburn route bus after half term. The Bowburn Route bus will, therefore, operate on Mon / Tue / Wed and Thurs evenings.

The Brandon Route bus will operate on Wednesday evenings only after half term.


Maths Department News

Junior Maths Challenge

We now have the results of the Junior Maths Challenge 2016.

81 of the 116 candidates taking part has been awarded a certificate; 23 gold, 30 silver and 28 bronze.  This is a fantastic achievement for our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils.

10 pupils will now go forward into next rounds taking place on Tuesday 14th June.

Fleur Smith and Harry Cookson, both Year 8 pupils have qualified for the Junior Mathematical Olympiad and a further  8 pupils have been entered for the Junior Kangaroo including Peter Cook who is also awarded the “best in year” certificate for Year 7.


GCSE Mathematics Revision Lists.

The mathematics department have reviewed the GCSE mathematics papers taken by all Year11 pupils on Thursday 26th May and have written a list of suggested revision topics for Paper 3 (foundation) and Paper 4 (higher).  Please understand that we cannot guarantee that these topics will appear on the next paper, these are our suggestions for revision only.  Here is the link

Miss Rush, Subject Leader for Mathematics


University Explained Event for Parents and Carers

Durham University are holding on open event for parents and carers of students in Years 10 - 12 on Saturday 4 June, 9.30am – 2.15pm.  

University Explained is a collaborative event which is jointly run by the North East Raising Aspiration Partnership and the five North East universities. This information day is aimed at the parents and carers of students in Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 but is open to anyone who would like to find out more about higher education.

Parents and carers often have just as many questions about the decisions their child is making regarding higher education and most importantly, whether their decisions are the right ones. University Explained can help parents and carers to support their child in the decisions they will have to make about their post-16 options. The programme provides relevant information about higher education as well as the five North East universities, and offers a range of optional informal sessions which will allow parents and carers to tailor the event to best suit their needs. There will be plenty of opportunities for questions to be answered to ensure that parents and carers know what they can do next to support their child should they choose to apply to University.

The event is free to attend but we kindly ask parents/carers to book a place using the following link: www.nerap.ac.uk/university-explained

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to call the North East Raising Aspiration Partnership on 0191 208 3161.


BBC Microbits Have Arrived

This week have taken delivery of the BBC Microbits which are being provided for all Year 7 pupils.  The Microbit is a small device with an LED display that children can program in a number of ways.  It allows children to simply pick up the device, plug into a computer and start creating.  It is designed to be a starting point to get younger children interested in coding, so that they can move onto other, more complex devices in future.  Staff in the department are  developing the use of the Microbit into the computing curriculum and will start to use it in lessons next term.  

A letter providing more detail will be sent out to Year 7 parents after the half term break.

Miss Forbes, Subject Leader - Computing


Challenge Hungary 2016

Nine of our Year 9 pupils were recently selected to compete in an international multi-sport competition in Cserkeszőlő, Hungary, along with a further 21 competitiors also representing Durham.  We set off from County Hall at 5.00 a.m. last Tuesday, arriving at our hotel just after 11.00 p.m.

Day 1-The students from DJ competed in a very high standard of streetball (basketball) with the boys taking on the Hungarian national champions and only losing by 5 points, game 2 against Romania the ball would not go in the basket no matter how many attempts we had and meaning we narrowly lost again.  A similar story for our girls who also lost their first against a very strong Hungary team and scoring 8 points in the second only to be outscored by Romania.

Day 2- Each country competed in mixed events in the morning, taking part in archery, water slide relay and other pool based activities. Once competitions had finished for the morning, most spent their free time in the wave pool or playing beach football.

Once the day had cooled down it was time for the 2k race, the boys and girls team both tried really hard and out of 40 boys Alfie Phillips came 1st place to win the race in an impressive style.

 Day 3- After two days of sport and competing, day 3 was a shopping trip to beautiful Budapest where we enjoyed lunch in a local restaurant followed by the long journey home.

Well done to Max Blackbourne, Mark Humpries, Lucy Dracup, Regan Goodall, Kirsty White, Grace Eyre, Alfie Phillips, Owen Chaplin, Troy Maddison who represented the school, Durham and England with great maturity.



Mr Kidd, PE Department



Brexit Debate 

On Monday, our Year 13 French student participated in a debate on Brexit with students from a school in St. Etienne, France via Skype.  

It was very interesting to see opinions from both sides of the Channel.  Our students did really well:  well done to them!

Mme Venet, MFL Department


Geography News

This week some of our Year 8 and 9 Geography students completed their entry for the ‘Help a South African School 2016’ competition, which is organised by a leading South African fruit trade association. The students had the task of completing a collage which was based around the theme ‘A Taste of South African Fruit’. The entries will be judged by a panel in London during July. The students have worked extremely well to produce such a high quality piece of work and we wish them the best of luck!


Mr Ray, Geography Department


Year 7 Scouts Win the Trophy

Well done to two our two of our Year 7 students, Lina Van Hunen and Emily Forth who enjoyed success  in a recent Scouts cookery competition.  Very well done. 


On Saturday 7th, my friend Emily Forth and I entered a Scouts' cooking competition.  We were representing our scout troup, 5th Durham Scouts.  Firstly, we set up the cooker in a scouts cooking tent.  Then we began to unpack all of our equipment.  Our theme was Japanese street food.  The started was a mouthwatering combination of ginger, sushi rice, carrots, cucumber, avodaco and salmon!.  This was followed by a delicious serving of prawn stir fry and to round up the meal, we made a whipped cream and fresh berry crepe.  The judges tasted our dishes while we waited in suspense.  Who would win?  Finally the judges came to their conclusion.  They carried the glorious golden trophy and awarded it to Fifth Durham Scouts.  Head Chef of Finbarr's restaurant awarded the trophy and we erupted with joy!

Lina Van Hunen, Year 7



Sports News

On Tuesday our U13 boys tennis team were competing in the Tyneside Schools tennis competition. Four schools attended but we proved far too strong for all of them winning each match 6 – 0. They now go on to face Dame Allan's in the final after half-term. Also on Tuesday our U15 girls cricket team travelled to Consett for a county match. Unfortunately we didn’t produce our best performance losing a close game.

The tennis continued on Wednesday as our U19 team travelled to Edinburgh in the National Schools cup trying to reach the last 16 schools in the country. This was always going to be a difficult match against Merchiston School . Not only are they Scottish champions they are also a tennis academy. The standard of tennis was outstanding and we never gave up but they proved too strong for us. Still a great achievement to get so far – winning the North-east region and one of only a couple of state schools in the country who reached this stage.

Also on Wednesday our Uunder 13B and Under 15B tennis teams were due to be playing Staindrop. Unfortunately they conceded the U13 match at the last minute but we won the U15 game 4 – 2.

A busy week of tennis continued on Thursday. It was the turn of our U15 boys to compete in the Tyneside cup. As with the U13 event 4 schools attended and we remained unbeaten to win the competition and reach the final (probably again against Dame Allans after half-term).

Unfortunately the weather caused the postponement of the rounders games against Framwellgate due to be played last night.


Finally a reminder that tickets for our 22nd Annual Sports presentation evening are now on sale priced £7. Tickets can be purchased from the PE office for the excellent evening which is again being held at the Ramside Hall Hotel on Tuesday 5th July.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE



Mustafa Selected for the Durham City Team

Last week Mustafa represented the school in a Level 2 sports competition.  He took part in a  boccia competition at Trinity School in Durham,  playing alongside pupils from all over Durham in what proved to be  a very tense competition.

Mustafa's talents were recognised and he has been offered a place on the Durham City team.

Mrs White, PE Department


Primary School Tennis

Last week the Year 10 BTEC class acted as sports leaders for a Primary School tennis competition as an introduction to their leadership unit of work. Children from local primary schools came to compete in mini tennis games and also a skills carousel. The year 10 pupils were exceptional throughout the event.  Many teachers from the primary schools commented on their leadership skills and praised students for their ability to work with the young children.

Mrs White, PE Department


Football Fixtures 2015-2016



Reach for the Beach

Durham Heritage Coast Partnership are holding their first coastal festival event during the half term holiday.  For further information please click on the following link.  Reach for the Beach



Wharton Park Celebration Weekend

Wharton Park has recently undergone a major transformation and to celebrate are holding a  whole weekend of family fun on  Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May from 11.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. each day.

There will be live performances in the amphitheatre, free arts and crafts events and coached sports session throughout the weekend.  Visitors will be able to explore the park's new features which include two new children's play areas, an outdoor gym, a community garden and Heritage Centre and cafe.   


Leazes Bowl Roundabout Roadworks

For more the most up to date information  please visit www.durham.gov.uk/leazesbowl or follow #leazesbowl​