Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates For Your Diary

  • Year 6 Open Day - Monday 26 September from 9.15 a.m - 10.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m
  • Sixth Form Open Evening, Monday 3 October 6.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.
  • Year 7 Parents' Information Programme (English and MFL) Wednesday 12 October - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 28 November 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 5 December 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Headteacher's Message

Dear parents and carers,

Our term is now in full flow, and our new students much more used to the systems and processes in school. Staff are already beginning to turn our attention to open evenings, which will take place over the next few weeks. We, as a school, are already thinking about Year 6 and Year 11 students who will join the Johnston family next year. Government too continues to think about the future of our education system, and you will no doubt have heard recent discussions to add to the academies mix - those of the re-introduction of grammar schools. In an ever changing landscape, the senior leaders and governors of the school are maintaining the focus on our core values: academic excellence, social justice, global futures. The landing page for our website describes these in detail.

Beneath these values is a belief in every child we support at school. When I spoke to the staff at the beginning of the year, I underlined the fact that I structure the school in such a way as to focus on the individual child. We are a big school, but we do our very best to know our students as individuals and to help each of them grow, develop and succeed. I said this in assemblies at the beginning of the year and I will be saying it again at our open evenings. We want our school to be a place where children are known as individuals and encouraged to become all that they can be. I am glad of the support of parents and friends in this endeavour.

Enjoy today's bulletin.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Parking on the School Site

May I remind all parents and carers that there is NO ACCESS to the school site for the purpose of dropping off or collecting pupils.

Please be mindful that entering the school site poses a risk to all pupils and staff.

Parents and carers of pupils who have a disability or other authorise need will continue to be welcome to park on the school site for the purpose of dropping off or collecting pupils.

I would ask all visitors to refrain from double parking or performing U-turns in the entrance or the drop-off zone area.


ParentPay - Payment for School Meals

It has come to our attention that a  number of our younger pupils have attempted to use their lunch money to buy sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks at local stores on their way in to school.

I would encourage all parents to make use of our ParentPay facility which will ensure that lunch money is spent on healthful, nutritionally compliant produce on offer in school.



Cambridge University Visit

Three cups of early September, one teaspoonful of enthusiastic event co-ordinator, and 8 Durham Johnston students slowly roasted in a five hour coach journey and placed in St John's College, Cambrdige makes for a fun (and of course educational!) school trip, which was almost definitely worth missing bread week on Bake Off for.

Along with several other schools from County Durham, we represented our school on the 6th - 8th September at a residential visit to Cambridge University.  With a warm welcome from two members of the college, our first day mainly consisted of settling in to Cambridge and taking a trip to the local cinema.  The second day was when we were really hit with the densely packed and fun-filled timetable that had been planned for us.  Seminars about curing cancer, student life and budgeting activities, as well as tours of both St. John's and Christ's were just some of the activities we did, which was all rounded off with a three course, formal meal ending with coffee and truffles.  Our third and final day was soon upon us, consisting of an activity that you just cannot leave Cambridge without doing.  Punting (and visiting the shops of course).

Finally, if any of you get the chance to go to Cambridge (which you should definitely take), we thoroughly recommend taking a trip to the 'Fudge Kitchen', if only for the free samples.

Andrew Hunton and Josua Erlebach (Year 11)


Year 7 Visit to Durham Cathedral

Over Tuesday 27th, Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September, the whole of year 7 will be taken on our annual visit to Durham Cathedral. This cross-curricular visit has been greatly enjoyed by previous cohorts, and we are delighted that this year we will be able to incorporate exploring ‘Open Treasure’, the cathedral’s newly opened, multi-million pound exhibition space. Pupils will visit the Cathedral in their form groups over the three days. Please click on the following link information letter to read the full details of the visit.  A printed copy will also be distributed via form tutors on Monday.

Miss McKenzie, History Department



Lunchtime and After School Activities

Information regarding lunchtime and after school clubs and activities will be available on the Information Section of the school website at the beginning of next week.  



Cambridge Chemistry Challenge

At the end of the summer term, 4 of our 6th form chemistry students took part in the 2016 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge for lower sixth (year 12) students. Eleanor Curry achieved a copper award, Sofia Hryniv and Edmund Cheung obtained silver awards, and Charlotte Kenyon achieved a gold award. The results represent a great achievement as the demand of the questions is well beyond that expected at AS level. Charlotte’s award put her in the top 600 students out of more than 7200 students. We congratulate them all and hope that they continue their success when they enter the Chemistry Olympiad in January.

Dr Coleman, Subject Leader for Science


Durham Johnston Environment Club

The Durham Johnston environment club has had a very successful first year. With the help of a grant from Councillor Martin,  we have been able to buy materials and seeds to make a start on developing the pond area at the rear of the school. Excellent wooden planters were made by our fantastic science technicians which have enabled us to grow a large selection of flowering plants to encourage wildlife to visit. We also planted tomato, carrot and beetroot seeds in the spring and watched weekly as they grew in the small plastic greenhouse. Early summer was the perfect time to plant these outside and having left them for seven weeks over the summer we have returned to find the most amazing crop.

Other activities included making and filling bird feeders over the winter and cleaning out the pond to encourage newts and frogs to lay their eggs. We hope the duck house built by the technicians two years ago will this year be used by our now regular male and female ducks who visit us every spring. 

Our plans for the coming year are very exciting. Our usual jobs of clearing, cleaning, feeding and planting will continue, however the main project is to build a greenhouse from used 2 Litre plastic bottles. This will allow us to grow more seedlings in a safe sheltered environment. With this in mind we would be grateful for donations of clean, clear 2 Litre plastic bottles, we estimate we'll need many hundreds to complete the job!!

Finally we have been successful in being awarded the Royal Horticultural Award Level 1 for schools. This was achieved by writing a short piece on the work that we have done in the garden. We are all very proud of the certificate and are in the process of applying for Level 2. 

Mrs Bell, Head of Year 10 and Mr Bowman, Science


Digital Leaders

At Durham Johnston we are continually looking for ways to develop our young students and prepare them for life beyond our school.

To assist in this, we are looking to recruit a number of Digital Leaders who can support a number of “Digital” initiatives, such as:

·         Code Club

·         E-Safety Awareness

·         Class programming specialists

If students would like to know more about this role, they should speak with Mr Garside or Mr Digby. 

Applications for the positions need to be submitted by the 30th September and the following three questions need to be answered in order for your application to be considered, these are:


1)      What do you think a Digital Leader is?

2)      Why would you like to be a Digital Leader?

3)      What do you enjoy most about Computing?

Entries to Mr Garside or Mr Digby.

Mr Digby, Computer Science Department


Ski Instalment 4 - Reminder

With regard to the 4th, ski instalment for next year's ski visit I would be pleased if could you arrange for payment to be handed to me as soon as possible.

The final instalment is due by Friday 4 November.

Mrs Hopper, PE Department


Sixth Form Weekly Notices


If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on this link!   19 September 2016

Information about sixth form societies is available here.


Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form


Music Notices

Instrumental/Vocal Tuition

Many thanks to those who have sent in cheques for this term, or even the whole year's instrumental/vocal tuition. If you haven't done so yet, please could you send it to the music department in an envelope marked ‘Music Tuition’? In case it has been mislaid, here is a copy of the original letter.


Please click on the following link for details of the concert schedule.  Please put these dates in you diary/calendar now to avoid disappointment later in the year.

Mr Holmes - Subject Leader for Music 


Leazes Bowl overnight resurfacing - Week 2

Overnight resurfacing – partial road closure

The final phase of the Leazes Bowl works is the resurfacing of the road which will require overnight closures on three consecutive weeks, Sunday to Thursday.  There will be no closures on Friday and Saturday nights.

Week 2 works will take place on Sunday 18-Thursday 22 September from 8.00pm to 6.00am.

DCC will be resurfacing the south side of the roundabout, closing the A690 eastbound and diverting traffic up Claypath towards Gilesgate roundabout. The westbound traffic flow will remain as normal via a contraflow system. New Elvet Bridge will be closed at these times with a diversion in place, although there will be access maintained for emergency services.

Please see the illustrations below.

Leazes Bowl Re-surfacing   

Elvet Bridge Vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are subject to a separate diversion which is published on the website.

For more information on the whole scheme please visit www.durham.gov.uk/leazesbowl or follow #leazesbowl


Sports News

Trials and extra-curricular clubs are now up and running and the PE department are very pleased at the outstanding numbers who are attending all clubs. With the talent on display this looks like being another very successful year.

We have also won the first two trophies of the year.

Last Friday our Year 11 cricket team were at Hetton Lyons CC for their County Final. They faced a strong team from Farringdon. We batted first and scored an impressive 140 runs. A great bowling display saw us bowl them all out for only 86 runs, the last wicket been taken by an excellent catch from captain Ben Stewart. Well done to the team who are now County Champions.

On Tuesday our year 8 cricket team travelled to Consett CC for the County Plate final. They also batted first and scored 115 runs with Alex Lythgoe top scoring. Despite a good start from our opposition, Northfield we kept taking wickets eventually winning the match by 40 runs.

Please see the photos of the two winning teams below.



Good luck to our football and netball teams as the league matches start next week.


Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017


Champion GB Swimmer Visits Durham Johnston

Today the Year 11- BTEC PE group had a visit from Chris Cook, the Commonwealth champion GB swimmer.  He launched the Ski Sports, Living for Sport programme with the group.  During the morning he spoke about his journey from being a young boy growing up in South Shields, to competing in Olympics for his country.  He also talke to the students about the 6 keys for success in life.

Mrs White, PE Department