Dear Parents and Carers,
The thought of Christmas shopping fills me with dread. Many of you will already have gifts wrapped and cards written, but I must admit to being less organised about Christmas than many. Nevertheless, at school we are starting the preparations for concerts, meals, and other celebration events over the coming weeks. Do ensure that if you or your children want to participate in the events that will be advertised over the coming days, that you are organised with diaries and buy tickets if they are needed. The term is passing quickly, and it has come as a shock that I need to source advent calendars ready for next week!
Lots and lots of events are taking place at school and many notices for you to read.
Have a great weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
As a school we endeavour to stay open during periods of bad weather. This allows education to continue uninterrupted, and is appreciated by parents. Nevertheless, it is prudent at this time of year to remind families of our bad weather protocols. They can be found here. The only time school leaders close schools due to bad weather is when the health and safety of the students or the staff are in question. We have not needed to close the school for many years, but the British weather can certainly be unpredictable!
We have recently moved to a new system in school for managing our attendance, behaviour, reports and achievement. As a result this means that E-Portal is no longer in use and the service will be disabled shortly.
Our new system will offer us more flexibility in the future in terms of how you view information about your children in our school. You may have noticed links appear to the SIMS Learning Gateway on the school website. Going forward this will be how you will log in to view your child's report, see their attendance and we hope to utilise the feature of being able to log on using an app.
We will issue parents and carers with new usernames and passwords as soon as we are able to.
Mr Garside, Stratetic Lead in ICT
We are once again taking part in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Christmas appeal.This week we have had assemblies where the Angel Tree was introduced to the students. A Christmas tree was filled with tags and on each tag is the gender and age of a child. House representatives from Annand, Wakenshaw, Kenny and Heaviside houses were invited to pick a tag from the tree and take it back to the form group. Over the next two weeks the form group will decide on a suitable gift for the child on the tag, raise money or organise donations.
Lieutenants Lorna and David White from the Salvation Army in Langley Moor will receive and collect the gifts for distribution to families and children in need across County Durham on Wednesday 7th December.
We hope that within the form class the students will build a sense of community and teamwork to benefit someone less fortunate than themselves. With many more underprivileged children in our community this year our contribution to the Salvation Army Angel Tree appeal will make a big difference to families in Durham this Christmas.
Mrs Dunn, Science Department
Year 12 reports have been issued to students this week. Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening will take place on Monday 28 November from 4.00 until 6.00 p.m.
Year 13 reports will be issued next week. Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening will take place on Monday 5 December from 4.00 until 6.00 p.m.
On Wednesday after school, two pupils, one in Year 10 and the other in Year 11 talked to Anika Ayyar from the Sheroes project in America. The students, Rachel Ivory and Josie Moir, had a half an hour long talk with Anika about issues they thought were prominent and, despite the distance, had very similar views. The aim of the call was to discuss ideas about how we could get our school to become more gender-equal in technology and such activities in and after school. The girls found out about the Sheroes, who do video chats with women who talk about how they have been through the process of being in a male dominated world and discuss their stories. The girls had plenty of questions about how to make our school better for girls to join in with computer science and to get girls to show the interest that a lot clearly have. In particular the girls were excited to be invited into the Sheroesproject as school ambassadors to promote the values of the Sheroesproject to people in school. As ambassadors the girls will take part in video calls with Anika and other inspirational women on a more frequent basis we aim to involve others in these chats and panels as well. The next step in this project would be to start a social club which would involve fun tasks and activities for people to do with their friends. The girls are very enthusiastic about connecting with people and finding out how they can make an impact on peoples lives and get people into the amazing world of computer science.
The video chat proved to be a huge step in doing something about the problem that exists not only in our school but worldwide as the girls found out tonight. Anika was very informative and keen to help and give us tips about how we can improve our school and other schools around the world.
Rachel Ivory and Josie Moir – Digital Leaders
Year 11 Medical Careers Day
On Wednesday next week we are taking 15 students to New College to attend a Medical Day. The students have all shown an interest in a career in medicine. Throughout the day the young people will participate in three different medical activities led by a team of medical students. These will be CPR/Recovery position, Medical Ethics and a new Diagnostics activity.
The students will receive a wide variety of information including entry requirements for medical school, academic expectations, interview processes and admission tests. Current medical students will describe their lives at university before working together with our young people on practical, medical-related activities. . Finally, practicing medics will describe their work and answer questions.
Events such as this are very scarce and difficult to provide and often come at cost for attendance, however in this case the cost is being funded by the school. We are committed to providing informative and engaging CEIAG that will enable our young people to make the right choices about their chosen career path.
Hopefully they will find this event thoroughly entertaining and informative and it will encourage more of our young people into the field of Medicine.
Mr Kennedy, Head of Guidance and Careers
Three of our Year 10 students, Aidan Hanson, Evie Edworthy and Alice Daglish attended the launch event for the new County Durham brand http://www.durhamplaceoflight.com.
The students were invited as former winners of the Future Business Magnates competition to act as ambassadors at the event which was held in Durham Cathedral on Thursday 17th November.
On a very cold evening the students greeted and chatted to the invited guests about the FBM competition and their winning light themed business idea – the Glow Flow Eco tap.
Mr Martindale, Business Studies
On Tuesday 22nd February four of our A Level Maths students, Yuriy Tumarkin, Sam Neil, Oskar Maatta and Matthew Edge, won the Durham heat for the Senior Maths Team Challenge. The students competed with teams from other schools from the North East in a competition which consisted of three round of maths challenges; a group round, a cross-number round and a shuttle round. The students will now travel to London to compete in the National Final.
Our students have also experienced great success in the UKMT Senior Maths Individual Challenge. Of the 85 students who participated, 65 won a certificate, with ten students progressing to the next round of the contest.
Congratulations to all involved.
Mr Patterson, Maths Department
There are still students who have not paid the second instalment of £40, which was due before half term.
Please can this be paid as a matter of urgency. If you have problems or queries, please get in touch with school.
Ms Clay, Science Department and Duke of Edinburgh Scheme Co-ordinator
Year 7 Parents Information Programme
Thank you to all parents and carers who came along to second Year 7 PIP session on Wednesday evening. The event was well attended and in Maths, parents not only gained an insight into a modern mathematics classroom but also had fun in the process! Hopefully the evening answered all your questions but please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Math department staff should you have any further queries.
The Year 7 science PIP involved looking at the scheme of work together with a brief outline of the type of work carried out in each topic. Parents then experienced a typical science lesson and took part in a Malteezer challenge, looking at forces.
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 the following link 28 November 2016.
Please click on the following link for further information regarding Sixth Form Societies.
School Christmas Concert
Tickets for the first part of the concert have sold out and as I write there are only 9 tickets left for the second part. Please return tickets that are no longer needed for a full refund and we can then resell them to those on our ticket waiting list. People without tickets will be able to sit in the atrium and listen from there, with some limited side-on view, but we are sorry that for fire regulations they cannot be admitted to the hall.
Next week (w/b Monday 28th November) rehearsals are as normal. Please could you make sure that your child is present at these unless they have a really good reason?
Rehearsals w/b Monday 5th December – full attendance is essential at these final rehearsals – please note that these might be on a different day to the usual rehearsal in order that we can run each part of the concert.
Monday Dec 5th – 12.15 to 12.40pm - Chamber Choir
Tuesday Dec 6th – 2.45 to 4pm - Wind Band, Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra.
Wednesday Dec 7th – 2.45 to 4pm - Senior Orchestra and Senior Choir.
Concert Day – December 8th
There will be no rehearsals on the day, but please could pupils in the first part (Wind Band, Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra, Handbells) be in school by 6.10 and pupils in the second part (Big Band, Senior Orchestra, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir) be here by 7.15.?
Copies of a letter which gives parental permission for pupils to attend the necessary rehearsals in the Cathedral on the morning of the service were distributed to all pupils in Senior Choir and Senior Orchestra last week. If you haven’t yet signed and returned the slip at the foot of the letter or have misplaced the letter, please click on the links to download a copy of the letter appropriate for the year group of your child.
Please do note that pupils in Junior Choir will be singing in the service, but they will not be attending the morning rehearsal, but will travel to the Cathedral with the rest of the school.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
On Monday our U19 basketball team travelled to Hartlepool VIth form college in the first round of the English Schools Cup. Our first match was against Queen Elizabeth, Darlington. We made a strong start and controlled the game winning by 21 points. Our second game was against the hosts who were a very strong team. We never gave up and were only 4 points down with 5 minutes to play but ran out of steam losing by 10 points. The league will now be decided by our final group game against Gosforth Academy.
Also on Monday our Year 8 cricket team were playing Framwellgate in the final match of the indoor season. We batted and bowled well to win easily. This meant 3 schools were tied top of the league so the final standings came down to runs scored. Unfortunately this meant we ended up finishing in 3rd place.
On Tuesday our Year 7 girls football team were at Parkside for the BASFA 5-a-side competition. The standard was very high but we played some excellent football to reach the final against the hosts. This was another very good match which we won 3 – 0 to become champions and now go on to the County finals after Christmas. Also on Tuesday our Year 9 & 10 netball teams were playing Durham School. Our Year 10’s produced some excellent netball to win 29 – 1. The Year 9 game was much closer and despite leading at half-time we went on to lose 5 – 8.
On Wednesday we were hosting the Year 8 BASFA basketball tournament. There were some late withdrawals meaning only 3 teams entered. We comfortably beat Parkside in our first match 42 – 2. The deciding game against Sedgefield was much closer but we lead throughout going on to win 11 – 8 to become champions.
Last night we have several of our rowers at Maiden castle for the County Indoor rowing finals. We are still waiting for confirmation of the results but we had some excellent performances including Hope Simpson, Owen Chaplin and Bethan Hall all of whom won to become County Champions.
Also yesterday our U19 girls tennis team travelled to St Peter’s School, York for the Winter League North-east play-off. We played some very good tennis against a very strong team, but lost despite several close matches.
Finally, good luck tonight to our Year 8 boys basketball team who are playing Dame Allan's School and our Year 7 girls football team who take on Dyke House.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Girls from our Year 7, 9 and 10 netball teams did a fantastic job officiating at the Primary League this week. Their control of the game, communication with the young players and general leadership skills were fantastic throughout the evening.
Mrs Bell and Mrs White, PE Department
Year 7 Football
The Year 7, five a side team had a great night on Tuesday at the regional 5-a-side football competition. Out of the 6 matches, the team won 4, drew one and lost one. In the final they beat Parkside Academy 3 - 0. They will now face the other regional winners in January.
Mrs White, PE Department
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017