Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (34)

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October (3)

September (5)

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2016 (37)

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June (2)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (3)

January (4)

2015 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (3)

February (3)

January (3)

2014 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (4)

September (4)

July (3)

June (4)

May (1)

April (12)

February (2)

Dates For Your Diary

  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 5 December 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Christmas Concert, Thursday 8 December, James Hall - 6.30 and 7.30 p.m.
  • Santa Fun Run Monday 12 December, period 5
  • Christmas Jumper Day - Thursday 15 December
  • Annual Christmas Carol Service, Durham Cathedral, Friday 16 December
  • Term ends for the Christmas and New Year holiday on Friday 16 December
  • Term begins Tuesday 3 January 2017
  • Year 7 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 16 January 4.00 - 6.00 p.m
  • Year 9 Options Evening, Monday 13 February, 6.00 - 8.00 p.m.
  • Year 9 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 6 March 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Headteacher's Message

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are rightly proud of the achievements of our students, and you may have noticed that the school has been in the press over the last week as the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide has placed us 4th best school in the whole country (non-selective, non-faith) on several measures. I have congratulated the students and thanked the staff for their hard work. Nevertheless, I would like to assure parents and families that we know how important all of our students are - not just those at the very top end - and seek to work so that all of our students make excellent progress from their starting points, and indeed, that they reach high levels of attainment. We have many successes, but we always think about how we could do, or have done, better for some of our students. In literature about the school I always mention that we try to wrap our systems and processes around individuals, so that they feel secure, and feel supported to make progress. This is our mission, and governors and staff alike work together to support all of the students in our care. 

We are approaching the Christmas season. Next week some of our Christmas activities start, and our tree is now dressed at the front of the school. I, like many of you, will be spending at least some time over the weekend preparing for the season.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Year 11 Revision Guidance

How can students improve their chances of achieving success in summer 2017?

How can they organise the time that they have remaining?  

How can they ensure consistent performance in the summer 2017 exams?

Whilst the clock is ticking on the available time remaining until exams in summer 2017 there is still a significant amount if students are organised and they continue to work hard. There are a number of simple things that they can do in order to be as prepared as possible. Often the hardest thing is actually starting revision. The information below is intended to help students organise their time: to provide useful websites that might offer guidance and good ideas, and to give them access to the advice and support that is available in school. All of the aforementioned will help them to do well in their exams, but the most important factors relate to the amount of effort that they make to learn the material and to grasp the correct examination technique. The harder they work, the more successful they will be, but they also need to stay calm and to pace themselves.

For further information please see the following links.

Revision guidance for students

Revision guidance for parents

Departmental advice

Mr O'Sullivan, Assistant Head


GCSE Certificates - Summer 2016

Certificates for students who sat their GCSE examinations in summer 2016 are now available to collect from Reception.



'Growing Healthy' Bus 

The ‘Growing Healthy' Bus will be stopping off at Durham Johnston from Monday 9th  to Friday 13th January.   Here is the supporting information from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust:

‘Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust provide community children’s services throughout County Durham in partnership with Durham County Council.  We are currently promoting our School Nurse service for 5-19 year olds to enable children, young people and families to find out what a school nurse does and how they can engage with them. 

As part of this promotional work, we have commissioned a Growing Healthy Bus, which is travelling around County Durham over the next six months.  We will be in the Central Durham locality for the month of December and January and any school within that area are able to have access to the bus for a week long period.  We are keen to work with schools, where possible, to have the bus on site (Monday to Friday 9-5) for students and their families to access the services, which include the opportunity to have a 1:1 session with a school nurse or use the service as a signposting tool to school nurse services including sexual health, stop smoking and health and wellbeing.’ 

In order to promote healthy mind and healthy living for our young people this will be available as a drop-in during break, lunchtime and after school until 5pm.

Throughout the school day small groups of students will be given a tour of the bus in order to maximise access for as many students as possible and to ensure that this amazing opportunity is fully utilised.

If you, as a parent or carer would like the opportunity to access the services,  then would you let me know via the school email so I can make arrangements.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Apprenticeships and Traineeships Assembly

As part of our commitment to offer good quality, impartial Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG), on Wednesday Year 10 and Year 11 watched a presentation as part of the Government 'Get In, Go Far' campaign.

We will also be holding an Apprenticeship session during the Year 11 careers event on the last day of term where we will have experts from the Apprenticeships and Traineeships team available. They will be on-hand to help students create their own account on the 'Apprenticeships.Gov' site, how and where to search for apprenticeships and to make applications where necessary.

Here is the link to the presentation:  S:\Careers\ASK presentation

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers

New College Open Day

It is good to hear feedback from the School Liaison Team at New College that we have a steady stream of students who are making their applications and having interviews for courses next year. This demonstrates that a sensible and responsible attitude towards their future is being taken by our young people and it is pleasing to see them with such an independent and committed approach.

It is your child’s responsibility to ensure they have secured options for-post 16 careers and they must be encouraged to consider these early in this academic year. Multiple applications can be made by your child which will ensure that have options to consider after their exam results and I would ask that you encourage them to attend the many careers open events that happen during the year. A list of these events were included in an earlier edition of this bulletin in September.

On that note, New College are hosting an Open Evening next Tuesday 6th December from 5-7pm. Here, your child will be able to get advice and guidance from course staff about the many different choices that they offer. They can also make applications at the event for courses or arrange for additional information to be sent out to them.

Here is a link to New College website http://www.newcollegedurham.ac.uk/

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Year 11 Careers Event

On Friday 16th December, Year 11 will not be going to Durham Cathedral with the rest of the school and they will remain in school for a Careers Event. The school buses will not be leaving from school as normal but instead will be leaving from New Elvet. Year 11 students will be dismissed from school at the earlier time of 1.30pm. This will allow plenty time to walk into Durham for the school buses which are leaving at 2pm with the rest of the school.

As guests of the cathedral we must offer proper supervision, so it is important that any Year 11 students walking into town go directly to New Elvet and do not come to the Cathedral to wait for friends or siblings.  They must go directly to New Elvet (opposite the Police Station) and not to Palace Green.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Environment Club 

The Environment Club has been awarded the Royal Horticultural Society level 4 School Award and will shortly receive a prize valued at around £100.  The prize was awarded for demonstrating entrepreneurial skills in marketing and selling their produce grown in the school garden which included beetroots, carrots and lots of tomatoes.  The proceeds from the sale will be ploughed back into the club to fund new projects next year. Students are currently building bird boxes  from off-cuts of wood donated to the club.

In anticipation of receiving the fruit and vegetable plug plants awarded for our RHS level 3 award, club members have been weeding and preparing the beds ready for planting in spring next year.  Grit has been added to improve the soil and encourage better growth, particularly as this year's were quite small and misshapen.   One of the raised beds will be used to grow potatoes and leeks so that there will be something to harvest in the spring.  Covers have been made for the other raised beds to keep out pests over the winter.

Pictured below are member of the club, together with some of the Year 10 form representatives who been busy decorating our wonderful environment area ready for the restive season!

Mr Bowman, Science 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 the following link 5 December 2016

Please click on the following link for further information regarding Sixth Form Societies.

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form

Year 7 and 8 Santa Fun Run

We are holding a Santa Fun Run on Monday 12 December, period 5 to raise funds for St Cuthbert's Hospice.  Students  in Years 7 and 8 are invited to pay £1.00 to participate.  They will complete a mile run on the school field and must wear Christmas themed, fancy dress (minimum being a Santa Hat).  Every child who participates will receive a certificate and, as in previous years, we hope to have local media coverage.

If your child does not wish to participate, they must bring all of the equipment required for their usual lesson period 5 on Monday afternoon as normal.  If this happens to be a PE lesson, then they should bring their PE kit for an outdoor lesson.

Mrs Bell, PE Department



Swimathon 2016

On Saturday 19th November, a team of swimmers from our Sixth Form took part in Durham Rotary Club's annual Swimathon. The team included myself, Jonathan Morgan, Ruth Stewart and Kezia Dowsett. We managed to swim 290 lengths in the 30 minutes! We swam as fast as we could and were absolutely shattered by the end! We are delighted that the Swimathon has raised £200 for St Cuthbert's Hospice. Thank you to everyone who sponsored us - it was lovely to receive so much support. 


Katherine Hill, Year 13


Music Department News

Music Examinations

Good luck to all students who have external music exams over the next few weeks. If your child will arrive late to school, or needs to leave early on account of an exam, please write a note in their planner and ask them to get their form tutor to countersign it. This will ensure that they are marked as being educated off site, rather than absent.

Christmas Concert – Thursday 8th December

The concert has now sold out, however, people without tickets will be able to sit in the atrium and listen from there, with some limited, side-on view.

First Part

This starts at 6.30. All participating students need to be in school by 6.15 and please could all audience members beseated in James Hall by 6.25. If you also have a ticket for the second part, please also surrender your ticket for a second half programme to save you needing the leave the hall in the brief interval between parts one and two.

Second Part

 We will ask everyone that does not have a programme for the second part to vacate the hall at the end of the first part and then those with tickets for second part will be admitted in time for the second half to start around 7.30. Please could students who are performing in the second half be in school by 7.15.

Concert Dress

This is school uniform without jumpers or blazers as the hall gets rather warm. Tinsel adornments are welcome, as long as they don’t stop instruments working correctly.

Carol Service

Permission slips for those rehearsing in the cathedral on the morning of Friday December 16th should have been handed in at reception this week. Please would you ensure that any outstanding reply slips (they are blue) are handed in ASAP.

Music Department


Sports News

On Tuesday our Year 7 boys 5-a-side team were at Parkside in the BASFA area competition. The standard was very high and all the games were close. However we battled well to reach the final against the hosts. This was another close game which we went on to win 2 – 1. They now qualify for the finals which take place in a couple of weeks.

The Under 14 girls football team from Year 8 and 9 had an excellent game against John Spence High School on Monday night. They dominated the game in the first half, playing against a couple of England Players. The team worked well to keep them out of the game, and ended up winning 6-2. This takes the team into the last 32 in the country out of 343 teams. Fantastic effort from the girls and Mally our coach.

On Friday the Year 7 football team played two friendly matches against Dyke House School. This was the first chance the Year 7 team had to play altogether. They battled really hard in the first game but were defeated. The second game the team settled in and won 5-2.



On Wednesday our Year 7 and 8 sportshall athletics team competed in the first round of the Area competition. It was a tough competition this year, facing a strong team from St Leonards, as well as teams from DCBC and Framwellgate Moor.  The teams battled throughout. The results were as follows:


Year 7 boys winners

Year 7 girls second place

Year 8 boys winners

Year 8 girls Winners


The winning teams will now go on to the next round in March at the Level 3 winter games.

Yesterday our Year 7 and Year 9 rugby teams travelled to St John’s for friendly matches. Both teams played extremely well and both games were very close. Our Year 7’s drew and our Year 9’s lost by one try.

Good luck today to our U13 girls football team who are playing Cockermouth in the 4th round of the English Schools Cup.

Also good luck to our Junior boys cross-country team who are travelling to Range High School, Formby for the English Schools National Cross-Country Finals which takes place tomorrow.




The hockey team is going from stregth to strength with their training sessions every Tuesday.  Pupils from Year 7, 8 and 9 play together under the leadersip of Barney and Elyssa from Year 12.


Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017


Bad Weather Protocols

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!