Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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Dates For Your Diary

  • 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 Christmas Message

Dear Parents and Carers,

Over the years in my Christmas message I have referenced different characters from the story of the birth of Christ.  I have mentioned the shepherds from the story of the Nativity. ‘It is the presence of shepherds at the stable that always surprises me. At the time of Christ, shepherds were outsiders and classed as so by other villagers’. I took the opportunity of reflecting on those people that we might consider as outsiders, and encouraged us all to think of others at this time of year. I have commented on the ‘wise men’. The astronomers (or even astrologers) from the East came to bring gifts, and to visit the Christ child. 'They came to bring gifts and show respect. In return the family welcomed them in, accepted their gifts and respected their beliefs. It is possible to see, therefore, even from the beginning of the narrative a level of acceptance and inclusion of others'.

It seems fitting to mention the angels and prophets this year. The crowd of hosts proclaiming 'peace on earth' and prophets of old using the name 'prince of peace' for the Christ. I mentioned to staff that Christmas is not always a time of rejoicing for some, as many of us have experienced loss and sadness across the year, or during this season. It is fitting to mention the situation in Syria also, which is close to my heart having visited Syria before more recent events. I think deeply about the message in the school Christmas card, so please read this. I encourage us all to remain at peace with ourselves and focus on that which is important. I also encourage us to do our part in bringing a sense of peace to those around us, and where possible, those further afield.

Peace to you all this Christmas, and let us do our small part in supporting those seeking peace in the world.

Merry Christmas.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


Christmas Quiz

We thought that you might like to attempt the Christmas Quiz put together by the Sixth Form.  Answers will be published in the first Friday Bulletin of 2017.

Christmas Quiz 2016




Pupil Reports

On Thursday December 15th pupils discussed their Term 1 report with their tutor. Pupils were given a copy of their report in an envelope to take home. Since October, the school has been moving to a new IT information system. Therefore, the usual electronic reports will not be available this time. This should be back in place for the report at the end of Term 2.  There have been some teething problems at the end of this term: if there are any problems with pupil report data these will be corrected in the new year. Some Year 10 and 11 pupils did not get a report at the end of term. These will be posted out before Christmas. Any pupils who were absent will also have their reports posted out before Christmas.   

Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head


Year 11 Post 16 Information and Advice Events

Displayed below are the dates and times for the Information and Advice Evenings that are being held by our local schools and colleges next year.

Please may I remind parents that 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 order to make sensible and informed choices.

Please encourage your child to visit as many of those listed as possible to get the most accurate information about what is on offer for them post 16. Applications will be taken at these events for 2017-18 and multiple applications can be made by your child which will ensure that have many options to consider after their exam results.


Full course details are available on the websites of those listed.


New College Durham

  • Tuesday 10th January 2017 (5pm-7pm)
  • Tuesday 7th February 2017 (5pm-7pm)
  • Saturday 11th February 2017 (10am-12) 6th form Open Day
  • Tuesday 7th March 2017 (5pm-7pm)
  • Tuesday 4th April 2017 (5pm-7pm)
  • Tuesday 2nd May 2017 (5pm-7pm)
  • Tuesday 6th June 2017 (5pm-7pm)


Derwentside College

·         Thursday 19th January 2017(4pm-7pm)

·         Thursday 16th March 2017 (4pm-7pm)

·         Thursday 6th July 2017 (4pm-7pm)


East Durham College

·         Wednesday 11th January 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Wednesday 25th January 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Houghall Campus

·         Wednesday 8th February 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Wednesday 1st March 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Houghall Campus

·         Wednesday 15th March 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Saturday 1st April 2017 (1pm-4pm) - Houghall Campus

·         Wednesday 5th April 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Wednesday 26th April 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Houghall Campus

·         Wednesday 3rd May 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Wednesday 24th May 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Houghall Campus

·         Wednesday 7th June 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Peterlee Campus

·         Wednesday 28th June 2017 (5pm-7pm) - Houghall Campus


Gateshead College

  • Monday 9th January 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)
  • Monday 6th February 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)
  • Monday 13th March 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)
  • Monday 3rd April 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)
  • Monday 8th May 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)
  • Monday 12th June 2017 (4.30pm-7pm)

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance


Year 9 Careers Event – ‘Careers, What Next?’

Last week all of Year 9 were involved in a careers event. At Durham Johnston we believe that it is important for our young people to make informed decisions and we try to ensure that our CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) is interesting, current but delivered in a fun environment.

At the event we had external providers from Durham County Council, Royal Air Force, Army, Beamish Museum, Robertson Construction and Hydram Engineering as well as educational providers such as New College Durham, Gateshead College, East Durham College, Askham Bryon College, Newcastle College 6th Form centre and the Academy of Music and Sound. At each of the individual stands the students were able to get hands on with activities in each of the career paths as well as subjects such as Art & Design, Media, Catering and Hospitality, Beauty and Hairdressing and more specialist areas like Music and Animal Management.

We also have stands from North East Raising Aspirations Partnership and Openreach.

The students were able to have free choice at the end of the event to allow them to move to the career paths that were of interest to them. Overall they would all agree that the choice and variety gave them food for thought.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance


Year 7 and 8 Santa Fun Run

Monday's Santa Fun Run was a huge success with well over £328 raised for St Cuthbert's Hospice.  Congratulations to all those who participated.  Peter Cook was the fastest Santa, with Charlie Phillips a very close second. Emily Salmon and Niamh Lang were the fastest Christmas 'twins'!.  Jude Dudley, Holly Jenkins, Scarlet Robson and the fabulous Year 7 groups of Santa, reindeer and elves were judged the best dressed participants and all were awarded House Points. Very well done!

Mrs Bell, PE Department


Christmas Jumper Day Appeal 2016

Thank you to students, staff and parents for supporting the Christmas Jumper Appeal on Thursday.  A total of £761.19 was raised for Save the Children.




Year 13's Raise Funds for Cancer Research UK

On Thursday this week, Oliver Haniffa and I  shaved our heads to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.  After weeks of talking about it,  the feat eventually took place in James Hall during first lunch with an audience of 200 people spurring us on.  We chose Cancer Research UK because cancer is such a horrible disease which affects millions of people every day, including family and friends and those close to us.  The sum of £206.25 was raised from students who attended the event and to date a further sum of £383 has been raised on our shared fundraising page - Just Giving, Dan and Olly Head Shaving.  

The support from everyone who came to watch and who have donated is greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

Daniel Clark, Year 13


Music Notices

By the time you read this, the Durham Johnston 2016 Carol Service will have taken place. This is the last of many musical engagements that pupils have had this term, and so may I take this opportunity to thank all pupils and staff who have been so committed to rehearsals and performances. I think that the standard of music making has been as high as ever and we very much look forward to exploring new repertoire in the post-Christmas season.

Ensemble Rehearsals

The usual pattern of these begins the first day back (Tuesday 3rd January)

Music Tuition

Please note that on account of a training day for the peripatetic music staff on Tuesday 3rd January, lessons from Durham Music Service will begin on Wednesday 4th January.

Durham Vocal Festival

Chamber Choir will be taking part in two events in the 2017 Durham Vocal Festival.

Evensong in Durham Cathedral  - Monday 30 January – 5.15 pm. Please note that tickets are not required for this service.


North East Festival of Youth Choirs – Saturday 4th February – 7.00pm. Please follow this link for details on how to obtain tickets.


Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music



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


Durham Johnston Students Visit to Trinity School

On Tuesday the Year 10 Environment Club visited Trinity School.  They presented pupils from Trinity School with 4 bird boxes which will be displayed all around their school.

The Play unified team will monitor the wildlife that visits the boxes using information emailed to them from Trinity school staff.  The  results of their findings will be published in the Year 10, Big Mouth Newspaper.


Mrs White, PE Department


Sports News

On Tuesday our U14 and U16 basketball teams travelled to Queen Ethelburga’s School, York in English Schools games. Our U14 team started slowly but improved as the game went on. Unfortunately they were a much bigger team than us and despite a battling performance we lost by 12 points. It was a different story in the U16 game as we had an outstanding start to lead 19 – 0 after 6 minutes. We continued to dominate the game playing some excellent basketball to win 76 – 42. Both teams were also in action last night taking on Boroughbridge High School.

Also on Tuesday our Year 7 boys 5–a–side  football team were taking part in the finals of the BASFA tournament. We beat King James in extra time to reach the final against St John’s. They proved to be a very strong team and we ended up runners-up after a 4 – 0 defeat.

On Wednesday our Year 9 football team were playing Newcastle School for Boys in the quarter final of the Tyneside Cup. It was an even first 20 minutes but they got the upper-hand as the game went on eventually winning 5 – 0.

Our U13 girls basketball team were due to be playing in the BASFA schools tournament on Wednesday but unfortunately the other teams all dropped out – hopefully this happen now after Christmas.

Finally, on behalf of the PE department I would like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE