Dear Parents and Carers,
Happy New Year!
I always speak to all of the students at the beginning of a new year. My theme this year was encouraging the students to make the most out of their time at school, and to start to carve their way in life and in society. 'Life is what you make of it', I reminded the students, 'not just what is presented to you.' The younger students watched some clips from 'The Good Dinosaur' when the Dad tells his younger son that he has to get through his fear to see the beauty on the other side. The older students watched clips from 'The empire Strikes Back' where Yoda is telling a youthful Luke Skywalker the importance of perseverance. I referenced some of the well-known celebrities that died last year, and some of those less well known, and the struggles that they had, that they needed to overcome. I talked about Dr Donald Henderson who died last year, having helped eradicate smallpox through vaccination programmes.
I asked the students to make sure that they grasp the education that is on offer here with both hands, and to fully engage in school life over the next year. I asked them to be resilient, and to persevere when life throws up problems. I encourage all of the Johnston community to embody these principles also.
Have a great 2017.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
Please do not arrange to bring your child to school by car. Children need to develop the independence of getting themsevles to school on time and need the exercise that walking or cycling gives. We do not have any parking or even drop-off space for parents on the school site and are instructed by the LA and police to prevent parents coming onto the site as the car park is so congested. Additional vehicles coming onto site to drop off and pick up children constitutes a serious safety hazard.
From time to time we will do checks at the start and end of the school day and ask any parents on site in cars to leave. Parents are sometimes offended or angry about this, so it is best to be clear: you may not park or drop off in our car park.
If you are bringing your child to school by car because there is no alternative, please arrange to drop them off and pick them up in the laybys to the north and south of the school, or in Redhills Lane, being mindful of residents' access.
In December the school visited Durham Cathedral for our annual carol service. Once again the event was a huge success. The children’s behaviour and demeanour were exemplary. The contributions from the pupils were excellent including outstanding musical performances once again inspired by Mr Holmes and the Music Department. Thank you to parents for attending and we hope you enjoyed the service: we have never seen the cathedral so packed for this event. We are so grateful to Durham Cathedral for allowing us to use this magnificent building year after year. Members of the public and the cathedral staff were full of praise for the pupils’ conduct and for the quality of the musical performances.
Mr Bancroft, Deputy Headteacher
At the end of last term we published a Christmas quiz which we hope you found entertaining.
Here are the answers.
Ski Visit 2017
Reminder to parents and carers of Year 10 students who are going skiing that if they haven't already brought their their passports, EHIC cards and spending money (Euros) to school that they should bring them to me on Monday 9 January.
Mrs Hopper, Ski Visit Co-ordinator
On Wednesday 16th January there will be a session for Year 7 parents regarding E-Safety. The session will take start at 6.00 p.m. until 7.00 p.m. and will highlight the risks our young people are faced with in the digital world and what can be done to help students avoid these dangers. Please note that this session is aimed at parents and is not suitable for students to attend.
Mr Garside, Strategic Lead in ICT
The ‘Growing Healthy Bus will be stopping off at Durham Johnston from Monday 9th – Friday 13th January 2017.
Here is the supporting information from Harrogate ad 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 minds 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.
Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance
Before the Christmas Break 'Jamnesty' took place in James Hall with performances from three sixth form bands, Lampshade, Splinter and Harry Thomas Davidson. The music was great, everyone enjoyed themselves, and over £200 was raised for Amnesty. There was a photobooth to raise awareness of the current refugee cris and Amnesty's Write for Rights campaign.
More information about Amnesty's work can be found by clicking on the following link https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/write-rights-2016-refugees-welcome-case-sheet#.WFG1coJvgqQ
Thank you to all who attended, performed or donated!
Alice Henderson, Aimee Punshon and Jess Duminghan - Amnesty Society
Training and Employment Information for Students Aged 16 - 19
Please click on the following link for a copy of the Start Today booklet which contains useful information for students aged 16 - 18 about how to get into training or employment.
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
· 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
Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance
We have received information from Stonewall regarding a new online survey for LGBT young people aged 11-19, which they have asked schools to publicise to students. The survey is about what life in Britain is like as an LGBT young person and the survey is being carried out for Stonewell by researchers in the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge.
There are questions across different areas, for example social and school life, plans for the future and inspiring role models. A report of the findings will published later in the year.
Further details of the survey can be found on the following link LGBT Survey 2017
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 9 January 2017.
Please click on the following link for further information regarding Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form
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.
Mr O'Sullivan, Assistant Head
Starting on Monday 16 January 2017 we will be carrying out works to widen the A688 to the east of Thinford roundabout to increase the capacity of the junction at this point. The works will also help to enable the regeneration of the area to the north of the A688 and east of the A167, where a new development will be built.
A new junction will be provided to the north of the road to allow access to the new development, as well as a right turn lane from the A688. As part of the works the existing layby to the east of the southbound carriageway approaching Thinford roundabout will also be permanently closed.
The works are likely to take around 3 months to complete and will involve an eastbound closure of the A688 (from the roundabout towards Metal Bridge) for this period. The diversion route will be via the A167 to Rushyford, the A689 to the Sands Hall roundabout at Sedgefield and then the A177 to Tursdale and vice versa. There may also be periods of time during the works which require full closures of the A688.
Please find attached a diagram of the diversion.
All businesses in the area will be open as usual.
For regular updates please visit www.durham.gov.uk/thinford
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017