Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (27)

September (2)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (5)

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2017 (42)

December (4)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

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June (4)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (2)

January (5)

2016 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (2)

September (5)

July (3)

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 11 and Year 12 mock examinations 23 January - 3 February  -  please click on the following link for a copy of the Year 11 mock exam timetable.
  • Year 9 Options Evening, Monday 13 February, 6.00 - 8.00 p.m.
  • Year 13 mock examinations 27 February - 10 March
  • Year 9 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 6 March 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Headteacher's Message

Dear Parents and Carers,

I was proud to be able to provide some quotes to the press this week about the performance of our students last academic year. The Guardian references the school as the top comprehensive school in England for sixth form outcomes. The very top ranks of the tables are taken by independent and selective schools.

'We are extremely proud of our students. They have worked very hard and their determination and perseverance have granted them the success they so richly deserve. One of the keys to our success at A level is our unrelenting focus on academic stretch and lesson planning which concentrates on subject content. We want all of our students to know that they can compete with the very best, both nationally and globally, background not being a barrier to progress, standards, or career pathway'.

Our Year 11 are preparing for their mock exams which start on Monday. These exams are a key milestone for the year group as they are able to reflect on their academic performance and focus on weaker areas ready for the real examinations after Easter. We wish them well.

It has been another busy week at the Johnston. Enjoy reading about it in our bulletin.

Have a good weekend.

Yours sincerely

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


One Point Service for Students

This week all students were emailed a copy of a document regarding One Point Service detailing the support available to students until they are 19 years old, or 25 if they are disabled.    A copy of the document is available here.



Code Club and Social Coding

On Wednesday our Digital Leaders started the first code club of the year for Year 7 students. During the session the students had a choice of:

  • Learning how to code web pages using HTML
  • Setting up a Raspberry Pi computer and using code to make things happen in Minecraft, including building a house of TnT and blowing it up afterwards
  • Using the BBC Microbit

All Year 7 students are welcome to attend and the sessions are running every Wednesday this term between 3pm-4pm.

For our older students we have Social coding running at the same time. This club is being run by our Year 10 students Rachel and Maddy. Their aim is to encourage people who want to learn about computer science and coding but might be put off by thinking it’s too hard for them. This week students learnt about what makes up a computer and they were able to take apart an old computer to have a look inside. For those who follow our school Twitter feed you may have seen our live broadcast from the club; a Durham Johnston first.

Mr Garside, Computer Science Department  



On Wednesday we ran a session for our Year 7 Parents on e-safety and the dangers of the online world. All well as pointing out the dangers we discussed ways in which parents can help support with staying safe online and what we do in school in relation to E-Safety.

May we take the opportunity to remind all parents that we have an E-Safety section on our school website with advice and guidance for parents. 


Please keep an eye on the Friday Bulletin where we publish any new online safety threats or new apps that we come aware of that we feel that parents need to know about.  The most recent online safety guidance from the Local Authority  concerns  the app Musical.ly.  Their advice is published in the following article.

Mr Garside, Mr Weaver, Miss Forbes


Online Safety Advice - Musical.ly

The Local Authority has become aware of a significant number of issues with children sharing content using the app musical.ly and has advised schools to make parents aware of the risks of the app which has a minimum age of 13.

Their advice to parents is to carefully manage their childs use of social media.

Full Details are here https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/musical-ly-app-parents-need-know/

A summary of the risks posed is shown below:-

Dangers for kids:


  • ​18+ content in the songs lyrics. Swearing and adult concepts in the provided music.
  • Pornography, graphic content, suicide notes.
  • Musical.ly users can search for other users to view or follow near their own location/city.
  • User generated videos can be viewed and shared onto other social media and messaging apps increasing exposure.
  • Bullying in comments.
  • Users can publicise their messager usernames or social media profiles on their Musical.ly profile.
  • Live.ly live streaming is not private even if you have the privacy settings set up.
  • Using live streaming Musical.ly app Live.ly may mean larger exposure with mean comments, interacting in real time with viewers.
  • Many fake user accounts, used to hijack views or set up to bully.
  • Hacking of accounts by promotional accounts (Free Musical.ly Crowns) within the apps.
  • Not easy to report accounts for being fakes or underage inside the app.
  • Many underage accounts with large amounts of followers.
  • Easy for users to create multiple accounts and hide them from their parents.
  • Fake Musical.ly apps on the app store that charge for download or offer followers.


Attendance - Fixed Penalty Notice Information

Please click on the following link for a copy of the factsheet regarding Fixed Penalty Notices issued by Durham County Council.


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 23 January 2017

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

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form


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


Music Notices

Instrumental/Vocal Tuition

Many thanks to those who have already 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. 


Music ensemble rehearsals for the next two weeks

Please follow this link for details of music rehearsals in the next few weeks. Music Rehearsals during mock exams.


National Youth Orchestra Inspire Courses

Joshua Erlebach and Andrew Hunton (year 11) have been awarded places on the annual NYO Inspire course in Liverpool, which takes place in February. Congratulations to them both.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music



Sports News

Last Friday night our U14 girls' football team travelled to Guisborough to take on Laurence Jackson School in the English Schools Cup trying to reach the last 16 schools in the country. We completely dominated the game eventually going on to win 7 – 1. We now face Malton School on Monday hoping to reach the National quarter-finals – good luck to them.

Also last Friday our Key Stage 4 badminton teams were playing in the Area Championships at Maiden Castle. It was an excellent, if very long night of badminton which was extremely close. Our girls remained unbeaten to become Area champions. The boys competition came down to the last match which we won to become champions. Both teams now join our Key Stage 3 teams in the County finals.

On Tuesday we were hosting the Tyneside Schools Y11 basketball finals. Our first game was against a strong team from Biddick. However we played some excellent basketball to win 20 – 11. A 16 – 6 victory against Emmanuel College saw us needing a victory in our final match against St Cuthbert’s. They scored first but we took control becoming Tyneside Champions with a 19 – 7 win.

Also on Tuesday our Year 7 & 8 rugby teams were at Harton. Both teams played very well. Our Year 7’s won one game, drew one and lost one. Our Year 8’s won two games and lost one.

On Wednesday our Year 7 boys' futsal teams were competing in the Tyneside tournament at Parkview. We had an A & B team and they played each other in the first game. An excellent game ended in a 2 - 2  draw. Our B team went on to finish 3rd but our A team needed to beat St Thomas More in their final game to win. We put in a strong performance going on to win 2 – 0 with Ryan Wright scoring both. They now qualify for the finals in a few weeks’ time.

Also on Wednesday our Year 7 girls' 5-a-side team were at the Louisa Centre taking part in the County finals. The girls never stopped trying against some very strong opposition, drawing one game and losing the rest.

Good luck tonight to our Year 7 girls' football team who travel to St Wilfred’s School for a cup match.

Finally good luck tomorrow to our cross-country runners who are at Barnard Castle representing representing Durham Central at the County Championships.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Girls' Football



The under 14 girls' football team have made a fantastic start to the season winning all of their games in the County Cup and also the English Schools competition. The have beaten teams from Nunthorpe ( 9-0), Carlisle ( 5-1), John Spence (6-2) and Laurence Jackson ( 7-1) in the English Cup taking them through to the last 16 in the Country. Next week they are playing Malton, with a hope that they will get through to the quarter finals, further than we have been in many years.

They are also through to the semi finals of the County Cup after beating St Robert's and Biddick.  Well done girls!


On Wednesday the Year 7 girls' 5 a side team played in the regional finals at Louisa Centre Stanley. They faced strong opposition from the winning teams of other areas, but played well. A couple of penalties kept them out of the medals, but they played well.

Mrs White, PE Department



Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017