Dear Parents and Carers,
Half-term is only two weeks away and occasionally I see the very first glimpses of Spring. Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but we do seem to be hurtling through the academic year. September does not seem that far back, and in actual fact next week is the middle week of the school year.
It is good for staff and students to reflect upon this. If we are to grasp all of the opportunities that being at the Johnston offers, we are already half way through they year. I ask students to think about their learning, their attitude to homework, and their engagement in after school activities. This bulletin highlights many of these.
Have a good weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
We currently have vacancies for parent governors on the Governing Body and we invite nominations from parents who are interested in contributing to the effective governance and continuing success of the school.
The deadline for returning completed nominations is Monday 13 February 2017.
Year 9 Options Evening
The Year 9 Options Evening will take place on Monday 13 February in James Hall from 6.00 until 8.00 p.m.
An information pack regarding the options process was posted out to the parents of students in Year 9 at the beginning of the week. Each pack included a personalised option form with details of the recommended pathway, and two information booklets. If any parent or carer has not yet received this information please contact the school so that we can issue a replacement pack, together with a copy of the personalised options form, for your son or daughter to bring home. Copies of the booklets and the accompanying letter can be found by clicking on the links below.
Our first Science Careers talk for students for this academic year will take place on Wednesday 15th February in the Lydia library from 3pm-4pm. Professor Jonathan Steed from the Department of Chemistry,Durham University, will give a presentation entitled "A Life as an Academic Scientist…. and How to Get One”.
The session will cover all the things that a scientist does including research, teaching, publishing, authorship, consulting and even testifying in court.
Please come along to find out about life as a scientist.
Dr. Bolton, Subject Leader for Biology
During the Autumn half term, three of our Year 9 mathematicians were selected to participate in the Royal Institute Masterclasses hosted by the Great North Maths Hubs. Fleur-Elie Smith, Rosa Pollard Smith and James Tozer attended the Saturday workshops where topics explored ranged from disaster planning using statistics and probability modelling, to cryptography in the 21st Century, to the mathematics of bell ringing - an innovative and tuneful way to demonstrate and apply mathematical formulas.
A member of the team from the Great North Maths Hub said: "The students all worked brilliantly over the weeks, and were engaged and enthusiastic, a real credit to the school".
Ms P Urwin, Mathematics Department
Durham Johnston Year 7 students started fundraising for Lepra on the 17th January 2017. Lepra is a charity that raises money, and that money goes towards the cure of leprosy. Leprosy is a disease that stops someone from moving a part of their body, usually the hands.
Since 17th January, the students have raised over £3,000 by walking, running, cycling, or doing a cake sale. We did this for 2 weeks, trying to do something every day and collect money along the way. The way I raised money was by completing a walk every day, at a length of 1.5 miles. I would try and do this every day after school. After 2 weeks I had raised a total of £70. It wasn’t only me who did this, but a whole year effort. Even if someone only raised £1, that was £1 more than Lepra had before. And that £1 could have made the difference between someone being cured or someone not. Leprosy can be cured, and with the help Durham Johnston gave, we can be sure we helped cure at least one person.
Matthew Paine, Year 7
Head of Year, Mr Bowman commeneted, 'I am very proud of the year group for their compassion and efforts to alleviate the suffering of others. This is exactly the kind of social responsibility we want from our young people. Very well done all of you!'
Mrs Angela Lisle, Community Fundraiser for Lepra visited school yesterday to collect the fundraising envelopes. She is looking forward to visiting the school soon to present a plaque for the sum raised and say thank you in person to Year 7. The £3,000 raised is a very impressive total, and enough to change the lives of 120 individuals. She commented 'we at Lepra are so impressed with the Year 7 fundraising and are very grateful. Lepra focuses on improving the lives of those who find themselves trapped'.
Congratulations to Chamber Choir on their marvellous performance at Evensong in Durham Cathedral on Monday Evening. It was the first time that many of them had sung for this particular service and was a real glimpse into the life of the many singers who do this day by day in cathedrals and churches throughout the land. In his introduction to the service, Canon David Kennedy, the parent of a former pupil, spoke warmly of the relationship between school and the cathedral foundation and after the service the Very Revd Andrew Tremlett, Dean of the Cathedral, thanked the choir for singing so well. All of the repertoire was performed to a high standard, but the particular highlight was the anthem, which was composed especially for this occasion by Mrs Holmes.
All rehearsals are as normal next week, apart from Senior Choir, which is tenor and bass only.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following link 6 February 2017.
Please click on the following link for further information regarding Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth Form
Last weekend some of our students took part in chess tournament competing against other schools in the region.
Congratulations to Sam Neil who came 1st, and also well done to Stuart Lewis and Zhenya Tumarkin who came joint 3rd.
Some of our students play in club's outside of school, but there is the opportuniy to for students in Years 7, 8, 12 and 13 to play chess in the Pod during first lunch. Students may also interested in taking part in competition being held at Dame Allan's Junior School in Newcastle. Please click here for further information.
On Tuesday our U19 basketball team travelled to Gosforth for the final group game of the English Schools Cup. This was an excellent game of basketball between two very good teams. We kept the score close for three quarters of the game but eventually ran out of steam losing by 17 points. This means we finish 3rd in the North East group - an excellent achievement.
Also on Tuesday our U15 cricket team were at Framwellgate for the final games of the indoor season. We had two comfortable victories over Park View and Hermitage to finish runners-up in the group.
On Wednesday our Year 8 and 9 basketball team were competing in the Area finals. We won all our games including a 18 – 2 victory over Belmont to become Area Champions. The team now go on to represent Durham at the County Championships in March.
On Thursday it was the turn of the Year 7 basketball team to compete in the Area championships at Framwellgate. We played very well beating Framwellgate in the first game. A victory over Hermitage in our final game saw us become Area Championships and also progress to the County finals.
Also last night our Year 7 netball teams were taking part in League tournaments. Our A team played very well only losing 1 match and therefore finishing runners-up to Durham High. Our B team also played well in all matches eventually finishing 4th.
Good luck tonight to our Year 10 basketball teams who are at Greenfield School for a friendly tournament.
Finally congratulations to Tommy Spraggon 7RH, Tommy will represent England U13 ice hockey team when they play in an international tournament in Prague
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017