Dear Parents and Carers,
Safer Internet Day this year was on 7th February, and assemblies this week have considered issues surrounding internet safety. It is the role of secondary schools to educate children around the advantages that the internet brings, but also some of the possible dangers that there are around internet usage, and around some people who use the internet to cause harm or danger to others. As a school, we place the utmost importance on issues of safeguarding, from child protection policies, to ensuring that the campus is secure and safe, to teaching about issues of health and wellbeing right across the curriculum. We hope that there is a culture of safeguarding at school, in addition to statutory policies being in place. We work with the local authority and outside agencies when needed also.
Other areas of school life also have an impact on the wellbeing of our students. We ensure that our food offer is nutritionally compliant, we have strategies in place to support pupils with mental health difficulties, and we work hard to make sure equalities policies are alive around school, as well as on paper. We also work hard to ensure that school has more of a focus than simply exams, but also on wider aspects of learning. Enjoy reading some of these aspects of school life in this week's bulletin.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
Parent Governor Vacancies 2017
We would like to remind parents and carers that the deadline for receipt of completed nominations is by close of business on 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 last 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.
Following recent mock exams Year 12 students are now discussing their plans for AS entry and the future with their teachers.
AS entry forms will be sent home with reports after half term for final decisions on which AS exams to do.
Students will do AS exams and internal exams in May/June.
In August they use the results to decide on their A level courses for Year 13.
Mr McArdle, Assistant Head (Director Post-16)
Tuesday was Safer Internet Day. This week we have been running assemblies to remind students about the impact their of their digital footprint as well as the encouraging the students to recognise that not all of their contacts might be who they say they are. To view the assembly presentation delivered to Y7 and Y8 please click on the link below:
We would encourage you to use this as an opportunity to speak to your children this week about their use of technology and potential dangers posed. Please see our webpage regarding e-safety advice for parents:
Mr Garside & Miss Forbes
If your son or daughter is due to leave school this year and is considering employment and training opportunities available locally, information and advice is available in Durham County Council's Start Today booklet.
Click on the following link to find out more - http://www.help4teens.co.uk/start
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
Sixth Form students are invited to attend a talk by Janine Webber, Holocaust survivor at Josephine Butler College on Wednesday 15th February at 7pm. Please see Mr Wilbraham for further details.
We hope that once again we can rely on parents and students in collecting as many Sainsbury's Active Kids Vouchers' as possible before 2 May 2017.
Much of our sports equipment needs replacing so every voucher will help maintain the quality of opportunities we enjoy in our school.
If you don’t shop at Sainsbury’s then maybe you have friends of members of your family who might pass on their vouchers. Car drivers can top up at Sainsbury’s too to earn these valuable vouchers!
As usual the PE department is offering a Prize for the student who manages to collect the most vouchers by the closing date.
To qualify students should hand in their vouchers in a sealed envelope, clearly labelled with their name, to Reception or a to member of the PE department.
Remember, even one or two vouchers all add up and help work towards our grand total.
Mr Humberstone, PE Department
On Tuesday 7th February a team of sixth form students travelled to London to compete in the National Final of the Senior Team Maths challenge. There were 88 teams present, representing top schools from all across the UK who won the various regional heats, including Eton College and Westminster School. The finalists took part in four rounds of challenges and also had to research and create a poster on a topic not on the A Level Syllabus. I am proud to report that at the end of the competition we were awarded third place for the poster competition, our best ever result at the National Final. Our team are pictured below with members of the judging panel and competition organisers, as well as their certificates and prizes.
The team would like to extend their congratulations to fellow North East finalists Royal Grammar School Newcastle, who won first place in the poster competition, and Ruthin School, who won the overall competition.
Mr Patterson, Team Manager
We were delighted to be able to present badges and certificates (and cake) to 15 of our most recent award completions at Bronze and Silver, including:
Euan Russell, James Calkin, Daniel Clark, Ellie Colling, Charlotte Kenyon, Emily Booth, Alice Robinson, Rachel Scrivens, Ellen Slater, Elyssa Morgan, Hannah Liddell, Rebecca Francis, Eve Clark
We are also delighted that several students will be attending the palace for the presentation of their Gold award, these include Sophie Erdmann, Poppy Kennedy, Andrew Musgrave, Susannah Collings and Matthew Bradley.
Huge congratulations to all those who have successfully completed their awards.
Reminder - Instalment 3 is due before half term.
Instalment 3 is due before half term. Please could students hand this in to Reception in a labelled envelope. There are still a few students for whom instalment is still outstanding, and we would be pleased if they could arrange to make this payment as soon as possible.
Ms Clay and the DofE Team
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following link - 13 February 2017.
Information regarding Sixth Form Societies can be found on the following link Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth
On Thursday morning, the year 10 GCSE Music students took part in the first composition workshop with members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Students were improvising and composing music for a specially commissioned film, which follows the County Durham landscape from High Force to Durham Cathedral. This piece and other music will be performed by the students themselves and the OAE to year 7 and 8 on Friday March 3rd. It will also be performed by the OAE in a public concert in James Hall on Saturday 4th March. Tickets for the latter event are available from the Gala Box Office.
Spring Concert – Thursday 30th March, James Hall
The musicians of Durham Johnston School boldly go where no concert has gone before!
First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.
Second Half (7.30pm) to include Big Band, Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.
To ensure that as many parents, relatives and friends as possible can attend this event, we would encourage you, please, to purchase tickets only for the half in which your child is performing. There will be some pupils who are performing in both halves, in which case audience members will need to purchase tickets for both parts of the concert. Please note that pupils who have siblings in the other half will be able to attend that half of the concert without a ticket.
We shall ask everyone who does not have a ticket for the second half to vacate the hall at the end of the first half and then those with tickets for the second half will be admitted in time for the second half to start at about 7.30pm. Tickets will be £2.50 or £2 concessions for each half and please note that these will not be for sale on the door. Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Johnston School’. These will be on sale from ether the Music Department or Mrs Sutton from Monday 6th March.
Finally, if your child would like to perform a solo in the concert (celestial or interplanetary items particularly welcome!) please would you ask them to speak to me before Friday 3rd March.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
We are now making plans for next year's ski visit. The trip is open to pupils currently in Years 7, 8 and 9.
Pupils who are interested should come to collect an information leaflet from staff in the PE Office. The closing date is 13 March.
Mrs Hopper, Ski Visit Co-ordinator
On Tuesday our Key Stage 4 boys and girls badminton teams were due to play in the County finals at Belmont. Unfortunately we got a message during the day to say the other three girls teams had conceded and would not be attending making us County Champions. They now go on to the North-Wast finals in March. The boys arrived at Belmont but a mix up over the courts meant the competition had to be postponed and will now take place next week.
On Wednesday it was the turn of the Key Stage 3 boys and girls badminton teams to compete in their County Final. Both teams had 100% records winning all their matches against the winners of Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, South Durham and Wear Valley. Impressive Champions indeed not even losing a match! Both teams now qualify for North east final at Badminton Centre in Newcastle on March 14th. Good luck.
Also on Wednesday our Year 7 girls 5-a-side team were at Soccerena taking part in a Durham Schools tournament. After an excellent afternoon of football our A team remained unbeaten to become champions. Our B team also played very well finishing tied for second.
To complete a busy Wednesday our U16 futsal teams were at Parkview for the Tyneside Championships. In the game of the night our B team beat our A team to finish in 2nd place pushing our A team into 4th place.
On Thursday our U16 basketball team were taking on Hermitage in the final group game of the English Schools Cup. Needing to win to qualify for the National knockout stages we started strongly and played well going on to win 60 – 29.
Also last night our Year 8 netball team were at Durham School taking part in the Area tournament. In freezing conditions the girls battled well eventually finishing in 3rd place.
Finally good luck tonight to our year 8 & 9 basketball team who are at Dame Allans for a friendly match.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017