Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (38)

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June (4)

May (4)

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2014 (37)

December (3)

November (4)

October (4)

September (4)

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June (4)

May (1)

April (12)

February (2)

Dates For Your Diary.

  • Spring Concert, Thursday 30 March, First Part - 6.30 p.m. and Second Part - 7.30 p.m., James Hall
  • Year 8 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 24 April 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • School finishes for the Easter break on Friday 7 April
  • School re-opens for the summer term on Monday 24 April


Headteacher's Message

Dear Parents and Carers

It will not have escaped your notice that today is Red Nose Day 2017. Staff at school certainly have, what with non-uniform day and Bubble football at lunchtime. With my Year 7 English class today we explored some of the themes from Red Nose Day, and wrote a persuasive piece about why we should give money to this cause. We looked at some of the films that give examples of projects made possible through donations. At home, Red Nose Day fund more than 2,000 projects, throughout the UK, addressing a range of issues, from homelessness and mental health to dementia and vulnerable young people. According to the website 'since last Red Nose Day, money has enabled them to help 11.7 million people across Africa, tackling issues such as immunisation, malaria, education, maternal health and many others'. Students have really been engaged in wanting to help by having fun and donating what they can.

Yours sincerely

Michael Wardle, Headteacher


New Parent Governors

Following the recent ballot we are pleased to announce that  Nicholas Black,  Kimberly Curry and  David Gibson have been elected as parent governors.


Invigilators Required

We would like assistance to help support our existing team of invigilators during our busy exam period 2nd May to 29th June 2017.  If you are free mornings, afternoons or both during this time please contact Ms Gillham, Examinations Officer on 0191 3843887 for further discussion by 5 April 2017. 


Home to School Transport

The local authority has asked us to publish the following briefing for the attention of parents and carers regarding children travelling safely to and from school:

For those pupils who are eligible for free home to school transport, the council makes arrangements to ensure that transport is safe and secure. The majority of pupils are not eligible for free home to school transport and in those instances the responsibility for ensuring that pupils arrive safely and leave safely from school is that of the parent/carer. Any transport arrangements made by the parent/carer must include making sure that pupils board and leave transport safely, particularly if they are being transported on public transport. It is not the responsibility of school staff to ensure that pupils, particularly primary age pupils, travel to and from school safely.


Red Nose Day 2017

This week the House Leaders ran a competition for students to design a Red Nose.  We were blown away (no pun intended) with not only the amount of entries, but the quality of entries too!  We certainly have some very talented young people.  The 4 finalists are shown below – the winner will be announced next week! Well done to all involved 

Miss Forbes, Subject for Computing

Key Stage 3 Drama

Many congratulations to the participants in last week's drama production on a terrific show.

The Key Stage 3 drama club created and performed their own sketches on the theme of 'Lost' ably supported by the technical theatre team.

The GCSE drama class then followed this up with an entertaining  adaptation of Hansel and Gretel which is their set text for their course.

Ms Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama


Digital Leaders E-Safety Message

Students may have seen the poster below in an email sent around school over the last week. The link on the poster was visited by over 120 students!

The poster was devised by our digital leaders as part of an E-Safety campaign to illustrate the dangers of falling for digital scams. Many people fall for offers that look too good to be true and often, by following links in an email, they end up by revealing personal information about themselves and also risk the possibility of downloading viruses.

The link on the poster and QR code took viewers to a hidden page on the Durham Johnston website and provided advice on how to avoid this type of scam and what to look out for:


We should all be aware of this type of scam and always be mindful when clicking on links.

The two rules of thumb are:

1     If it looks suspicious, it probably is.

2     If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Mr Garside and the Digital Leaders


Year 10 Work Experience – July 2017

Our Year 10 students are given the opportunity to attend a work placement in July during Wellbeing Week. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students as at Durham Johnston, our ethos is to ‘educate our young people with excellence and equity so that they may feel at ease in the world, ready for hard work and global citizenship’. We want our young people ‘to take their place among the best’ and ‘are committed to a curriculum built on the concepts and knowledge which will open all the doors in the world to our young people’.


Why do we value work experience at Durham Johnston?

·         It provides a good opportunity to gain useful skills and experience working with a range of people from all sorts of different backgrounds.

·         It provides the opportunity to experience the everyday realities of working life.

·         It helps students discover their abilities and limitations.

·         It provides students with the opportunity to develop their communication skills with a wide variety of people

·         It empowers students to take charge of their own futures.

·         Students are able to demonstrate their skills to employers.

·         It helps young people to learn about themselves and their strengths and weaknesses, whether they are a good communicators, do they work well in a team, and do they enjoy the work as much as they expected to.

·         If it turns out that the job is not a good fit, then it is better to find out on a short placement than to embark on a full-time job.

This guidance was given to students:

  1. If you are going to Battlefields trip, you only need to complete the ‘Work Experience Option Form’. Tick the box and hand back to form tutor. You do not need to take the other two documents.
  2. All other students take all three documents.
  3. Read the information on the Work Experience Option Form. This will guide you through the process.
  4. Any problems or queries go and see Mr Kennedy. Do not wait and do nothing.
  5. If you can, go and speak to someone at the place where you want to arrange the placement. Making the effort always looks good to employers. Always be polite.
  6. When you are ringing to speak to someone, be confident and interested in their place of work. Always be polite.

Please click on the following links for copies of the Work Experience Option Form, and the Work Experience Personal Placement Form.

Please note that All placements are to be confirmed to me no later than Summer Half Term (Friday 26th May 2017).  Any information provided after this date may result in a placement not being approved. There are vetting and administrative procedures required before the placement starts which all takes time to arrange.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Year 10 NHS Student Engagement Event


Last week 15 students from Year 10 attended this event, which was to promote healthcare science careers as part of ‘healthcare science week’. Departments such as cardiology, medical physics and medical photography hosted interactive stalls to allow the pupils to see what type of work goes on within the hospital in different services.

The students all thoroughly enjoyed this interesting and informative insight into these departments and feedback from the organisers was that the students from Durham Johnston asked many excellent questions and were a credit to the school.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers

Evolution Football Camp 2017

We will be running the Evolution Football Camp again during Wellbeing Week this year for Years 7-9. Information letters with full details of this fantastic opportunity to improve their footballing skills have been issued to students to bring home.  Please click on the following link for a copy of the letter.

The camp involves a  week of football training,  delivered by UEFA qualified coaches, on our school site.   Pupils selected will not be involved in the other school activities that week and will be only involved in the football camp. However, morning break and lunchtime will be taken with the rest of the school.

Students who would like to take part need to bring a cheque for £40.00 payable to ‘Durham Johnston School' as soon as possible. Spaces are limited and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Please note that this event is being run at the same time as the Malaga and Howtown trips.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Sixth Form 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 27 March 2017

Information regarding Sixth Form Societies can be found on the following link  Sixth Form Societies.          

Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth                                                                                                   


Music Department News

‘To boldly go where no concert has gone before’ – Thursday 30th March


Final Rehearsals

Tuesday 28th March – 2.45 to 4pm

·     Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir, Wind Band and Silver Sounds

Wednesday 29th March – 2.45 to 4pm

·     Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra and Chamber Choir



The concert has sold out, however, we do have a waiting list, so please ask a pupil to add names to this list and we will resell tickets if they are returned. If you have tickets, which you no longer need, please return them to the music department for a refund. People without tickets will be able to sit in the atrium and listen from there, with some limited, side-on view.


Arrangements for the Concert

First Part

This starts at 6.30. All participating students need to be in school by 6.15 and please could all audience members be seated in James Hall by 6.25. If you also have a ticket for the second part, please also surrender your ticket as you enter to save you needing the leave the hall in the brief interval between parts one and two.

Second Part

We will ask everyone that did not have a ticket for the second part to vacate the hall at the end of the first part and then those with tickets for second part will be admitted in time for the second half to start around 7.30. Please could students who are performing in the second half be in school by 7.15.

Concert Dress - This is school uniform without jumpers or blazers as the hall gets rather warm.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music



Sports News

Tuesday was a very busy and successful day. During the morning over 200 reception class children arrived at school for a Key Stage 1 agility festival. After meeting “Pawsome Panda” they took part in a variety of activities lead by our Year 10 GCSE students. It was an extremely successful morning with an outstanding attitude shown by our students. They received many compliments from the primary school teachers and parent helpers.

During the afternoon our Key Stage 4 boys and girls badminton teams travelled to the North-east badminton Centre in Newcastle for the Northeast finals. We were already County Champions and battled well throughout the afternoon against some outstanding teams. Both our teams finished in 4th place in the Northeast – a great achievement.

After school on Tuesday our Year 8 football team were taking on Dyke House School in the semi-final of the County Cup. It was difficult conditions as both teams battled against the wind. We were 1 – 0 down at half-time and 2 – 1 down with 10 minutes to play. However we never gave up and a last minute winner from Alex Lythgoe saw us win to reach the county final which takes place on Tuesday 2nd May at Maiden Castle. Also after school on Tuesday our Year 9 girls rugby team travelled to Ryton RFC for a county tournament. In freezing and blustery conditions the girls played extremely well winning one game, drawing one and losing two.

Finally on Tuesday our Year 10 rugby team were competing in the County sevens tournament at Durham School. This is a competition traditionally dominated by the private schools. We played some excellent rugby in the group stages to win our group and set up a semi-final with Barnard Castle. This was an outstanding game of rugby and a hugely physical contest. However we came out on top of this bruising encounter winning by 1 try.

This put us into the County final against the hosts Durham School. With virtually no time to rest we had to go straight into the final. This was another incredible game with the lead changing hands several times with both teams scoring tries. As we entered the last minute we hada 2 point lead but with time running out, pressure from Durham School told and we conceded a try with only seconds remaining to lose by 3 points. All of the boys showed an outstanding attitude throughout – a great achievement to finish as the top state school in the county.

On Wednesday our Year 10 football team were at home taking on Framwellgate in the County Cup semi-final. This was always going to be a close game and so it proved. Framwellgate went 1 – 0 ahead and despite several good chances and lots of possession we couldn’t find an equalizer losing 1 – 0.

Also on Wednesday our Year 7 football team travelled to John Spence High School for the Tyneside futsal final. We made an excellent start taking an early lead. However a fightback from John Spence saw us reach half-time with the scores level. They then took control in the second as we went on to lose by 5 goals.

During the day on Wednesday our U13 girls cricket team were at Gateshead Leisure Centre for the County Indoor finals. As Area Champions we were representing Durham City. Despite winning one, and drawing one of our group games we failed to make it through to the knockout stages after only finishing 3rd in the group.

Last night our Year 7 & 9 football teams travelled to Parkside for league games. Both teams played very well to record comfortable victories. The Year 7’s won 9 - 2 and the Year 9’s won 6 - 1. With only 3 league games to go all five of our teams are still in contention for the league title.

A number of pupils are out of school today competing in the Durham County Winter Games 2017.   Results will be published in next week's Friday Bulletin.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Year 9 Girls' Rugby


The Year 9 girls rugby team took part in a  tournament on Tuesday against some of the top teams in the area. They team played well against established teams and ended up winning one game, drawing one game and losing two games.  

Well done to the team on a great physical performance.


Year 8 and 9 Ski Trip

Last week some of Year 8 and 9 pupils went to Serre Chavalier for the second ski trip of the year. The weather was beautiful all week, with blue skies and not a cloud in sight. This resulted in varied skiing conditions throughout the week, with children having a chance to attempt green, red and black runs and even have time in the snow park testing out their jumping skills. The Frejus Hotel staff were wonderful, looking after us and preparing hearty meals.

The children were a credit to the school, with members of the public commenting on their social skills, manners and excellent attitude throughout the trip.

Many came back with great goggle tans!


More pictures of the visit are available on the school's Twitter feed.



PE StudentsHost Infant Agility Event

On Tuesday the GCSE PE students hosted an Infant Agility event for reception classes from local schools. 238 youngsters came into the sportshall to participate in a variety of sports competitions, including foam javelin throwing, jumping for distance, and a variety or relays. The GCSE students were wonderful hosts and many members of staff commented on their leadership qualities.

Pawsome Panda was popular as ever.


Durham Disability Sports Award

On Thursday night our school was nominated for an award at the Disability Sports Awards at Slaley Hall. The school was praised for offering an inclusive PE curriculum and also for having staff from the PE and learning support departments commited to providing opportunities for all pupils to participate in competitions. The awards panel liked the fact that all classes get to experience disability sports such as wheelchair basketball, new aged kurling and boccia and that some sessions are lead by pupils with disabilities and additional needs. In the end we came in second place, with Sunniside special school winning the award. 

Mrs White, PE Department


Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017