Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (27)

September (2)

August (1)

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June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

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2017 (42)

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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 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
  • Music Information Evening for Parents, Wednesday 26 April, 6.00 - 6.45 p.m. - James Hall


Headteacher's Message

Dear Parents and Carers

The Easter concert took place yesterday. Once again I was overwhelmed by the skills and pure talent on display. Each concert I think that it can get no better, and each time the students prove me wrong. So many instruments, so many genres, so many groups and choirs. It was a truly magnificent event.

When I add our musical talent to our sporting success and all of the other different clubs and activities that take place I take great pride in our school community, as I know you do too.

Have a lovely weekend.

Michael Wardle, Headteacher



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. 


Red Nose Day 2017

Thank you to all students, staff and parents for supporting last week's fundraising event for Comic Relief.  The total money raised was a fantastic £1,986!  

£1,286.06 was raised from contributions to participate in the non-uniform day, £229.37 was raised from the Amnesty Group bake sale and £470.57 from the Bubble Football and Bee Bot events.


Attendance Information

In line with national guidelines, the school has set a minimum of 95% as an acceptable level of attendance.

Any child whose attendance falls below this percentage is automatically flagged as a potential 'cause for concern'.  Together with the Local Authority, we have produced a leaflet which we hope will provide parents and carers with useful guidance and information on attendance procedures.

Attendance: Essential information for parents 2016-2017



In Memory of Miss Bittlestone

This week, we planted a cherry blossom tree in the school garden in memory of our colleague Miss Bittlestone, who died last year.   We would like to express our thanks the House System for raising the money, and to Mr Bowman, Mr Le Fevre and the students in the Environment Club for their support.


Mr Garside and Miss Forbes, Computing Department



Marshmallow Towers

On Tuesday our Year 12 Computer Scientists went “Unplugged”.

Their challenge was to attempt to build the tallest (stable) tower from a limited number of Marshmallows and spaghetti.

The aim of the task was to introduce the topic of the Software Development Life Cycle.

The activity helps to reinforce the need for clear communication, detailed analysis and solid design processes.

The group enjoyed the activity or was it the additional benefit of eating the spare marshmallows?


Picture 2 won the overall challenge.

Picture 1 deserves special mention due to the excellent design

The team behind picture 4 won the “Perseverance” award

Unfortunately, there are no words to describe the design produced by the team behind picture 3

Mr Digby, Computer Science 


Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award

Pictured below is ex Sixth Form Student Andrew Musgrave who collected his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award pictured below with Mr McArdle, Assistant Head and Miss Clay, Duke of Edinburgh Co-Ordinator.


Year 7 Ski Visit 2018 - Change of Date

I would like to advise parents and carers of  Year 7 pupils  who have signed up to go on the ski visit that the date and venue have changed.  THe visit will now take place from  February 24th to March 3rd and the party will visit Alpe D'Huez.  Please click on the following link for a copy of the letter issued to your child explaining the reason.

I would be grateful if you could complete the new EV4 form issued to students this week and return to Mrs White as soon as possible.

There is no change to the planned visit to Serre Chevalier for students in Years 8 and 9.

Mrs Hopper, Ski Visit Co-ordinator


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 3 April 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

Durham Music Service Concert

Over 80 children from years 4 to 10 joined forces for an end of term concert in James Hall on Monday afternoon. The performers were a combination of three Music Service ensembles that usually rehearse here in school, or at Ushaw College on a Monday afternoon. The groups were First String Orchestra, District String Orchestra and District Wind Band. The performance was well attended by parents and other supporters and as well as performing as separate groups, they also joined forces for several massed items which gave all performers the experience of contributing to a full orchestral ensemble.


To Boldly Go!

Congratulations to all pupils that took part in the end of term ‘out of this world’ musical extravaganza last evening. We were treated to a broad range of repertoire from S Club 7’s ‘Reach to the Sky’ to Holst’s musical depiction of the planet Mars. The hall was packed with audience and all of the performers, and there were lots of them, really did themselves proud. I would like to thank all the staff from school and our colleagues from Durham Music Service, who give so freely of their time and talents in supporting our school ensembles. Here is short reflection on the evening by James and Adam, two of our year 13 pupils.


Year 13 Leavers' Message

Going into last night's concert we all experienced a a broad mix of feelings - nervous about performing for such a large audience, excited to display our hard work and commitment to various ensembles in public, yet sad that this would be our last school concert at Durham Johnston. All of us would like to say a huge thank-you to the music department staff for their unparalleled dedication and support. This year we are also saying farewell to Mrs Sutton, a faithful member of senior choir whose voluntary support of the music department who will be missed dearly. Having arranged the Leavers' song and organised rehearsals, we now have first hand experience of the challenges and rewards of co-ordinating ensemble music. Bearing in mind that this was only one song for one group, the fact that the music department staff have the time, energy, and enthusiasm to do this on a much greater scale is truly incredible. We would also like to thank all of the audience members who gave their time (and money!) to listen to our final performances last night, and to give our best wishes to all the younger musicians in the school who will be moving up a desk next year. The thought of all the amazing experiences and people at Durham Johnston that we are leaving behind, while looking forward to many new and exciting opportunities the future holds, is a powerful one, and so the final words of the song "Sky", which we performed last night with senior choir, really resonate with all of the Year 13 Leavers - "Over, over and done, and a new beginning already begun".    

Adam Heron and James Thomas (Year 13)


Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music



Sports News

Last Friday we had several teams competing in the Durham County Winter Games. This is a major competition which takes place at several venues around Durham. It was an outstanding day for Durham Johnston as we easily won more of the competitions than any other school in the County. We had the following success:

Year 7 basketball – 1st and County Champions.

Year 8 & 9 basketball – 1st and County Champions.

Year 7 boys sportshall athletics - 1st and County Champions.

Year 8 boys sportshall athletics - 1st and County Champions.

Year 8 girls sportshall athletics - 1st and County Champions.

U13 boys table tennis – 2nd

U13 girls table tennis – 3rd

U15 boys table tennis – 2nd

U15 girls table tennis – 2nd

Boccia team – 1st and County Champions.

On Monday our Year 7 girls football team were taking on Newminster Middle School in the English Schools Cup. They were an excellent team and the game turned into a high scoring match. Despite a second half fightback we lost 7 – 3.

On Tuesday our Year 7 boys football team were supposed to be travelling to Hayden Bridge in the semi-final of the Tyneside Cup. Unfortunately they were unable to field a team so had to concede. We therefore progressed to the final which takes place next Wednesday at John Spence High School. Also on Tuesday our Year 11 football team were taking part in a tournament at East Durham College. After an excellent round of matches we eventually finished 2nd – despite beating the eventual winners 4 -1 in our first game.

Finally on Tuesday our U13 girls rugby team travelled to Horden RFC for a County tournament.  Our girls battled hard in every game eventually finishing in 3rd place after winning 2 and losing 2 games.

On Thursday we were due to play league football games against Wolsingham but they were unable to field teams and conceded the matches.

They were however two outstanding performances from our teams on Thursday. Our U16 basketball team had reached the last 16 schools in the country and travelled to Birchwood High School, Warrington. After a slow start we took control of the game in the second half going on to win 63 – 46. We have now reached the National quarter-finals which will take place after Easter. Also on Thursday our Year 8 rugby team were at Barnard Castle for the County 7’s tournament. They produced some outstanding rugby to just miss out on the County title finishing runners-up to Barnard Castle. The highlight of the afternoon was an excellent win against Durham School – an incredibly rare event to beat Durham School at rugby!

Today our Year 7 girls football team have been at Maiden Castle competing in a “Vision for Education” tournament. We had 2 teams entered and after a long day of competition our A team remained unbeaten to become champions and win a very impressive trophy. Our B team also performed very well to finish in 5th place. Holly Middleton  was named 'Player of the tournament'.

Good luck tonight to our U14 girls football team who are at home against Kingsmeadow in the semi-final of the County Cup.

Finally good luck to our Year 10 rugby team who have travelled to Harrogate for a friendly tournament, then are completing their “mini tour” with an overnight stay at an outdoor activity centre for some team building activities

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE



Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017