Dear Parents and Carers
Christian traditions understand the meaning of Easter to be Christ's victory over death. Many people also believe that this allows ordinary people access to fresh starts, new life, and renewal. This aligns with other spring traditions also. The feast day of Easter is understood by many to originate from a pagan celebration of renewal and rebirth. As the year marches on, we can see renewal and rebirth in nature all around us.
The Easter break at school is also therefore an opportunity for the school community to refresh, enjoy the springtime weather, so that we join together once again in a couple of weeks with a renewed focus on our learning, and for many students the coming GCSE and A level examinations. Our students and staff have been working extremely hard this term, and I can appreciate the need for a recharging of batteries, and a time to reflect on the term that has just ended. We all did this through tutor intervention this morning.
I wish you a happy Easter and a refreshing break.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
On Friday April 7th pupils discussed their Term 2 report with their tutor. Pupils were given a copy of their report to take home. This year, the school has been moving to a new IT information system. Therefore, the usual electronic reports will still not be available this time. I apologise for this. Any pupils who were absent will also have their reports posted out before Easter.
Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head
Year 10 mock exams begin on Tuesday May 2nd. This week’s Y10 assembly was an explanation of the arrangements by Mrs Gillham (Exams Officer), Mr Bancroft and Mrs Bell. They will be run in the hall under the same conditions as external exams. In tutor time pupils have been given a copy of the generic exam timetable a copy of which can be found on the following link: Year 10 Mock Exams - May 2017 (YEAR_10_MOCKS_-_MAY). This includes the rules for exams including conduct. After Easter they will receive an individualised version which includes seat numbers.
Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head
On Monday 3rd April, Durham Johnston hosted the Regional Final of the UKMT Team Maths Challenge. A total of 34 schools from across the North East took part in a variety of mathematical challenges throughout the day. The competition concluded with a fast and furious mathematical relay!
The winning school, we are delighted to say, was Durham Johnston. The team of Zhenya Tumarkin, Peter Cook, Harry Cookson and Joseph Bennett will now travel to London on 19th June to compete in the UK National Final.
Mrs R Cave, Maths Department
On Wednesday, a small group of budding Computer Scientists attended a Cyber Security Festival to pit their wits against local schools to “crack the code”. Our group spent the morning deciphering a number of hidden messages and codes to access a locked briefcase containing a secure laptop and defuse a fictitious virus.
The event, which was hosted by Tablet Academy at the Durham Leadership Centre, was designed to raise the awareness of the very real threat of Cyber Attacks and the importance of securing our own personal data.
The pictures below show our code breakers working through the clues to crack the passwords.
The students and myself had an enjoyable morning which was topped off by the fact we were the first group to actually break the overall code.
Cyber criminals watch out, we may have some new Sherlock Holmes’ in our midst.
Mr Digby, Computing Department
The Movements in Medicine Trip was all about sports-related medical science subjects at Newcastle University. We learned a lot about life there as a student which included recreational activities in free periods, clubs that they organise for fun and most usefully of all, we visited a student accommodation zone where a current student gave us a tour of the rooms available. We took part in scientific activities such as attaching ourselves to heart-rate software and using ultrasound. The grounds were very well maintained and there was a gym in one of the university buildings.
Mrs Bell, PE Department
I would like to remind parents / carers that the second instalment for the 2018 ski visit is due by Friday 28th April 2017. Can you please ensure that cheques are made payable to Durham Johnston School for the total of £155.00 which should then be given to Mrs Hopper in the PE office.
Mrs Hopper, Ski Visit Co-ordinator
A huge congratulations to the Blue, Pink, Purple, Lime, Yellow and Orange teams who took a gamble on the weather and successfully completed their practice and training expeditions last weekend.
These teams now move onto preparing for their final expedition later in the year.
The next expedition is 6th and 7th May, when 6 teams will tackle their practice and 1 team will undertake their final expedition.
Good luck to all!
Ms Clay, Duke of Edinburgh Co-Ordinator and the Duke of Edinburgh Team
The I C Tech team visited the historical Council Chambers at County Hall today.
The team set off in good spirits, ready to meet students from schools across the County. An ice-breaker activity ensured students were at ease with their teammates. The students then split off into groups to plan for the three strands: Web development, Events Planning & YouTubing. The ideas from all of the young people involved were impressive and creative. Plans were drawn, deadlines set and they headed off with a clear vision of how to move the project forward.
Well done to all involved!
Miss Forbes, Computing
Tilly Stacey and Alina Krokhina took part in a sponsored silence from 6th -10th March 2017. They are very pleased to announce that they have raised over £200 for Combat Stress, a charity for army veterans. They would like to thank: the school for granting permission; Mr Weaver for coming up the idea and giving encouragement; Mr Bowman whom they could not have do it without; and all the students/staff who contributed in giving donations and support.
Mr Bowman, Head of Year 7
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following link 7 April 2017 (files/SixthFormNotices/April_3rd.pdf)
Information regarding Sixth Form Societies can be found on the following link Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth
Delivery of Music Instruments
Please note that after a review of our school safeguarding, parents may no longer deliver instruments to the stores in the music department in school hours. If possible, please would you encourage your son / daughter to bring their own instrument into school as this ensures that they are not left unattended by the reception desk? If it is not possible for your child to bring their own instrument into school, please would you try to arrange a time for delivery, when you son or daughter can meet you at reception. Times for this could be 8.30-8.40 am, 10.45-11.00 am or during the relevant lunchtime.
PARENT MUSIC INFORMATION EVENING
Parents, Practice, Progress and Performing
Wednesday 26th April
6.00 – 6.45pm
If you child receives instrumental or vocal tuition from Durham Music Service, Music Works or privately, you are warmly invited to an information evening on Wednesday 26th April. The aim of the evening will be to explore the ways in which parents and carers can better support the musical development of their children. We are not saying that they are currently ineffective at doing this, but that there may well be some ways in which they can quite easily ‘add value’ to their child’s musical development.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
On Monday our Year 8 football team were at Leyburn Grove, Houghton-le-Spring for the Joicey Cup final. We had an excellent first half going in 2 – 0 ahead. Cardinal Hume came more into the game during the second half but we still looked in control with 10 minutes to go. They scored and we lost some confidence. As the game went into injury time we were still 2– 1 ahead and hanging on but they scored with the final kick of the game to take the game into extra time. We never quite recovered from conceding such a late goal, going on to finish runners-up with a 4 – 2 defeat.
On Tuesday our U14 boys table tennis team travelled to Newcastle School for Boys for the Tyneside table-tennis championships. The standard of competition was extremely high but we managed to win our first group game with a very close 9 – 8 victory against John Spence. We then went on to win the rest of our group games to finish top of our group and set up a final against the hosts.
We saved the best table tennis of the night for the final going on to become Tyneside Champions with a 11 – 5 victory. Congratulations to Harry Cookson, Jed Martin, Oscar McIntyre and Thomas Power. Also well done to our B team who finished in 7th place.
Also on Tuesday our Year 8 & 10 rugby teams were at Harton for a friendly tournament. This was a valuable evening of match practice as both teams have Tyneside Schools finals after Easter.
On Wednesday both our Year 7 and Sixth form football teams had cup finals. Our Year 7’s travelled to John Spence High School for the Tyneside Final where they took on Valley Gardens Middle School. We played some excellent football going on to win the title with a 2 – 0 victory.
The Sixth form were at Maiden Castle for the League Cup final taking on St Leonards in a local derby. These are always close games and this was no exception. An exceptional strike from Joe Blackbourne saw us take a first half lead. Despite great pressure from St Leonards they could not find an equaliser – thanks largely to a “man of the match” performance from goalkeeper Josh Teggert meaning we held on to claim the cup. The last time we won the competition was in 1969!
Also on Wednesday our Year 8 & 9 football teams were at Sedgefield for their final league games. Both games were keenly contested but unfortunately both ended in 3 – 2 defeats. This means both teams now need other results to go our way if we are to win the league titles.
Last night our Year 7 rugby team were hosting an end of season friendly tournament with several schools from the area attending. With lovely conditions there was some excellent rugby played by all teams. Our Year 7 team continue to develop and will definitely be a strong team next season.
Can I remind everyone going on the Malaga sports trips this summer that the parents meeting will be held on Tuesday 25th April starting at 6.30pm in the James Hall.
Finally can I wish everyone a great Easter break and look forward to start of the “summer sports” when we return and more success with tennis, athletics, cricket and rounders.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017