'She taught us what it is to be brave'. This is printed on the plaque that has been placed outside of the IT room in which Gill Bittlestone used to teach. Today saw the commemoration of her death, and the staff came together at breaktime for a coffee morning to raise money for MacMillan and other charities that supported her during her illness. It is her work on the house system that is being continued by both students and colleagues. Her vision of a community that worked hard and played hard is one that we support. Our house system brings the community together both through charitable projects, and academic enrichment programmes, and continues to grow, partly in her memory.
Have a good weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
Year 11 students leave next Wednesday 17 May. They will receive their Yearbooks and attend a leavers' assembly and buffet after morning break. Students will leave the site at 12.00 p.m.
We wish all of our students in Years 11, 12 and 13 who will be taking their exams over the next few weeks the very best of luck.
In April many of the pupils were asked for their views as part of our latest pupil survey which we do every two years. We ask a range of questions to measure our progress and are pleased to hear pupils’ views. We use the company Kirkland Rowell who are the market leaders in providing independent surveys to schools. Well over half of all secondary schools nationally use these surveys. We are given scores based on pupils’ responses. These are then translated into judgements.
The headlines of the 2017 survey are:
· The overall pupil rating for the school remains outstanding, as it was in the last three surveys – going back to 2011.
· Our subject departments are rated highly by the pupils.
· 19 of the 20 non-subject areas were rated by pupils as good or outstanding including: Teaching Quality, Levels of Homework, Exam Results, Caring Teachers, Happiness of Child, School Discipline, Control of Bullying and School Communication.
· Careers Education received a lower rating than in the last inspection. This doesn’t match the positive view in the last survey: much of the careers programme takes place in the second half of the year after this survey was taken.
Kirkland Rowell’s Summary of results over more than two surveys
The following non-subject areas received significantly higher scores over more than two surveys: Social health education, Developing confidence and School communication.
Mr Bancroft, Deputy Head
Duke of Edinburgh
Firstly, many congratulations to the Blue team, who successfully completed their final expedition last weekend, the first team of the year to finish their expedition section. Hopefully we will have some completed awards very soon.
Congratulations to the teams who successfully completed their practice expeditions last weekend; they now start preparing for their final expeditions later in the year.
A reminder that the final instalment for Bronze is due before half term, making the total paid £160.
A reminder that all year 11 students wishing to take part in expeditions in July or September must ensure Ms Clay has contact details for them during study leave.
A reminder that year 12 Gold participants wishing to attend their practice in activity week should have paid the full balance of the award by July 10th (£320 in total).
Registration for new Bronze participants, and those wishing to continue on to Silver will open after half term.
Gold registration will open for Year 12 in September.
Finally, please could parents check that any equipment that their child has borrowed recently is returned to school at the earliest opportunity.
Ms Clay and the DofE Team
Year 7 Students Get to Grips with Photoshop
Our Y7’s started their image manipulation topic this week. After some interesting and serious discussions on the moral issues associated with photoshopping we moved onto the “fun stuff”. Donald Trump proved very popular – with his head appearing on the bodies of past Kings and on top of a rocket headed for the moon! Another fantastic entry showed the “Dark side” of Gordon Ramsay as he became a Star Wars villain.
Some fantastically creative work from our groups!
Miss Forbes, Subject Leader for Computing
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following links: Sixth Form Notices - 15 May 2017 Addressing FAQ's - Year 12 Students - May, June and July
Information regarding Sixth Form Societies can be found on the following link Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth
On Tuesday a group of Sixth Form students worked with a theatre company and Mr Gee (BBC radio poet) to create a short, shareable film, whichto showcase the voices, and poems, of young people and will aim to inspire other young people to register and vote. The edited film will be broadcast through social media channels.
Mr McArdle, Director Post-16
Music Department News
Music for a Summer Evening
Year 13 musicians, along with their families and friends are warmly invited to ‘Music for a Summer Evening’ on Friday 7th July at 7.00pm. This is an informal cabaret–style evening in the Cafe, where pupils and staff entertain their guests whilst they enjoy drinks and a light buffet. If you would like to attend, tickets are available from the Music Department at a cost of £7.00 – cash or cheque payable to ‘Durham Johnston School’. This includes food and your first drink. Performers will also need to buy a ticket to cover costs of food and drink.
Big Band Rehearsal
Please note that the next Big Band rehearsal, in preparation for their performance on Thursday June 29th, is Tuesday 23rd May from 2.45 to 3.45pm in MU1.
Music tuition during study leave
When students from years 11, 12 and 13 are on study leave, they are still more than welcome to come into school for instrumental / vocal lessons and they need not be in school uniform if they are just on site for this sole purpose. If pupils are unable to attend lessons, please would you be kind enough to encourage them to inform their teachers in order that this time can be reallocated. Please could messages be left in the diary hung in each teaching room, or by email to me and I’ll forward them on.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
Last Friday our Year 7 basketball team were in Manchester for the “National Finals Celebrations Day”. This was an excellent day of competition as the top 16 schools in the country were divided into 4 groups. We started with a close victory against a school from Norfolk. A victory in our final game against a school from Staffordshire saw us win the group. There were no finals after that but a great achievement to finish in the top 4 schools in the country.
The following day it was the turn of our U16 basketball team to travel to Manchester for the National “final four”. It had been a great achievement to even reach the last four schools in the country and the boys were determined to enjoy the day. We faced Evelyn Grace Academy from Brixton in the National semi-final. We played very well and were only 10 points behind at half-time. Unfortunately we tired in the second half going on to lose by 20 points.
We then took on Bristol Met Academy in the 3rd / 4thplay off. The had a large and noisy support which made for an exciting game. Again we started well but struggled in the second half. Outstanding performance this season to finish 4th in the country.
On Monday our Year 9 football season ended as they lost a close game away at Woodham in the quarter-final of the League Cup.
On Tuesday our Year 8 football team were at St John’s taking on Parkside in the League Cup Final. We dominated possession from the start and took control of the game with an early goal. The result was never in doubt as we went on to become champions with a 4 – 0 victory.
On Wednesday it was the first major athletics competition of the year as our Junior and Inter teams travelled to the Riverside Stadium for the Area Championships. It was an outstanding afternoon as we won everything with the following results:
1 Durham Johnston- 101
2 Durham School- 78
3 St Leonards- 76
1 Durham Johnston- 96
2 St Leonards- 88
3 Durham School- 70
1 Durham Johnston- 79
2 Durham School- 73
3 St Leonards- 69
1 Durham Johnston 79
2 St Leonards- 78
2 Hermitage- 78
1 Durham Johnston- 355
2 St Leonards- 311
3 Durham School- 283
5 Framwellgate- 164
6 Ferryhill- 149
7 Whitworth- 140
8 Belmont- 120
9 Fyndoune- 75
Also on Wednesday our Y11 football team were at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland for the League Cup final. This was an extremely close game in which we took a 2 – 0 lead. Unfortunately Ferryhill made a comeback going on to win 4 – 3.
Yesterday it was the turn of the Year 10 football team to play their League cup final. This was another highly competitive game. Despite having lots of possession we just couldn’t find a goal finishing runners-up with a 1 – 0 defeat.
Also last night our Year 8 rounders team had two matches as they took on both Choristers and Durham School. Both games were close but unfortunately we lost both, 34 - 45 and 44 – 52.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Dominic McCabe in Year 8 has recently returned from Milan after playing in a tournament at the Vismara Sports Centre, home of the AC Milan Youth Academy. He was selected to attend by AC Milarn coaches after attending a 5-day summer camp in the North East. The camp was run by AC Milan coaches and included 5 full days of training in the morning and tournaments in the afternoon. This is the 2nd year in a row that Dominic has been selected to go to Milan.
Over 200 children, chosen from 36 countries all the world attended the tournment. Dominic was placed in Team 'BPM' which included 3 other boys from the North East, 3 Italian boys, a Columbian boy and an American boy. The team did very well and finished top of their league in the first part of the tournament and continued on to the quarter finals, the semis and then into the final after winning every game. Dominic, who played in every game, performed extremely well and finished top goal scorer for his team. Unfortunately the team lost 2 - 1 in the final, with Dominic scoring the final goal.
Mr Kidd, PE Department
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017