As we prepare ourselves for what will hopefully be a relaxing and sunny weekend, our thoughts and prayers are with those families affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. The shock that the local communities are feeling will be overwhelming, and images of so many neighbours and volunteers offering practical and emotional support heartening. The events are tragic indeed.
Whatever investigators identify as the cause, clearly authorities consider breaches of health and safety. It is at moments such as these that all of the care that is taken in schools (and other public places) in drawing up risk assessments, health and safety policies, serious incident protocols and the like, is very much appreciated. These elements of school life may not seem the most exciting, but they give us a framework in ensuring that our students are as safe as possible, and are as important within safeguarding procedures as safer recruitment polices and other HR processes.
I do hope that you and yours have a relaxing and hopefully sunny weekend.
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
We recently launched a secure online service for parents and carers - SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG). We have had a very positive response, with a large majority of parents choosing to sign up.
The key benefits of the system are that parents are able to view the information regarding their child's attendance and punctuality and view termly reports and timetable details.
An additional benefit is that parents are able to check that details, such as address and telephone numbers are correct, and advise the school of any changes electronically.
If you would like to sign up for the service please click on the following link for a copy of the Parental Access Request form which can be returned to Reception. Individual usernames and information regarding secure passwords will be provided as soon as possible thereafter.
Work is still ongoing to resolve the issues with our ParentPay system.
We apologise sincerely for any inconvenience and would like to thank parents and carers for their patience.
We anticipate that the system will be available again by the middle of next week.
Durham Johnston is to hold an academic enrichment day on Monday 26 June. The event is open to all students from Year 7 - Year 12 and will take place in James Hall from 8.45 a.m. until 2.45 p.m.
For further details of this event please click on the following link:
Digital Leaders Visit Local Primary Schools
Our digital leaders have been visiting primary schools in Durham over the past two weeks to deliver online safety sessions for pupils in Year 5 and Year 6. The sessions involved activities which encouraged pupils to think about their future self and the implications of what they might post online. The sessions have been well received and it’s been good to see how digitally aware a lot of young people are.
Mr Garside, Strategic Lead in ICT
We have been made aware of unofficial accounts which have been created on various social media platforms using the school’s name and including the school's crest.
Please be aware that the school has only one social media account on Twitter (@durhamjohnston).
We are not responsible for the content that is posted on any other other forum purporting to be in the school's name and are we are taking steps to identify those involved in the creation of these fake accounts.
This week in school we have taken the opportunity to highlight the dangers of such social media use to our community and reminded students that they must think about their digital footprint before posting online.
Mr Garside, Strategic Lead in ICT
Some of our Year 7 students have just finished making hand-sewn Puggly dolls in Textiles. The students have produced some excellent work this year as illustrated below.
Students who have finished their projects are now moving on to making pencil cases, so watch this space for some further examples of our students' work.
Mrs Suleman, Design and Technology
The next Science Careers presentation for students will take place in Lydia on Wednesday 28 June at 3.00 p.m. We are pleased to welcome Doctors Jeremy and Rachel Kendal, who work in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Durham.
All are welcome.
Dr Bolton, Subject Leader for Biology
Over the last few weeks we have had four female students who are studying in either Resistant Materials or Engineering, at New College attending these two events. At the events, they had the opportunity to experience different trades whilst trying to encourage more females into roles that have been considered to be traditionally careers for men. The four thoroughly enjoyed the days and collectively had the following comments:
‘The first day we went to New College was involving Construction. This was a more hands-on work, which was more enjoyable. We were treated nicely and there was plenty to do throughout the day such as painting and decorating and bricklaying. The second day was about Engineering, this was less hands-on, and more computer based. Although this was less enjoyable for us because we liked the practical part, the staff were really good and lovely. Overall it was a good experience’
Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers
Year10 Taster Day at New College
On Thursday we took 40 students to New College who have shown an interest in a vocational course as a career. They chose 2 subject areas to work in over the day, ranging from Media, Sport, Beauty, Hairdressing, Engineering, Motor Vehicles and Travel and Tourism to name a few. The students were a credit to the school at College and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Comments from students are:
‘I enjoyed the Motor Vehicle session as we took an engine apart’
‘I really enjoyed the Music session and want to do the 5 year full time vocational course’
‘I did the Engineering and Uniformed Services sessions. They were both informative and today has definitely helped me consider my future’
‘I really enjoyed my first Taster Day at New College. I feel I have gained knowledge and experience in both my course at school, Travel and Tourism, Early Years and about college life. It helped me when I think about what to do after I leave school.’
‘The Travel and Tourism session was good. I did not expect for the college to have an actual aeroplane cabin’
‘The day was fun. It helped me to make the decision to go to New College to do the IT course. Sport could’ve been better’
‘It was very good. I enjoyed doing Media and Sport. It was interesting to learn about and the trip has made me consider going to New College in the future’
‘Really enjoyed the day. Thought it wasn’t going to be that good…..mint experience’
Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers
With summer in full swing the environment club have been very busy. The fantastic green house we were donated is now bursting with fruit and veg, all of which we won as part of the RHS schools gardening awards.
We have made an exciting start to the plastic bottle green house and hope to begin attaching the bottles next week. The frame is now ready and in place thanks to the donation from school governor, Nigel Martin.
Our aim is to sell the produce and split the money between improving the site for next year and the Durham Foodbank.
Mr T Bowman, Science Department
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following links:
Information regarding Sixth Form Societies can be found on the following link Sixth Form Societies.
Mrs Lennon, Operational Head of Sixth
Instrumental/ Vocal Tuition
This week I had a meeting with all pupils in years 7 and 8 who receive instrumental and vocal tuition in school time from Durham Music Service. I distributed a copy of this document which was prepared by Mrs Holmes (insert link to attached PDF) and we talked about the importance of ensuring that pupils understand the importance of keeping their classroom teachers informed about times of their music lessons and ensuring that they copied up, and completed homework, where required. This generally isn't a problem, but it's probably good to remind pupils about our expectations from time to time. I ended our meeting by emphasising the final point in the table, as in the past some pupils have become quite stressed about missing lessons and have eventually decided to stop tuition. Our aim is to help pupils to manage their time effectively and enable them to enjoy this important enhanced part of their school life.
Durham Johnston School Music Festival
Over the past week we have heard 48 pupils play in the preliminary round of the Crossgate Moor and Durham Johnston School music festival classes which will take place on the evening of Friday 30th June in James Hall. We were really impressed by the high standard of the entries and we were thankful that all students were willing to perform their pieces to us even though the final was still several weeks away. A list of the successful students is displayed on the door of Music Room 1. If your child wasn’t fortunate enough to get through to the final round and please do encourage them to call in for some brief feedback. A preliminary round was not necessary for the Whinney Hill class so all pupils who entered have been put through to the final. If your child needs a piano accompaniment, times for the rehearsals with the pianist are also noted on the list on the door of Music Room 1.
The final of each class will be as follows and we are delighted that Mrs Norris, Deputy Manager for Durham Music Service and an excellent trombonist, has agreed to be our adjudicator for the evening. Please do come along a support our musician’s if you are able.
Class 1 (Grade 1-3) Whinney Hill Music Cup 6.00pm (please be here by 5.50)
Class 2 (Grade 4-5) Crossgate Moor Music Cup 6.45pm (please be here by 6.35)
Class 3 (Grade 6+) Durham Johnston School Music Cup 7.45pm (please be here by 7.35)
Mr Holmes – Subject leader for Music
A combination of great success and competitions all coming together has meant this have been a record week for sporting competitions.
We had many of our athletes at Monkton Stadium on Saturday for the County Championships. In awful conditions they produced some excellent performances to help Durham Central to win overall.
On Monday our U15 and U19 boys tennis teams were taking part in the County finals. Our U15 team dominated the competition beating Durham School 6 – 0 and Barnard Castle 5 – 1 to become County Champions. The U19 competition as much closer as we started with a hard-fought 4 – 2 victory against Durham School.
In the final game against Barnard Castle they proved too strong for us as we finished runners-up. This means we are again the best school in the County as our boys have won U13, U15 County titles and runners up at U19.
Also on Monday our U13 girls were at Durham High for a league game. These are always close matches and this was the case again. After an excellent evening of tennis we managed to win 4 – 2 to remain top of the league.
On Tuesday we had an early start as all four of our athletics teams made the journey to the Costello Stadium, Hull for the regional round of the English Schools Cup. We were one of only two schools in the Northeast with all four teams in the Regional Final. The standard here is always very high as the winners qualify for the National finals. In perfect conditions we produced some excellent performances finishing in the following places in the Northeast:
Junior girls – 6th
Junior boys – 8th
Inter girls – 6th
Inter boys – 7th
Also on Tuesday our U13 cricket team were playing Hurworth for a place in the County quarter finals. We batted first and scored 84 runs. A good fielding display saw us restrict them to only 64 runs and set up a quarter final against Barnard Castle on Monday next week.
On Wednesday our U14 boys and girls pentathlon teams were at Monkton for the County finals. The athletes compete in 5 events during the day gaining points for each event towards an individual and team competition.
Our girls finished in 2nd place with Emily Salmon also finishing in 2nd place in the individual competition. Our boys finished in 3rd place with Rueben Bell in 4th place. This meant we were the best school overall.
Also on Wednesday our Year 8 boys cricket team were at Billingham CC for the “Chance to Compete” county finals. Unfortunately one poor batting performance in our second group game meant we were unable to qualify for the semi-finals eventually finishing in 6th place.
The cricket continued on Wednesday as our Year 7 boys team made the short journey to Durham School for a 6-a-side tournament. They produced some excellent cricket to win their group and set up a final against the hosts. Despite another good bowling display they beat us with one over to spare. An excellent achievement as this was an U13 competition.
Tennis was also happening on Wednesday as our U13 girls travelled to Durham High for the County finals. A comfortable victory against Barnard Castle set us up for a final match against the hosts. Unfortunately we could not repeat the success from Monday losing to finish runner-up in the County.
Finally to complete a busy Wednesday all four rounders teams were due to be playing Framwellgate at home.
Unfortunately they had to concede the Year 9 match. We dominated the other games winning by the following scores:
Year 7 – 82 - 28
Year 8 – 61 - 20
Year 10 – 79 - 20
On Thursday the U13 girls played in the County cricket finals at Billingham, Niamh Cranston being our year 7 County Cricketer was team captain. The girls played really well in their first 2 matches winning by 8 runs against High Tunstall School and beat Hummersknott by 5 runs in match 2. The 3rd match was against St Wilfred’s RC (Tyneside) who beat us by a massive 27 runs. This put us 2nd in our group and the opportunity to compete In the quarter finals against Sedgefield, this was the closest match of the day and unfortunately we were beaten by just 1 run.
Also on Thursday afternoon our Year 7 & 8 athletics teams were at the Riverside Stadium, Chester-le-Street for the Area Championships. All our athletes performed very well and we should be close to winning the competitions, however we are still waiting for final results. Well done to Jed Beveridge who became triple Area champion winning discus, 200M and relay and Emily Salmon who won long jump, 800M and relay.
Finally on Thursday our U15 boys tennis team were at home against St Robert’s and Hummersknott. Unfortunately Hummersknott conceded during the afternoon. It proved to be a very close match against St Robert’s which ended 3 – 3. A 10 point tie-break was then needed in which Tom Davies and James King held their nerve to win 10 – 6. We remain unbeaten and top of the group.
Finally this afternoon our Year 7 and Junior boys athletics teams are at Monkton Stadium for the Tyneside Championships. Hopefully we will be able to bring more good news next week. Also good luck tomorrow to several of our athletes who are competing in the Inter Counties Championships.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
This week 20 of our sports leaders assisted at the Durham Dash. This is an annual event in which local primary schools children participate and consists of a run and field events which take place on Palace Green. Without the support from our leaders, events like this would not be able to take place.
Mrs White, PE Department
Extra Curricular Activities after Half Term
Please find a link to a list of lunchtime and after school activities which are available this half term.
Durham Johnston Football Fixtures for 2016-2017