Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (34)

November (1)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

March (5)

February (2)

January (4)

2017 (42)

December (4)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

February (2)

January (5)

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

  • Sixth Form Open Evening - Monday 2 October, 6.00 - 8.00 p.m.
  • School breaks for October half term on Friday 20th October and re-opens on Monday 30 October
  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening -  Monday 13 November, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 4 December, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 7 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 15 January, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 5 February, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 9 Options Evening - Monday 19 February, 4.00 to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 9 Parents' Evening - Monday 5 March, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 8 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 19 March, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 10 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 23 April, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Head's Letter to Parents

Dear Parents and Carers,

'Durham Cathedral is one of the great buildings of Europe. Set grandly on a rocky promontory next to the Castle with the medieval city huddled below and the river sweeping round, the profile of the World Heritage Site is instantly recognisable to people travelling up and down the East Coast Main Line. Durham Cathedral is a Christian Church of the Anglican Communion, the shrine of St Cuthbert, the seat of the Bishop of Durham and a focus of pilgrimage and spirituality in North East England. It inhabits a treasured sacred space set in the natural and human landscape of the World Heritage Site'.

This week Year 7 students have been visiting the cathedral, as they do each year. The cathedral is so central to life in Durham that we feel it is important that our students know a little about its function and its history. It is certainly one of the main attractions in the North East, and the description above as taken from the website is correct; it is grand and instantly recognisable. Tradition, culture and history are important aspects of Durham Johnston. This week I took my Year 8 English students into James Hall to look at the memorial for Johnstonians that fell in the Great War, as it links with Private Peaceful the novel we are studying. I remain reassured that the core values of Durham Johnston endure, and have lasted through the decades, a succession of headteachers and countless students, teachers and staff.

Culture, in all of its forms, is celebrated here. Our Festival of Culture 2017 begins in a week's time, and I encourage you to look at the link to see what we are reflecting on this year.

On Monday we welcomed over 350 families to school to our open day and open evening. It was a delight to show so many families around our school in order to help them make the important decision of which secondary school to choose for their children. A big thank you to all of our helpers across the course of the day, especially to our Year 7 helpers who were great ambassadors for the school even though they have only been here for three weeks! 

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher 


Creative Coding Club

Creative coding club has started with a bang this term, well more of a set of beats than a bang. The students are using a coding language called “Node Red” for connecting hardware devices together. The hardware being a Raspberry Pi and a set of speakers. Node Red allows you to send signals to the speakers to create beats and different sounds to make music. The students this week were very creative. See our school Twitter (@durhamjohnston) feed for some videos of the work the students were doing.



Thank you to Steven Bradley from Durham University who is delivering these inspiring sessions.

Mr Garside, Computing Department


Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme

Congratulations to all pupils who successfully completed expeditions last weekend. Three teams completed their practice expeditions whilst seven teams completed their final bronze expeditions. These teams now need to present their experiences to a member of the DofE staff to complete the section.

The last expedition of the season is on the 13th – 15th October, this is a silver Practice expedition and/or a Bronze final expedition. Paperwork is due to Mr Smith or Ms Clay by Monday 2nd October.

Year 12 students wishing to enrol in the award programme should submit a letter of application to Ms Clay by October half term.

Newly enrolled participants on the award will have a brief meeting next week to outline their programme.

Thanks for your support,

The DofE Team


Festival of Culture

Durham Johnston's Annual Festival of Culture will take place next month.  For information about forthcoming events please click on the link below.


Festival of Culture 2017



Post 16 Information, Advice and Guidance Events

The following events are being held in the next few weeks:


·         Durham Johnston 6th Form Open Evening – Monday 2ndOctober (6-8pm)

·         New College Open Evening – Tuesday 3rdOctober (4.30-6.30pm - please note new time)

·         Durham High School for Girls Thursday 23 November, 6.30 p.m.

·         Durham School – Wednesday 18thOctober (6-7.30pm)

·         St Leonards – Tuesday 18thOctober (7-9pm)

·         East Durham College - Peterlee Campus – Wednesday 4thOctober (5-7pm)

·         East Durham College – Houghall Campus – Wednesday 11thOctober (5-7pm)

·         Durham 6thForm Centre – Thursday 19thOctober (5-8pm)

If your child has any queries regarding career options or need help in completing applications then they must come and see me. If they wish to hand in any completed applications to me I will also email them to the appropriate establishment on their behalf.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Careers and Guidance


Sixth Form News

Year 13 students from across the county joined us for two careers events last week.  On Thursday the focus was medicine, and on Friday the focus was Primary Education degrees.

This week students had the opportunity to attend lectures delivered by staff from Bath University on Social Class in 21st Century Britain, and The Use of Big Data in Geography.

Jade's Gadget!

BBC's One Show broadcast a report on Monday 25 September about Year 12 student, Jade Gadd who has been using a using a robot, so that she doesn't miss lessons, even when she is not well enough to come to school.  You can watch the full report on BBC i-player.

Mr McArdle, Assistant Head (Director Post-16)


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:

Sixth Form Notice w/c 2 October 2017

Sixth Form Societies


Music Department News

Music Composition Awards

Congratulations to Josie Moir (year 12) who attended a music awards dinner on Wednesday evening. She was invited to perform her GCSE composition, a flute duet, after dinner and then she received her prize, a chequefor £50, from the Master of the St Cecilia Lodge.

Congratulations also to Adam Heron and James Thomas, both members of year 13 last year, who were both awarded prizes in recognition of the high standard of their A Level Compositions at the same event. 

The annual competition is organised by members of the St Cecilia Lodge and is open to all A Level pupils from secondary schools between the Tees and the Tyne.

Music Enrichment

All ensembles have made a fantastic start to this year and numbers at rehearsals are as follows, but there is always room for more! Please ask your child to talk to a music teacher if they would like to join a group.

Junior Orchestra - 38

Junior Choir - 35

Wind Band - 45

Big Band - 17

Chamber Choir - 24

Senior Orchestra - 79

Senior Choir – 87

Keyboard Lessons

We still have a few spaces left for keyboard tuition, which is provided in partnership with Musicworks. Please ask your son/ daughter to speak to me, or email school for more information.


Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


Sports Department News

On Tuesday our Year 11 football team travelled to Staindrop for a league cup match. It was a very physical gamein which we eventually came out on top with a 4 – 1 victory.

Also on Tuesday our U16 girls' football team were at home to St Joseph’s in the first round of the County Cup. This was an excellent team performance from a team who haven’t played together before as we won 2 – 0.

Finally on Tuesday our Year 9 football team were at St Robert’s also in the County Cup. We took the lead after 30 seconds and were still 2 – 1 ahead with 5 minutes to play. However we conceded to take the game into extra time. Again we took the lead through an excellent Alex Lythgoe goal but conceded two more late goals to lose 4 – 3.

It was the turn of our U13 girls to play football on Wednesday. This team contained several Year 7’s playing their first game for the school and we made an excellent start leading 2 – 0 at half-time. Unfortunately we ran out of steam in the second half going on to lose 5 – 3.

Also on Wednesday our Year 7, 9 & 10 football teams all had league games against Woodham.  Our Year 7’s won 4 – 2, our Year 9’s won 10 – 0. Unfortunately the Year 10’s lost 5 – 1.

We were also hosting the U19 netball tournament on Wednesday. It was great to see so many teams competing in a high standard of competition. We had two teams entered and both did very well finished in 6th and 8th place.

To complete a busy Wednesday our girls rugby team travelled to Horden RFU for a county tournament. Against some very strong teams they battled well to finish second in their group after a last gasp victory against Staindrop.

Yesterday our U15 boys tennis team travelled to Carlisle to take on Queen Elizabeth School, Penrith in the National Schools Cup. After two hours of outstanding tennis they proved too strong for us winning the final set 6 – 1 to take the match.

Also yesterday our cross-country teams were at Emmanuel College for the first competition of the season. It was an outstanding day as we recorded the following results:


Junior boys – 1st (Callum Davison 2nd in race)

Inter Boys – 1st (Sam Gibson 1st in race)

Junior Girls – 2nd (Erin Keeler-Clarke 1st in race)

Inter Girls – 4th (Emily Salmon 5th in race)

Finally good luck tonight to Year 7 football team who are playing Tanfield in the County Cup and our Year 9 rugby team who are taking on St Thomas More in a friendly.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE