Dear Parents and Carers,
'Do the best you can do until you know better, then when you know better, do better'. This quote from Maya Angelou may well be my message in this year's school Christmas card ... you heard it here first! It does seem to encapsulate both knowledge and wisdom in one place. It could be linked to academic progress, or indeed the development of character, both for ourselves as adults and for the youngsters in our care. Sometimes it is easy to know what to do or how to act, but sometimes the status quo or indeed taking the soft option is easier. I was talking with a senior colleague this week about role models and who the people are we look up to. People who manage to work and live according to this quote, I would suggest, are people we may want to look up to. We all need role models, but sometimes we need the encouragement to simply be that role model. This message is for students and adults in our wider community alike.
Have a good weekend,
Michael Wardle, Headteacher
We have been researching more efficient and convenient ways to share information with parents and carers about their child's school life and are planning to introduce this to all parents in 2018.
In the first instance we are trialling this with parents and carers who have a child in Year 11. To that end, a letter and consent sheet will be available for parents to pick up at the Parents Consultation Evening on Monday and collection boxes in which to post the forms will be available at the signing in desks in near to the main and pupil entrances.
Please click on the following links for copies of the letter, SIMS Privacy Statement and consent form.
Mr Garside, Strategic Leader of ICT
The English Department will be selling CGP revision guides for English Literature at the Year 11 parents' evening on Monday 13th November. Guides are for sale at £3.00 each and are available for: Romeo and Juliet; A Christmas Carol; Power and Conflict Poetry; Blood Brothers; An Inspector Calls; Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies.
Mrs Aiken, English Department
BBC Children in Need Campaign
Just a reminder that we are holding a non-uniform day next Friday 17 November to raise funds in support of this year's Children in Need Campaign.
The donation requested for those students participating is £1.00. However it is not a compulsory requirement for students to attend in non-uniform.
The usual rules regarding the wearing of jewellery and make up apply. If your child travels by school transport, please remind them to carry their bus pass.
On Friday we are also holding a Silent Disco event at lunchtime in James Hall. This event is ticket only £1.00 and a limited quantity will be available to purchase on the door. The proceeds from this event will go to our nominated charities and the School Benevolent Fund.
The usual rules regarding the wearing of jewellery and make up apply.
Further information on this year’s campaign is available from the website https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/fundraisinghub
After studying 'Kes' in English lesson, students in years 7 and 9 enjoyed a brilliant falconry display. The students involved were excellent and very brave!
Mrs Tennant, English Department
In July, Evgeny Tumarkin, Rosa Pollard Smith, Joseph Bennett and Peter Cook, qualified for the national final of the UKMT team challenge and came 1st in the poster competition beating over 60 schools from all over the UK.
Last week UKMT sent out their published version of the poster based on our students’ design.
The poster will be sent to all UK schools who participated in the final. The poster is available to view on the UKMT website at
Mrs Urwin, Subject Leader for Maths
Congratulations to Alice Jelley in Year 7 who is the winner of this year's Geography Photography Competition with her interpretation of the theme, 'The Bigger Picture'. Picture below is her entry entitled Slum Community of Thailand.
Well done to the runners up Kathryn Scrivens and Dylan Swinburne both in Year 9.
We had some fatastic entries this year so that you to everyone who entered. It was clearly a tough decision!
Mrs Scott, Geography Department
We are delighted to announce the winner of the biology week photography competition. Well done to Mariana Moore who submitted these photographs of her peacock and magnified "eye" feathers. There were many spectacular entries, so well done and thank you to all participants.
Mrs Murphy, Biology Department
Students from year 10 and 11 recently went to Morez in France to take part in a unique exchange project. They are working with their French partners on the topic of Environment. Thomas and Ella have written a little about their experience. We cannot wait for our French partners to return to us in February next year. Two of students on the visit commented:
'Due to some funding that the school successfully applied for in partnership with le college Hyacinthe-Cazeaux, 11 children from years 10 and 11 were able to travel to Morez in the regioun of Jura, France to get an insight into the lifestyle of a French family and strengthen their French language in confidence, vocabulary and many other aspects.
Before leaving the UK, the families were suitable paired and we got in touch with our French partners before we travelled to meet them. After initial nerves on meeting each other, all were finding ways to communicate and aid each other in the learning of both languages. All that we met were kind and welcoming and a large thank you must be sent to the parents who welcomed us into their homes, caring for us while we stayed with them and studied with our partners. The school in Frence was supportive of this project and together with us, chose topics that were closely linked to the GCSE we are taking, and also how this links to England and France, helping develop ideas and thoughts from both sides on how we live. The activities set included viciting a wind farm and museum all about the effects of global warming and the tragile earth around us.
Unlike other exchange visits, the project with the partnered school does not end there and we will be sharing news with our partners and keeping a blog to present what we are leavning. Overall, it was a thrilling experience that was unique and challenging.'
Ella Sampson, Year 10
'To anyone thinking of doing an exchange, I would recommend it. People are always nervous and I was too, but after the first day, once your settled in, it is just fun and there is no need to be intiminated. I thought everyone would speak perfect English, but this really was not the case, so I did not feel embarrassed at struggling a little with French. Everyone was just happy that I tried.'
Thomas Wright, Year 11
Mrs Jackson, Languages Department
Your Code in Space - Tim Peake Liked our Tweet
In Creative Coding Club this week we have been writing code that WILL run on the Raspberry Pi on the International Space Station.
All students needed to do is to learn some simple lines of code on how to display messages, change colours, read data from the sensors (temperature, acceleration, pressure etc) and display the results. Below is a link to a video we made showing an example of the code you might submit:
As long as the code meets the set criteria, once it is submitted it is guaranteed to be run for 30 seconds on the ISS. Each team that submits a valid entry will receive a certificate with the date and time that their code was run on the International Space Station.
The club is run by Rachel, one of our Y11 digital leaders and there are plenty of spaces available for more Y7&Y8 students to have a go at this next week. The club runs on a Wednesday evening between 3pm-4pm.
The exciting news this week was that we tweeted about the code club and the tweet was read and “liked” by none other than Tim Peake himself.
This is a really inspiring activity and we hope to see lots more Y7 & Y8 students there next Wednesday. Sadly you need to be 14 or under to take part in this activity, but we will open up Creative Code club to older students later this term.
Mr Garside, Computer Science Department
On Monday 6th November, eight Year 7 and 8 students travelled to Gosforth Middle School to take part in the regional final of the Kids' Lit Quiz. Although we narrowly missed out on a top 3 spot, both teams performed exceptionally well and answered tricky questions on a wide range of literary topics. Well done to everybody involved!
Dr Mckee, English Department
If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on in the Sixth Form please click on the following link:
DJ ‘Bones sponsored play.
The Johnston trombonists, and there are rather a lot of them, will join forces in James Hall at 3pm on Thursday 16th November for a sponsored performance of The Basses Dance by Peter Warlock. The performance is open to all with a suggested donation of at least £1 to be made in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice.
Durham Johnston School Christmas Concert - Thursday 7th December 2017
First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Johnson Brass, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.
Second Half (7.30pm) to include Big Band, Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.
Tickets for each part of this concert may be purchased from the Music Department. To ensure that as many parents, relatives and friends as possible can attend this event, we would encourage you, please, to purchase tickets only for the half in which your child is performing. There will be some pupils who are performing in both halves, in which case audience members will need to purchase tickets for both parts of the concert. Please note that pupils who have siblings in the other half will be able to attend that half of the concert without a ticket.
We shall ask everyone who does not have a ticket for the second half to vacate the hall at the end of the first half and then the those with tickets for the second half will be admitted in time for the second half to start at about 7.30pm.
Tickets will be £2.50 or £2 concessions for each half and please note that these will not be for sale on the door. Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Johnston School’. These will be on sale from Monday 13th November.
Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music
PE Department News
On Monday our U15 girls' football team were at St John’s for a CVL. They played some excellent football winning all their matches including an 8 – 0 victory against the hosts. Also on Monday our U13 boys cricket team were at Framwellgate playing in the Durham City winter league. They won their first game by 25 runs against the hosts but unfortunately a poor batting performance in our second game saw us lose to St Leonard’s by 7 runs. We now need to beat Hermitage next week and hope other results go our way to win this competition.
On Tuesday our U16 basketball team started their English Schools campaign with a home game against a very strong team from Gosforth Academy. This was an outstanding game of basketball which saw us 2 points behind with less than a second to go! However Roan Varley scored as the buzzer went for full time to tie the game at 60 – 60. We then played 5 minutes overtime which we dominated, thanks to 2 three-pointers from Max Blackbourne, going on to win 74 – 64. Tom Hetherington top scored with 39 points.
On Wednesday our Year 7 rugby team travelled to Consett RFU in the first round of the county cup. They started with an impressive 65 – 0 victory against St Aidan’s and never looked back finishing with a comfortable win against St Leonard’s to see them qualify for the county finals later this year. That now means all of our rugby teams have qualified for the county finals – an outstanding achievement.
Also on Wednesday our Year 7 & 8 netball teams were taking on St Leonard’s in league matches. Both were excellent games which we won. The Year 7’s won 11 – 4 with Sophia Hesselink player of match. The Year 8’s won 15 – 8 with Holly Jenkins player of the match.
Netball continued on Thursday as our Year 7 & 8 teams hosted St Bede’s. Both teams maintained their unbeaten run this week winning 9 – 7 and 18 – 11 respectively. Ruby Phillips and Isabelle Sharman were awarded player of the match.
Also last night we had 17 rowers competing in the County Indoor rowing finals at Maiden Castle. It was an outstanding evening for Durham Johnston as we won 5 of the 12 races. This was more than any other school in the county. Congratulations to Sam Terry, Elise Lambert, Jenny Horridge, Dylan Swinburn and Adam Morris who won to become County Champion.
Good luck tonight to our Year 7 basketball team, Year 8 rugby team and U15 girls football team who all have away matches.
Also good luck tomorrow to our Junior and Inter boys and girls cross-country teams who are at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough competing in the Regional round of the English Schools Cup. If any of the teams finish in the top 3 places they will qualify for the National Finals which take place on Saturday 25th November in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Finally the PE department will be launching the Malaga Sports trip next week. These are our annual sports trips to Spain for Year 7 & 8 pupils. The Year 7 trip is in June and the Year 8 in July. Exciting news this year is the Atalaya Park Hotel & Golf resort we use is currently under-going a multi-million refurbishment so should be an even better base next summer. Children who are interested will be bringing a letter home next week.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
The school has received a request for volunteers to assist with forthcoming Christmas event which is being organised by the Nevilles Cross South Neighboroughood Watch. Please see below for further details.
Who are we and why we need your help?
We are the friendly group called the Nevilles Cross South Neighbourhood Watch, we are aiming to unite our wonderful community in a display of festive lights, singing and hot food. We are in real need of volunteers to help put Nevilles Cross on the map and if the pilot event is a success we can make this an annual event, which would be great for the neighbourhood and for local charities.
What are we planning?
We need your help to make this happen! Opportunities to get involved!
When is the Event?
Friday 8th December 3:30 - 6pm.
We are open to your big ideas and suggestions.
Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like to be involved or suggest an idea. Invitations and posters need be distributed within the next 7 days, so please do not delay if you would like to get involved. With your help it will be spectacular!
Mrs Mandeep Smith
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator
Facebook Group: Nevilles Cross South Neighbourhood Watch
Mobile: 07465 442474
Boys' Football Fixtures and Match Reports 2017-2018
Extra Curricular Activities
Term and Holiday Dates
Please find below a link to the list of term and holiday dates up to the summer holidays 2019.