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

  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 4 December, 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Christmas Jumper Day, Thursday 14 December 2017
  • Year 7 and Year 8 Santa Fun Run, period 5, Friday 15 December 2017
  • School breaks for the Christmas and New Year holidays on Thursday 21st December and re-opens on 8th January
  • 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.
  • School breaks for Spring half term holiday on Friday 9 February and re-opens on Monday 19 February
  • 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.
  • School breaks for the Easter holidays on Friday 29 March and re-opens on 16 April
  • Year 10 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 23 April, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • May Day 2018 - school will be closed on Monday 7 May
  • School breaks for the Summer half term holiday on Friday 25 May and re-opens on Monday 4 June


Head's Letter to Parents

Dear Johnstonians,

We have been ranked number one state school in the North East by the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide. We are clearly delighted by the award. It is testament to our hardworking staff and wonderful students. As I am quoted in the press: 'Our focus on academic stretch in lessons and a desire to ensure all of our students make excellent progress irrespective of background are at the foundation of our vision as a school'. 

The press release from the Good Schools Guide team says 'Durham Johnston Comprehensive School is both the top-ranked school in the Northeast and the winner of The Sunday Times Northeast State Secondary School of the Year award. Long-established as the leading state school in the region, with A-level outcomes particularly strong, Johnston is a popular choice for parents in this university city. 

The comprehensive ranks at number 140th nationally and despite the toughening up of A-levels and GCSEs in the past year has managed to sustain strong results at A-level with 76.1% of grades ranked at A* to B – the best of any state or independent school in Durham – with 32.4% of GCSEs securing A* or A grades. 

A place in Durham Johnston’s sixth form is highly prized and with good reason. The school has an outstanding record at A-level with students progressing on to some of the best universities in the land – 12 in the past year alone to Oxford and Cambridge. But the school offers so much more. Strong sporting and musical traditions are complemented by a commitment to social justice that permeates the very fabric of the school. Students leave equipped to be citizens of the modern world, as well as with a clutch of excellent grades. The school was the outstanding candidate for our award.'

Parent Power form part of the Sunday Times this week, and on the website from Sunday: thesundaytimes.co.uk/parentpower

Please see below ia link to the news item published by the Northern Echo this morning.


Well done to our students and staff for this recognition.

Have a good weekend,

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wardle, Headteacher 


Parent Governor Vacancies

We currently have two vacancies for parent governors on the school's Governing Body and invite nominations from parents who are interested in contributing to the effective governance and continuing success of the school. 

The role of the Governing Body is to:

  • set the aims and objectives for the school
  • set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
  • set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
  • monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
  • be a source of challenge and support to the head teacher

The Governing Body is actively seeking to strengthen the skills within its membership and wishes to recruit and develop governors, who are able to work constructively in committees. 

Nominations are welcomed from parents and carers who are:

  • able to commit to attending regular meetings of the Governing Body and its sub-committees
  • able to use information from a variety of sources to inform decision making
  • confident in the use of data willing to undertake training as directed

Governing bodies need their members to have a broad range of skills and experience in order to equip them to work with senior leaders to move their schools forward

Further information about the Governing Body is available in the Governors Handbook 2017-2018

  • All parents, other than those employed at the school for more than 500 hours per year or who are elected members of the Local Authority, are eligible to stand for election. 
  • This includes any person who is not the natural parent but has parental responsibility for, or who has care of, a pupil registered at the school (Education Act 1996, Section 576).
  • Nominees must be proposed by a parent of a pupil registered at Durham Johnston School.
  • A parent may nominate his/her partner.
  • In the event we receive more nominations than there are vacancies, then a ballot will be held and voting forms will be sent out to parents.
  • If no nominations are received, the vacancy will be appointed by the Governing Body.
  • Please click on the following link for a copy of the Nomination Form.

The deadline for receipt of completed and signed nomination forms is by close of business on Wednesday 6 December 2017.  We regret that we are unable to accept forms submitted after the deadline.

If any parent would like the opportunity of an informal discussion with the Headteacher please telephone the school.


Durham Environment Awards

Durham Johnston's Environment Club were shortlisted for the 2017 Durham Environment Awards. The awards ceremony was held at the Radisson Blu hotel on Thursday 23rd November and our entry was one of 33 projects chosen from over 50 applicants.



The hard work of the members of the club was rewarded when we received a very credible "Highly Commended" award. 

The work rejuvenating the pond area and making it more attractive for staff and pupils to use was highlighted as a major factor in the decision to award the prize.

Many thanks to everyone who has supported the club. We hope to go from strength to strength and continue the hard work.

Mr T Bowman, Science Department



GCSE Certificates

GCSE Certificates will be available for collection from 1st December 2017 between 9am and 3pm.  You are responsible for arranging to collect your certificates as soon as possible.  The school is only required to store certificates for 1 year before they are returned to the examination boards. 

You may either collect your certificates in person or authorise a representative (this could either be a member of your family or a friend) to collect them on your behalf.  Please provide your representative with a letter authorising them to pick up your certificates. 

The school does not routinely post out certificates.  If there are any special circumstances that prevent you from collecting your certificates, you should write to the Examinations Officer requesting your certificates be posted to you and enclose a fee of £4.00 to cover the cost of postage by recorded delivery.  Cheques should be made payable to Durham Johnston School.

Your certificates are important documents and it is your responsibility to store them safely.  You will be required to produce them on many occasions in the future, particularly when seeking employment.  Please note that the examination boards do not issue duplicate certificates.

Mrs Gillham, Examinations Officer


Computing at School - Lead School

Durham Johnston Computing department are delighted to have been awarded “Lead School” status with the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.

The award is recognition of the following:

  • Computing as a subject is important at Durham Johnston, and it is part of the school development plan;
  • Durham Johnston School have developed a broad and balanced computing curriculum that shows clear, planned progression;
  • We offer to support other schools in our community through sharing good practise e.g. team teaching, lesson observations, shared schemes of work or running joint planning sessions, helping colleagues set up a Code Club in a local school or run Computing focused transition days etc.

I would like to personally thank Mr Garside for his vision and commitment in moving the department forward and to congratulate him on his Master Teacher status!

A wonderful accolade for the department.

Miss Forbes, Subject Leader for Computing


Managing Medication

Please find below a link to an information leaflet for parents and carers regarding the management of medication in school.

Information on Managing Medication in School

Administration of Medication - Parental Request Form


Word of the Week


Angel Tree Appeal

This week saw the house team launch the Angel Tree appeal, a wonderful opportunity for our students to help children in our local community.  Without the appeal some children would face the prospect of Christmas without a gift.  It is very difficult to explain to a child, especially a young child that Father Christmas couldn’t visit this year.  This appeal allows us to give back, to share, to be kind and ultimately put a smile on a child’s face at Christmas.  That truly is a magical thing to do!

We thank everyone for their support with this!

Please click on the following link for further information.

Angel Tree Appeal

Miss Forbes and The House Leaders


Pride Societies Annual Bake Sale

Last week school witnessed the eclectic multi-coloured joy that is the Pride Societies annual bake sale as part of anti-bullying week. A cascade of skittles, an abundance of rainbows and a dream of chocolate were consumed with delight raising a record £430.  The meringue-enveloped cupcakes were a highlight!

So forget Nigella, bury the Berry and let us all thank those phenomenal, young creators whose skills never cease to amaze.

Mr Weaver, Ellie Bartlett and Sam Hackett.



Jenna Cheung, Andrew Hunton, Miranda Stephenson, Josephine Muir and Amerso Bassionry have won the opportunity to represent the UK in an all-expenses paid trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Along with 3 other groups from the area, they will take part in the Euroscola event, meeting and working with pupils from all over Europe. To enter the competition, they created a short script in a number of different languages, discussing the different opinions around the freedom of movement of UK citizens post-Brexit. Congratulations to all students.

Mrs Jackson, MFL Department


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 Monday 27 November 2017

Sixth Form Societies


SEND Local Area Inspection

An inspection of local authority provision for SEND students will take place soon.  Any parents of SEND pupils wanting to comment on LA provision please refer to the letter below.

LA SEND Inspection


Ski Visit 2019

The details of the 2019 Ski trip have been released this week.  The trip this year is open to students in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9.

Letters and consent forms are available from Mrs Hopper in the PE Office.

Mrs Hopper, Ski Visit Co-ordinator



PE Department News

An excellent win for our Year 10 football team against Carmel in the County Cup on Monday. We played some excellent football to win 2 – 0.

On Tuesday our Year 11 basketball team were at Hartlepool VIth form College for the Tees Valley Tournament. Both our A and B teams dominated the opposition to reach the final. This was the best game of the evening as our A team beat the B team 18 – 11 to become champions.

On Wednesday our U16 basketball team were at home against Heaton Manor in the English Schools Cup. We started well and built up a comfortable 18 point lead going into the last quarter. We remain top of the North-east group after finishing with a 60 – 50 victory.

On Thursday our Year 9  and 11 rugby teams were at Maiden Castle for a friendly tournament. Our Year 9 team had an excellent victory against St Leonard’s but ran out of steam losing their final match to St John’s. The Year 11’s took on an outstanding team from Harton and battled throughout losing a close game. This will be excellent preparation for them ready for next week when they compete in the County Finals. Finally good luck to our Intermediate boys cross-country team who are travelling down to London today to compete in the English Schools cross-country cup National Finals at Sevenoaks School, Kent tomorrow. They take on the best 24 schools in the country.

U13's Girls' Football

The Under 13 girls' football team played in a tournament on Monday night at St John's Comprehensive School. The team played against St John,s and won 1-0 and then against Teesdale and wnning 10-0. The girls played really well and used the games as a trial for the English Cup tournament that begins next week. 


What a fortnight of netball!! This week we played 11 matches – lost 2, drew 3, won 6!  Not a bad haul. 



Players of the Match this week were:

Y7 v DHSA – Jess Khan, Y7 v DHSB – Lucy Pinkney, Y8 v DHSA – Bronwen Smith, Y8 v DHSB – Tabby Noble.

Y8A v High Tunstall – Sarah Davidson, Y9A v High Tunstall – Lauren Etchells, Y8B v High Tunstall – Claudia Clish, Y8A v High Tunstall Y9 – Holly Jenkins, Y8C v High Tunstall – Lara Deacon

Y7 v Hermitage – Ruby Phillips, Y8 v Hermitage – Sarah Davidson, Y9 v Hermitage – Emily Salmon, Y10 v Hermitage – Naomi Erlebach .

Well done Squads!!

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE




Boys' Football Fixtures and Match Reports 2017-2018


Extra Curricular Activities - Autumn Term 2017


Term and Holiday Dates 

Please find below a link to the list of term and holiday dates up to the summer holidays 2019.  

School Holiday and Term Dates