Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (18)

June (1)

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

  • GSCE Mock Examinations - Monday 22 January until Monday 5 February
  • 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, 6.00 to 8.00 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 Thursday 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 Parents and Carers,

We have a number of invigilators in school this week as year 11 students are completing mock exams. On Wednesday an invigilator asked for directions and I explained that ‘You need to go straight past Lydia and turn right.’ They nodded, but rightly, looked a little perplexed.

Lydia is the name given to the school library. The first student to be admitted to Durham Johnston in 1901 was Lydia Pearson, a 13 year old Signalman’s daughter from Langley Park. The second student was Frances Guthrie. Her school admission record states: ’16. Orphan. Leazes Place.’ The 1901 intake were given a tour of the school library on their first day. They will have been shown the ‘200 volumes presented by the Trustees of the Mechanic Institute.’ Would they have been given access to such a large collection of books before?

Many of our students read in their free time at school. During lunch this week I have spoken to 16 students, with 16 different books. They have eclectic taste; fantasy, humour, adventure and horror. Whilst the genres are diverse, the individuals do share a characteristic; all have been female. There are national concerns about boys and books. It is also clear that the new GCSE exams require increasing levels of literacy and that reading from an early age can be hugely beneficial.

Like many teenage boys, I had a limited interest in reading when starting secondary school. It struggled to compete with playing sport, roaming with friends or listening to music. Two things altered that; my sister’s record collection and a friend’s copy of Smash Hits.

Sound Affects by The Jam made me curious about the three verses, opposite the track listing, attributed to Shelley. The photograph of Paul Weller reading George Orwell gave me the impetus to read 1984. Miss O’Shea, my English teacher, contributed by steering me in the direction of the Masque of Anarchy and then Animal Farm. A love of reading is not necessarily instigated by books on a shelf or in a library. It can come at any time and from anywhere. If you have the opportunity to spend time with your son or daughter this weekend, ask them what they would like to read. Tell them about a book that you have enjoyed.

Mr O’Sullivan 


GCSE Mock Examinations 

GCSE Mock Examinations will begin on Monday 22nd January until 5 February.  

Please click on the following link for general information regarding the examinations.  Students have been provided with individual timetables.

GCSE Mock Examinations Spring Term 2018


Parent Governor Election

Ballot papers, with guidance for voters printed on the reverse, have been issued to students to bring home to parents today.  Papers should be returned to Reception no later than Friday 2 February 2017.


Congratulations to:

Congratulations to Y8 Latin students who took part in the Newcastle Inter-Schools Classics quiz last Saturday. Our two teams (Alex Latham, Colby McKim & Ethan Morton; Henry Bothwell, Josh Mulholland, Amelia O'Brien and Edmund Smith) both did really well, just missing out on the runners-up prize. Competing in the Junior category (for students up to Y9) they defeated teams from Barnard Castle, Durham School and Heaton Manor School, despite having only been studying Latin for 5 months.

Many thanks also to parents who gave up their Saturday morning to support us.

Mrs Bothwell, Languages Department


Books Wanted!

We would like to increase the number of novels and factual books available for Year 7 pupils to read during registration period.  If any parents/pupils have any books suitable for Year 7 pupils that they would like to donate, please could them hand them in to staff at Reception.

Miss Owen, Head of Year 7


Word of the Week



Holocaust Survivor Talk

Today students in Years 12 and 13 took part in a live broadcast witness interview with a holocaust survivor.  Janine Webber originally from Lvov in Poland was 9 at the start of the war.  She described how she lived through the war in Lvov ghetto and years in hiding in various places before coming first to Paris and then to England.  


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  Monday 29 January 2018.


Sixth Form Societies


House System Notices

Date Me Out

Date Me Out is back for a second year!

After the phenomenal success of last year’s Date Me Out we return with a new show in February! Let cupid strike!

Full details are with your form tutors.  Adverts are also on display around school!

If you’d like to take part see Miss Forbes in IT1 next week!

For further information please click here.


Design a House Emblem


We are looking for designers to create an emblem for their house, and the House System as a whole.  We have some very talented young people in school – graphic designers, artists and the like!  We welcome submissions from all year groups – originality is key!

Good luck!

Miss Forbes and the House Leaders


Music Notices

On account of both year 11 mocks and Associated Board exams, the rehearsal schedule for next week will be as follows.


Week Beginning

29th January




Junior Orchestra




Wind Band




Junior Choir




Senior Choir


Tenors and Basses


Senior Orchestra


Wind and Brass


Big Band





On Wednesday evening this week, a group of A Level music students went to Durham Cathedral to hear the new Organist and Master of the Choristers, Daniel Cook, play the great masterpiece of the 20th century organ repertoire 'La Nativité' by Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen is a set composer for A Level and it was an amazing opportunity to hear this piece played in Durham on the organ made and maintained by the Harrison & Harrison factory in Meadowfield. It is fair to say that this is a somewhat challenging work, but sitting in the quire and being immersed in the sound as the organ pipes sounded on either side was a great introduction to it.

Mrs Holmes. Music Department


Duke of Edinburgh Notices

Congratulations to the latest students to achieve their Bronze DofE awards, they have all worked hard and should be proud of themselves.


We are hoping to present more awards soon, so please can all students take the time to put their evidence up onto eDofE.

Congratulations again,

The DofE Team


PE Department News

Mr Hopper is accompanying the party who are skiing in Serre Chevalier this week. 

Watch out for a bumper news item next week.



Boys' Football Fixtures and Match Reports 2017-2018


Extra-curricular Activities

Extra-curricular Activities - Spring Term 2018


Holiday and Term Dates 

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

School Holiday and Term Dates