Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

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2014 (37)

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October (4)

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April (12)

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Dates For Your Diary

  • Year 9 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 12 March, 4.00 - 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.
  • Monday 7 May - May Day Holiday - school will be closed
  • School breaks for the Summer half term holiday on Friday 25 May and re-opens on Monday 4 June


Head's Letter to Parents

In 1995 the Committee for Standards in Public Life suggested 7 principles that should guide all public servants. Lord Nolan’s report identified the need for public servants to demonstrate selflessness: integrity; objectivity; accountability; openness; honesty and leadership. Those principles are clearly still relevant 23 years later and they are reviewed regularly; the most recent national review taking place in 2015.

I first became aware of them when Carolyn Roberts returned to Durham Johnston as Headteacher in 2006. She shared them with teachers and support staff and exemplified them in her day to day leadership of the school. The Nolan Principles were used to underpin significant improvement at the school and provided a sense of stability as the educational context continued to change. My reason for sharing this relates to the death this week of Wallace Bagley, the Headteacher at Durham Johnston between 1966 and 1982. A number of former students and teachers from that period of the school’s history have commented about Mr Bagley’s integrity and leadership. His selflessness is perhaps reflected in a different way; like many others born in the 1920s he served his country during World War Two. He was a Captain in the Royal Artillery, served in the Naval Bombardment Unit and was a qualified Parachutist. After the war he studied history before choosing to continue his public service as a teacher.

Mr Bagley’s time as Headteacher at Durham Johnston was characterised by significant success during a period of rapid change. Girls were admitted for the first time in over 50 years when the school became co-educational in 1970; the school became comprehensive in 1979 as part of the reorganisation of education across the County. He provided strong leadership through both. He was also Headteacher when the school celebrated its 75thanniversary  in 1976. At that time the school had a newspaper called The Johnstonian. In its editorial Mr Bagley wrote:

“The school has of course changed considerably in the 75 years of its existence. It has changed buildings and it has grown greatly in size, but the spirit, the inspiration arising out of J.F.W Johnston’s ideals, and his wish to further the educational possibilities of the ordinary boy and girl have persisted and the school has always been proud of its origins.“

Mr Bagley was a successful and well respected Headteacher, with a clear understanding of the school’s traditions. He was also a distinguished public servant who exemplified the principles advanced by Lord Nolan during his professional career at the school.

Pictured on the left is Mr Bagley (centre) discussing the plans for the siting of the Foundation Stone at Crossgate Moor.   The picture on the right shows the Foundation Stone in its present location in the entrance lobby of the school.

Mr O'Sullivan

Regulations Regarding Jewellery and False Nails

Could we remind parents and carers who have a child or children in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11, that, for health and safety reasons, the wearing of jewellery, (including earrings and retainers) is forbidden.

Students are regularly regularly reminded of these rules and understand the why we have to apply them.

In the event that pupils do wear items of jewellery to school, they will be given clear instructions regarding their removal. The item may then be confiscated and securely stored in school, until collected at the end of the school day. If a student has to be asked to remove jewellery on a subsequent occasion, then the usual behaviour sanctions will apply. In extreme cases, parents may be invited to school to collect jewellery on behalf of their child.  In addition, false nails present a very real health and safety risk in science, PE and technology lessons and must not be worn in school. These rules are intended to be fair to all students and to ensure their safety. We greatly appreciate your support with regard to jewellery.

Mrs Bell, Assistant Head


Year 13 History Visit 2019

The History department is running a 5-day study visit to Washington DC for Year 13 history students next year.   The visit is planned to take place at the start of the February half term 2019.  There are a still a couple of places remaining, so if any student is interested,  they should contact  Mr Patterson in the History department (room Hi4) for further details.

Mr Patterson, History Department


Congratulations to ...

Nathan Harrison, who was one of 13 people chosen to receive the Chairman's Medal for their dedication and support given to festivals and events across the County.  The Chairman's Medal is the highest honour that Durham County Council can award to individual and organisations.  Nathan was presented with his award by the Chairman of the Council at a ceremony at the end of February. 

Nathan first experience of volunteering was at Durham Brass Festival in 2017.  He enjoyed the experience so much that he has since been involved in a wide variety of events held at Wharton Park, as well as being involved with the Durham City Run and Muddy Mayhem.  He also participated in the Durham Lumiere throughout the 4-day programme and particularly enjoyed helping visitors to understand and interact with the 'Periodic Table' art installation.  

Following the presentation Nathan commented 'I feel honoured to have been given this award, as it shows that hard work definitely pays off!  Volunteering from Durham City Run to Lumiere, and Muddy Mayhem to all of the different theatrical events in Wharton Park, I have most certainly enjoyed every minute of my time spent to help the needs of others.  The key thing that drives me and makes me want to do more is the appreciation from the public and me knowing that I'm making a difference for my local community'.


If you would like to get involved in volunteering for Durham County Council, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mrs Bell, Assistant Head


Careers Week at Durham Johnston

This week has been a hive of activity in James Hall.  To tie in with National Careers Week we have hosted a series of events to support students and to inform their future careers choices.  This week year groups (7-10) participated in activities appropriate to their year group. Yr11 will have their event next week.

Across the 4 days we had over 1000 students involved and our young people experienced many aspects of the 'world of work'. This included ‘Speed Networking’ in Year 7 - where the children took advantage of the opportunity to interview different business representatives, ‘Career Families’ for Year 8 – where many external employers and colleges came in to showcase what they do, Year 9 students gained an insight into coping strategies and ‘SMARTS’ and Year 10 was all about teambuilding and working together to create a business including designing the name, logo, money handling and administration.

The Year 11 event involves the student learning about their personality traits and strengths and weaknesses.  

The information students received throughout this week will be invaluable as they develop their personal skills and capabilities and will help them as they consider different career options.

These events will be built upon throughout their time with us.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance


‘Beyond Recall’ at Durham Johnston

Today all of Year 7 and Year 8 watched a performance by the band ‘Beyond Recall’. During the performance the band members gave a powerful message about the importance of online safety, how to avoid cyber bullying and standing up against discrimination. The students all enjoyed themselves and left a very excitable bunch.

Here is the press release for the band:

‘With a growing reputation and legion of fans, Beyond Recall have been making waves and turning heads throughout the UK and beyond for the past two years. Formed in Bristol, the Alternative British rock unit take emotion, honest lyrics and heavy vibes to a whole new level. The band released their single Up Up!, which reached No. 1 on MTV Rock TV’s Most Wanted Rock Chart’. Check out a couple of their links below;

Beyond Recall - Almost (Kicks off 30 seconds in)

Beyond Recall - Low (Flo Rida Cover)

‘Up! Up!’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEhVryFrHX4

‘Get it Right’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om_mn4cVoSU

Here are the band social media links

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/beyondrecall/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/BeyondRecall?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Home site - http://beyondrecall.bigcartel.com/

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers


Apprentice Pop Up Information Shop

As part of National Apprenticesip Week, Durham County Council is hosting its tenth Apprentice Pop Up Information shop, providing information about apprenticeship opportunities across the county.  This year's venue for the pop-up is located in vacant shop, next to the Gala Theatre, Millenium Place, Durham on Saturday morning from  9.30 - 12.00.  One to one advice will be available, without the need for an appointment.  Apprentices from the council will also be on hand to share their experiences.

More information about apprenticeships can be found by visiting www.durham.gov.uk


Digital Leaders Raising Money for New Equipment

Our digital leaders are trying to raise money for new equipment that will be used for their “Social Coding” initiative which started with an idea from our chief digital leader to encourage more girls to get into coding. The project now aims to get people from all backgrounds to try their hand at coding and see how fun and creative it can be. We believe that coding can be for everyone and we would like to remove the stereotype that it’s for “video gaming boys”.  

 To do this, we would like to raise money to purchase devices called “Pi-Tops” which are portable kits that would allow us to make better use of our Raspberry Pi devices which currently require a lot of set up time as well as lot of messy cabling. The Pi Tops would allow us to avoid the set up times and spend more time coding and creating as well as not being constricted to an IT suite.

Our target to purchase 10 of these devices is £1500 and we are looking for any people or businesses who might be interested in donating to this cause. We would be very grateful if you could help us spread the word and pass this on to anyone who you think might be able to help.

The project funding page can be found by following the link below:


Thank you in advance for your support

Mr Garside and the Digital Leaders Team


DJ House Leaders present .. 

DJ House Leaders present Johnston v Food, to be held during 1st and 2nd lunch in James Hall on Tuesday 13 March.

Read all about it here!

We hope that students will come along and support the event, donating to causes close to our hearts in the process: Scoliosis support, the local foodbank and our school community.

Miss Forbes and the House Leaders Team


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 12 March 2018




Word of the Week 

Music Notices

National Youth Folk Ensemble

Congratulations to Rosa Pollard Smith (year 11) who has been awarded a place in the National Youth Folk Ensemble. The first performance by this ensemble was at the Sage in February, and there are further concerts to follow in London and Cambridge.

Exam Success

Congratulations to Alice Bhowmick (Orchestral Percussion) and Rachel Lawrence (Voice) who both achieved a Grade 8 distinction in the recent sitting of Associated Board Examinations.


Spring Concert – Thursday 22nd March, James Hal - I can sing a rainbow.

First Part (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.

Second Part (7.30pm) to include Big Band, Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.

Ticket Arrangements.

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 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 ether the Music Department from Monday 26th February.

Final Rehearsals

These will all be as normal next week. w/b 12th March and in the week of the concert rehearsals will be as follows.

Tuesday 20th – 2.45 to 3.45 -  First Part Rehearsal. Wind Band, Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra.

Wednesday 21st – 2.45 to 3.45 – Second Part Rehearsal. Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Please note that the final Big Band rehearsal will be on Friday 16th March.

Concert Dress

In keeping with the ‘rainbow’ theme of the music, performers may substitute 1 item of the school uniform for a bright, block colour alternative. Any questions about this should be address to Mrs Holmes, as I’m not known for my sartorial elegance!

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


PE Department News

On Tuesday the weather caused the postponement of the football matches for both boys and girls teams.

However our U19 basketball team did take on Gosforth Academy trying to reach the “last 16” of the English Schools Cup.

This was an excellent game in which we took an early lead. Despite a late Gosforth fightback we proved too strong, going on to win by 14 points. This result then took us to Heaton Manor School for the last 16 game which took place yesterday. This was another outstanding game which was close throughout. A Jack Marsden 3 point shot meant the scores were level with 30 seconds to go but despite two attempts to score we couldn’t find the winning basketball. As the time ran out they shot and unfortunately it went in to give them a two point win.

In between these games, on Wednesday, our U16 team took on Walbottle Academy also in the English Schools Cup. We took an early lead and despite being in control of the game we couldn’t build up a decisive lead only winning by 4 points. They now take on Gosforth Academy for a place in the “last 16”.

Also on Wednesday we had three of our badminton teams competing in the north-east Regional finals at Thornaby Pavilions. The winners of this event qualify for the National finals. In the morning our Key Stage 3 boys had a difficult draw taking on the eventual winners from Hummersknott in the first match. However they never gave up winning their final match 3 – 2 to finish in 3rd place.

In the afternoon our Key Stage 4 girls also finished in 3rd place after winning their final game. To complete an excellent day our Key Stage 4 boys finished 4th. We were one of only two schools in the north-east to have three teams in the finals.

Yesterday our Year 10 football team took on Monkwearmouth in the County cup semi-final. We started slowly going 3 – 0 behind. However we never gave up and came back to 3 – 2. Unfortunately we couldn’t find another goal to take the game into extra-time.

Finally good luck tonight to our year 10 basketball team who are at Dame Allan’s for friendly match.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Alpe D'Huez 2018

Year 8 pupils had a great time skiing in Alpe D'Huez last week with lots of fresh powder and blue skies. There were 16 beginners who perfected turning and simple jumps, with the more experienced trying challenging black runs.

Mrs White, PE Department


Durham Schools Easter Festival

Please find below photos from Durham Schools Easter Festival in which our Y11 and 2, Under 19 teams entered on Wednesday night. Our Y11 squad played outstandingly well, winning all matches apart from one. They lost out by only 1 goal to Durham High in the final seconds! Our 2, Under 19 teams – drafted together at the last minute - played some lovely netball. We were the only school in Durham to be able to boast 2 teams. Unfortunately our captain Elyssa Morgan was injured during the last game against ourselves! The only other fear of injury was when the Easter eggs were dished out at the end! Well done players – great team work, skills and positive attitude all round!


Mrs Bell, Assistant Head



Neville's Cross Easter Egg Hunt - Can You Help?

Neville's Cross South Neighbourhood Watch is in the midst of of organising an Easter Egg hunt in Neville's Cross, Sunday 25th March 3-5pm at the Nevilles Cross Scout's hut behind St. Johns's Church. Fancy dress is optional.  In addition to the egg hunt, there will be storytelling, a nature trail, a music and movement class, cakes for sale, fondant icing demo and decorate your own cake, the WI, Olio-food sharing and RSPB.  

The organisers are seeking volunteers to support the event, either by donating the items in the list below, or helping out on the day.  

Craft supplies
Easter decorations
Cakes, Biscuits, Easter treats
Easter books
Easter Bunny costume
Alice in Wonderland Costume
Mad Hatter costume

All assistance is greatly appreciated, so if you would like to volunteer,  then please contact:

Mrs Mandeep Smith, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Webpage: https://nxeasteregghunt.weebly.com

Facebook Group: Neville's Cross South Neighbourhood Watch


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