Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (38)

November (5)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (2)

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2017 (42)

December (4)

November (4)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

June (4)

May (4)

April (3)

March (4)

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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

  • Monday 7 May - May Day Bank Holiday - school closed
  • School breaks for the Summer half term holiday on Friday 25 May and re-opens on Monday 4 June
  • School Music Festival, Friday 29 June 6.00 p.m. in James Hall
  • Monday 2 July - Year 6 Parents' Induction Evening, 6.00 p.m.


What makes someone a good teacher?



If you have the answer to the above question you have the potential to become very rich indeed. A vast industry exists around ‘good or outstanding teaching.’ From professional organisations offering 12 week mentoring courses through to happy amateurs theorising in their sheds about the most effective way to implement Kagan’s guidance on shoulder partners. To become outstanding, I have been advised to Hugg (Have Unbelievably Great Goals), to ‘never swerve’, but to definitely ‘unplug’ and go off-piste when the opportunity arises. I have been enthusiastically advised to think both inside and outside of the box; not simultaneously, in the spirit of F. Scott Fitzgerald (“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”)but at key moments in a lesson’s development. Or at least that’s what I think was meant. Every time someone references boxes in this manner my mind wanders to Alec Guinness in Bridge Over The River Kwai (What have I done?), or to Noel Edmonds (The horror).

None of this is intended to disparage. The research and guidance offered by Durham University’s CEM centre, as an example, is invaluable. Teachers, like students and the rest of the human population, are unique; they are not made to order from component parts on a production line. Many of the above things may work for some; they will be anathema to others. Finding something that works is the key and, after observing hundreds of lessons and working closely with others teachers for 20 years, the most important thing, in my opinion, is consistency, or typicality. Students benefit most from teachers who create routines and systems. They are typically well organised. They regularly give clear advice about how to improve.  This might not sound as exciting as going off-piste or being voted teacher of the year in the National Teaching Awards, but it is what I would want for my child.

As an NQT in 1997 I asked one of Durham Johnston’s then Deputy Headteachers what made someone a good teacher. She thought about the question and, the next day, handed me a piece of paper with the following 10 points:



Our Year 6 parents and students were in school on Thursday evening and they had the chance to meet with some of the key teachers responsible for transition. I shared the aforementioned advice that I was given 20 years ago because it accurately reflects our values. We discussed the school’s ethos and our how we try to integrate and develop students in a supportive way.  Schools, like teachers, work most effectively when they are consistent in the systems that they use

There is no formula for outstanding teaching, because no two subjects or teachers are the same. There are, however, a number of things that successful teachers do. They are reliable, have high expectations and, most importantly, know how best to support and motivate individual students.  

A J O’Sullivan 


Year 10 Mock Examination Timetable

Year 10 mock examinations will take place from Monday 30 April until 10 May 2018.  Please click on the link below for a copy of the timetable.

Year 10 Mock Examination Timetable 2018


Year 11 Intervention Timetable

Please click on the link below for details of lunchtime and after-school support session available to Year 11 students.

Year 11 Intervention Timetable


Year 11 Physics Examination Revision

Please find below a link to revision material which will help Year 11 students with their Physics revision for the 2018 examinations.  The revision material is on the school system S:/Science/Students/Physics/PHYSICS REVISION GCSE 2018.

Students should use as many of these resources as possible over the next few weeks to help improve their grades.   

Good luck to our Year 11 cohort.

Mr Howarth, Science Department


Greek Club

Greek Club meets in  La8 at lunchtime on Thursdays.  We would like to welcome students from Year 8 upwards who are interested in discovering the language, history and culture of ancient Greece. 

For further details, please contact me.

Mrs Bothwell, Languages Department


Word of the Week


LOVE ART Young Artist Prize 2018

Congratulations to Year 13, Fine Art student Emily Corrigan for reaching the final shortlist of 12 Artworks for the Saatchi LOVE ART Young Artist Prize with her large-scale drawing 'Drill'.

Emily's work will be exhibited, along with other finalists, at the Cass Art Space, Islington from 1-6 May 2018, with the possibility of it being exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in June.

Staff in Art department at Durham Johnston are delighted that the exceptional work by one of their A-level Art students has been recognised in such a prestigious national schools' competition.

We wish Emily luck in the final selection.

Ms Hitchcock, Subject Leader for Art


Higher Education Week

This has been a busy week for Year 12 who are researching their options after A level. 

On Monday 23rd April, Bath and Edinburgh universities admissions staff came in and gave lunchtime talks on their offers and a general presentation on “maximising your chances of selection by universities” to Year 12 students. After-school Oxford & Cambridge staff came in and delivered an admissions preparation workshop for Year 12 students from a number of NE schools. On Wednesday 25th the whole year group visited the UCAS Tyneside Convention to meet representatives from universities across the UK. Talks continued on Thursday 26th with presentations on Routes into Teaching by Bishop Grosseteste University and Studying in the USA from Harvard University.

Mr McArdle, Assistant Head (Director Post-16)


History Seminar

A big thank you to Dr Patrick Glen from UCL for leading a fascinating semiar on his research into 1960's culture and society.  Year 12 historians were attentive, engaged and proved to be exemplary representative of our sixth form.  

Following the event Dr Glen tweeted 'Inspirational students and teachers in the History Department at Durham Johnston School. Really impressed.  If any of their lower sixth cohort apply to UCL, let them in!'

Well done to all involved.

Mr Wilbraham, Deputy Head of Sixth Form


Year 12 Student Wins National Competition

We are very proud to announce that one of our Head Student team, Oscar Jelley, has been awarded first prize in the Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, essay competition.  The Corpus Hoskyn Prize for Theology is very prestigious and we are delighted for Oscar and his family.


Science Department News

Update - 50th Royal Society of Chemistry UK Olympiad

Before Easter, I wrote to you about the fantastic performance of year 13 pupils in the 50th Royal Society of Chemistry UK Olympiad.  Over the Easter break, one Durham Johnston sixth former, Matthew Edge, was invited to attend the selection weekend for the team to represent the UK in the 2018 International Chemistry Olympiad – hosted in Bratislava and Prague, Slovakia and Czech Republic.  The top 30 entrants from across the UK had been chosen to attend based on their performance in previous rounds. The selection weekend was hosted at the University of Cambridge and involved a series of practical classes, lectures, as well as two assessments, on practical assessment and one theory assessment.  Matthew and other attendees also experience Cambridge University student life by staying in St. Catherine’s college.  Matthew performed incredibly well in the assessed tasks, scoring the second highest mark in the theory paper! Unfortunately, he didn’t perform quite as well in the practical assessment, so overall he was ranked 6th; this was agonisingly close to being ranked in the top 4 to be selected for the UK team! However, this is still an incredible achievement for Matthew given that around 7,000 sixth formers from across the country entered the UK Olympiad. Staff in the Chemistry department would like to congratulate Matthew; we look forward to supporting more pupils who enter the Olympiad in the future.

Dr Clay, Chemistry Department


Biology Society Guest Speaker

On Tuesday, Dr. Christine Howard from Durham University gave a presentation on her work in the field of ecology and conservation. She explained how her career as a researcher has led her from monitoring the “starvation-predation trade-off” of redshanks on a freezing coast in Scotland, to analysing the survival rates of passerines in Trinidad, to even larger scale projects. Her recent work has ensured the continuation of the EU commission “The Birds Directive” to maintain numbers of resident bird species across Europe. Dr. Howard showed us that research leads to positive outcomes and that both macro and micro are important in understanding the world.

Jenna Cheung, Year 12



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 30 April 2018.



Music Notices

Congratulations to Chamber Choir who sang Evensong in Durham Cathedral on Monday Evening.  They were a real credit to both themselves and the school.  It was the first time that many of them had sung for this particular service and was a real glimpse into the life of the many singers who do this day by day in cathedrals and churches throughout the land.


Durham Music Service Lessons

If your child is in Years 7–12 and receives lessons from Durham Music Service, please click on the link below to an important letter regarding new financials arrangements for lessons from next academic year.

DMS Music Tuition Letter


School Music Festival

The School Music Festival will take place on the evening of Friday 29th June in James Hall and there will be three classes: -

Class 1 (Grade 1-3)        Whinney Hill Music Cup                         6.00pm

Class 2 (Grade 4-5)        Crossgate Moor Music Cup                    6.45pm

Class 3 (Grade 6+)         Durham Johnston School Music Cup      8.00pm

The competition is open to all pupils who take music lessons outside school (including piano and singing) as well as those who receive tuition in school from Durham Music Service.  Pieces, which must be solo (accompanied or unaccompanied), must last no longer than 3 minutes for Classes 1 and 2, and 4 minutes for Class 3.  Pupils who play more than one instrument may enter a maximum of two different classes and the grades for each round refer to the standard of the piece performed and not to any formal qualification held.

For more details and an entry form, please click on the link below for a copy of the Music Festival Entry Form. Please note that this in the correct version and apologies that some of last year’s letters were distributed earlier this week.

Music Festival Entry Form 2018


Brass Day

Durham Festival of the Arts and Durham University would like to invite brass and percussionists to attend a free Community Brass Day, directed by Russell Gray, on Saturday 2nd June in St Oswald’s Institute (Church Hall), Church Street, Durham. Please email AbigailGroocock  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music



PE Department News

On Tuesday our Year 7, 9 & 11 football teams were due to play their final league games against Ferryhill.

Unfortunately they conceded the year 7 and 9 games. However the Year 11 game did go ahead and turned into a great game.

Despite taking an early lead we kept conceding goals eventually losing 5 – 2.

Also on Tuesday our U13 girls' football team were at home competing in the Area tournament. Comfortable victories against both Framwellgate and St Leonard’s saw us win the competition

On Wednesday our U13 girls' basketball team took Redhouse School in a friendly. We started well and completely dominated the game going on to win 84 – 12.

Also on Wednesday our U13 table tennis teams were at St Leonard’s for the Tyneside finals. The standard was very high and after an excellent afternoon of competition our A team finished runners-up.

To complete a busy Wednesday our Year 8 & 10 football teams travelled to Wolsingham for cup matches. Both games were one-sided and we reached the next round with 9 – 1 and 5 – 0 wins respectively.

Finally this week it has been excellent to see so many children turning up for extra-curricular activities, including well over 100 last Friday for a variety of activities including a successful start to the cricket season for our Year 7 team who beat Castleview by 3 runs”

Mr Hopper. Subject Leader for PE


Under 13 Girls' Football

The U13 girls' football team from Year 7 and 8 played in the Level 2 school games qualifier against St Leonards and Framwellgate Moor this week. The girls showed their strength in both games and won convincingly. This means that Durham Johnston girls will represent Durham City at the County Games in July.

Mrs White, PE Department


Durham Adventure Festival 27-29 April 2018


Durham Adventure Festival from 27 - 29 April which takes places in the Gala Theatre promises a weekend of adventure, with talks from epic explorers and the world's best outdoor films, specially selected by Kendal Mountain Festival.

For more information please click on the following link.

Durham Adventure Festival



Boys' Football Fixtures and Match Reports 2017-2018


Extra Curricular Activities

Extra Curricular Activities - Summer Term 2018


Term and holiday dates up until summer 2020

School Holiday and Term Dates 2018 - 2020