Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (23)

July (2)

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

  • 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.
  • Music for a Summer Evening, Friday 6 July, 7.00 p.m. 


Head's Letter to Parents

We have had a very busy half term. Year 6 students have visited the school for the first time; years 11, 12 and 13 have left to prepare for exams. In a great variety of ways, the school continues to grow and to go from strength to strength.

In December 2017 the Headteacher, Michael Wardle, wrote to all parents with the following message:

This school has a long and rich tradition, and its values stand the test of time. Generations of students, generations of teachers and staff have protected these values and these traditions. Generations of headteachers have helped enshrine these values and traditions. I believe I have played my part in this. I will be spending some time away from school working as an inspector of schools, and I am glad to announce that Andrew O'Sullivan will be Headteacher during this time. A great many of you know him well through his time here as history teacher and senior leader. I know that he, Mr Bancroft and other leaders in school will continue to move the school from strength to strength.

Dr Wardle has chosen to continue his work as an inspector of schools and will not be returning to the school. On behalf of the staff and governing body I would like to thank him for his excellent service to the school.  I will be continuing in my role as Acting Headteacher until July 2019. When sharing his decision with staff at the school, Dr. Wardle noted that:

The Johnston is quite an amazing place, and its history and reputation are far greater than the person who has temporary stewardship.

I agree entirely with those sentiments and will seek to uphold the school’s ethos and build upon its reputation in the year ahead. Have a good half-term.

Mr O’Sullivan



Remembering Gill

On Thursday 24th May, Durham Johnston staff held a coffee morning in memory of our colleague, Gill Bittlestone, who we sadly lost to cancer two years ago.  

The coffee morning was very well attended and £192 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.  

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the event.

Mrs Aiken, English Department


Public Examinations:  Important information for students in Year 11, 12, and 13

Please click the link below for important information regarding the forthcoming public examinations 

The leaflet provides students with details of exam regulations during the examination period, dates when examinations results will be available to collect, dates when certificates and coursework can be collected and details of post-results services deadlines.

Students in Years 11, 12, and 13 will  be provided with a printed copy of this leaflet.

Public Examinations:  Important information for students in Year 11, 12, and 13


World Challenge Expedition 2018

On Wednesday 23rd May the twelve Sixth Form students taking part in the 2018 World Challenge Expedition to Nepal completed their final information evening and presented to parents, outlining the work they will be doing whilst in Nepal. Over the four weeks they are in the country the students will complete a community project in a local school and will be working and living in the Nepalese villages which were affected by the 2015 earthquake. They will also take on the Annapurna sanctuary trek over a period of 12 days, trekking up to heights of 3700m. Finally they will spend time in Kathmandu, visiting some of the fantastic cultural sites and temples learning about Nepalese culture. Over the last two years the students have worked hard to fundraise the money to take on this amazing experience. They have held craft fairs in local leisure centres, abseiled off the transporter bridge, car washed, and held a music gig to name but a few of their events. They are now ready for their departure in July and looking forward to the experiences ahead of them.

Mrs Hardwick, Expedition Leader


Year 8 Geography Projects

Year 8 students have been learning about how cities can be more sustainable.

Their task was to design their own sustainable city, thinking about the economy, society and the environment.

A fantastic effort from all students who took part.

Pictured above are some of the best examples of work.

Ms. Colquitt, Subject Leader for Geography


Duke of Edinburgh's Silver Expedition

Last weekend was the Silver Award team's final expedition.  They explored the North York Moors in beautiful sunshine, finishing in Goathland (of Harry Potter and Heartbeat fame!).  All students completed their expedition succesfully, with some sunburn and blisters to remember the experience with.  Well done!

Miss Clay, Co-ordinator, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme


Word of the Week


Music Notices

School Music Festival – Friday 29th June

Congratulations to all finalists of the 2018 School Music Festival whose names are posted on the door of Music Room 1. Please note that there will be rehearsals during the day and that the three classes will be held in James Hall at the following times during the evening.

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


Durham Music Service Lessons reply slip.

Many thanks to all parents and carers who have returned the reply slip at the foot of the letter which explains the new financial arrangements that will be in place from September. The deadline for returning these was today and there are still a fair few outstanding. If your child receives tuition from Durham Music Service and you haven’t yet returned this letter please click here.


Music tuition during study leave for years 11, 12 and 13

During study leave pupils are more than welcome to come into school for instrumental/ vocal lessons and they need not be in school uniform if they are on site for this sole purpose.  If they are unable to attend lessons, please would you be kind enough to encourage them to inform their teacher, in order that this time can be reallocated.

Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music


House News


I was sad to say farewell to the Year 13 students who have been instrumental in developing the House system over the last two years.  I met with them on Monday to thank them all in person for their commitment over the last two years, and would like to share my thanks to them with you.


Dear Year 13 House Leaders

I could not let you go without saying goodbye, which we did over pizza on Monday (note to self – order more next time!).  However, I wanted to say it officially too.

Where do I start…. The House System was the vision of Miss Bittlestone; she wanted to bring “the fun” to DJ! May marked the 2-year anniversary of her passing.  Miss B wanted the house system to succeed and we spoke about it a lot during her final days in school. I will never forget the smile on her face when she knew that it would continue, and that the VI would take the lead.

In 2 years you have accomplished more than I could ever have imagined, you have brought enthusiasm, drive, community spirit and several crazy ideas! I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of you all; of the way you have taken everything in your stride – striving for excellence at all times.

You truly are a credit to DJ and I shall miss you all terribly.

Thank you for everything that you have done – you have most certainly “brought the fun”

Miss L Forbes - Computing



PE Department News

The highlight of this week has of course been the U14 girls competing in the English Schools National football final at the Madejski Stadium, Reading.

Please see the report below from Mrs White for full details, but the whole two days were an incredible experience for the girls involved. They were a credit to school at all times, particularly losing in such cruel circumstances with the last kick of the match. I am sure it is an experience they will never forget. Can I say a huge thank-you to Mrs White and “Coach Mally” for the hours of work that go into getting Durham Johnston to such a prestigious event. Let’s hope we can go one step further next year.

The outstanding football achievements also continued with the boys this week as our Year 10 team were involved in two cup finals. On Tuesday they took on Whitworth in the Ben Potts Cup. We took control early in the game going on to lift the title with a 4 – 0 victory. They were back at St John’s yesterday for the League Cup final, this time taking on Staindrop. This was a one-sided game, as we completed the double with a 7 – 1 victory.

There has also been several rounders matches this week. On Monday our Year 9 team took on Hermitage and had a comprehensive victory winning 78 – 9.

On Wednesday it was the turn of our Year 10 team. They had two matches, beating Durham School 67 – 59 and then Tanfield 95 – 22.

On Thursday our Year 7 team beat Choristers School 52 – 22 and our Year 8 lost 22 – 78.

Last night our U13B boys tennis team took on Barnard Castle A team. It was an excellent night of tennis with close matches but unfortunately things didn’t quite go our way as we lost 5 – 1. Better news for the girls who played a friendly and won 6 - 3

Finally this week our Year 10 cricket team won the County Cup match on Monday against Egglescliffe but not so good news for our Year 8 team who lost yesterday to a very strong team from Easington.


Finally to those Year 7’s going to Malaga on Monday 4th June, don’t forget to set your alarm and we will see you at school for 2.45am – ready for what should be an excellent week of sport in the sun. Please check the school Twitter feed for updates during the week.

Mr Hopper -  Subject Leader, PE


Well done!

The U14 girls football team travelled to the Madejski Stadium in Twadibh for the National finals this week to face Blenheim high school. The girls stayed in a hotel in Aylesbury, went for a swim and a healthy meal the night before to fully prepare for the match. The team has the chance to warm up in Reading FC’s training facility and change into their new strips in the official changing rooms. Once on the pitch Emily salmon scored the first goal after 29 seconds leaving the opposition in shock. After that the game progresses very well, with some excellent saves from Erin Jacques our goal keeper. Emily went on to score another goal and Holly Middleton scored a penalty. The 4th official announced injury time when the score was 3-3. In the 73rd minute we were very unfortunate to let a goal in leaving the final score 4-3. The girls were devastated but the staff and parents were very proud of their achievements.

Mrs White, PE Department


Ski Visit 2019:  Instalment 4 

May I remind parents and carers of students who are going skiing in 2019 that the 4th instalment of £144 is due the week after half term.

Mrs Hopper, Ski Party Leader



Term and holiday dates up until summer 2020

School Holiday and Term Dates 2018 - 2020