Dates for your Diary
The first football match I attended was 40 years ago. I grew up very near to Birmingham City’s ground, St. Andrew’s, and never countenanced supporting another team. My first game was an away game, at Wolverhampton’s Molineux stadium, on 1st April 1978. Birmingham won 1-0 and Trevor Francis scored, but I only have vague memories of that. What I do remember very clearly are the songs and chants and, somewhat incongruously, the large tree growing in one of the stands.
Similarly, I only have hazy memories of the 1978 World Cup in Argentina that started two months later. My memories relate to the tickertape released by the Argentinian fans, a snowstorm of confetti thrown from the stands which obscured the television pictures. Our television worked by placing single 50p pieces into a slot and I remember the frustration when the TV turned off and my family had no replacement coins.
Those formative experiences gave me a love of football and the characters that populated the game in the late 1970s and early 1980s. My boyhood hero was Trevor Francis, the first £1,000,000 footballer. Birmingham signed him by promising his mother a new washing machine (they eventually reneged on the deal and purchased a second hand one instead) and made a vast profit selling him to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, for whom he scored the winning goal in the 1979 European Cup Final. Clough had a huge impact upon me as a child too, mainly because of his facility with language and his inspired bon mots; ‘They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wasn’t on that particular job.’
(There’s a wonderful documentary about Clough and that successful Forest team called ‘I Believe in Miracles.’ The trailer is below).
Whilst my memories of the 1978 World Cup are sketchy, those of the tournament 4 years later in Spain are crystal clear. Particularly the official England World Cup single that I bought in Woolworths with my pocket money, (I bought House of Fun by Madness too, but had no understanding of what the song was about) to the anguish of failing to score against West Germany in the final game. I watched those games on a tiny black and white television with my Grandad and from that point on can measure my formative years by what I was doing at the point of each consecutive World Cup. 1986; Lineker and the start of my GCEs and O Levels. 1990; first year of University, Bobby Robson, David Platt’s goal and Gazza’s tears. All quite cliched retrospectively, but thrilling at the time. 1994; working for Lloyd’s Bank and Ray Houghton’s goal against Italy in New York for Ireland.
By 1998 I was in my NQT year at Durham Johnston and England’s first game in France kicked off at 1.30 p.m. During the school day. There was only one television available at Whinney Hill and I booked it 6 weeks in advance to outmanoeuvre other teachers. One of my year 7 students had tickets for the match and we looked for him in the crowd. I gave the class a short history of the World Cup to assuage any guilt at not teaching them about the spread of the Black Death. We beat Tunisia 2-0, Paul Scholes scored. By 2002 technology had advanced considerably and I watched the early morning kick off in Japan in Science Lab 1 with around 40 students and teachers. The science teachers fried bacon and sausages for sandwiches using their Bunsen burners.
The 2006 and 2010 World Cups were less important than family life. Like many middle-aged men, I had a sense of wistful nostalgia for when football was purer, more honest. Whimsical nonsense obviously, but it isn’t always easy to stay true to your youthful pursuits. Age, fatigue and cynicism start to have their impact. My faith has been restored, but not by a new generation of footballers or a change in the nature of the game; bloated with money, distant from supporters, obsessed with short term gain. Common criticisms and valid to an extent. My faith was restored by the enthusiasm of the students at Durham Johnston. In 2014 the England team were awful, but our students were inspired. The PE department organised a school World Cup, allocating countries to the different forms and houses. The students made flags and banners. Played instruments and composed songs. Form teachers co-ordinated support. There was pageantry and excitement. Lunch time was looked forward to with anticipation.
The tournament kicked off in Russia last night, but the real World Cup begins on Monday on the school’s 3-G pitch. Faith and youthful enthusiasm are in plentiful supply and there have been no concerns raised about whether or not the tournament has been exposed to bribery or corruption. Keep right on. иди вперед!
A J O’Sullivan
New DfE website on GCSE reforms
The DfE has launched a new website with more details about the further 20 reformed GCSEs. It includes information for students, parents, employers and anyone working in education. The homepage directs users to factsheets for parents, employers, further and higher education institutions, which provide explanations of the new grading system and other information about the reforms. A short video to explain the changes is also included.
Mr Bancroft, Deputy Headteacher
For further details please click on the link below.
Reward day will take place on Friday 13 July.
World Cup Design Competition Winners
Please click on the following link to view the winning entries of the World CUp Design Competition.
Word of the Week
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 18 June 2018
Congratulations to Matthew Edge and Josie Moir who both achieved a Grade 8 distinction in Orchestral Percussion in the recent sitting of Associated Board Examinations.
Good luck to all students who have external graded music exams over the next few weeks. If your child will arrive late to school, or needs to leave early on account of an exam, please write a note in their planner and ask them to ask either me, or their form tutor, to countersign it. This will ensure that they are marked as being educated off site, rather than absent.
Big Band – Picnic in the Park, Saturday 23rd June, Durham Johnston School, 12.00 -13.00
An event for all the family - a chance to hear the Big Band perform a range of trad. Jazz standards, modern Jazz and Fusion in the open air. Picnic blankets and picnics are encouraged. No tickets required.
School Music Festival – Friday 29th June
The 11th Durham Johnston Music Festival will be held in James Hall on Friday 29th June. Please do come and support the musicians who will be performing. If you can only make one or two of the classes you are still more than welcome. Our adjudicator this year is Alex Lewis, who is a former Johnstonian and now works for North Tyneside Music Education Hub.
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
Music for a Summer Evening – Friday 6th July, James Hall, 19.00.
Thanks to those members of year 13 and their supporters who have already purchased tickets for Music for a Summer Evening. Tickets, which will not be available on the door and must be purchased in advance, are available from the Music Department at a cost of £7.00. This includes food and your first drink and please note that performers still need to purchase a ticket to cover refreshment costs.
If any year of 13 would like to provide a musical item, any genre welcome, please ask them to let a member of the music department know and it can be added to the running order.
Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music
On Monday our Year 7 cricket team travelled to Eppleton CC to take on Hetton School in the County Cup. They have some excellent batsman and scored an impressive 136 runs in their 20 overs. We made a solid start to the run chase but kept losing wickets eventually finishing 36 runs of our target.
On Tuesday it was the turn of our Year 10 cricket team to be in cup action. The travelled to Prudhoe in the Tyneside Cup. Both teams bowled well with Prudhoe scoring 71 runs. Despite losing 9 wickets we got the required runs to reach the semi-final against Whickham.
It was also a busy night of tennis for the boys on Tuesday as our U13B team took on Biddick. They played very well, eventually winning 6 – 0. Our U15B team had 3 matches. They started with a close 4 – 2 victory over St Aidan’s. Then followed a more straight forward 6 – 0 win over Biddick. The final match was a friendly against Durham School which came down to the last set. We won that to complete an excellent night.
A busy week continued on Wednesday with cricket, athletics and rounders. Our Year 7 and Junior boys athletics teams were at Monkton for the Tyneside Championships. The standard is always high at this event. Both teams performed very well with our Year 7’s finishing runners-up by only 4 points and our Junior team finishing in 4th place.
Our Year 8 cricket team were at Durham School for a 6-a-side competition. We started with a comfortable victory before losing a close game to the hosts. We eventually finished in 3rd place after losing a very close last game.
Also on Wednesday our Year 7 & Y8 rounders teams were at Lanchester St Bede’s for league games. We played some excellent rounders to secure two easy victories winning 86 – 26 and 66 – 34 respectively.
Yesterday our U13 girls cricket team were at Billingham CC in the County “Chance to Compete” finals. We started very well winning all our group games to finish top of the group and set up a semi-final against St Wilfred’s. They proved to be a very strong team beating us and then going on to win the final. An excellent achievement to finish in the top four schools in the county.
Also yesterday our Year 7 and Year 8 athletics teams travelled to The Riverside Stadium for the Area championships. Several events, including the high jump and javelin, had to be cancelled because of the severe winds. Despite the difficult conditions we produced excellent performances to achieve the following results:
Year 7 Boys
1st Durham Johnston
2nd St Leonard's
Year 7 Girls
1st Durham Johnston
2nd Durham High
Year 8 Boys
1st St Leonard’s
2nd Durham Johnston
3rd Durham School
Year 8 Girls
1st St Leonard’s
2nd Durham High
3rd Durham Johnston
1st Durham Johnston
2nd St Leonard’s
Finally good luck tonight to our U15 tennis team who are playing Hummersknott in a league game.
Bring and Share, Beaurepaire
Dream Community Charity is holding 'Bring & Share' session next Thursday 21st June 2018 at Bearpark Parish Church from 7-9 p.m. The Dream Community Charity is setting up a research group to look into the history of Beaurepaire. Director, Rebecca Watkins is hoping that members of of the local community will come along on the 21st to share their memories, artefacts, objects, and picture relating to the Beaurepaire site.
This evening Rebecca will be in and around Bearpark and Durham, sorting out some logistics for the Beaurepaire project. She would be pleased to meet anyone who would like to share or chat about what they might want to bring to a 'Bring & Share' meeting. You can text or ring her on: 07895216171 to discuss.
Term and holiday dates 2018-2020