Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (22)

July (1)

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


  • Durham Johnston Big Band, 'Picnic in the Park', Saturday 23 June 12.00 - 1.00 p.m. 
  • Sixth Form Induction Day, Friday 29 June, 8.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.
  • School Music Festival, Friday 29 June 6.00 p.m. in James Hall
  • Year 6 Parents' Induction Evening, Monday 2 July, 6.00 p.m. 
  • Music for a Summer Evening, Friday 6 July, 7.00 p.m. 
  • School breaks for the summer holidays - Friday 20th July
  • AS/A Level Results Day - Thursday 16 August 2018  (A level - 8.00 a.m and AS - 10.00 a.m.)
  • GCSE Results Day - Thursday 23 August - 10.00 a.m.
  • School re-opens for the academic year 2018-2019,  Wednesday 5 September 2018


Head's Letter to Parents

All you Punks and all you Teds, Mods, Rockers, Hippies and Skinheads ...........*

I used to complete morning duty on the school yard with a world weary colleague in his late forties. He would survey the students as they came into school and say, each week, ‘Where have all the mods gone?’ His question always seemed to be a plaintive cry, bemoaning the lost tribes of the past; for a time when the sub-cultures were easier to spot. They dressed in a certain way, listened to specific genres of music and associated with like-minded individuals. As a young mod myself, I demonstrated my individualism by dressing in an identical manner to a small group of friends; in a parka and ‘Jam shoes.’ (Google them).

The older I get, the harder I find it to pick out the subtle differences that denote contemporary youth culture. However, there is a youth phenomenon that has emerged on the yard this year. The younger students dance. They dance individually. They dance and sing songs. They formation dance. They do this in a spontaneous manner with no fear or personal embarrassment or potential ridicule. Not all of them, but enough to make it noteworthy. Some older students initially tried to participate, based upon the time-honoured tradition of making fun of those who don’t conform, but the younger students continued to dance. I’m not sure at what age self-consciousness takes over, but for now, they are undeterred. There may no longer be mods or punks, but there are dancers.

I’ve commented before about the difficulty of judging or grading teachers’ lessons. The value of doing so is debateable, but if you choose to, it can be a fiendishly difficult thing to do accurately. Most people know if something appears to be very good or absolutely awful, but the points in between are harder to assess. We have recently appointed a new Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for teaching and staff training. Whilst identifying some materials to share with him I came across an activity that I had used for training purposes with teachers from other schools in 2012. It was intended to demonstrate the subjective nature of grading lessons. Those observing are strongly influenced by latent bias and a preferred style or approach. To demonstrate this, the following 5 clips feature different people dancing. After watching them, how would you answer the questions outlined below? 

1.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4EnNBQEVXQ

2.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmcnbKSlNi8

3.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdz88MBWomo

4.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvP3KRWA4aU

5.      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNKRm6H-qOU

Which clip features the best dancer? What is your evidence? What makes someone an outstanding dancer? Do any of the dancers ‘require improvement’? Can you rank them in order of ability?It is possible to answer these questions, but it might not actually be worthwhile to do so. Just because you prefer the 4th clip doesn’t mean that it features the best dancing.**  With regard to teaching, making a judgement is not the same as helping someone to improve. With regard to dancing, it should be encouraged and any ‘judging’ should be left to Craig Revel Horwood.

Mr O’Sullivan

*Lyrics from ‘Do The Dog’ by The Specials (1979).

** The best dancing clearly takes place in clip 1.


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


Year 10 Languages Event: The Spanish Language Apprentice

Ten of our GCSE Spanish students attended a languages event at Durham University this week. Along with four other schools from the North East.  Students worked in teams to complete a number of activities including translation, writing, reading and cultural knowledge.  At the end of the day, they gave a presentation in Spanish to all the other participating schools.  

All of our students worked extremely hard and represented the school brilliantly.  

Mrs Jackson, Languages Department



Durham Computing At Schools Hub wins national award

Durham Johnston School is a Computing At Schools (CAS) centre of excellence. As part of that Mr Garside and Mr Green from Consett Academy lead a CAS regional hub with the aim of supporting the teaching of Computer Science in the Durham Area. This week we were very proud to learn that the Durham hub had won “Hub of the year” award at the CAS national conference. The award included winning £500 worth of robotics equipment to use across the region to inspire students and support the digital making elements of the Computing curriculum .

Mr Garside, Computing Department


Latin Department Notice

All students who have signed up for the study visit to Pompeii in October have received a letter confirming the final balance of payment which is due by Thursday 12th July. If you have any queries, please email Mrs Bothwell: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

There will be a briefing meeting for parents in September. 

Mrs Bothwell, Languages Department



Word of the Week



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 25 June 2018





Music Notices

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


World Cup 2018


The world Cup tournament for Year 7 was incredibly successful - both on and off the pitch.  Year 7 forms really entered into the spirit of things; baking, creating, singing, dancing and chanting!

A superb effort by all involved!

Year 8, you're up next  -  good luck.

Miss Forbes and Mr Kidd



World Cup Bulletin

World Cup fever has well and truly taken over Durham Johnston this week.  Each house has been chosen to represent a country and to play fixtures against the other houses.



After three games, the bottom two teams played for 3rd and 4th places.  Two astounding goals, worthy of winning any game, meant that the game was tied and would be decided by penalties.

Morocco, unfortunately were the unlucky team and finished in 4th overall, earning 25 hours points for Wakenshaw, meaning Egypt were victorious and earned 50 house points for Heaviside.

Today was the Year 7 final, and again, another penalty shootout after Ben Gray opened the scoring with an excellent free kick to put Belgium ahead in the first half.  Corey Humphrey levelled the scoring after a great run down the right hand side and a neat finish into the bottom corner.

Columbia were victorious after 8 outstanding penalties and earned 100 house point for Kenny.  Well done to all who participated.  The competition was a huge success.

Mr Kidd, PE Department

PE Department News

On Monday our Junior boys and girls athletics teams were at Sports Village, Middlesbrough competing in the North-east regional round of the English Schools Cup. It was a great achievement to reach this stage and as always the standard was high as we took on the best schools in the region. After an excellent day of competition our Junior girls finished in 7th place and our Junior boys in 8th place.

Also on Monday our U13 girls tennis team took on Durham High and Redhouse in league games. Both teams were very strong and despite a battling performance we lost 6 – 0 and 5 – 1.

Tennis continued on Tuesday as our U13 boys travelled to Egglescliffe School for a league game. This was a close match which we eventually lost 4 – 2. They then travelled on to Yarm School for the north-east play-off. As County Champions we were representing County Durham. Yarm proved too strong for us, but still an excellent achievement to finish second in the north-east. Our U13 & U15 girls tennis teams were also at Yarm on Tuesday playing a triangular league tournament with the hosts and Teesside High. The girls lost both matches but never gave up against very strong teams.

On Wednesday we were hosting the U13 Tyneside tennis finals. We started with a comfortable 6 – 0 victory over St Leonard’s. In our final group game we beat St Cuthbert’s 4 – 2 to reach the final which was against Kings Priory, Tynemouth. This was an excellent match which came down to the last set. We were losing 3 – 2 but couldn’t quite win the final game ending as runners-up.

The tennis continued yesterday as our U13 girls took on RGS, Newcastle in a league game. This was another good match which we eventually lost 5 – 1. Also yesterday our U15 cricket team were taking on Whickham in the quarter-final of the Tyneside Cup. In a shortened game we restricted them to 69 runs. However we kept losing wickets eventually losing by 14 runs.

The final league games of the rounders season also took place last night as all four teams took on Durham High. These are always excellent matches and last night proved no exception.

Our Year 7 team lost 43 – 62, our Year 8 team lost 57 – 62. However in two more extremely close matches our Year 9 team won 56 – 51 and our Year 10’s won 54 – 53. We are still waiting for official confirmation but these results hopefully mean that our Year 9 & 10 teams have won the league to become Durham Schools Champions.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE

International Success


Year 9 students, Joe Hughill has won the U14 international tournament, playing for Sunderland.  Joe was also part of the successful U15 squad that won the national U15 floodlit shield at Loughborough, where Sunderland defeated Colchester 4-) after beating Derby County and Manchester United in previous rounds. Adding to Joe's successful end to the season, Joe is now a 'Nike young gun', and is one of only three players in his year group in the country who have been awarded a  3-year sponsorship deal which offers a number of incentives.

Mr Kidd, PE Department


Term and holiday dates 2018-2020

School Holiday and Term Dates 2018 - 2020