Bat, Buttterfly, Moth? Or Wolf Mask?
What can you see in the image above? What you see, theoretically, reveals quite a lot about your personality type. It is one of 20 images designed by Herman Rorschach in 1921 to indicate personality types and is still widely used. Rorschach was very interested in the art produced by psychiatric patients and developed a theory that the manner in which individuals reacted to a series of inkblot images could help to assess personality disorders. If you saw a pig or a wolf mask in the above image then Rorschach might have recommended a follow up session; if it is a butterfly he wouldn’t have been concerned. (It should also be noted that many clinicians feel that there are issues with the validity and reliability of the test and it is rarely used in the UK).
Jennifer Donnelly has suggested a parallel regarding how we view historical developments and the impact of bias: “History is a Rorschach test. What you see when you look at it tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past.”
To test this idea, what is your reaction when you read or hear the name Margaret Thatcher?
I grew up in the industrial Midlands, so you can probably guess at how balanced my reaction might be, but Margaret Thatcher was elected three times and was clearly very popular with a significant percentage of the electorate. (I just can’t remember ever meeting any of them). My reason for mentioning this, is that I attended a lecture in the Sumer on post-war British politics. The speaker focused upon Margaret Thatcher’s Woman’s Own interview from 1987, which has been remembered for its infamous phrase; ‘There is no such thing as society.’ The speech is often used to denote the rise of individualism, greed and selfishness that characterised the 1980s. The speaker took issue with this interpretation and the way in which Thatcher’s words, in his opinion, have been taken out of context. I’m sure that many people living in the North East in the 1980s would have an interesting perspective on what that ‘context’ might be, but, whilst listening, I was aware that I had never read the full interview and decided to do so. It seems foolish to respond emotionally to something without having viewed the available evidence. The section that caused so much outrage, with that additional context, is below:
“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, talking to Women’s Own magazine, 31st October 1987
It might well be fair to say that people have obligations as well as entitlements, but I’m not convinced that homeless people are ‘casting their problem on society’. Does this perspective represent sound common sense at a distance, or is it even more depressing after 31 years?
In the summer months we always think carefully about how best to exemplify the school’s traditions and ethos. We have 5 core values, the fourth of which focuses upon the importance of public service and ‘….the need for all students to make a contribution to the school community and wider society.’ That contribution is based upon being part of the school, not simply being a random individual who turns up for 5 hours to access a service. We are prioritising public service because helping others is an integral part of the social contract; it is something that people should do. This year our students will be supporting others by raising money for Willow Burn Hospice, University Hospital Durham and the Durham Foodbank. They will also raise money for Children in Need. I’m not sure if ‘society’ is the correct term, but our students will continue to make a positive contribution to those around them because it is the right thing to do.
You too can support the school and wider community by encouraging your son or daughter to be considerate to others in our local community. By encouraging politeness and respect for others when traveling to and from school. Perhaps the ultimate measure of how successful we are in this matter carries its own Rorschach test; what will people think when they hear the name Durham Johnston. What will they think when interacting with students wearing our uniform?
Gardening Club's Successful Application
We are delighted to announce that Durham Johnston's application for a School Edible Growing Grant from the Outdoor and Sustainable Education Specialists (OASES) has been successful.
The grant will cover guidance on the development of the site including financial support in the building of a more user friendly experience for students. Updates on the plan and work schedule will be shared once we have had our first meeting with our mentor in November.
Mr Bowman, Science Department
Breakfast Club Trial
We are please to inform you that we intend to trial a Breakfast Club at Durham Johnston from Monday 10 September 2018. The club will initially be offered to Year 7 and 8 students and will run each morning from 7.55a.m. until 8.25 a.m. A small charge of £2.50 per session will be made to cover the cost of providing a healthy breakfast, staffing costs and the purchase of additional educational resources (children who are eligible to receive income based Free School Meals will not be charged).
A healthy breakfast will be served, which will include a selection of cereals, toast, pastries, fruit, yoghurt and juice. There will be the opportunity to complete learning activities, reading practise and educational games. Research suggests that eating a healthy breakfast can significantly improve the educational outcomes for pupils.
The Breakfast Club will take place in Languages Room 11 each morning.
Mrs Bell, Assistant Headteacher
Our annual Year 7 Visit to Durham Cathedral will take place on 25th, 26 and 27 September. Pupils were issued with an information letter to bring home on Thursday. If any parent or carer has not yet received their copy, please click on the link below.
Online Safety Newsletter
This year we are going to issue a monthly newsletter to parents and carers offering advice about keeping your child safe online. If there are any new technologies that we become aware of that pose a danger to our young people, we will make sure that you are kept informed via our newsletters, as well as offering practice advice on how to manage the dangers. You will also find an archive of the letters on the online safety section of our website under “Information for Parents”.
Mr Garside, Strategic Leader for ICT
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 17 September 2018
Music Department Notices
Music Enrichment Activities 2018 - 2019
All ensembles have made an excellent start to the year and if pupils were not able to make the rehearsal this week, they are warmly invited to attend next week. Please click on the following link for information about Music Enrichment Activities for this academic year.
Tuition from Durham Music Service and Music Works
Music lessons begin next week and all timetables are displayed in the music corridor. I’m afraid that we are unable to share timetables electronically with parents/ carers, but if you could encourage pupils to note lesson times in their organiser that should assist them to remember times. For the majority of pupils lessons are organised on as wide a rotation as possible to ensure that curriculum lessons are disrupted as little as possible and on Monday, during registration, we will be meeting all year 7 pupils who receive instrumental or vocal tuition to go through this document, which you may also wish to show to your child.
Instrumental Tuition – New Starters
There are spaces for new starters in either year 7 or 8 for trumpet (2 pupils) and orchestral percussion lessons (3 pupils). Please would you ask your child to come and see me for more details if they may be interested in taking up this opportunity?
Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music
Welcome back to what will hopefully be another very successful sporting year for Durham Johnston.
Can I thank everyone who attended our 24th Annual Sports Presentation Evening in July and made it another outstanding celebration of sporting achievement.
Trials and clubs are now up and running with excellent attendance every evening.
The first football matches of the season took place last night as we hosted Staindrop. It was an excellent start as we won all three matches. The Year 7’s won 7 – 0, the Year 8’s won 5 – 0 and our Year 10 team won an exciting game 6 – 4.
Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE
Please find below a copy of the activities offered to students during 1st and 2nd lunch and after school.
Transport is provided for pupils living in the Brandon and Bowburn areas on Wednesday afternoons. The 'late buses' leave the school at 4.30 p.m. and stop at designated drop off points. Students who wish to travel home on either of the late buses should ensure that they call at the Reception (at break or lunchtime only) to sign up and confirm that they will be travelling home that evening.
Term and holiday dates 2018-2020