Durham Johnston Comprehensive School

Dare to be wise



Friday Bulletin

Friday Bulletin Archive

2018 (34)

November (1)

October (3)

September (5)

August (1)

July (3)

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

  • Sixth Form Open Evening - Monday 1 October 6.00 p.m. - 7.45 p.m.
  • October Half Term Holiday - Monday 22 - Friday 26 October (1 week)
  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 5 November 3.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
  • School closed - Friday 30 November - please click on following link for information regarding term and holiday dates up until July 2020 School term and holiday dates 2018-2020
  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 3 December 3.30 p.m. - 6.00 p.m.
  • Annual Carol Service - Friday 21 December
  • Christmas Holidays - Monday 24 December - Friday 4 January 2019


Headteacher's Letter



The photographs above are from this year’s World Cup in Russia. They show Japanese supporters, ‘The Blue Samurai’, cleaning up discarded rubbish – plastic cups, bottles and food waste – from one of the stands in the Mordovia Arena after they had, unexpectedly, beaten Argentina in one of their group games. They did exactly the same when beaten by Belgium 3-2, a game that they were winning until beaten at the death. Whether celebrating or suffering, the Japanese made sure that no rubbish was left behind. Scott McIntyre, a football journalist based in Japan, explained to the BBC that, ‘You often hear that football is a reflection of culture… if you leave a bottle of some kind, or a food package on the ground… you will be tapped on the shoulder by Japanese people, indicating that you should never leave it there.’ It is an example of shared behaviour and good manners. *

On Monday it was the Year 6 Open Evening for prospective parents and students. It is always a hugely important date in the school calendar and we are very keen for parents to ask questions and to get a sense of the school’s ethos and values. As part of one of our sessions in the main hall I explained how much we value public service and that we want students to make a contribution to school life and the wider community. To exemplify this, our students have raised money and volunteered for the Durham foodbank, local hospices and a variety of other charities. As previously referenced, an important part of such evenings is the opportunity provided for parents to ask questions; if you are choosing a school it is important to find out as much as possible. One parent was interested in the idea that  I had expressed around ‘making a contribution.’ He asked; ‘How do you measure the impact of any contribution that your students make to society? ‘What evidence do you have that making a contribution helps them to be more successful at school?’ These are logical questions, but quite difficult to measure in anything other than an empirical manner.


Our 6th form students always volunteer at the Year 6 open evening. Parents should have the chance to speak with those currently at the school and to see how they develop over 5 or 7 years of education. One of the students explained to parents that he had initially been unsure about what to say when presenting, but inspiration came when he was at the cinema. After watching a film he got up to leave, but then realised that he had left his popcorn carton behind. After retrieving it, he explained that he had been in assembly in his first year at Durham Johnston and the Deputy Headteacher had asked the students, ‘Whose responsibility is it to pick up your popcorn when you leave the cinema? What does it say about you if you leave it behind?’ If you expect someone else to clean up your rubbish, don’t care who cleans it up or don’t even realise that it is your responsibility, then you will probably struggle with some aspects of adult life. The 6th form student said that he hadn’t fully grasped the importance of the message at the time, but it was one of many in his 6 years at the school that gradually made him realise the importance of high standards, both as an individual and as part of a community. That’s what he had got from his time at the school. He concluded by noting that, ‘The school consistently churns out nice, respectful people who go on to do good things.’ I’m not sure if that can be measured in a scientific way, but in a succinct manner, it sums up everything that we are trying to do as a school. We don’t always succeed, but we do try. His words would sit well alongside Sapere Aude on the school badge. When you spend time with your son or daughter at the weekend it might be pertinent to ask them; ‘Who is responsible for any rubbish that you create? What does it say about you if you think it is someone else’s responsibility to clean up after you?

* It is worth noting that the Japanese team and their manager also cleaned the dressing room after each game that they played. After being beaten by Belgium – 3 games away from the World Cup final – they spent 30 minutes making sure that the dressing room was spotless. It is one thing to encourage good manners and behaviour; it is another to exemplify that when you are leading others.

Mr O’Sullivan


Year 7 Visits to Durham Cathedral

Over three days last week, the whole of year 7 visited Durham Cathedral, where they took part in a range of activities. With the History Department, they visited Open Treasure, the cathedral’s exhibition space, including seeing the magnificent Treasures of St. Cuthbert, and had a whistle-stop tour of the whole cathedral, thinking about its different purposes and stories. Geography provided students with their first taste of fieldwork, introducing skills which will be needed throughout their time at Johnston, and the Art Department helped pupils produce some magnificent sketches of the fine detail of the building.

Feedback from students shows that they had an excellent day, and enjoyed learning outside the classroom – although the walk to and from the cathedral, as ever, had mixed reviews! Pupils were excellent ambassadors for the school on all three days, and we were complimented numerous times by Cathedral staff and members of the public on their conduct and behaviour. In particular, we received a number of very positive comments about how engaged and enthusiastic pupils were about their tasks. Well done!

Many thanks to all the staff who made the visits such a success.

Miss McKenzie, History Department


FREE Event for young people aged 13-25 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Event: Young People's Future Event
Venue: Spennymoor Leisure Centre
Date: Tuesday 23 October, 11.00am - 2.00pm

Information and advice and fun activities

  • Sports and games
  • Health
  • Employment and training
  • Education
  • Creative Activities

To find out  what's going on in County Durham for young people with SEND!  Click on the link below for further information about the event and how to book a place.


Young People's Future - Tuesday 23 October



Fantasy Island

Year 7 pupils have started the year looking at describing a fantasy island in English lessons.

Well done to Harry Bartlett for producing the following model as part of English homework this week.  It is amazing!



Mrs Walton, KS3 English Co-ordinator



Year 11 Careers Information

Students in Year 11 are responsible for ensuring they have secured their options for post-16 careers.  Please encourage your child to begin researching their options as a priority, early in this academic year.

A letter containing the ‘Information and Advice Evening’ dates for all of the local schools and Further Educational colleges this year was recently issued to students.  Applications will be taken at these events for entry in 2018-19 and multiple applications can be made by students that will ensure they have options to consider after they receive their exam results. Please click here to read a copy of the letter. 

The first of these events will be held as follows:

·         Durham Johnston 6th Form Open Evening – Monday 1st October (6-8pm)

·         New College Open Evening – Tuesday 2nd October (4.30-6.30pm)

·         Framwellgate Moor – Tuesday 9th October (6pm)

·         Durham School – Wednesday 10thOctober (6-7.30pm)

·         St Leonards – Thursday 4th October (7-9pm)

·         East Durham College - Peterlee Campus – Wednesday 3rd October (5-7pm)

·         East Durham College – Houghall Campus – Wednesday 10thOctober (5-7pm)

·         Derwentside College – Thursday 11th October (4-7pm)

·         Durham 6thForm Centre – Thursday 18thOctober (5-8pm)


If your child has any queries regarding career options or needs help in completing applications, then they must come and see me.  If they wish to hand in any completed applications to me I will also email to the appropriate establishments on their behalf.

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Careers and Guidance


Lost Property

Despite the fact that we are only four weeks into the new academic year, we have already amassed a sizeable quantity of items of unclaimed clothing, and other items.  The PE department has a very large box of unclaimed, and unamed items of PE kit left by pupils in the changing rooms, plus a large number of watches.  In addition to the items in the PE department there are two large full boxes of assorted garments, including outdoor coats.  Some of these garments were handed to Reception in the first week of term, but remain unclaimed.

We appreciate that many of these items will be very expensive to replace, but unless they are named, it is an impossible task for us to re-unite items of lost property with their rightful owners. 

Please could we ask parents and carers to remind their children that they should check that they have all their belongings with them at the end of each lesson.    If pupils have mislaid any items, they should check with staff in PE and at Reception during break or during the lunch period.



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 1 October 2018.




Art Department Notices

Students of the Week

The department is pleased to publish images of students' work selected for publication this week.



The abstract floral sculture, in mixed media was created at home by Jamie Scott in 10RH.

The beautiful glazed ceramic mug was made at home by Ellie Clark in 7CW.

Mr Devlin, Subject Leader for Art


Music Department Notices

Music Composition Awards

Pupils and staff from the Music department were delighted to attend the annual St Cecilia Lodge Composition Competition dinner on Wednesday Evening.

Congratulations to Laura Haubold (year 11 last year) who was awarded first prize in the 16 and under category for her GCSE composition. Sadly, she was unable to attend the dinner, but her prize of £50 will be posted to her. The winning piece was submitted as part of her GCSE composition portfolio and was a rondo for ‘cello and piano.

Congratulations also to Rachel Lawrence who was awarded the first prize in the 18 and under category for her setting for soprano, cor anglais and piano, of part of Christina Rosetti’s poem ‘De Profundis’. She was able to attend the awards dinner on Wednesday evening and was invited to perform her composition in person and following this was awarded a prize of £100 by the Master of the St Cecilia Lodge.

The annual competition is organised by members of the St Cecilia Lodge and is open to all A Level and GCSE pupils from secondary schools between the Tees and the Tyne.

Music Enrichment

All ensembles have made a fantastic start to this year and numbers at rehearsals are as follows, but there is always room for more! Please ask your child to talk to a music teacher if they would like to join a group.

Junior Orchestra - 43

Junior Choir - 39

Wind Band - 56

Big Band - 23

Chamber Choir - 29

Senior Orchestra - 76

Senior Choir – 83

Keyboard Lessons

We still have a spaces left for keyboard tuition, which is provided in partnership with Musicworks. Please ask your son/ daughter to speak to me, or email school for more information.

Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music



PE Department Notices

A very busy week started on Monday as our VIth form football team took on Framwellgate in a league and cup double. It was an excellent start to the season as we dominated the game eventually going on to win 8 – 3. Our VIth form team has shown great potential and could do very well this season.

Also on Monday our netball teams were in action against Parkview. We played some excellent netball to gain the following results.

Our Year 7’s won 25 - 0, Year 8 won 21 – 3, Year 9 won 25 – 3 and Year 10’s  lost a low scoring game 4 – 3.

On Tuesday our U13 girls football team from Years 7 and 8 had a tough start to their National Cup this year facing a very established team from Ovingham Middle school. The team started well, but the opposition quickly showed that they were used to playing together and their passing and set plays were well developed. During the second half our team started settling in and claimed 3 goals, but the end score was 5-3. Good look to Ovingham in the future rounds.

Also on Tuesday our Year 7 and 9 boys football teams travelled to Woodham for league games. It was one win each as our Year 7’s remained top of the league with a 3 – 2 win and our Year 9’s lost by the same score.

On Wednesday our VIth form rugby team started their season with a friendly home game against St John’s. This was an great game played in an excellent spirit which we won comfortably.

Also on Wednesday our Year 11 netball teams were at Durham High for the Area tournament. The standard was very high but both teams never gave up eventually finishing in 3rd and 5th place.

Last night 40 of our cross-country runners were at Emmanuel College for the first competition of the season. It was an outstanding night for Durham Johnston as we beat some of the best schools in the area winning all four trophies. The results were:

Junior Boys – 1st place (Sam Terry was first in the race)

Junior Girls – 1st place (Charlotte Dillon was first and Freya Gibson second)

Inter Boys – 1st place (Charlie Phillips was fourth place)

Inter Girls – 1st place – (Erin Keeler-Clarke was fifth)

Good luck tonight to our Year 8 football team who are at home in County Cup action taking on Hummersknott.

Finally, excellent news from last weekend for Noah Glanville (Year 8). Noah won gold at the Northern Counties Pentathlon on Saturday, and also won Bronze in the overall Open Pentathlon, which included competitors from as far as the west coast of Scotland, Sheffield and Southport. His pentathlon score puts him in the top 20 U13s in the UK!

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Dream Community Charity:  Beaurepaire Site Activity

Good afternoon everyone!

Things are looking up. We are making tremendous progress on site at the moment, with so much removed by just a small number of volunteers! It would be great to see some more helpers on-site this week!

We are looking forward to having some help hopefully too. Some local businesses have offered some help on-site so we may be getting the site strimmed etc! 

Our next site days are:

Friday 4.30-6.30pm

Saturday 9-4pm

Sunday 9-12pm

Lets make this week really count! It is getting colder and darker sooner and it would really be good to get the site done up before winter strikes! Especially as we hope to get some choirs in leading up to Christmas!

The site has so much potential so help us to make it happen!

Our school work continues this week as we lead up to the Battle of Neville's Cross! Again we are so surprised by how kind and how enthusiastic they are to learn about their past! It has been absolutely fabulous!

We have managed to uncover some of the missing archive but we still need to find out more! If you know anything about/ were involved in/ know where documents are from the 1980s excavation and the 1960s excavation please let us know! 

Furthermore if anyone knows anything about where some 250+ carved stones went after being stored in a local garage nearby we would like to know!

That's all for now but looking forward to seeing you on site!

With Love




Term and holiday dates 2018-2020

School term and holiday dates 2018-2020