8 February 2019

Dates for your Diary – Spring Term 2019

  •    Durham Book Fair - Saturday 9 February 10.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m.
  •    Year 9 Options Information Evening for parents/carers and pupils, Monday 4 March 3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
  •    Year 10 Parents’ Consultation Evening, Monday 11 March 3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
  •    Year 9 Parents’ Consultation Evening, Monday 25 March 3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.
  •    Spring Half Term week, Monday 18 to Friday 22 February 2019 (term ends on Friday 15 February and resumes on Monday 25 February)
  •    Easter holidays – Monday 8 April to Monday 22 April 2019 (terms ends on Friday 5th April and resumes on Tuesday 23 April – 2 weeks and 1 day)


Breakfast Club

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Code Club News

Another super successful coding week at St Margaret’s School!

The challenge….  Set up the raspberry pi, hack Minecraft and alter the code, produce your own blocks and finally create a “Rainbow Coloured Road”.  One young lady completed this in under an hour – excellent work.

Well done to all our coders – you are producing some fantastic work!

We are very impressed

Miss Forbes & the Sixth Form Team


KS3 Drama Club  

Greek Tales will be performed by pupils in KS3 Drama Club to parents and carers on Thursday 14th of Feb in James Hall.

Students have chosen a less familiar Greek myth and have devised their telling of it.

1.    Performance starts at 6.00 so performers must be in school by 5.30 p.m. at the latest.
2.    There is an interval and the whole performance should finish by 7.45 p.m.
3.    Filming or taking of photographs during the event is not permitted
4.    Tickets are priced £2 for adults and £1 concessions can be purchased on the door.

Miss Ayrey, Subject Leader for Drama


Maths Inspiration Trip

On Thursday 31st January, students from Years 13, 12 and 10 headed off to the Northern Stage in Newcastle for the 2019 edition of the maths inspiration lectures. As Thursday after school is usually the time for the maths society, the members of the maths society coined the trip "MathsSoc on tour".

We arrived, sat down, and were greeted, as usual, by a series of animations and puzzles to get us thinking as we waited. 
The first speaker, Rob Eastaway, presented a variety of counter-intuitive problems. After frustratingly getting a problem wrong, he would explain the marvellous maths behind the problems, enlightening us to the correct solution. He ended with a card trick, utilising the Gilbreath Shuffle, which amazed all.

Following this, Hilary Costello, an aerospace engineer, brought us the maths behind maximising energy efficiency. At one point, Sam, a pupil of the school, was challenged to cycle until "Kenny the kettle" boiled, to see who was more powerful: Kenny (by quite a long way).

The final speaker was Steve Mould, a physicist and minor YouTube celebrity, who based his talk on his wild, but exciting, obsessions. First was his interest in shapes, and solids, of constant width. We all sat in awe as he rolled around smoothly on these weirdly shaped objects. Another obsession was his string of metal beads, and how, with a simple tug, they all leapt out of the container in a most satisfying fashion - definitely worth looking up "Steve Mould self-siphoning beads" on YouTube. The journey of discovery for the maths behind this phenomena was explained, bringing us an exciting glimpse into the real-world applications of maths.

Overall, it was an exciting and informative trip, leaving us all truly inspired.

Written by Evan Thomas and Joshua Erlebach


Year 9 Visit to the Tyneside Cinema

French Language Filming

When we went on the trip to the Tyneside cinema it was a fun experience and I think that it showed that French can be just as fun as the next subject. We made movies and learnt a lot about film and studio work as well as polishing bits of our French language, which was great. I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone.

Bryn Newland, Year 9

Music Department Notices

North East Festival of Youth Choirs 

Chamber Choir are delighted to have been invited to perform in the closing event of the 2019 Durham Vocal Festival in Durham Cathedral on Saturday Evening. The Concert begins at 19.00. They will be singing two pieces on their own and then, at the end of the second half, they will join in with over 400 other pupils from across the North East in a rendition of the opening movement on Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’. If the letter with arrangements on the day has been mislaid, the follow this link North East Festival of Youth Choirs Concert - final arrangements.

The James Etherington Music Award

Congratulations to Felix Collins (Year 11) who won the 2019 James Etherington Music Award. The James Etherington Trust exists to encourage young people to develop their musical talents and we were delighted that both Felix and Thomas Rundle (Year 9) were finalists in the competition, which took place in Chester-le-Street Methodist Church, last Saturday Evening. Thomas played a programme of piano music by Mendelssohn, Bach and Mozart, and Felix was presented with the award, a cheque for £350, after playing a challenging programme of music by Luoro, Walton and Ryan.  

Dates for next half term

Chamber Choir Evensong
Monday 25th February, Durham Cathedral at 17.15. Chamber Choir
Tickets not required. Please aim to be seated by 17.05.

North East Big Band Festival
Saturday 3rd March – Timing TBC – Big Band (AKA Johnston Stompers!)

School Spring Concerts
Thursday 21st March, James Hall at 18.30 and 19.30 – all school ensembles and selected soloists to perform. 

First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.
Second Half (7.30pm) to include the Johnston Stompers, Senior Choir, Senior Orchestra, Chamber Choir and selected soloists.
Tickets for each part of this concert may be purchased from the Music Department.  To ensure that as many parents, relatives and friends as possible can attend this event, we would encourage you to purchase tickets only for the half in which your child is performing. There will be some pupils who are performing in both halves, in which case audience members will need to purchase tickets for both parts of the concert. Please note that pupils who have siblings in the other half will be able to attend that half of the concert without a ticket.

We shall ask everyone who does not have a ticket for the second half to vacate the hall at the end of the first half and then, those with tickets for the second half will be admitted in time for the second half to start at about 7.30pm. Tickets will be £3 (or £2 concessions) for each half and please note that these will not be for sale on the door. Payment by cash or cheque, payable to ‘Durham Johnston School’. These will be on sale from Monday 25th February.

Friday 22nd March, James Hall. A performance of Andrew Carter’s Benedicite. James Hall at 19.00. Junior Choir, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir. 
No tickets required. 

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


PE Department News

Outstanding news from Tuesday. Our U15 girls football team travelled to Barlby High, Selby to play in the last 16 of the English Schools Football competition. The girls took a long time to settle into playing on the grass pitch and went behind 1-0 at half time. However their fighting spirit took over and the second half was much better. The final score was 4-3 with goals from Ellie x2, Emily and a fantastic strike from a distance from Sophie. The girls are now through to the National quarter finals and we find out the draw on Monday. 

On Tuesday our Year 9 Futsal team were at St Robert’s competing in the Tyneside Cup. They remained unbeaten to win the tournament and reach the finals. The highlight was an amazing comeback from 4 - 1 behind to beat Whitburn 9 - 7. Congratulations to Ryan Wright who scored all 9 goals in the game!

Wednesday was a very busy day for our Year 7 teams. Our Year 7 rugby team were due to be competing in the County finals but the event had to be postponed due to waterlogged pitches. However our Year 7 5-a-side football team did go to Soccarena for the north-east finals. As County champions we were taking on the best schools from the north-east. After an excellent afternoon of football we finished in runners-up. The boys were very unlucky not to win – particularly as we beat the eventual winners St Aidan’s School, Harrogate.

Finally on Wednesday our Year 7 boys and girls basketball teams were competing in the Bishop Auckland Schools tournament. It was a similar story to the Area competition as both our boys and girls teams beat all the other schools to remain unbeaten and set up a final against each other.
This time it was the girls turn to win, as the claimed the title with a 12 – 4 victory over the boys.

On Thursday our Year 7 girls netball team were at Louisa Centre, Stanley taking part in the Area tournament. It was an excellent afternoon of high quality netball and after winning five matches, drawing one and losing one, we eventually finished runners-up. Also yesterday our U14 girls rugby league team were at Kingston Park taking part in a tournament. It was a great experience for the girls to play on the 1st team pitch and they started with an excellent 8 – 0 victory. We finished with a hard fought draw to remain unbeaten. We are still waiting for official results to be sent out.

Finally, yesterday our U14 basketball team were taking part in the Tyneside finals at Dame Allan’s.We stated with a close defeat by the hosts. We then needed to win our final game against Gosforth by at least 8 points. We were leading by 3 points at half-time but eventually lost by 3 points to finish in 3rd place.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Twenty's Plenty - Changing Lives For the Better

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Word of the Week