5 July 2019

Dates for your Diary – Summer Term 2019

  • Music for a Summer Evening – Friday 5th July, 7.00 p.m.,  Atrium Café

  • KS3 Celebrations Evening  – Monday 8th July, James Hall

  • Year 12 Parents' Information Evening - University Applications / High Education Finance - Tuesday 9 July from 6.00 - 7.00 p.m.

  • KS3 Production - Thursday 11th and Friday 12 July - 6.30 p.m.

  • School breaks for the summer holidays on Friday 19 July


Guidance for Parents and Carers

Do you know how to control what your child has access to online?  We have added a handy guide on parental controls to the online safety page on the website.

Please click here to read more:

Mr Digby, Strategic Lead for ICT


Giving Back

On Tuesday,  representatives from our chosen charities came in to speak to our Year 9 students.  Our guests spoke not only about the superb (and essential) work they do, but also about the impact our donations have had.

Over 260 students took part in the presentations and discussions, it was obvious students were moved by what they heard. The work of Changing Lives, Durham Foodbank and the Joan James Chemotherapy Unit makes such a difference to the lives of people in our local area, some of whom are in our school community. 

We are very proud to support these wonderful causes, and we thank them wholeheartedly for their coming into school.

Please take the time to talk to your child about what they learnt from the presentations and discussions. It is really important to be kind, to think of others and to give back.

Giving Back Non Uniform Fundraiser

Yesterday's non-uniform day was a huge success and we raised the fantastic sum of £1,026.32 for our nominated charities.  Thank you to staff, students, parents and carers for their support.

Miss L Forbes, Senior Teacher 


Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

1) All Bronze participants have now successfully completed their expedition. Please support them in giving their expedition presentation (by the end of term) and completing the remainder of their award sections so that they can finish their award and bask in all their hard work.

2) There have been meetings for Year 8, 9 and 10, inviting them to sign up for the Bronze and/or Silver levels of the award. Letters must be returned to the PE office by Thursday 18th July at the latest.

3) There are meetings next week for year 12 students to express interest in taking part in their DofE award, again letters should be returned by Thursday 18th July.

Many thanks.

Mrs I Gibb, Mr M Briggs and the DofE Team

Art Department News

Three of our Year 12 art students Anouk Saint, Saskia Appleton and Honor Morgan are exhibiting their work in the Black Pineapple Gallery in Middlesbrough as part of the Encounters Exhibition. The exhibition opens today and runs till 3rd August. 


Mr Devlin, Subject Leader for Art



KS3 Production

The KS3 production of Joseph will take place on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th of July. 

Information for parents and carers
Students have been informed about mandatory rehearsals on Tuesday 9th and Wednesday 10th of July until 4.30 pm. There will not be rehearsals after school on the nights of the performances, but students involved will need to be at school at 5.00 pm. 

We expect the performance time to be about 90 minutes with  a start time of 6.30 pm and a finish time of 8pm. Students will be needed for a tidy up after the Friday night production for approximately 10 minutes. 

Thank you for your support. 

Tickets are still on sale from the Music department every break and lunchtime.

Mrs Scott, English Department


Colour Run Fundraiser

This week Year 7 and Year 8 took part in our annual colour run in memory of former teacher Gill Bittlestone. Her daughter Sophia, pictured below,  joined in the fun once again this year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  She can't believe that her mum used to teach at such a big school.

Over 200 students took to the school field to run an obstacle course including dizzy ducks, hurdles and slippy slides. Teachers and sixth formers thoroughly enjoyed squirting them with water guns and throwing colourful powder paint at them. It was once again a happy, fun and colourful event where over £900 was raised for MacMillan cancer charity.

Mrs Jackson, MFL Department


MFL Spelling Bee

On Monday, Daniel Brown, Weronika Wrona and Olivia Charlton in Year 7 competed in the National Finals of the Routes into Languages Spelling Bee.

This prestigious event was held at Cambridge University, and our students were three of just 99 finalists from all over the country, who had been whittled down from the 33,000 Y7 students who entered the Spelling Bee this year. They competed in the German and Spanish categories, and each had 60 seconds to say and spell as many words in the target language as possible – even the spelling is done using the German or Spanish alphabet!

Our students performed superbly, and immensely enjoyed the experience. During the day, they got to meet the other competitors, and also spent some time exploring sunny Cambridge and its many beautiful buildings and college, including the college where Stephen Hawking studied.

Having found that the Spelling Bee has immensely improved their vocabulary as well as giving them the opportunity to visit such a beautiful place, the students are already looking forward to taking part in the Translation Bee in Year 8, where hopefully they will build upon their success! 

Miss H Daglish, MFL Department


Annual Public Speaking Competition

This year was our 33rd Public Speaking final, and it was as interesting and entertaining as ever.  We had nine very brave students delivering quite lengthy speeches to an audience and judging panel in James Hall.  

The topics included: homelessness, vegetarianism, human trafficking, nursery rhymes being crimes, zoos, the benefits of travel, global warming, and fostering.  After a difficult decision, the judges decided that the speech about the benefits of travel, which explored how travel promotes cultural knowledge and integration, rather than just being a journey, was the winner. 

I would like to thank Mrs Scott for organising the event, and Mrs Clark, Mr Wright and Mr Weaver for judging. 

Mrs Walton, KS3 English Co-ordinator

Music Notices

12th Durham Johnston School Music Festival

On the evening of Friday 28th June, as part of the 12th DJ Music Festival, 35 pupils performed a piece from their solo repertoire to a very supportive audience.  There were some really outstanding performances and the adjudication, given by Professor Bennett Zon (former DJ parent and Professor of Music at Durham University) was affirming of the pupils level of musicianship and dedication. We would like to thank him for giving of his time and sharing his thoughts in such a clear, supportive and yet challenging manner. 

All participants should be congratulated, but those placed in the adjudication were as follows.


Whinney Hill Class – performing repertoire grade 1 - 3

Most promising – Esha Bhagey
Runners up – Genevieve Cole and Thomas Steele
Winner – Lara van Hunen


Crossgate Moor Class – performing repertoire grade 4 - 5


Most promising – Rebecca Willis
Runners up – Eve Sims-Williams and Lina van Hunen
Winner – Joshua Erlebach


Durham Johnston Class – performing repertoire grade 6+

Most promising – Harrison Metcalf
Runner up – Joe Sollis
Joint Winners – Edmund Smith and James Tozer


Musical instruments, ensemble rehearsals and other enrichment information for next academic year. 
Please ensure that all musical instruments are taken home at the end of this term and in order to help families plan for 2019 to 2020 here is our weekly after school (2.45 to 3.45) rehearsal schedule for next academic year.
Tuesday - Junior Orchestra and Wind Band
Wednesday - Junior Choir and Senior Choir
Thursday - Senior Orchestra
Friday - Big Band
These rehearsals, along with instrumental and vocal tuition, from Durham Music Service and Music Works, will start in the w/b Monday 9th September and extra Music GCSE classes for both year 10 and year 11 begin at 7.40 on Tuesday 10th September.

And finally…
As we rapidly move towards the end of another academic year, may I take this opportunity to thank pupils, parents and colleagues for their tremendous support, which has really made another year of music making here at Durham Johnston really very memorable. I would like to say special congratulations to those who are just starting out on their musical journey, who can now play a short melody on an instrument they have never picked up before last September, and to those who have performed in public, either in an ensemble or as a soloist for this first time.

Mr Holmes, Subject Leader for Music


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