18 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Autumn Term 2019

  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 18 November 2019
  • Ski trips 2020 - information evening for parents - Tuesday 26 November 5.45 p.m. - 6.30 p.m. in James Hall
  • Year 13 Parents' Consultation Evening, Monday 2 December 2019
  • Year 9 Options Evening, Monday 13 January 2020
  • Year 9 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 20 January 2020
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 3 February 2020
  • Year 7 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 2 March 2020
  • Year 8 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 27 April 2020



Collection of Art Coursework and Exam Material 2019

Students who left in 2019 are most welcome to come in to school to collect their Art coursework or any exam material held in the department.  

However, please note that ex-students’ wishing to arrange collection must email the (school@durhamjohnston.org.uk  TWO day’s in advance of the intended collection date  so that department staff can ensure that the material is readily available.


Biology Week 2019

We have had a very successful biology week this year with more students taking part than ever for our competitions.

For the year 13 cake baking competition we have a winner for each class in three different categories.



Congratulations to the following students for their excellent contributions:

Category 1 – TASTE – Tom Davies (The Grim from Harry Potter), Aisling Ellis (Decaying Log) and Grace Clark (Cell cake).
Category 2 – DESIGN – Maddy Abel, Bethan Bruce and Georgina Noble (Bobby bee and friends), Harry Craig (Autumn) and Scott Bolton (Hedgehogs).
Category 3 – BIOLOGICAL WOW FACTOR – Owen Milburn (Savannah Ecosystem), Charity Weeks (Protein rich cake), Tim Bates (Big Brain).

We would like to thank all of the year 13 students for their participation – there were so many cakes and biscuits to judge and eat – what a wonderful experience!

For the year 7-11 Diorama competition we have the following as top winners:

1st – Ellie Ayre and Teagan Lowther (DNA)
2nd – Ellie Snowdon (Anatomy)
3rd – Gen Cole (Variety of biological themes)
Runners up are – Archie Deakin (Lungs and heart), Anya Pearce (Seaside) and Joel Thompson (Cell).



Again, well done to all participants – the dioramas were all very interesting with a variety of themes. All will receive house points and a small prize in due course.

Miss Murphy, Science Department


Year 12 Transition Reports

For the attention of parents and carers of students in Year 12 -  transition reports have been issued to students this morning.

Mrs Lennon - Head of Sixth Form



World Mental Health Day 

Thank you to everyone who took part in this survey last week.   We had a brilliant response with 93% Year 12 and13 students and 80% staff (teaching, administrative, catering & housekeeping) participating.

The main objective was to raise awareness  and to get everyone discussing the importance of looking after ourselves (and those around us) emotionally / mentally as well as physically.

These tips are PREVENTATIVE rather than a CURE for mental health issues. World Mental Health Day is one day of the year - there are some interesting results illustrated below including the similarities and differences between student and staff opinions - these should keep the conversation going.  


Mrs Lennon - Head of Sixth Form


Duke of Edinburgh

Congratulations to the students pictured below who have successfully completed either their Bronze of Silver Awards.


Congratulations also to Sam Taylor who left the school in the summer following his A level exams.  Sam has successfully completed his Gold Award and receive his award in London.


Music Notices

Culture Durham 
Congratulations to Lilli Eerola (Year 11) who was invited to perform as part of final section of the Culture Durham Conference which was held at Ushaw College on Monday. The title of the one day conference was ‘How to increase wellbeing through creativity, culture and heritage’ and Lilli, who receives violin lessons in school from Durham Music Service, performed Edward Elgar’s well-known violin solo ’Chanson de Matin’. 

National Youth Orchestra Inspire Days
NYO is currently recruiting teenage musicians to take part in NYO Inspire activity events throughout 2020. If your son or daughter is capable of performing repertoire, between grade 6 and 8, on an orchestral instrument, you can find out more information about dates and how to apply by following this link. nyo.org.uk/inspire. The deadline to apply is Monday 28 October 2019, 9.00am.

Music rehearsals next week
Please note that on account of reduced availability of the James Hall, there will be no rehearsal for Wind Band (Tuesday), Senior Choir (Wednesday) will be Soprano and Alto only, and there will be no Senior Orchestra rehearsal. (Thursday). All other rehearsals will be on a normal. 

Guitar Club
A new ensemble for year 7 and 8 guitarists has started. This runs on a Tuesday lunchtime in MU2 between 12.15 and 12.40. Pupils who take school dinners may collect a lunch pass from music and join the front of the queue so that they can attend the group in time for a 12.15 start. Those who bring a packed lunch may come and eat it in MU2. 

School Christmas Concert – Thursday 12th December, James Hall – advance notice for information.
First Half (6.30pm) to include Wind Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir and selected soloists.
Second Half (7.30pm) to include Big Band, 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, please, 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 the 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 £4 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 18th November.

Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music


Whole School Literacy

This week, Year Eight form groups tried to guess what was changing about the piece of music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ve3k0WfkFRA 

It was, of course, the tempo and this week’s word root was ‘temp’ meaning ‘time’.

Interestingly, one form tutor was asked whether the word ‘temptation’ came from this root word and although it does not (it is from the Latin ‘temptare’ meaning to handle or try), this is exactly the kind of discussion that we are hoping to encourage: word curiosity is key to wide vocabularies.

Mrs Clark - Whole School Literacy Co-ordinator


Ski Trip 2020

Please find below a copy of the letter which was handed out this week to all pupils who are going skiing in 2020. The letter has details of the ski meeting for parents (26th Nov 5:45pm in James Hall) and is also an order form for a  hoody should you wish to purchase one for your child.

Ski Trip Info Letter 2020

Mrs Hopper, Ski Party Leader


PE Department News

On Monday our U14 girls football team were due to play Macmillan Academy in the English Schools Cup. Unfortunately they conceded the game meaning we progress to the next round.

On Tuesday afternoon our cross-country teams were at Preston Park for the first round of the English Schools Cup. All four teams produced excellent performances:

Junior Girls – 1st place with Charlotte Dillon in first. 
Junior boys – 1st place with Sam Mason second
Inter girls – 1st place with Erin Keeler-Clarke second
Inter boys – 2nd place with Tom Sadanandom first

We were the best school at the competition and all four teams now qualify for the regional round which takes place at Stewart Park on Saturday 9th November.
Also on a busy Tuesday our VIth form football team travelled to St Robert’s for a league game. Despite a difficult playing surface we produced some good football to win 2 – 0.

Our Year 7 rugby team were competing in a tournament at Ryton RFC. We have a strong Year 7 team and they proved too good for the other schools winning all their matches. This was excellent preparation for the county cup next week.

Finally on Tuesday our Year 9 and 10 netball teams made the short journey to Durham School for league games. We had comfortable victories in both matches with our Year 9’s winning 24 – 7 with Jess Khan as player of the match. The Year 10’s won 30 – 7 with Holly Jenkins player of the match. Special mention to Leona Einbeck who stepped in at the last minute to help out the team.

Staying with netball, congratulations to Year 10 netballer Sarah who has been selected to be part of the Republic of Ireland U17 long squad following trials at the weekend.

On Wednesday our U13 and U15 girls rugby teams travelled to West Hartlepool RFC for the county cup. Our U13 team remained unbeaten to win the competition and qualify for the county finals. It was also good news for our U15’s who only lost one game to a very strong St Thomas More team to finish second and also qualify.

Last night our Year 10 football team were in county cup action away at Cardinal Hume. They are an excellent team who won the national schools cup last year and despite a battling performance they  won 4 - 1.

Also last night netball continued as our Year 9 & 10 teams hosted Parkview. Our Year 9 team won 30 – 3 with Ruby Phillips player of the match and the Year 10’s won 24 – 14 with Sarah Davidson player of the match. This has been an excellent week for our Year 9 & 10 netball teams who have both scored over 50 goals while only conceding 10 and 21 respectively. 

Good luck tonight to our Year 7, Year 9 and U16 girls rugby teams who are taking on St John’s in a series of friendly matches.

Also good luck on Sunday to our athletes who are in Hexham competing in the British biathlon Northern regional qualifier hoping to qualify for the British Schools’ Biathlon Championships.

Mr Hopper - Subject Leader for PE


Football Fixtures 2019-2020

Football Fixtures 2019-2020


Match Reports

Match Reports