7 November 2019

Dates for your Diary - Autumn Term 2019

  • Giving Back Campaign 2019 -  non uniform day Friday 15 November 2019
  • Year 11 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 18 November 2019, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Ski trip 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, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 9 Options Evening, Monday 13 January 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 9 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 20 January 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 12 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 3 February 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 7 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 2 March 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 8 Parents' Consultation Evening - Monday 23 March, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 10 Parent' Consultation Evening - Monday 27 April 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Year 11 - Results and Next Steps 

Year 11 students have an important week ahead of them. Following an assembly on Monday 11 November, students will collect the results of their recent trial GCSE exams.  Students will then focus upon subject specific strengths and areas for improvement in their lessons across the week.  By Friday, they should have a clear sense of what they need to focus upon in their remaining 21 weeks of year 11.

We have been encouraging students to pace themselves and this will be a key theme of the assembly and their work next week. In addition, we will talk with students about working closely with staff during the year; year 11 are still to sit their final exams, but our teachers have a huge amount of experience in how to prepare and offer guidance to students.

Some students always feel slightly anxious about results and we are very careful in making sure that we are supportive, but are also honest in explaining how and where improvements might be needed. Feeling anxious about exams is completely normal and there is still a significant amount of time before May 2020 in which to gain experience. Parental support is vital at these points and our parents’ evening on Monday 18th November is intended to offer advice about the best way for students, teachers and parents to work together to offer every opportunity for success.  

A J O'Sullivan, Headteacher


Next week is Anti-Bullying week, and in support of the campaign we will hold an 'odd socks day' on Tuesday 1 November. For more details please click here.   The Pride Group have also organised a bake sale which will take place next week.  Details of this will be shared with students in form time.

Whether bullying is verbal, physical, online or in-person, it has a significant impact on a young person's life. By making small, simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe environment for everyone. Together, we can challenge bullying. Change starts with a conversation. It starts with checking in. It starts with working together.

Ms L Forbes, Senior Teacher

Festival of Culture 2019

THE BORDER by Afsaneh Gray.

Our final event day, for Festival of Culture 2019, took place on 4th November. We were delighted to welcome Theatre Centre back to Durham Johnston with ‘The Border’ written by Afsaneh Gray.

Theatre Centre are the UK’s leading producer and pioneer for thought provoking theatre in schools. This outrageous Brechtian parable highlighted the absurdity of borders and the lines we draw between ourselves and other people.  


                                                                                                             Photos supplied by ‘Jack Barnes http://www.jackbarnes.co.uk/

 Featuring a live break out debate, the play created space for young adult audiences to think and talk together in a time of fake news and information overload.

Employing bold storytelling, high-energy production and featuring an original score by composer Ted Barnes the audience experienced life being turned upside down for one small town as the border crossing was sealed shut, dividing East from West and immediately restricting freedom of movement. In the midst of it all, Stranger, a young girl’s beloved dog, had gone missing. As the debate about the border and immigration raged in one family and beyond, it became clear that social media was magnifying and distorting the facts.

Over 500 Durham Johnston pupils, in years 9 and 11, attended the performances.

H Charlton, Director of Resources


Giving Back Campaign 2019

We are holding a “Giving Back”, non-uniform day on Friday the 15th November. It is not a compulsory requirement for students to participate, however, the donation requested for participating students is £1.00.   Please note that the usual rules regarding the wearing of jewellery and make-up still apply.  Students should remember to carry their bus passes with them, as these are often stored in their blazer pockets.  Students were informed of the event in form time this week.  Please click on the following link for further information.

Non-uniform day 2019


Kids Lit Quiz 2019

For the second year in a row, Durham Johnston won the regional finals of the Kids' Lit Quiz. We will be travelling to London to compete in the  national final in December.


Well done to both of our teams who competed.  It was very close between Durham Johnston, RGS and Gosforth Central Middle School.  We won by just one point!

Kids Lit Quiz organiser commented "You must be really pleased to become the first school to defend their title successfully and win places at the UK Final in two consecutive years. It was a superb result and Wayne was thrilled by the whole afternoon."

Mrs Walton, KS5 English Language Co-ordinator 


No Man's Lands

This week geography students had the opportunity to learn about modern no man’s lands around the world and visit the western part of the Amazon rainforest in Colombia through the use of virtual reality software.

Dr Leshem and his team from Durham University have been working on their project to bring these no man’s lands to life over the last five years, supported by Google arts and culture and the Royal Geographical Society. The team were in school this week as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Science. Dr Leshem delivered a lecture to year 9 students on Wednesday and worked with A level and GCSE students on Thursday in lessons. There was a fantastic response from the students and we look forward to hosting more of these days again in the future.

Many thanks to Dr Leshem and his team and to all the staff and students involved. If you would like to learn more about the project and explore some of the  360 degree videos, more information is available at: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/portraits-of-no-man-s-land 

Ms Colquitt, Subject Leader for Geography


Top Class

Be sure to tune in on Sunday to watch last year’s Year 6 team from St Oswald's Primary school compete in CBBC's Top Class!  

The students joined us in Year 7 in September.  The team will complete in CBBC's Top Class on Sunday.

We wish them every success.

For further information please please click here


PE Department News

On Monday our Year 7 football team traveled to Wellfield School in the second round of the county cup. On a very difficult and muddy pitch we struggled in the first half going in 1 – 1. However we dominated the second half going on to reach the third round with an 8 – 4 victory. However, it was not as good news for our Year 8’s who were also in county cup action – at home against St Thomas More. Despite a good start they proved too strong beating us 7 – 4.Football continued on Tuesday as our U16 girls team made the journey to Cramlington High in the English Schools Cup. This was an excellent game in which we took a 5 – 4 lead and managed to hang on for an excellent victory. Our U14 girls football team were in county cup action facing Venerable Bede. We took control of the game in the first half eventually going on to record a comfortable 5 -2 win.

Finally on Tuesday our Year 7 basketball team were at St Cuthbert’s for a friendly match. This team continue to improve with every game and secured a 24 – 4 victory.

It was the turn of our U18 girls football team to compete in the English Schools Cup on Wednesday as we faced a team from St John Fisher School, Harrogate. This was a very competitive and high scoring game which ended 5 – 5. With time running out in extra time and penalties looming we unfortunately conceded a late goal to lose 6 – 5.

It was also a difficult night for our Year 11 football team in the county cup as they lost to a very strong team from Gosforth High 8 – 4.

On Thursday our Year 7 & 8 netball teams were in league action against Hermitage. The Year7 game was excellent as we fought back from 8 – 0 down to win 14 – 10. Player of the match was Libby Clarke. It was a more straightforward win for our Year 8 team with a 14 – 0 victory with Kaelyn Jones player of the match.
Also last night we had 19 of our rowers at Maiden Castle competing in the county indoor rowing finals.
This was an amazing night for Durham Johnston as we won 7 out of the 11 races with 17 of our rowers finishing in the top 4 places and qualifying for the north-eat finals in the New Year.

Congratulations to the following students who are county champions:

Daniel Moorhouse
Anna Cunningham
Sian Davison
Tom Pfetscher
Elise Lambert
Owen Hall
Adam Morris

Good luck tomorrow to our cross-country teams who are at Stewart Park, Middlesbrough competing in the regional round of the English Schools Cup. If any of the teams finish in the top 3 places they will qualify for the national finals in December.

Mr Hopper, Subject Leader for PE


Football Fixtures 2019-2020

Football Fixtures 2019-2020


Whole School Literacy

Who inspires you?

This week Year Eight were exploring the root word ‘spir’ meaning ‘breathe’ and considering who inspires them.

Mrs Clark, Whole School Literacy Co-ordinator