24 January 2020

Dates for your Diary - Spring Term 2020

  • Deadline for return of completed Year 9 Options Forms, Friday 24 January 2020
  • 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 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.
  • Year 10 Parent' Consultation Evening - Monday 27 April 2020, 4.00 - 6.00 p.m.


Giving Back Campaign

We were pleased to receive an expression of thanks from Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive of BBC Children in Need for our donation of £350, raised from our  non-uniform day in November 2019. 

E-Safety Reminder

As the dust settles post-Christmas and our young people become more familiar with their new tech it is always worth reminding ourselves of the online dangers that they can face.

Specific information can be found on our e-learning page https://www.durhamjohnston.org.uk/e-learning

It is our responsibility as parents to ensure our children are kept safe online and by way of supporting this we have two main sections within our Online Safety page, these are:

Monthly Online Safety Newsletter
We publish a monthly newsletter which containing useful information across a broad range of topics linked to online safety.

Online Safety guides
Specific guides linked to topics such as grooming and sexting and also app specific guides for tools such as Instagram, Tiktok and Snapchat.

Mr Digby, Strategic IT Lead


House Points

Congratulations to the following students, as they received the most house point last term (house points are based on class work, academic achievement and whole school / pastoral contributions).  An amazing achievement and very well deserved!  All of the students listed below have received a prize for their efforts!

An extra special mention to Rosanna in Year 7 who achieved an unprecedented 54 points! 

Well done to all.

Annand: Rosanna Huish (7UA) 54 
Kenny: Reuben Griffiths (8AK) and Eirene Eddy (8AK) 33
Heaviside: Ellie Hooper (9HH) 41
Wakenshaw: Alex Nad (10CW) 42
Wakenshaw: Jenna Henderson (11SW) 29

Miss L Forbes, Senior teacher,  SL Business & Computing

Climate Change and the Environment

This term, the house team are focusing on the incredibly important issue of climate change and the environment.

Week commencing January 27th I will meet with each of the houses so we can hear their ideas. 

Students were tasked with the following: Before our meeting, I would like you to use one registration period to discuss the following with your peers:

  • Climate change is an issue that will affect your generation.  What can we do as a school to support/help? What could you (as a form) do in form time (or during break / lunch) to raise awareness of climate change and our environment? 
  • This could be a competition, a quiz, an advert, a video, song, fundraiser, mini march (in school grounds), banner, Friday bulletin notice, poster, wearing a certain coloured item for a day, vegetarian menu, plastic bottle ban etc. etc.  The list is endless!

I look forward to supporting our students with their ideas.  Please look out for further notices highlighting their campaigns!

Climate Change and the Environment

Miss Forbes, Senior Teacher and Subject Leader for Business and Computing

David Crystal Event

We hosted our David Crystal event this week, and pupils from Barnard Castle, St Bede's and The Hermitage joined us to hear David speak.  

From start to finish, he was informative, funny and captivating. He spoke about dialect changes and Child Language Acquisition.  From language in the womb, to Scouse, to Durham dialect words, he covered a wide range of topics within these two major components of the A Level course, and certainly gave us all plenty to think about, write about and discuss in class. 

A number of our English staff were slightly star struck, especially since they have been both reading and discussing his books for a number of years. As a renowned linguist, David received his OBE in 1995 and became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2000.  He has written over 100 books and is widely renowned for his research.  

We all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, and look forward to welcoming David back again soon.  We are very grateful that David agreed to travel here from Wales to attend the session on Wednesday, and know that it is an incredibly valuable experience for our students and staff.

Mrs Walton, KS5 English Co-ordinator


The Smashed Project 

Today students in Years 7 and 8 watched ‘The Smashed Project’. This is a global educational programme dedicated to reducing underage alcohol consumption. 

Here is a link to a parent’s guide; 

The Smashed Project - A Guide for Parents

Mr Kennedy, Subject Leader for Guidance and Careers

Music Notices

Evensong – Monday 27th January, Durham Cathedral, 17.15 – 18.00
All are most welcome to attend this service, which will be sung by Chamber Choir. Please be seated by 17.05 at the very latest. 

Brass lessons
As a results of some recent timetable changes, we now have space for some new starters (or restarting lessons) in brass instrumental tuition. Please do encourage interested pupils to talk to a music teacher of they are interested. This would be particularly suitable for year 7 or 8 pupils for new starters or members of any year group, for those wishing to restart lessons. 

Theory Club
If your child is beyond Grade 3 standard on their instrument/voice, did you know that you go beyond Grade 5 with the Associated Board they need to take a Grade 5 MUSIC THEORY exam? Help is available in the Music Department in the form of Theory Club, which takes place in both first and second lunch on a Wednesday lunchtime. Work books are available to buy and pupils work through the books with support from members of the music department. 
Aural Training for music examinations
If your child is entered in the Spring session for either an Associated Board or Trinity College examination and you feel that they would benefit from some extra support in developing their aural skills in preparation for the exam, please do encourage them to book an aural training session with a member of the music department.

Mr Holmes – Subject Leader for Music

Slow To Safer Streets

Durham County Council has asked us to advise parents that work will begin during February half term to install a 20 mpt speed limit outside the school.  For further information regarding the Slow to 20 for Safe Streets initiative, please click here here or visit www.durham.gov.uk/slowto20


KS3 Drama:  Performance Information

Students involved in the production on the 30th January will be expected to be in school for the following times.

  1. Students performing in Anne Frank scenes to be in school for 5.15pm
  2. Technical Theatre students to be in school for 5.15pm
  3. Students in second half (Kindertransport and Boy in the Striped Pyjamas) for 5.30pm.

Miss Ayrey, Subject Leader Drama


Whole School Literacy

Following on from our dingbats last week, Year 8s used their knowledge of synonyms to complete the word ladder below. Can you meet the challenge?


Answers to last week’s dingbats:

1.    Base line

2.    Back door

3.    An inside job

4.    An uphill struggle

5.    Upset tummy

6.    Back to square one

7.    An afterthought

8.    Alright on the night

9.    A high IQ

10.   Anyone for tennis

11.    Arm in arm

12.    Alice through the looking glass.

Mrs Clark, Whole School Literacy Coordinator

Term and Holiday Dates 2020 - 2021

Term and Holiday Dates 2020-2021