21 September 2020

21st September 2020


Dear Parents & Carers


Year 12 Settling In Information


Normally, at this time of year, we would have invited you in to an information evening to communicate what has happened so far at the start of this academic year; our routines, expectations and opportunities, and of course answered any questions you might have.  This letter aims to go some way to fulfilling these aims.


Two of the key objectives at the start of this year are helping students understand the importance of (and further develop their) COMMUNICATION and ORGANISATION skills.  These key skills will help teachers / tutors, to help our students excel academically and be better able to take advantage of the range of opportunities we offer during their time with us and in future study and employment beyond. The importance of applying these skills and working collaboratively with each other and their teachers has been communicated during Form time and in my initial Assembly, as well as in subject lessons.


Our Year 12 students have not had the experience of formal exams in summer 2020, and the confidence that goes with this – we are building from a different baseline. However, engagement with our transition resources on the school website means that they have had the advantage of a very solid foundation for their A level studies. As a school, students are at the centre of everything we do. We can best support them during their time with us by coordination and COLLABORATON – between home, students, subject teachers and our pastoral system (form time and assemblies).  A coordinated STRUCTURED ASSESSMENT programme will help students and staff better understand individual and class strengths and weaknesses and inform teaching and future assessments.


Communication and Collaboration

For subject work, routines and expectations, and also opportunities, students should regularly use the following in addition to personal interaction and their student organiser:

  • School emails
  • Subject Team groups
  • The noticeboards in form / classrooms and the Sixth Form area
  • Our school website for Mr O’Sullivan’s weekly updates, our Sixth Form weekly notices / bulletin
  • Updates, e.g. the safety / risk reduction routines for Sixth Form shared with them this week, which can also be found at this link.


If unsure about any aspect of school life, students should come to the Sixth Form office and speak with myself / Mr Wilbraham (Deputy Head of Sixth Form).


Structured Assessments

The performance of each student and how best to help them make progress is continually being assessed by their teachers, formally and informally.  Formal written assessments are different in different subjects, with a greater emphasis on exam technique and past paper questions at A level. 



Students have five hours of lesson time for each of their subjects.  Outside of lessons, they have either Private Study or Home Study.  Using this independent time effectively is the top tip students identify at the end of Year 12.  During Private Study, students are supervised and shown how to use this time with purpose.  During Home Study, students should be working at home, making progress with their studies through homework, preparation and consolidation. Embedding good routines from the start makes a huge difference to outcomes and wellbeing.


If you have any questions, please contact me by email: a.lennon@durhamjohnston.org.uk


Yours sincerely


Anne Lennon

Head of Sixth Form