12 August 2021

We are very proud of the excellent GCSE results achieved by students at Durham Johnston in 2021. The results underline their hard work and determination, also highlighting the support of their families and the commitment and dedication of their teachers. We are very proud of their fantastic results, particularly given the difficult circumstances in which they have been achieved. There has been significant national discussion regarding results this year and it is important to understand that comparisons with other years are not appropriate. We should, however, acknowledge that students have worked  as hard as students sitting exams in any other year and have, as a group, done so in far more challenging conditions than previous cohorts.


Our students have coped very effectively with a constantly changing and extremely difficult period. We are proud of both their results and their perseverance. School staff have been discussing this week how straightforward our own examinations were, when compared with those collecting results today. It is perhaps important to note again just how challenging the experience has been for our students. Their Year 10 studies were curtailed in March 2020 and they didn’t return to school for lessons until June and July of that year, working online until that point. Students returned for their second year of GCSE study in September 2020 and had to work within the confines of protective bubbles and social distancing, with the constant worry of either testing positive or being a close contact of someone who had. Exams were cancelled in January 2021 and a national lockdown was implemented, with students accessing effective online learning remotely. They then returned in mid-March, at the same time as the Government’s ‘contingency plans’ were finally shared with schools. After revising over the Easter period, they completed a series of exam level internal assessments in a variety of subjects over an intensive 7-week period. The success of our students and all those receiving their results nationally should be celebrated as they have been achieved in very adverse conditions. They have developed skills and characteristics that will stand them in good stead for further study and employment. Our students have proven themselves to be hard working, resilient and adaptable; whatever the last two years have thrown at them, they have been well supported and have risen to each new challenge. Their success is greatly deserved, as it is a result of significant and sustained effort.


Student of all abilities have achieved superb GCSE results across a range of subjects. They deserve a huge amount of credit for their hard work over two years of study and their GCSE success also highlights the commitment of staff at the school and the support that they have been given at home. We are very proud of the fantastic results that students have achieved. We are proud of all of our students; from those achieving a number of 8 and 9 grades, to those who worked incredibly hard to achieve grades 2, 3 or 4. We are also thrilled that a high percentage of Year 11 will be continuing their studies with us at A Level and wish those leaving the school for further education or employment every success for the future.


Our core values relate to academic excellence for all, the need for students to acquire knowledge, the need to contribute to society and preparation for future employment, wherever in the world that might be. We also strongly believe that all students should have those opportunities, regardless of background. Once again, our students have risen to the challenges set before them, and we wish them all the best as they begin the next stage of their education, training or employment. Their results are outstanding and we are very proud of their achievements. Whatever their next steps, we hope they find the experience truly rewarding and transformational and we know that their effort over the past two years stand them in good stead for the future. We also know that they will go on to make a positive contribution to society and will offer help, support and guidance for others.


We congratulate them and wish them good luck, whatever the future may hold. They have earned their success.


Mr O’Sullivan