2 February 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another busy week in school, particularly for students in their examination years. Year 13 are preparing for mock exams in the next week, and we are working closely with Year 11 to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses ahead of their next set of mock exams in March. Amidst all this hard work, it is good to see students also participating fully in the extra-curricular and cultural life of the school, as you will see from the full bulletin below.

My update this week is very brief; its primary purpose is to share some exciting news about the possible future direction of the school, via the letter linked below. We would encourage all parents and carers to read this very carefully, as we continue to think about the best ways to ensure that our students can access the very best education we can offer.

Letter to parents and carers, 2nd February 2024

Have a good weekend.

Mr O’Sullivan

What is my child learning?

In the Learning section of our website you can find guidance on what every student at the school is studying. As well as an overview of our curriculum and principles behind it, you can find an overview of each subject area.
You can also find a guide to the content being covered in every subject and how you can support your child for each half term here: 
Year 7 | Year 8 | Year 9 | Year 10 | Year 11 | Year 12 | Year 13


Year 10 Computer Science

We had some amazing entries for the Year 10 CityScapes challenge over the Christmas period. This challenge involves writing Python code (using the Turtle library) to create a famous city skyline. The top 3 have been named and house points will be awarded for each. You can see the results below, with their fantastic work!

They have certainly raised the bar for next year's CityScapes challenge!

If you are in Year 9 and are thinking of taking Computer Science in Year 10, you can start your journey with the Python Turtle library at this link.

Mr O'Connor
Lead Teacher for KS4/5 Computer Science


Sixth Form Notices

Please note, Sixth Form notices are now published on a Monday, on the Enrichment+ page of the Sixth Form section of the website.

Click here to view the page.


Careers and Guidance Department Notices

Please click here to view the latest Careers Notices.

Mr Kennedy
Subject Leader, Guidance


Chamber Choir sing Evensong in Durham Cathedral

Chamber Choir sang the Service of Evensong in Durham Cathedral on Monday evening. Many thanks to those pupils, parents, colleagues and friends of the school community who attended the service in person. There have also been over 700 partial or full live and subsequent views of the Service on the Cathedral's Facebook page. We were delighted to have been supported by many members of the Cathedral's virtual Congregation from within the UK and around the world, including the Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa.

We are already planning the music for next year!

Mr Holmes
Subject Leader for Music


PE News

I would like to start this week with news of national success for Year 13 student Camille Beattie. Last weekend she was in Manchester competing in the national Fives Championships. Fives is a game that is fast and fun, played in a four-sided court. Players – using leather gloves worn on both hands – aim to hit the ball against the wall so that the opposition cannot return it.  The court is slightly smaller than a squash court and has a stone, rather than wooden floor.

In the final, Camille beat Shinan Zhang, who plays her Fives with the London-based Executioners Club 15-8, 15-8 to become women's National Champion. An outstanding achievement!

Last Friday, our Year 7 boys’ football team were at Emmanuel College in the quarter final of the Tyneside Cup. Despite dominating possession, we couldn't find a goal and were 1-0 behind with 10 minutes to play. However, two late goals from POM Reid Stewart saw us secure the victory and reach the semi-finals.

On Monday, our Year 8 girls’ futsal team travelled to High Tunstall School for the Area futsal finals. We started slowly but managed to secure a 2-0 victory against the hosts. Another close 2-1 victory in our next match saw us reach our final game needing to beat Hurworth to win the competition. Despite going behind three times, we never gave up, and scored a late goal to win 4-3. We now qualify for the county finals at the Beacon of Light in March. The Year 10 boys’ futsal competition was unfortunately postponed and will now take place next week.

On Tuesday, we hosted the Year 8 Area basketball competition. We had two teams entered, and both teams proved too strong for the opposition as we won all our games without conceding a point. The best game was our A v B teams. In the end our B team won by 1 basket to conclude an excellent night for Durham Johnston.

Also on Tuesday, we hosted a Year 10 rugby CVL. It was an excellent afternoon of rugby where we won all our games to become champions.

On Thursday afternoon, our Year 7 netballers travelled to Durham High for the Area tournament. We had two teams entered and both played the best netball so far this season. DJCS "red" team won 4 of their 6 games to finish in 3rd place with Gabriella Arthur our POT. Our "black" team won one game against Durham High to finish 6th. Lizzy Ward was their POT.

Also yesterday, we hosted the Year 7 Junior NBA basketball tournament. We started with a 10 point victory against English Martyrs. We went on to win all our games and become champions with Brodie Squares POT. We now go on to the playoffs in March.

We also have a busy weekend of sport ahead. Good luck tomorrow to our U16 boys table tennis team who travel to Bradford Grammar School to represent County Durham in the North-East finals hoping to win a place in the National finals.

Also good luck on Sunday to our U19 netball team who are at Sports Central, Newcastle competing in the regional finals, again hoping to progress to the national finals.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE


We have also been asked to share the following again on behalf of the North East School Age Immunisation Service:

For Year 9 Parents and Carers: Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio (Td/iPV) & Meningitis ACWY Immunisations

Most children have been immunised against Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio and Meningitis C as part of the childhood UK schedule. Guidance from NHS England recommends that your child now receives a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria & Polio and Meningitis ACWY. This is due to take place at school on 12 February 2024.

Information regarding these vaccines is available on the website:

MenACWY vaccine - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

3-in-1 teenage booster overview - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

You can also talk to your GP or Practice Nurse or contact the immunisation team using the details below.

Please complete online consent forms within one week of receipt. If you do not wish your child to have the immunisations, please indicate this on the forms. You can find the forms at this link.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Immunisation Team on 0333 3583 397 option 3, option 2 or immunisations.countydurham@intrahealth.co.uk