22 March 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Parents and Carers,


This week has been a typically busy one in school and I’d like to reference two events in particular. On Monday Years 10-13 had the opportunity to speak with a variety of further education providers and potential employers. The reaction from students was positive and, along with individual careers interviews and guidance, made me proud of the support that we are currently offering to students. I’d like to thank the organisations that gave their time to come and work with our students, offering valuable practical advice. It was hectic, but a fantastic opportunity to explore next steps. Year 10 will continue with that process later this year with a work experience week in the summer term, as will Year 12 in July. A key priority for the school has been to offer the best careers guidance possible, and it is very encouraging that there is a growing range of planned opportunities. I’d like to thank school staff for their hard work in planning those sessions and to members of the Governing Body who have been so committed to the school providing improved careers guidance.

Last night’s Spring Concert was an excellent ‘bookend’ to the week, with wonderful music from the Senior Orchestra, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir and our soloists, alongside a unique performance from the Year 13 Leavers with Mr and Mrs Holmes. I attended my first concert as Headteacher in March 2018 and many of those Year 13 students, who were performing for the last time this week, made their debuts in Spring 2018. They have made a made a fantastic contribution to the cultural life of the school and, as Headteacher, it made me reflect on how fortunate we are to work with such talented young people. I can only imagine the sense of poignancy and pride felt by their parents. Spring 2018 most probably seems like an eternity ago for Year 13, but as a parent it can seem like the blink of an eye. The number of younger students performing was also very encouraging and they will also leave their mark on the school.

Thank you for your ongoing support for the school and 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


Wellbeing Update

We are hoping to offer a half-termly update where we share information about resources available to support the wellbeing of both students and parents and carers in the wider community. Please see the links below for more information:

Making Changes Together Durham – Durham’s Official Parent Carer Forum

Mental Health and Emotional Support for Children, Young People and Families

Mental Health and Emotional Support for Adults

Educational Psychology Drop-in Sessions for Parents and Carers


Year 10 Online English Homework

Each week all Year 10 students are now set English homework on the online learning platform Educake.  All students have their log in details (they should ask their teacher if they have misplaced this).  At present the homework is on the Power and Conflict poetry students have studied in class.  Please can you support your child with accessing and completing this online homework each week.

Mrs Aiken
Second in Department for English


Classics News

Last Saturday, 9 Latin students from Year 9 and Year 10 headed to Newcastle High School for Girls to compete with teams from across the region in the NE Classics Quiz, supported by the Classical Association. Our three teams competed in the Latin section of the quiz, and we came 2nd in the KS3 competition. Special congratulations to Hazel, Molly & Urwa and thanks to Katrina, Judy, Toby, Albert, Sophie & Lilian for representing the school so brilliantly and helping me not to panic when we found there was no metro service running! Also thanks to Miss Daglish for giving her time to support the event.

Mrs Bothwell
Languages Department


House System News

We asked our students to spread a little joy this Easter by providing the foodbank with a selection of Easter Eggs. We hoped to give a little something to as many families as possible. Our aim was 100 eggs, we knew that was a stretch, but we also knew whatever we raised would help those in our local community. This morning we collected the donations - just WOW, there were hundreds of eggs dropped off this morning and we exceeded our target! Can we say a HUGE thank you to everyone who collected, donated and went out to buy the eggs - it really is appreciated. The foodbank will collect on Monday to ensure families receive the treats in time for Easter!

Miss Forbes (Senior Teacher, the House System) and Mr Wilbraham (Head of Sixth Form)


Drama Performance
The KS3 Drama Performance takes place on Tuesday 26th March at 6pm. Tickets are £1 on door.


Music Notices

Thank you to all those who came and supported our Spring Concerts this week. Audiences were treated to a wide ranging and eclectic repertoire, all linked to our theme ‘Water, Water Everywhere’. On Wednesday, we heard from Wind Band, Big Band, Junior Orchestra, Junior Choir, the cello group and some soloists, with pieces ranging from Disney to Saint-Saëns, Hawaii Five-O to Loch Lomand – via sing-a-long sea shanties! On Thursday, it was the turn of Senior Orchestra, Senior Choir and Chamber Choir, who produced some beautiful performances. Perhaps the most memorable though was the Year 13 Leavers’ rendition of a specially-modified Don’t Stop Me Now, complete with kazoo accompaniment.  Farewell and good luck to this group of students who have been a part of school music, some for the past seven years, and some who have joined us more recently. Their hard work, dedication and talent, acting as role models (most of the time!) for the younger pupils, is an invaluable part of the work of the Music Department and we would like to thank them most warmly.

Mr Holmes
Subject Leader for Music


PE News

Last weekend our U19 netball team travelled to Oundle School, Peterborough for the national finals. Competing against the best 18 schools in the country, we produced some outstanding netball. We only lost one game all day. However, several drawn games meant we just missed out on the semi-finals. We did finish in the top six schools in the country and also finished as the top state school. The highlight was a 13-7 victory against Millfield School. To round off an amazing day, England netball also awarded us the fair play award. All the girls were a credit to the school. You can read a special report from Team Captain Paige below.

Also last weekend, several of our cross-country runners were in Pontefract competing in the English Schools national finals. They all produced excellent performances against the best runners in the country. The highlight was Charlotte Dillon who finished 19th in the senior girls race.

On Tuesday, as County Champions, our U16 girls badminton team travelled to Thornaby for the North East regional finals. The standard was extremely high, but we never gave up eventually finishing 3rd in the North East - a great achievement.

Some of the girls then went straight into an English Schools basketball match. Our U16 girls’ team had reached the last 16 schools in the country but received a tough draw as we faced Trinity School, Manchester. This team had a GB international playing and they proved too strong for us. Again though, we reached the last 16 schools in the country is an excellent achievement.

Finally on Tuesday our Year 7, 8 & 9 boys’ football teams faced Parkside in league matches. Our Year 7 team dominated the game going on to win 10-0 with the whole team POM. It was an identical situation for our Year 8's who also won 10-0. Our Year 9 team won 8-1 with Aidan Lawlor POM. Zack Smith scored 5 goals.

On Wednesday, our VIth form football team took on Consett Academy in their final league game needing to win to secure the title. The result was never in doubt as we claimed the league title with a 6-0 victory. Zach Twaddle was POM.

Also on Wednesday, our Year 7 boys’ and U13 girls’ rugby teams hosted St John's in friendlies. Both games were played in an excellent spirit and proved great practice for competitions next week.

Yesterday, all of our cross-country teams were at Emmanuel College for the County Championships. It was another outstanding day for Durham Johnston as we achieved the following results:

Year 7 boys - 1st and County Champions
Year 7 girls - 1st and County Champions
Junior boys - 1st and County Champions
Junior girls - 2nd
Inter girls - 1st and County Champions
Inter boys - 3rd
Senior boys - 1st and County Champions
Senior girls - 1st and County Champions

It might have been a clean sweep however several of our runners are away on the school ski-trip. Congratulations to Evie Kleiser, Henry Engelhart, Grace Carter, Sam Mason and Charlotte Dillon who won their race to become individual County Champions.

During the afternoon, our Year 10 rugby team played Parkview in a friendly. Again, this was a competitive match which we won and was important practice for the Tyneside Sevens tournament next week.

Finally, we are involved in another national final this weekend as 5 of our athletes travel to Bath University to compete in the GB national biathlon finals. Our Year 7 boys’ team are hoping to finish as one of the top schools in the country. Good luck to them.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE


Netball National Finals

What a brilliant day of netball the U19 netball team has had last weekend! Making the national finals for the second year running was such a big achievement and something we are incredibly proud of as a team.

On Saturday, we played against the best schools from all over the country in Peterborough, narrowly missing out on reaching the semi-finals, coming 4th (on goal difference only and the highest ranking state school!) in our group, after only losing one match!  We played some amazing netball and showed incredible determination on court against very tough teams. We were also awarded the prestigious Pam Telford Endeavour Award, by none other than international umpire Gary Burgess! This award was awarded to the team who displayed sportsmanship and respect throughout the tournament, nominated by all the umpires at the tournament.

I feel very privileged and proud to have led this team this year as captain and would like to thank the teachers, especially Mrs Bell who gave up her birthday weekend for us, as well as the parents who came down to support us. We truly appreciate it everything you’ve done for us over the course of the year.

Paige Henderson, U19 Netball Captain