3 May 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Parents and Carers,


Our focus in school this week has been on the practical preparations for external examinations, which begin next week for Year 11, and the following Monday for Year 13. We held assemblies for students in Years 7-10 where we discussed the importance of being considerate to the older students as they enter this crucial period of time. We reminded them that they will be in that position before long, and that when their time comes, they too will want a calm and quiet environment to surround their exams.


We think very carefully about how best to support students in exam years, and are very pleased to be able to provide additional levels of support and subject-specific interventions this year. Year 11 have been given individual timetables for the next three school weeks, in order to help them to prepare as effectively as possible with the help of our teaching and pastoral staff. Students have responded very positively, and we know from past experience that using this time in this way has a direct impact on the results students receive in August. We also know that the care and encouragement provided at home is invaluable at this time, and Mrs McFadden has written to parents and carers of Year 11 to share practical information as well as ideas about how to support their young people, which you can read at this link. Year 13 will ‘officially’ leave next week, but staff will continue to be available to offer support from in whatever way we can; there will also be a dedicated quiet study space still available in school. Similarly, we would like to remind parents and carers that we are here to help if there are concerns; please do contact the school in the usual way if needed.

To facilitate all of this, there are some practical implications; younger students will receive new timetables at the beginning of next week which cover the room changes necessary for the exam period. These will come into effect on Thursday.

Have a good weekend, and enjoy the bank holiday.

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


Classics news

We were delighted to welcome Dr Christopher Burden-Strevens from the University of Kent to school on Tuesday for the second talk in our ‘Classics and…’ series, which aims to show the links between Classics and other areas of the curriculum. He spoke about ‘The Ancient Art of Rhetoric’, explaining how vital this skill was for the Greek and Romans and how widely influential it still is today. With examples from Trump to Churchill, via Hamilton and The Lord of The Rings, he showed the range of techniques that speakers use to make their words more persuasive and memorable. We were joined by students and staff from Durham High School, Durham Sixth Form Centre, Framwellgate, and St. Leonard's and the event was supported by Classics for All North, a charity that exists to promote access to Classical subjects in the state sector. The talk was attended by students from Year 9 to Year 13, who enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions afterwards and discuss politics and the morality of persuasion with the speaker over tea and biscuits. We are now planning our next talks, which we hope will look at Classical links in Maths, Drama and Philosophy.

Mrs Bothwell
Languages Department


Music Notices

Tuition from Durham Music Service over the coming weeks

Year 11 and year 13 are still encouraged to attend instrumental/ vocal lessons and they need not be in school uniform if they are just on site for this sole purpose.  If they are unable to attend lessons because of exams or revision sessions, please would they be kind enough to inform their teacher in order that this time can be reallocated.

15th Durham Johnston School Music Festival

The annual school music festival will take place on the evening of Friday 28th June. There are three classes over the course of the evening and this performance opportunity is open to those who take music lessons outside school, as well as those who receive tuition in school from Durham Music Service. For details of how to enter, please follow this link

Music for a Summer Evening

Year 13 musicians, their family and friends are invited to ‘Music for a Summer Evening’ on Thursday 4th July at 7.00pm. This is an informal ‘cabaret–style’ event taking place in the Cafe, where pupils and staff entertain their guests whilst they enjoy drinks and a light buffet. It is an opportunity to say ‘goodbye’, and ‘thank you’ to the leavers for all their commitment to extra-curricular music over their years at Durham Johnston School. The musical items usually have a more light-hearted feel to them than in the traditional school concerts, and I already know of some special items lined up for this year! In the past contributions have ranged from Noel Coward and Flanders & Swan, to Joni Mitchell and Radiohead. For more details, please follow this link.

Durham Music - Young Musician of the year 2024

Durham Music Service is once again hosting a Young Musician of the Year competition, set to take place on Sunday, 23rd June 2024 at Ushaw College. This competition is open to all musicians of approximately Grade 6 standard and above, who are receiving lessons from Durham Music Service. Pupils do not need to have passed an external exam to take part and they welcome musicians of every style and instrument. For more details, please follow this link

Mr Holmes
Subject Leader for Music


PE News

On Monday our Year 9 football team were at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland taking on Staindrop in the Bishops Cup final. We dominated the game leading 4-0 at half-time. We eventually claimed the trophy with a 5-0 win. The whole team were POMs. They still have the League Cup final to go in two weeks’ time.

Our Year 7 and 8 football teams both had league cup semi-finals on Tuesday. Our Year 7 team travelled to Whitworth. This was an outstanding game of football played in a great spirit. Despite being behind twice we never gave up, finishing strongly to secure a place in the final with a 4-2 win. Toby Reynolds was POM.

It was more straightforward for our Year 8 team who hosted Sedgefield. We comfortably won the game 6-0 with a hattrick from POM Henry Burns to reach another final.

Athletics competitions start next week, and it was amazing to see over 70 children at practice on Wednesday. I am sure we will have an excellent season ahead.

Good luck today to our Year 10 cricket team who are competing in the National T20 competition. Our first match is against the current county champions from Monkwearmouth.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE