10 May 2024

Image of Friday Bulletin

Dear Students, Parents and Carers,

I have shared important news with school governors and staff this week and I would now like to make parents, carers, and students aware too. I will be stepping down from my role as Headteacher at the end of this school year and will leave Durham Johnston for a new role at Newcastle University. I have worked at the school for 27 years and have been Headteacher since December 2017, first as Acting Headteacher and then permanently from February 2019. I have greatly enjoyed working at Durham Johnston and feel that I have contributed positively to the success of our students and the wider life of the school.

The school’s Governing Body has asked Mrs McFadden, our Deputy Headteacher since 2017, to take on the role of Acting Headteacher from September 2024 onwards. Mrs McFadden has played a significant role in the recent success of the school and believes strongly in the school’s ethos. I have no doubt that she will do a fantastic job.

Being at the school for a long time also affords me a level of experience and perspective that others within our community, understandably, may not have. I have served under 6 Headteachers and it is always slightly disconcerting for parents and students when someone leaves that role. However, Durham Johnston is much more than any one individual or group. Experience has taught me that the school will continue to be successful because, in simple terms, it has excellent teachers, talented students, supportive parents and is committed to comprehensive education.

Throughout my time at Durham Johnston, I have been fortunate to work with so many funny, engaging, and talented young people. Similarly, in that time I have worked closely with a range of parents and carers and have appreciated your kindness, honesty, and obvious commitment to the school. I am proud to have served our school community for 27 years as a History teacher and, since 2017, as Headteacher.

Whilst I am sharing this important update now for obvious reasons of transparency, I will be Headteacher until 31st August 2024 and will continue to work hard each day for the good of our children.

Wishing you all 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 11 Maths Revision Sessions

The GCSE Maths Paper 2 exam takes place on Monday 3rd June. The Maths Department is offering an extra revision session during the half term holiday to support students, on Thursday 30th May, 9am-12pm. Further details have been emailed directly to parents and carers, along with an electronic form to complete to indicate that a student wishes to attend.

Mrs Urwin
Subject Leader for Maths


I’m a Johnstonian Get Me Out of Here!”

Last week we held the house event of all house events - "I'm a Johnstonian Get Me Out of Here" and we were back with a bang... or should I say locust, meal worm, slime, gunge and a few coffins!

The stage was set, paddling pools, a three course meal, a little place to rest your head and a LOT of things that were basically…disgusting.

Staff and students put themselves forward for 4 trials; Buried at First Sight, Evil Mastermind, Star Wars and School Dinners. And they were absolutely first class! Annand took the most house points that afternoon, but everyone deserved the win. The House Leaders were first class and we managed to set-up two events over both lunch times and a clean-up operation through military precision and a little bit of magic! 

Hats off to the staff, who had all sorts thrown at them – and a special mention to Mr Scott who forgot a change of clothes and had to dig deep into the lost property box! Brilliant.

We raised over £500 which will be used to support our pastoral team with rewards and celebrations.

Miss Forbes
Senior Teacher, the House System


PE News

Some excellent news of international success over the weekend: Year 12 student Charlotte Dillon was selected to represent England at the European Under 20 5K championships which took place in Italy. The England team won the competition to become European champions and Charlotte finished 18th in the race. An amazing achievement!

Last Friday, our Year 10 cricket team took part in the National T20 competition. During the morning, we were at Durham City CC taking on Monkwearmouth, who are the current County Champions. We beat them comfortably to set up a north-east final against Durham School. We made the short journey to Durham School and fielded first as they scored an impressive 144 runs in their twenty overs. However, an amazing batting performance from Tom Briggs and Ethan Hill saw us reach that total with 4 overs to spare and without losing a wicket. Both Tom and Ethan scored 66 runs each. We now progress to the last 16 schools in the country.

Cricket continued on Tuesday as our Year 7 team made their debut in the County Cup as we took on High Tunstall. We batted first, and after a slow start set them a target of 86 to win. James Errington top scored on 26. An excellent bowling display saw us bowl them out for only 28 runs to reach the second round. James was POM.

Also on Tuesday, our Year 11 football team were at King James playing St John's in the League Cup final. This was a high-quality close game which ended 2-2. Unfortunately, we then lost a penalty shoot-out to finish runners-up.

A busy Thursday started early as our U15 boys and girls handball teams left school at 6.30am to make the journey to Oldham Leisure Centre for the northern regional finals. After an excellent day of competition, both our teams just missed out on semi-finals finishing in the top 8 schools in the north.

Also yesterday, our Junior and Inter athletics teams were in Chester-le-Street for the Area Championships. In perfect conditions we produced some outstanding performances. We are still waiting for official team results, but lots of our athletes won their event to become area champion.

Last night, our Year 9 football team hosted Whickham in the semi-final of the Tyneside Cup. Despite several chances neither team could find a goal, so the game went to penalties. However, this time we came out winners after holding our nerve in a sudden death shoot-out to win 5-4. Will Haselhurst was POM.

Finally, good luck today to our Year 8 cricket team who are in County Cup action against Sedgefield.

Mr Hopper
Subject Leader for PE