WHAT HAPPENS ON THE FIRST DAY?
What do students need to do on the first day of term in September?
Students should arrive by 8.20 a.m. at the very latest. If your child is to travel by school bus, the Local Authority will send a bus pass and journey instructions to your home address at some point during the summer holiday period. If your child is to travel to school by service bus, or will walk or cycle, please make sure that they know both the way to school, and how long it will take. First days can be nerve racking and younger students can get very anxious about being late. Please do not arrange to bring your child to school by car unless this is absolutely unavoidable. Children need to develop the independence of getting themselves to school on time and can benefit from the exercise that walking or cycling offers. We do not have any parking or even drop-off space for parents on our site and we are instructed by the Local Authority and the police to prevent parents coming onto the site in cars. The car park is so congested that any additional vehicles driving on to site constitute a safety hazard. Some parents have expressed concerns about this. Our car park was built in 2009 based upon an environmental plan that set out to encourage students and staff to walk or cycle to school. The school gate is always supervised at the start and end of the school day and parents can only access the site by car if their son or daughter has a medical condition that necessitates them being dropped off. Parents are sometimes offended by this, so it is best to be clear from the start: you may not park or drop off in our car park. If you are bringing your child to school by car because there is no alternative, please arrange to drop them off and pick them up in the lay-bys to the north and south of school, or in Redhills Lane, being mindful of residents’ access.
We do not offer supervision before 08.00 a.m. School ends at 14.45 p.m. and, apart from our wide range of extra-curricular activities, we do not offer any child-minding or supervision at the end of the day. If students are present, unsupervised, after 3.00 p.m., it poses a significant safeguarding risk.
On the first day of term your child will spend the morning with their Form Tutor. Crucially, they will be issued with a Student Organiser; a key document for both organisation and communication between school and home.
What equipment will students need when starting at Durham Johnston?
Your child will, of course, need a sensible and sturdy bag to carry their books around. They will need a pencil case with pens, pencils, rulers, coloured pencils and other equipment. It is their responsibility to arrive well-equipped for every single lesson.
The student organiser has much of the information you need as a parent at Durham Johnston and it will be issued on their first day. The ‘what should I do if ….?’ section contains very useful answers to frequently asked questions. Parents can communicate directly with the Form Tutor using the organiser too. Although we are a large organisation, should you need to telephone or email, we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible. If you have a general enquiry we recommend you visit the school website.