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Durham University

St John's College

John's Beyond: College life online

We naturally associate St John’s College with our buildings – our strangely interconnected Georgian townhouses, with dwindling corridors and peculiar features, now with the addition of the slick, modern glass and stone construction that is the Learning Resource Centre. This season is proving that the community of St John’s goes far beyond bricks and mortar: we are finding new ways of coming together as a community while being apart, and of living our traditions and values.

Virtual Stress-less events

The SJCR Welfare Events Team offer a range of virtual activities to help you relax during exams and revision, from yoga and dance-fit sessions to Virtual Board Games and St John's MasterChef competitons. There is at least one activity for each day of the week! Each week’s timetable is shared here, and on the John's Beyond Covid Facebook page.

Virtual Movie Nights – Netflix Party

Every week, on Welfare Wednesdays, the SJCR Welfare Events Team host a Netflix Party Movie Night. On Tuesdays, they release a voting poll for Johnians to vote for their favourite movie option. The movie with the most votes gets played that Wednesday! Netflix Party allows everyone with Netflix and our shared link to watch the chosen movie at the same time, and chat with each other via the messages feature.

College virtual formal dinners

We are excited to be trialling virtual formals, starting with our traditional Latingate Formal! Our very own John’s chef John is composing the menu, recipe and accompanying demo. If you sign up, you can the cook the meal in your own home, and share your pictures on Instagram: #johnslatingate #quarandinewithme. We will arrange breakout rooms so that you sit on a ‘table’ to catch up with friends from around the College. As per custom, the Principal says grace and gives after-dinner-speech. Students signup is advertised by email from the Formals Officer and staff should email johns.secretary@durham.ac.uk to reserve a space.

Student support and welfare

The Senior Tutor’s Office offers student support via teams, telephone and email, as well as other online platforms when required, and this is working really well so far. Feel free to get in touch on johns.studentsupport@durham.ac.uk to set up an appointment. In addition, our Pastoral Tutors continue to keep in touch with their tutees online, and the SJCR Welfare Team offer daily peer support sessions and weekly sessions with the Disability rep on Skype.

College worship

In place of our traditional College Communion, College Worship will be available on St John's College YouTube channel from 7pm on Tuesday evenings, culminating in the Leavers Service on 9 June 2020. The service is coordinated by the Chaplain, pre-recorded in parts and includes guest and staff preachers, in-house leaders, music, prayers and readings from members of Johns and Cranmer. The service is followed by chat and a pub quiz online via Zoom. The link to the channel is here and you may need to refresh your browser at 7.00pm.

St John’s Leadership Programme

During Easter term 2020, the leadership programme will operate on a dedicated classroom channel on Microsoft Teams, and sessions will take form of webinars and online videos. Planned sessions for Easter term include “Positive Communication” and “Remote Leadership”.

Academic peer support

Despite social distancing, the academic drop in sessions continue! Thanks to Skype and virtual sessions, students are still enjoying each other’s (virtual) company, receiving academic peer support on a number of topics, from essays and research proposals to Academic English, history, maths, stats, Latex or coding. To connect with these sessions, please contact Postgraduate International Tutor Miro in advance on clodomiro.cafolla@durham.ac.uk. Other Resident Tutors will offer sessions on exam preparation, for example a session on essay writing on how to structure and write an essay within a given time frame and other tips for essay based exams.

Virtual Open Mic

The Welfare Events Team are working with JMS, John’s Music Society, to organise a virtual choir! Students will send in videos of themselves singing or playing instruments to our college song, Country Roads. Our resident tech wiz Michael will piece these together.

Learn in Lockdown

Students from the SJCR Welfare Events and Peer Support Teams are running the innovative ‘Learn in Lockdown’ project. They are pairing up students who have volunteered to teach certain skills with Johnians who want to learn something new whilst in isolation. Currently, students have offered to teach all sorts, from Dutch to singing, and programming to knitting.

Covid-19 Response

See here for St John's College response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please note that operational changes are in place during the pandemic and these changes have not been reflected on each page of this website. 

The John’s Chronicle editorial team are calling for contributions of stories in lockdown and other topical issues – email johns.chronicle@durham.ac.uk to submit your piece. We are currently recruiting to editorial team 2020/21 and interviews will take place online – visit this page for more information.

Staff are still meeting regularly on Microsoft Teams and Zoom and are not feeling socially isolated!

Follow us on Twitter @StJohnsDurham

Like us on Facebook for the latest news and stories

View our latest snaps on Instagram

Experience St John's College: visit our YouTube channel

Join the John's Beyond COVID Facebook group to keep up to date with College life in lockdown!

St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.