Durham High

Why Durham High School for Girls

As one of the few girls’ schools in the North East, we know we provide a unique experience for girls. At Durham High, we are in no doubt about what lies behind the School’s success: girls achieve better in girls’ schools.

What makes Durham High School Unique?

Continuous Education

Our education from Nursery to Sixth Form allows for continuity of care and ease of transition between key stages.  Juniors also enjoy access to Senior facilities such as tennis courts and laboratories.  Specialist Senior teachers of Modern Languages are able to deliver lessons in Junior House.

Quality Education

With small classes, superb facilities and specialist teachers who are prepared to ‘go the extra-mile’ for their pupils, it’s no wonder that girls succeed at Durham High.

Caring Education

Excellent relationships are at the centre of all we do at Durham High School.  There is a caring, family ethos where all the girls are known well to each other and by their teachers and are valued as individuals.  With our emphasis on charity, girls are encouraged to look outwards, caring for others who are less fortunate and engaging with important moral issues.

Christian Education

Girls of all faiths or none are welcome at Durham High School and benefit from our Christian ethos.  We create opportunities for girls to explore faith, nurturing spiritual and moral values.  One of our aims is that they leave us with a sound moral and spiritual basis for the next stage of their lives.

Balanced Education

Academic results are not everything: we take seriously our role in encouraging girls to develop leadership skills, resilience and confidence.  To broaden and develop girls’ interests we offer an impressive range of extra-curricular activities to suit all tastes.  Many are involved in sport, music and drama whether they play and perform at an elite level, or participate purely for pleasure.

Aspirational Education

High expectations, both in and out of the classroom, ensure girls leave DHS as well-rounded, independent and confident young women, with top-flight academic qualifications. We provide excellent guidance for the next stage of their lives, encouraging them to aim high and believe that they can be whatever they want to be.

So what are the benefits of an all-girls’ education?

Girls and boys learn differently, and in a girls’ school we can cater for these differences and bring out the best.  Girls like to talk and interact so in girls’ schools, teachers can focus on what works best for girls, creating opportunities for discussion and collaborative learning.

Many girls are not natural risk-takers and girls’ schools can provide a ‘safe’ learning environment which encourages them to learn from their mistakes without fear of embarrassment.  We encourage them to move beyond their ‘comfort zone’ and learn that making a mistake is not the end of the world – it happens to the best of us!

Girls can often lack confidence in their own abilities and look to others for approval.  Girls’ schools are uniquely placed to nurture girls and help them build self-esteem and the confidence to be themselves.

Excellent pupil-teacher relationships are evident throughout the School; we know that girls learn better when they develop relationships based on mutual trust and respect, and are treated as individuals.

Building their leadership skills and giving girls positive female role models to look up to is also an important way in which we can encourage them to have faith in what women in general and they in particular, can achieve. At DHS girls are happy to put themselves forward.

A more relaxed environment is created because girls don’t need to worry about impressing boys. They can be themselves in class; our girls can – and do! - speak openly and honestly.  Lessons are often bursting with ideas and free-thinking as a result.  Teachers certainly don’t experience problems encouraging discussion and debate!

The curriculum at an independent girls’ school can be tailored by teachers so that individual elements have particular appeal to girls.  For instance, lessons can focus on literature with strong heroines or on the contributions of women to science.

Girls’ schools can make a great difference in overcoming limiting gender stereotypes.  Girls can gravitate without embarrassment towards subjects often considered to be male preserves.  In girls’ schools, all the scientists and mathematicians are female, all the debaters are female and all the pupils in leadership positions are female.

Did you know…? Girls at Girls School Association schools are:

  • 75% more likely to take Maths A level
  • 70% more likely to take Chemistry
  • 250% more likely to take Physics
  • 200% more likely to take most Languages

Find out more about the benefit of GSA schools