Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

We are absolutely delighted to share with you a sneak peak of our new school film, which will launch next month. The film, which is the cornerstone of our #CallingAllGirls campaign, aims to celebrate our wonderful pupils, who are at the forefront of everything that we do at Durham High School.

Our new campaign brings the values and ethos that have underpinned the school since it was founded in 1884, together with a modern, forward-thinking approach which allows Durham High School to thrive in 2022 and beyond. We hope you enjoy it –

School Leadership Team

Between now and the end of term, we will be introducing you to the new School Leadership Team from September 2022. This week, we introduce our newest Assistant Principals:

David Smith, Assistant Principal: Durham High School is such a fabulous community, and I am delighted to be taking up the role of Assistant Principal.  Our dynamic world so needs confident young people with a range of skills. My wish is to oversee the delivery of an adaptive curriculum which supports our students to be happy and successful learners.  I am particularly looking forward to working with parents on the exciting journey ahead.

Laura Middleton, Assistant Principal: I am delighted to introduce myself to you as a new Assistant Principal from September. After having a pastoral and academic role for many years at the High School, I am very fortunate to be able to continue both. Pupils’ academic achievement and personal development are great strengths of the School, and my aim is to support the Leadership Team in creating a curriculum that is contemporary and forward looking. I firmly believe in the benefits of an all-girls’ education in developing confidence and self-belief, empowering young people and creating leaders. I am also looking forward to getting to know pupils and parents across the school and hope to meet you at one of our many events. 

Uniform Shop

The Uniform Shop will be open on the following dates during the summer holiday:

  • Monday 25 July
  • Tuesday 26 July
  • Monday 22 August
  • Tuesday 23 August
  • Thursday 1 September
  • Friday 2 September

The shop will be open on these days between 9am and 4pm for appointments only, closing between 12pm and 1pm for lunch. Appointments must be booked via the Emblematic website and the system for booking should be available from this weekend.

All items of uniform can also be ordered via the website.  However, it should be noted that orders are completed in the school shop, during opening hours, before they are sent to Newcastle for despatch. This may lead to a delay between the order being placed and being delivered to your home. All orders placed online are for home delivery during the holidays.

Leavers’ Dinner

Yesterday was a wonderful occasion, where we celebrated with our outgoing Year 13 and their families. There was a delicious buffet and drinks reception, and the hall was decorated with a beautiful feature flower wall, balloons and sweet shop table. There were some lovely speeches from Mrs Wheeler and the Sixth Form Leadership Team, with some heart-warming and funny memories shared and gifts presented by Dr Alvey and Mrs Gellately. The evening culminated in a disco, featuring a playlist of songs put together by the students. We wish our leavers the very best in their A Level results and beyond.

Durham High Live

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the inaugural DHS Live on Saturday afternoon. We had a fantastic turnout across the afternoon and the sun was shining throughout. Well done to all the pupils, staff, parents and Old Girls who performed for contributing to such a fantastic talent-filled day. The event raised over £750 for St Cuthbert’s Hospice.

Covid-19 Update

You may have seen from national reports that there has been a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases across the country in recent weeks. We thought it appropriate to remind pupils of the need to practice good hygiene, including sanitising, and washing their hands with soap and warm water, regularly. We would also like to highlight the importance of the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

We continue to implement an increased cleaning regime across the school throughout the day, focusing on key touch points such as door handles and other surfaces. Sanitiser stations also remain in place at Main Reception and the entrance to every building. We also encourage everyone to continue to follow the current Government isolation guidance:

  • Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend
  • Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious.
  • For children and young people aged 18 and under with a positive COVID-19 test result the advice is 3 days.

More information on the symptoms to look out for, what you can do to help stop the spread of the infection, what you should do if you need to leave your home and what to do if you are a close contact of someone with Covid-19 are available at

Sports Update

Congratulations to the pupils in Year 7 and 8, who played in the Tyne and Wear Cricket Tournament on Thursday 23 June. It was their first competitive tournament and a fantastic experience. Special mention to the Year 7A team who won their age group tournament.

In Rounders, there was success for both the Year 8 team, who won their Area Tournament on Tuesday, and the Year 7 team, who also won their Area Tournament last night.

We held a fantastic Sports Day on Wednesday at Maiden Castle, as pupils in Senior House took to the field and track to compete in a variety of different events. Well done to everyone who competed across they day, and congratulations to Booth who took the House Trophy in a tight contest.

Overall results:

  • 1st Booth (472 points)
  • 2nd Tempest (467 points)
  • 3rd Neville (383 points)
  • 4th Heath (335 points)

Championship Athletes:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
1st Annabelle E Harriet L Darcy M Grace A
2nd Millie S Kristina W Millie P Logan W
3rd Isabella C and Lyla R Christina M Mae A Fern A, Izzy E and Hannah M

There were also three new school records set on the day. Congratulations to Millie S for a record 5m 31s in the Year 7 1500m, Isabella C for a distance of 1.23m in the High Jump and Annabelle E for achieving 8m in the Shot Put. Thank you to the PE Department and everyone involved in organising this event.

Nadia shines on stage

A huge congratulations to Nadia in Year 3, who this week took part in The Wizard of Oz at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, as a munchkin and villager. She was performing as part of the Pauline Quirke Academy, where she has been attending drama classes for almost a year. Well done on your first theatrical performance.

Summer Holiday Camps

We are delighted that Summer Holiday Camps will be running at Durham High School for 5 weeks throughout July and August. The clubs are open to all children aged 3 to 11 and will be run on the grounds of Durham High School by our partners REEVO Coaching. Their popular holiday camps have been a challenging yet fun environment for children to flourish during school holidays for over 8 years. There will be a mixture of activities to keep children engaged including sport, arts and crafts, team building, dance and much more.

The sessions will run weekdays, starting on Monday 25 July and finishing on Friday 26 August. Sessions will start at 9am and finish at 3pm, and children will need a packed lunch. The cost to attend is £25 per day or £100 per week, with a sibling deal coming in at slightly cheaper. All payments will be made on the day via cash or card. To book a place for your child, follow one of the links below:

Week 1 – Monday 25 – Friday 29 July – Click Here

Week 2 – Monday 1 – Friday 5 August – Click Here

Week 3 – Monday 8 – Friday 12 August – Click Here

Week 4 – Monday 15 – Friday 19 August – Click Here

Week 5 – Monday 22 – Friday 26 August – Click Here

If you have any questions, you can contact REEVO Coaching at [email protected] or call 07814805679. We are delighted to have them working with us at Durham High School, as we look to expand our out of school offering.

School Trips

It has been an action-packed week for school trips, with pupils enjoying a variety of different visits over the last few days. On Tuesday, pupils in Year 9 headed for an adventure day at Barnard Castle Hub, where they took part in raft building, bush craft and high ropes. They then took part in a DofE on Thursday.

Pupils in Year 7, 8 and 10 went to Billingham Forum for a day of activities, including ice skating, swimming, fitness and climbing. Pupils in Early Years and KS1 headed to the beach yesterday, to round off their seaside themed topic. They also visited Tynemouth Aquarium and enjoyed finding out about all of the different sea creatures that exist in and around the ocean.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Week

As part of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion week, pupils have been sampling some different cultural activities in Tutor Time. Year 10 and 12 sampled Egyptian cuisine called ‘Fool’ cooked by Dr. N.EL-Mohandes. It can be eaten traditionally for breakfast in Egypt.

Pupils drew Rangoli patterns on Junior House Yard as would be made during the Hindu Festival of Diwali. These patterns can also be seen at special Hindu celebrations such as weddings, religious celebrations and other festivals such as Tihar, Pongal and Onam. Other activities included Bharathanatyam Dancing, Chinese Writing and Guided Running.

National Council of Women Conference

On Monday we held our ‘In the Spotlight’ conference for all pupils in Year 10 and Year 12, and invited guests from a number of other local schools. The aim of the event, originally scheduled to take place in July 2020 before the pandemic struck, was to encourage more young women across County Durham to consider a career in the creative industries.

We are delighted that Old Girls Ellisha Willis, Leoni D’Arcy and Kate Donald, who have gone into careers in interior design, graphics and fashion design respectively, came back to school to speak to pupils about their experiences. There was also a Zoom presentation from Vicky Sutherland, who is a Senior Associate at J&L Gibbons.

Stick Insects

The Science Department have 10 stick insects and accompanying house, free to a good home. If any families are interested in rehoming them, please email our Laboratory Manager Mrs Foskett on [email protected] before the end of term.

Communication over the holidays

A reminder that the school breaks up for the Summer holidays from next Friday, 8 July. Please be aware that there will be nobody monitoring telephone calls until the middle of August, and phone messages will be checked sporadically. If you have any reason for which you need to contact the school, please email [email protected], but please be aware that you may not receive an immediate response.