Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

As a school, we will be marking International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March, which is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. I will be leading the first assembly after half term on the topic of IWD, the theme of which this year is ‘Break the Bias’. Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough: action is needed to level the playing field.

Sport Update

Congratulations to Grace in Year 7, who recently won a Regional U12 Tennis Tournament as well as receiving trophies for winning the Doubles and Mixed Doubles County Championship titles at the Durham and Cleveland Awards Evening. As well as being a star on the tennis court, Grace has also been selected for the U13 County Cricket Squad.

A huge well done to Millie, also in Year 7, who represented County Durham at the Inter-County Cross Country Championships recently. Millie also took part in the U13 Northern Indoor Athletics Championships in Sheffield, where she achieved personal bests in the 800m and shot put.

Good luck to Georgia in Y12, who is taking part in the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Azerbaijan at the start of March. In addition, the best of luck to DHS Old Girl Mica McNeill, who is competing in the Bobsleigh at the Winter Olympics. Her event starts this evening.

Street Dance Champion

Congratulations to Ella in Year 11, who attended the UK Street Dance Challenge last weekend. She came 1st place in the Solo and Team for her age group, and 3rd in Quads and Duo. Well done Ella on a fantastic achievement.

Year 8 FBM Competition

This week saw Year 8 pupils start their journey with the Future Business Magnates (FBM) competition. This exciting and fun competition aims to build enthusiasm in young people and introduces them to the basics of starting and running a business. School teams are supported by a business partner from a local firm who work with the team through six challenges including product design, marketing and finance.

Challenge 1 was about building the team. Pupils took part in several icebreaker activities and found how far one piece of A4 paper could go. We analysed the teams’ strengths and skills and assigned roles to the team members. Good luck to the group in the rest of the competition.

School Production

We are delighted to be returning to the Gala Theatre on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March 2022 for our annual musical performance. This year, we are staging the iconic musical Anything Goes. We are using a 2018 version of the musical, which was adapted to reflect a more inclusive society than that of the 1930s. Nevertheless, over the past four years since the last adaptation, even more debate has been stimulated around race, gender and sexual politics. Therefore, quite rightly, these issues have been discussed and debated with our students during the rehearsal process. Consequently, we are mindful of this in our production, and, although copyright prevents us from making textual changes, we have sought to express certain sentiments and issues in a manner that is more nuanced and reflective. Tickets for the show can still be purchased from the Gala Durham website.

Junior House Book Fair

We will be holding a Scholastic Book Fair for pupils in Junior House during the first week back after half term. It will take place between Tuesday 1 and Thursday 3 March from 3.20–4.20pm in the Junior Hall. This is a super way to promote reading and to add to our class and school libraries, as all profits are used to buy books. There will be over 200 titles to choose from, with prices starting from £2.99.

Swimming Superstar

Swimmer Anya in Year 5 is now ranked 16th in the country at Under 10 for the 100m Backstroke. Anya is driven and committed and is making amazing progress. She trains four times per week for Chester le Street and is absolutely loving her swimming journey. Well done Anya – keep up the great work.

Paddington’s Peruvian Journey

The Revd Canon Michael Everitt, one of our School Governors, and Paddington Bear are walking virtually from Durham to Paddington Station, to support The Peru Mission’s work in Iquitos. It is 260 miles and they are hoping to be there in time for Easter Day. The Pandemic has hit Peru hard, especially in the Amazon region where the charity is based, and there is an acute shortage of medical supplies. You can donate to support this fantastic cause, and follow Paddington’s journey, by clicking here.


Volunteers Sought for University Camps

Durham University have been running holiday camps to support the local community since 2013. They are now recruiting volunteers aged 14+ to join their team of existing volunteers and coaches to support holiday camps running over the Easter holidays and throughout the summer. Volunteers will receive a free packed lunch each day, a t-shirt and can build up to have free training courses paid for by the University.
This is a unique development opportunity and is a great way to give back to the local community. To express an interest in your daughter becoming a volunteer, please complete the form. If you have any questions please email [email protected] and to learn more about the camps watch a video with further information here.

Absence Reminders

A reminder that if your child needs to leave school for an appointment during the day, a letter or a note in a planner is required in advance. Also, the School should be informed of any pupil absence by using the relevant option on the school answering machine. Many thanks for your co-operation on this important matter.

Additional Closure Day

The school will be closed to all pupils and staff on Monday 28 February 2022. This is in place of the additional Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday, which falls during May half term. The school will reopen as normal on Tuesday 1 March 2022.

Sports Presentation Evening

The PE Department will be hosting their annual Sports Presentation Evening on Monday 28 March at Ramside Hall. Please ensure that you have completed the return slip and purchased your tickets as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.

School Communication

A reminder that we break up for half term after school today. Please be aware that there will be nobody monitoring telephone calls after 6pm this evening until we return after the holidays. If you have an emergency for which you need to contact the school, please email [email protected] and somebody will get back to you as soon as they can.

The Government is expected to set out a “Living with Covid” plan on Monday 21 February. We will write to parents before we return to school after half term, with details of what any changes to Covid guidance means for pupils in school.