Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

Yesterday, we said farewell to one of our longest-serving members of staff. Karen Riding has worked at Durham High School for over 26 years as an integral part of our catering team, and for many of those years the school was her actual home alongside her husband, and former caretaker, Kevin. We wish Karen all the best in her retirement, and she will be dearly missed by everyone.

Sports Update

Congratulations to Erin in Year 7 on finishing in 5th place at the National Diving Skills Qualifier, where she represented the North East. She also achieved a 1st place for the Northumberland and Durham team. Well done also to Ellie in Year 10 who has been awarded Player of the Year for the U16 County Netball Team.

Congratulations to the girls who competed in the County Round of the English Schools’ Track and Field Cup on Tuesday 10 May. The Junior Girls (Year 7 and Year 8) finished in 4th place and the Intermediate Girls (Year 9 and Year 10) finished the day in 3rd place.  All pupils performed with a great deal of determination and enthusiasm throughout.

HKSK Mental Health Talk

All pupils in Years 7-10 and Year 12 took part in a fantastic from the artists He Knows, She Knows to complement their PSHCCE sessions on Health and Wellbeing. The talk was led by Stephen Lewis Elms and Sharna Bowman, who established the HKSK Foundation in 2020. Their main aim is to empower students to make healthy life choices and provide them with real life stories and advice.

The duo’s talk to pupils included powerful messages on mental wellbeing as well as advice on body image and discrimination. These messages are aimed to empower students to speak about their state of mind, tools to recognise when to reach out and who to talk to when needed.

October Half Term Consultation

The school is consulting on the possible introduction of a two-week October half term. As the term dates for next year are already set, this change would come into effect from the 2023-24 academic year. There is nothing decided or confirmed, but this change would likely mean a day or two taken from other holidays (e.g. Christmas, Summer and Easter) to compensate and ensure we keep the same number of school days. Please note there are no plans to take a full week off any current holidays. If you would like to contribute, please answer the short survey at We will be accepting responses until Friday 27 May at 4pm, before a final decision on the matter is considered.

Performing Shakespeare Competition

We very much enjoyed hosting one of the English-Speaking Union’s Performing Shakespeare Regional Finals in the Studio yesterday. We welcomed pupils and staff from five other schools for a workshop and lunch, before the competition itself took place in the afternoon. Pupils were competing for a place at the final, which will take place at the Globe Theatre in London next month. Well done to Myah and Yasmeen in Year 9 for taking part and for a lovely performance, and good luck to the finalists.

Year 4 Outdoor Evening

Year 4 took part in an Outdoor Learning Evening last week in our wonderful Forest Area, with activities including preparing and cooking their own supper. Pupils enjoyed fish cakes, bean casserole and pancakes, before finishing the evening with a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Many thanks to the staff that organised the event, and well done to Year 4 for displaying great focus, independence and collaboration.

Durham University Summer Volunteers

Durham University have been running holiday camps to support the local community since 2013. They are recruiting volunteers aged 14+ to join their team of existing volunteers and coaches to support holiday camps running throughout the summer (25 July – 2 September). 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 opportunity and is a great way to give back to the local community. To express an interest in your child becoming a volunteer, please complete the form at If you have any questions please email [email protected]. To learn more about the camps go to