Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

I am sat writing this whilst bursting with pride and joy following our 140 Whole School Colour Run today. What an amazing afternoon in the sunshine we have had. Mrs Slane did the most fabulous job to pull the event together, supported by the PE Department and the rest of the DHS community. Mrs Middleton organised the purchasing of colour and ensured the stations were ready for when the girls passed by and went shopping for 250 ice lollies for refreshments. Mrs Jenkinson supplied and set up the music station, Mrs Sneddon-Brown led the Zumba style warm up and lots of staff marshalled or ran/walked with the girls, while others manned the crucial water station or threw colour over the girls. Other staff ensured that the final A Level Further Maths Exam was invigilated and went ahead without any disruption whilst our Admin Team ensured we were still able to answer your queries on the phone lines.

It was the best whole school event we have had this year. The atmosphere was electric and epitomised just how wonderful our DHS community really is. One of my highlights was the Pre-Prep and Prep girls who were thrilled with the warmup and thought that was so great. They hadn’t realised there was more to come. The excitement as they arrived at the colour throwing stations was immense. The girls have begged for this to be an annual event, and I know lots of amazing High School memories have been made today. It was lovely to welcome those parents who were able to join us, for the final colour throw for our 140 Photo at the end of the event. We hope you enjoyed your ice lollies too. Apologies for the Shrek/Hulk look a-likes we sent home at the end of the day.

Thank you for your generous donations to help us raise money for the United Nations World Food Programme UN World Food Programme (WFP) UN World Food Programme (WFP). We have currently raised £988.50. It would be wonderful to reach £1000. If you would still like to donate, you can do so on School Gateway.

Last Friday when I wrote to you, our annual Parent and Daughter Tennis was underway. It was a beautiful evening and was very well attended with lots of families competing against each other from both Senior Department and Prep Department too. Parents enjoyed jam and cream scones and a glass of Pimm’s and the girls enjoyed strawberries and cream, cookies and juice. Who needs Wimbledon, when we have DHS parent and Daughter Tennis! Congratulations to all players and a special mention to our Prep runner-up Heidi and her dad and Prep winner Mariam and her mum, who have retained the title for the second year running. Congratulations to our Senior runner-up Annabelle and her stepdad and winners Millie and her dad, who too retained their title from last year. Thank you to our fabulous PE department for putting on such a special event!

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, we have celebrated Diversity and Inclusion in school this week. We started with a special assembly, with girls across the school speaking about what diversity and inclusion means to them. The prayers were read by girls in their home language, including Punjabi, Dutch, Ukrainian, Arabic, English and Tamal. It was a wonderful moment to share in their culture. Although we have taken time to celebrate this week, each day at the High School, all our girls know they are all valued members of our community, regardless of their culture or background.

In Tutor Time over the last couple of mornings, girls in Senior Department have taken part in a series of activities including drawing Rangoli Patterns, Bharatanatyam Dancing, Origami, Guided Running, Chinese Calligraphy, Bhangra Dancing, Irish Dancing and Drawing with your Feet, inspired by Stuart Myers, our limb different speaker last week. It was wonderful to see so many activities taking place and, in many cases, being led by girls from different year groups. Thank you to Charisse, Selina, Maanashi, Isabella, Amrit, Ruth, Mio, Miss Shoulder, Mrs Slane, Mrs Jenkinson and each of our wonderful Heads of Year.

This week our Years 1 and 2 have been learning about contemporary, female, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Yayoi is also known as ‘the princess of polka dots’! Everyone was very proud of their work, completed in her style.

On Monday, our Year 5 Outreach production performance of the Wizard of Oz took place in our Drama Studio. My goodness! What an achievement! It is hard to believe that the schools only came together for the first time on Saturday and then performed for the first time on Monday evening. Well done to our Year 5 girls, as well as the girls from Acre Rigg Academy, Browney Academy, Esh C of E Primary and Finchale Primary. Our Year 7 – 9 Performing Arts Scholars played the main characters with such skill and really brought the performance alive. It was wonderful to welcome parents and friends of all the girls to Durham High, and we hope lots of special memories were made.

I look forward to saying hello to as many of you as are able to make the many events over the last two weeks of term. As I said last week, I know it isn’t always easy making schedules work with our extensive events calendar. We try to put as many photographs of the events on our social media for those parents not able to join us. I hope it helps you to still feel part of our community.

Dates for your diary


Date Event Time
Monday 24 June



Year 10 and Lower Sixth to Flamingo Land

Year 9 Lakeside Residential

Year 7 and 8 Cross Curricular Project

Tuesday 25 June


Year 9 Lakeside Residential

Year 7 and 8 Cross Curricular Project

Wednesday 26 June



Year 9 Lakeside Residential

Year 7 and 8 Cross Curricular Project

Pre-Prep Sports Day (rearrange)

Year 11 Prom



1.30pm – 3.30pm


Thursday 27 June


Upper Sixth Leavers’ Dinner

D of E Silver Assessed Expedition



Friday 28 June




Rec, Year 1 and 2 trip to Botanical Gardens

Upper Sixth Muck Up Day

D of E Silver Assessed Expedition

Future Business Magnates Award (Year 8)

Year 6 Play





7pm – 9pm

Saturday 29 June DHS Live! 1pm – 5pm
Monday 1 July



Durham High General Election

GCSE and A Level Art Show

Year 7 and 8 Play



7pm – 9pm

Tuesday 2 July Year 6 Celebration Assembly

Year 7 and 8 Play

2pm – 3pm

7pm – 9pm

Wednesday 3 July Senior Department Sports Day
Thursday 4 July Welcome Day

Year 8 Activity Day at Barnard Castle Hub

All day
Friday 5 July End of term End of day

Year 7 Geography Field Trip

On Tuesday, the Geography Department took Year 7 pupils out to introduce them to fieldwork data collection skills. They visited a waterfall near Bowlees Visitor Centre and then spent the rest of the day in Middleton-in-Teesdale, a village in the Tees valley. Pupils worked together in small groups completing map work tasks and conducting research to test a hypothesis. Thank you to Ms Gentry and Mrs Gardner for leading the trip.

Tenner Challenge

This week was our ‘Tenner Challenge’, where pupils are given £10 to set up their own enterprise stall at school. The brief was to come up with a business idea and make as much money as possible for their chosen charity. The stalls this year have included a bakery, ice cream stall and ice lolly stalls, a sweet shop and an accessories stall. The girls raised over £300 for charity, which will be split between Fairtrade, WWF, Save the Children, British Red Cross, Scoliosis and Glasson. Well done girls! Developing enterprise skills is such an important skill and you have done this alongside the social action of fundraising.

Lower Sixth UCAS Convention

Our Lower Sixth students visited Leeds Beckett University on Wednesday to engage with the different universities and explore the array of courses each have to offer. They had a super day. Thank you, Mrs Wheeler and Mrs Robinson, for accompanying them.

RE Faith Trip

Girls in Year 10 and Lower Sixth studying RE, took a trip to Bishop Auckland earlier this week. On their visit, they took in sights including Auckland Castle, St. Peter’s Chapel, The Faith Museum and the Spanish Art Gallery.

Pre Prep and Prep Library Donation

The library in Pre Prep and Prep has been undergoing a transformation in recent months. We are very grateful to the Old Girls’ Association and Parents and Friends who have donated money towards new books and furniture. As part of our 140th anniversary celebrations, we would like to offer you the chance to donate a book to our library.

Clicking on this link will take you to our Amazon wish list. When checking out, please select “Carolyn Hopper’s Gift Registry Address” as the delivery address to assure it comes into school. A bookplate, acknowledging your donation, will be inserted into the front of every donated book. Thank you in advance!

DHS Live!

On Saturday 29 June we will again be hosting DHS Live! This is our outdoor summer music event which celebrates the talents of our pupils, Old Girls and the wider school community. The event will run from 1.00pm – 5.00pm in our fantastic grounds, here at Durham High School. The cost is £5 per person for entry. The proceeds will be donated to ‘I’m George’s Mate’ Charity, which aims to give young people the knowledge and skills to support their mental health and help prevent suicide.

Sport Update

Huge congratulations to Annabelle E in Year 9 who achieved a fantastic 3rd place in the shot at the Inter-County Athletics Championships last weekend. Annabelle represented County Durham in the Junior event and performed brilliantly, well done Annabelle!

The U12 Rounders team achieved great success at the Tyne and Wear Tournament on Thursday winning all their games convincingly. A wonderful display of batting and fielding from the girls ensured they were tournament winners. Congratulations to all players.

Our U12 and U13 Cricket teams played their final matches of the season on Thursday against Durham School. It was wonderful to witness the progress they have made particularly with the accuracy of their bowling. Well done to all players and congratulations to our Players of The Match, Mia and Esmee.

Staffing Updates

Maths – I know I have written to you previously to let you know of Mr Priest’s retirement from Head of Maths, and the appointment of Mrs Wildish to this position, and Mr Cartmell’s intention to retire too. We shared that we were thrilled that Mr Johnson, an experienced A Level and Further Mathematician would be joining the department. However, we hadn’t at that point recruited to Mr Cartmell’s position. We are delighted that Dr Sebagh is joining the High School from September to fill this position. In addition to teaching Maths, Dr Sebagh also is an expert in the field of Cyber Security. What a fantastic role model for our girls.

Business – Mrs Robinson has decided that she would like to move into the field of Further Education (FE) and is joining an FE College in September. Miss Morales Salum will be joining the High School to continue with Business and to lead our Careers provision. In addition to being a qualified Business teacher, Miss Morales Salum is also a business entrepreneur and brings a wealth of first-hand business experiences. She has led careers at university level.

Biology – Ms Gentry has been at the High School for many years and has taught across lots of different subjects in each Key Stage. Some of these have been full time and some part time. Ms Gentry has decided she would like to teach full time as opposed to the part time Biology she currently teaches at the High School. We wish her all the best as she moves onto a full-time permanent position outside of the High School. Mrs Cowey is delighted to be hanging up her Technician Lab Coat to be back in the classroom in teacher mode. She has been appointed to our Biology Department on a part time basis. Dr Gower is joining our Science Technician Team to replace Mrs Cowey.

English – Mrs Stephenson has been at the High School for a long time and has decided that she would like a new challenge. She is moving onto a school outside of the local area. We wish her lots of luck. We are looking forward to Mrs Walker, an experienced English Teacher, joining the department on a part time basis in September. Mrs Gelately and Mrs Hawkins will continue to teach the A Level classes.

Modern Foreign Languages – Miss Hill, our current Head of MFL, has been aspiring for promotion for the last few years. I am delighted to share that she has been successful in securing a large Faculty Lead position. It is bittersweet as it does mean that she will be leaving the High School. Madam Colon has been promoted to Head of Modern Foreign Languages at the High School from September. I’m sure she will do an excellent job.

Parents & Friends Update

Parents & Friends are delighted to announce that due to your amazing generosity and support for this year’s Journey to Atlantis School Ball, we were able to raise £2,574.78! We would like to thank everyone who bought tickets and attended, bought, and sold raffle tickets, donated raffle prizes and those who donated their time to plan and set up for the ball. The feedback we have had from all who attended has been wonderful and makes all the hard work worthwhile.

At the last meeting we were able to offer funding to Mrs Hopper to help improve the Prep Library, making it a bright and fun area for the girls to sit and read, hear stories, and learn. Please keep an eye out on Classlist, as we are looking for ideas for future funding and we would love to hear from you, and your daughter. We will be giving you the opportunity to tell us what you would like to see bought with the money you help us raise, to make your daughter’s experience at DHS that little bit extra special. In previous years we have bought or helped to fund the Grand Piano in the main hall, outside fitness equipment, sixth form kitchen and much more.

If you do not have the Classlist App yet, please email [email protected] and we will send you a link to sign up.

Netball Camps

Our popular Netball Camps will be returning to Durham High School for Prep pupils this summer! The camp will run on the following dates:

  • Thursday 25 July & Friday 26 July 9:30-3:30pm
  • Monday 29 July & Tuesday 30 July 9:30-3:30pm
  • Tuesday 27 August – Friday 30 August 9:30-3:30pm.

Miss Cartwright and Miss Coulson will be running the camp for girls in Years 3-6. The camp is open to all girls, those who attend Durham High School and external girls too. Activities will include games, group drills, individual player development, and plenty of match play. For more information and to book a place for your daughter, please email [email protected].