Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

Yesterday, we were delighted to hold Speech Day for the first time in three years, and the first time ever in an external venue. I have always been extremely proud to be the Principal of this wonderful school and the celebration last night emphasised just how talented, diverse and passionate our school community is.

Congratulations to all award winners and last year’s Year 11 and Upper Sixth once again for their tremendous examination results. Our thanks also go to Jo Farrell, Chief Constable of Durham Police, who was the Guest Speaker, and to our invited guests, including the The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Durham, Councillor David Freeman, and the Chair of Durham County Council, Councillor Beaty Bainbridge. It was also delightful to enjoy this occasion with so many parents and wider families.

Sports Update

Congratulations to our U13 Netball team on their 29-19 victory against RGS in the first round of the Independent Schools Netball Cup (ISNC).
The win represents a great start to the season for them.

A massive well done to Millie in Year 8 on winning the U13 North East Counties Pentathlon at the weekend. She achieved a personal best in the 800m in what was her first pentathlon.

There was also a fantastic win for our U18 Netball team against Ampleforth College in the second round of the ISNC, by 37-28. The group showed fantastic team spirit and should be congratulated for their hard-fought victory.

In the Prep Department, the U10 and U11 hockey teams enjoyed their first matches of the season against Newcastle Prep School. It was a very wet but fantastic afternoon of Hockey and well done to all taking part.

Christmas Pantomime

Please see below from Mr Macnair, Chair of Parents and Friends:

The Parents and Friends have secured a discounted rate of £14 per ticket to this year’s Panto, Sleeping Beauty, at Gala Theatre Durham. The offer is open to the whole school community, including students, parents and all staff.

The date is the Firday 16 December, the last day of term and the performance is at 2pm. Please note the school day will finish as usual at 12:00 noon and parents and students will need to make their own arrangements to get to the Gala.

Tickets will go on sale online via secure payment system next week. Details to follow shortly. Tickets are limited so please order as soon as possible, final order date is Friday 14 October. I am sure this will be a great way to end a fantastic term.

Year 6 Netball Success

A huge congratulations to Katie, Zarah and Esmee in Year 6, who have been selected for the North Durham U11 Futures County Academy.

Ava’s Durham Promotion

Over the Summer, Ava in Year 5 helped to promote visitor attractions, taking part in two photoshoots for leaflets to be distributed across Durham.

Ruth on the BBC

Well done to Ruth in Year 11, who supported St Anne’s Church in Bishop Auckland as part of the funeral for HM The Queen –


Classlist is a parent app that brings you into the heart of our school community. It helps you to connect and help each other. It is a safe and inclusive system that we believe will help us build a stronger school community at Durham High School. With Classlist, you are able to contact the parents in your child’s class, and see who’s who so you can put a face to a name. Classlist will keep you informed about what school and Parents & Friends events are coming up, and there are more things you can do.

Classlist is UK-based and fully GDPR-compliant and is already being used successfully by parents in thousands of other schools in the UK. You can share as much or as little contact information with other parents as you like, and can even keep your own phone number and email address private whilst still receiving messages via the app or by email.

If you haven’t already, you can join Classlist by accepting the invitation sent to your email previously, or by downloading the app on iOS or Android and selecting Durham High School. You can then choose how much information you wish to share with other parents.

Once you have signed up and been assigned to your group, the area is yours to use to communicate with other parents in your child’s class and year group. This could include arranging your year group stall for the Christmas Fayre, inviting the class to your child’s birthday party or simply introducing yourself if you are new to the school. Find out more about how the app works using the links below:

  • 1-minute video tour for parents – Click Here
  • Parents: What can I do on Classlist? – Click Here
  • Sharing or restricting contact details with other parents – Click Here
  • More helpful guides for parents – Click Here

Harvest Appeal Collection

As part of our Harvest Appeal, we are asking for contributions of non-perishable foodstuffs to start coming into school to support two local charities. Pre-Prep and Prep are collecting for Durham Food Bank, with all donations going to local homeless and vulnerable people. Senior Department are collecting for Feeding Families, a North East charity that offers support to those in the region experiencing food poverty.

If you can, please donate non-perishable food items and toiletries to the relevant cause. Items such as milk (UHT/powdered), coffee, tinned rice pudding, tinned custard, tinned fruit, fruit juice (long life), tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, bars of chocolate, basic toiletries, small washing powder bottles and washing up liquid are especially in demand.

Outdoor Tots

We are thrilled that Outdoor Tots will be returing to school in October. Outdoor Tots is an excellent opportunity for boys and girls aged 1-4 to come with an adult and spend some time exploring our fantastic outdoor learning area, every Tuesday morning.

It is a great way for toddlers to have fun, exploring the natural world in a safe and stimulating environment. Places are limited and booking is essential. Tickets are £5 per child (1-4) and Additional siblings (1-4) are £2.50 each. Refreshments will be provided. You can book a place now by clicking here.

Communication with school

As a school, our first priority is to deliver high quality teaching and learning. We expect our teachers to be fully prepared, focused and engaged with pupils and supporting their learning. However, parental communication is vital and we would never wish to discourage parents from communicating with staff, establishing a strong relationship and working together for the benefit of our pupils.

Therefore, in order to ensure a strong relationship, and that any queries that you may have are dealt with in an effective and timely manner, we are asking parents and staff to observe the following:

  • Staff will acknowledge receipt of an email or phone call within their working day
  • A further response will be provided within three working days by telephone or in writing, if appropriate
  • If a query is more complex, staff will respond within three working days to indicate a timeframe in which a full response should be expected
  • Staff are not expected to respond to queries outside their working day, Monday to Friday during term time. Parents may wish to compose emails at an hour to suit their needs, but there will be a delay to acknowledging receipt of, or answering, a query if sent outside of these hours.
  • Staff are not expected to monitor or respond to emails during weekends and school holidays.
  • It may not always be possible for teaching staff to call back or respond to parents during the school day, as they will be teaching and carrying out other duties in school. Administration staff are always available to take phone messages, which will be dealt with in the timeframe outlined above.
  • Whilst this is very rare, if a member of staff receives an email or call which is of an aggressive tone or sets unreasonable demands, they will refer this a senior leader at the school.
  • For any emergencies outside of hours, parents can contact us on [email protected].

You will also find a Communication Protocol attached to this letter, which outlines methods of communication and the relevant channels for different types of queries. We hope this proves useful to parents and staff as it sets clear pathways and ensures that you are able to contact the most appropriate person to deal with your concern.