Come and play at one of our Outdoor Tots sessions

I hope that you all had a lovely and restful Easter break, despite the weather. It has been fantastic to be back in school over the last couple of weeks, but, as ever, I cannot believe how time is flying. There is so much still to squeeze in before then, and so much going on. We will give you an outline of events up to half term in next weeks newsletter, so you have it all in one place.

Last week, it was a pleasure to interview our Lower Sixth girls for their positions on the Sixth Form Prefect Team, following their speeches to the girls in our Hustings, before the holiday. The standard of application was extremely high and all of the girls involved did a tremendous job. I’m sure you will join me in congratulating our new team.

We are quickly counting down to our 140th anniversary on Monday, where we will celebrate 140 years of Durham High School with a special assembly and birthday cake. The girls have picked some super events to mark the occasion, and these will take place between now and the end of the Summer Term.

I am looking forward to our Upper Sixth Leavers’ Service at St Oswald’s Church, which is always a wonderful occasion, shared with the families of our girls, who have given unwavering support to their daughters during their time at Durham High School. I will have my tissues ready, as I know it is going to be an emotional service to celebrate the achievements of the girls to date.

On Friday it is Grandparent’s Day in Senior Department where we shall be welcoming the grandparents of Year 7 to the High School for a tour with their granddaughter, some entertainment and lots of cakes and goodies. If you would like to attend either event and haven’t yet replied, please complete the relevant form on School Gateway.

The highlight of my weekend will be celebrating 140 years of DHS at our Journey to Atlantis Ball at Ramside Hall Hotel on Saturday evening. It is always a fabulous night with great food, good company and lots of dancing. I’m sure there will be some fantastic photos to follow. Thank you in advance to our Parents and Friends Ball Committee who have worked tirelessly to make this event a huge success.

Freshers Business Challenge

Year 7 girls took part in the Freshers Business Challenge on Tuesday. They had to cost a music event based on the band ‘Hunni’ – local winners of The Voice competition. They designed branding and logos and enjoyed learning about how to go about organising a business event.

Poppy’s Hair Donation

Poppy in Year 7 had her hair cut this Easter to donate to the Little Princess Trust, who provide real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer. This incredible gesture is the second time she has donated her hair and she has already decided she is growing her hair to donate again. We are very proud of you Poppy.

Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions

The Easter Holidays weren’t all play for our Year 11 Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group and our Lower Sixth Gold group. Both were in action over the holidays on their practise expeditions. The weather wasn’t kind but huge efforts were given by everyone involved. Thank you to the staff who gave their time to facilitate this.

French Trip

Pupils in Year 9 and 10 headed off to France at the end of term for an early Easter trip. Their excursions included a tour of Boulogne old town, a visit to a Goats Cheese Farm and a day trip to Rouen. My enormous gratitude again to the staff, Mrs O’Neill, Miss Hill, Mrs Hawkins and Mrs Docherty, who accompanied the girls on the trip.

Nursery Stay and Play

We welcomed current and prospective parents into Nursery this morning for our first Stay and Play session. They were able to experience a typical morning with their children, who happily showed them around our lovely setting and engaged with them in a variety of activities. Much fun was had by all, and we look forward to our next one!

Pre-Prep and Prep Sponsored Walk Total

Last term’s Sponsored Walk, which involved everyone in Pre-Prep and Prep, raised £762.75 for the NSPCC to help with their work in protecting children. Many thanks to everyone who donated and to the girls/staff/volunteers that took part on the afternoon!

Dutch Language Workshop

The Modern Languages department held the next in a series of workshops at lunchtime on Tuesday to inspire budding linguists. The girls involved have showcased their talents beautifully. This week, Carola Elin introduced the girls to Dutch, so that they could learn some basic words and phrases. Bedankt!

Year 3 visit to the Oriental Museum

The girls of Year 3 had a fantastic visit to the Oriental Museum to learn about some of the religions of India. They enjoyed examining and handling a range of objects related to Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, learning about each religion as they used their investigative skills to find information about the different objects. They also made some beautiful diya lamps and created embossed patterns to decorate an image of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Earth Day

Pre-Prep and Prep have been learning about some of the environmental issues caused by single-use plastics as part of our Earth Day activities. Activities such as ‘Plastic use diaries’ helped us to realise just how much plastic is used in our everyday lives, and we have found out about some of the ways in which plastic waste affects the natural environment and even finds its way into our food.

Each girl has pledged to make one change they are going to make in their lives to reduce their plastic consumption. The girls have also had some very creative ideas for up-cycling plastic containers into plant-pots, and we are looking forward to enjoying some delicious salad crops grown in our beautiful pots!

Music for a May Evening

A reminder that this year’s Music for a May Evening (the Senior Department concert) will take place on Tuesday 7 May in the Main School Hall at 7.00pm. The programme will include music performed by Middle School Choir, Senior Choir, Middle School Orchestra, Senior Orchestra and Rock Band as well as Chamber Music and soloists. If you would like to purchase tickets, you can do so on School Gateway now – we hope to see you there.

Whole School Photo

A reminder that our whole school photo will be taking place on Thursday morning with Gillman and Soame. Pupils should come into school dressed smartly in full school uniform, with open neck blouse for Year 6 and Senior Department pupils.

The order cards for the class and sports/music team photographs, that were taken before Easter, will be coming home with pupils in the next couple of days. All photos will be available to purchase online with Gillman and Soame.