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We launched the festive season in style this afternoon, with a fantastic Parents and Friends Christmas Fayre. After a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to be able to welcome parents, pupils and our wider community into school for a fun-filled afternoon, which included many games and prizewinning, face painting and, of course, the opportunity to sit down and meet Santa.

A huge thank you to Mrs Powell and the Parents and Friends for organising such a wonderful event. Our thanks also go to our parent and pupil volunteers, staff, the Junior House choir, the Old Girls’ Association and the external stallholders for their support.

Sport Update

Both the U13 and U14 teams had success in their league matches this week.  The U13 team won 28-0 and the U14 team won 10-5 against St. Bede’s, Lanchester. The U18 Hockey team played brilliantly against Barnard Castle on Wednesday but were unable to hold onto the 2-goal lead they had at half time.

In Junior House, Year 3 and 4 took part in a fantastic afternoon of House Hockey earlier in the week. The winners were Tempest, who did not lose a single game. Well done to everyone for taking part in what was a fun afternoon of sport.

Senior House Christmas Concert

The Senior House Christmas Concert will be taking place next Wednesday, 1 December after school. The programme will include music performed by Middle School Choir, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Rock Band. Owing to the size of the event, the concert will be recorded as live, without an audience, and premiered on our Facebook page for parents and pupils to watch the following week.

Junior House Christmas performances

Over the next two weeks, pupils in Junior House will also be taking to the stage, for their annual Christmas performances. Owing to the numbers of parents likely to attend, the events will be going ahead with a small audience and some safety protocols in place, including face coverings for all audience members aged 12+ and increased ventilation. Each performance will also be recorded and available to watch on our Facebook page from Friday 10 December.

Norah’s North Pole

We are delighted to be supporting Norah’s North Pole again this year, by collecting donations for children in the North East who would otherwise receive no presents this Christmas. Since the charity began 6 years ago, they have delivered 13,876 Santa sacks of gifts to children, who would otherwise have woken up to nothing on Christmas morning. This year you can:

There are children of all ages on the list so anything from books and toys to treats and toiletries will be gratefully received. All the charity ask is that the items are new. Thank you.

Gymnastics success

A huge congratulations must go to Tallulah in Year 4, who competed brilliant in the Northern Gymnastics Championships at the weekend.

Tallulah was the youngest child in her age group to compete, and finished 1st on the floor, 4th in the vault and 9th overall.

Memorial for Mrs Dorothy Woodman

Durham High School is helping to organise a memorial service for Mrs Dorothy Woodman, former Head of Classics, who sadly passed away last year. The service will be taking place on Monday 13 December at 2pm at St Oswald’s Church, Durham, DH1 3DQ. Those who knew, worked with or were taught by Mrs Woodman are most welcome to attend.

If you do plan on coming along, please could we ask that you email [email protected] out of courtesy? This is so we can keep a check on numbers in line with the capacity of the church.

Communication clarification

A couple of weeks ago we wrote to remind you of our Communication Protocol, which outlines methods of communication and the relevant channels for different types of parental queries. To clarify a couple of points:

  • Emails and phone calls will only be acknowledged, and responded to, between 7am-6pm, Monday to Friday during term time.
  • There may be a delay to acknowledging or responding to a communication if it is sent outside of these hours, or before the start, or after the end, of the school day due to staff’s different working patterns.
  • 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 available to take messages and ensure your query is passed to the relevant person. Please do not be offended if they ask what your call relates to.

We hope this and the Communication Protocol, which we have attached to this letter again, prove useful, as it sets clear pathways and ensures that you are able to contact the most appropriate person to deal with any concern.

Nine Lessons and Carols

This year, our Nine Lessons and Carols Service will take place in Durham Cathedral on Wednesday 15 December at 2.15pm. Further details can be found in the letter sent last week. The service will involve all pupils in Years 3 and above. For pupils in Nursery – Year 2, the school day will run as normal. After School Care will be available although there will be no extra-curricular activities.

If you would like to attend, you must book a free ticket in advance. Pupils do not need a ticket. As per Durham Cathedral protocols, anyone aged 12+ must be prepared to show an NHS COVID Pass, a negative PCR or lateral flow test taken within the previous 48 hours, or a positive PCR test from within the past six months in order to gain entry. To book tickets, please go to: