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It is incredible that, after today, we are just 5 school weeks away from the end of the academic year. There has been so much that has happened over the last 9 months or so, and there is still plenty for us to fit in before the summer.

It was fantastic to welcome families from Junior House into school this week for Sports Days and Grandparents’ Afternoon. These are the events that we remember with the greatest fondness, and we know from speaking to parents and grandparents, that these occasions have been sorely missed. After half term, we have the Drama Outreach Performance at the Gala Theatre for our Year 5 and other local primaries; DHS Live; the Old Girls’ Summer Lunch; the National Council of Women Conference for Year 10 and Year 12; Senior House Sports Day; Year 11 Prom and the Year 13 Leavers’ Dinner.

Communication from September

Our experiences from the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted that strong and straightforward lines of communication between parents, pupils and staff are key to our continued success.

New School Communication System

We have been reviewing our communication platforms for a number of months now and we are delighted that, from September 2022, we will be introducing School Gateway ( as our primary communication tool.

School Gateway will replace our current providers Firefly and ClarionCall, allowing for one platform for sending letters, emails, texts, reports and managing consent for trips and other activities. School Gateway is an app available on Android, iOS and the web, and it works on smartphones, tablets, laptops/computers and even smart watches. We will be sharing much more information on School Gateway, and the timetable of migration from Firefly, after half term.

Parent Communications and GDPR

We are pleased to be launching Classlist, in partnership with Parents & Friends. 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.

Parents of each form class and year group will have access to their own class area, and you can choose how much, or how little, of your information you wish to share with others. Classlist is UK-based and fully GDPR-compliant and is already being used successfully by parents in thousands of other schools in the UK.

Classlist will help to keep you informed about what school and Parents & Friends events are coming up, and there are more things you can do: post questions of the other parents in your child’s class; form special interest groups; buy tickets for raffles and book tickets for the School Ball.

We hope that those joining Classlist embrace the concept of being inclusive and supportive of each other. Classlist expect users to:

  • Respect fellow class parents, which includes not using their contact details for marketing or professional purposes.
  • Be honest, authentic, and straightforward in all actions.
  • Do not share information from the website without the author’s permission.
  • Maintain the privacy and security of the site by creating a unique password and keeping this safe.
  • Do not use the website to complain about the school or individuals connected with the school.

Parents in Junior House should have already received an initial invitation to join the platform, alongside some useful information on how to download and use the app. It will be rolled out to parents in Senior House after half term.

Durham Cathedral Platinum Choir

A huge congratulations to Omhle in Year 8, who has achieved a place in the Platinum Choir to sing at Durham Cathedral at their special thanksgiving service on Saturday 4 June at 3pm. The service is taking place that weekend to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. The choir is made up of 35 boys and 35 girls, who will sing a piece of music by local-born composer Will Todd. The Queen will be represented at the event by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of County Durham.

Swimming Success

Well done to Maiah in Year 6 for winning The Kevin O’Neill Memorial Shield from Durham City Aquatics. The award recognises her fantastic determination and success in swimming. What a tremendous achievement.

Show Jumping

Sasha in Year 12 was competing at Bishop Burton College with her Emerald Cruz last weekend. On Saturday the duo came 2nd in the British Show Jumping Novice and then took 1st place on the Sunday. Well done.

Speech Day

We have set the date for Speech Day as Thursday 22 September 2022 at 7.30pm. As it will be the first large-scale event that we have been able to host since 2019, we wanted to make it an extra-special occasion. We are excited to be hosting Speech Day at an external venue for the first time. The event will be held at Glow in Newton Aycliffe, which is just a few minutes from the A1.

The space that we will be hosting the event in has brilliant aesthetics, great audio-visual facilities and there is also plenty of on-site parking. There will be some transport available from school for pupils that need it, with further information to follow in due course.

Old Girls’ Summer Lunch

We are delighted to be holding the next Old Girls’ Lunch on Saturday 25 June 2022 at 12pm at Durham High School. The lunch will be three courses, including wine and soft drinks, for £25. If you an alumnae and would like to attend, you can register online at, but please do so no later than Monday 13 June. Payment can be made by cheque or cash beforehand, or on the day.

Parent and Child Tennis

A reminder that our annual Parent and Child Tennis competition is on Wednesday 15 June at 6pm. If you would like to take part, please could entries be handed to Mrs Jenkinson by Thursday 9th June.

Junior House Sports Day

We held two well-contested Sports Days this week, with pupils across Junior House taking part in a variety of sporting events. Everyone who took part did extremely well, but it was Booth who came out on top in the KS1 Sports Day, and Tempest who won in the KS2 Sports Day. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 were also able to compete for the Victrix Ludorum trophy, with points awarded for each event that they took part in. Carola Elin in Year 5 was the runner up, with Eliana in Year 5 and Phoebe in Year 6 the deserved joint-winners.

School Film Update

We are excited with the progress being made to our new school film, which is set to premiere before the end of term. The campaign, entitled “Calling All Girls”, puts the energy and diversity of our pupils themselves at the front of a message that is as forward-looking as it is contemporary in style. The final few tweaks are currently being made to the piece, which will form the basis of our 2022-23 campaign, and parents will get a chance to see the finished film before it goes live in July.

Communication over half term

A reminder that the school breaks up for half term from today. Please be aware that there will be nobody monitoring telephone calls after 6pm this evening until we return after the holidays. If you have any reason for which you need to contact the school, please email [email protected], but please be aware that you may not receive a response before Monday 6 June.