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This week has been one of my favourites since becoming Headmistress.

On Monday we marked the beginning of Advent by lighting the first candle on our Advent wreath during assembly.  The first candle is often called the ‘Hope’ or ‘The Prophecy Candle’, symbolising the anticipation of the coming Messiah and the hope that He brings to the world.

My heart has been filled with joy and pride in equal measure, whilst watching your wonderful daughters in their Christmas Nativities and productions. Our Year 3 and 4 girls set the bar high with their Bethlehem Bake off. Never would I have put those two things together, but it worked beautifully. Year 5 and 6 Christmas Production took place on Tuesday, and we were treated to a wonderful selection of winter and Christmas recitals and songs. The girls spoke with such confidence and ease.  The audience participation with the Christmas Carols was exceptional.   On Wednesday, Reception, Year One and Two, wowed us when they told the Christmas story through Humph the grumpy camel. They were delightful with their exquisite singing and well-rehearsed lines.  As if I wasn’t feeling Christmassy enough, we had the fantastic Senior Department concert on Wednesday Evening.

Our older girls never fail to amaze me with their talent and professionalism, as we were treated to a variety of performances from our choirs, orchestras, Rock Band and some very talented individuals.

Thursday was the final day of our Christmas productions. Our Nursery girls excelled when they performed a traditional nativity, with super actions and singing. They looked fantastic in their costumes.

Thank you to all the staff that have made these performances the huge success they were. They couldn’t happen without your dedication. Special thanks to the staff of Pre-Prep and Prep, Mrs Lawrence- Wills, our Director of Music, Mrs Crinson, our Music Teacher and Mr Bell, our lighting technician.

I have especially enjoyed chatting to you all over a mince pie and mulled wine, hearing of your Christmas plans. Thank you for the continued support of your girls and Durham High.  If you missed any event, there are some lovely photos included below and we will be sharing recordings of the performances with parents next week.

There are still many events to look forward to, including our Carol Service at Durham Cathedral on Wednesday, and at the Parents and Friends, ‘Carols around the tree’ on Friday afternoon. I hope to see many of you there.


Upcoming Events

Monday 11 December Year 3 and 4 Christmas Party
Wednesday 13 December Carol Service at Durham Cathedral – 2.15pm
Thursday 14 December Year 5 and 6 Christmas Party
Friday 15 December Prep Elf Run

Senior Department Hot Chocolate treat at breaktime

Carols and mince pies around the tree 3.15pm in Junior Hall. Prep Choir will be leading us in carols.

Monday 18 December Christmas Lunch

Pre-Prep Christmas Party

Tuesday 19 December Non-Uniform/Christmas Jumper Day

End of term

End of term arrangements

A reminder that the final day of term this year is Tuesday 19 December. There will be no After School Care or Homework Club, with pupils finishing at the following times:

  • Pre-Prep Department – 11.30am
  • Prep Department – 11.45am
  • Senior Department – 12 noon

Monday 8 January is a staff INSET Day. All pupils will return on Tuesday 9 January.

Humanitarian Aid Fundraising

Sixth Form girls have requested that we carry out some fundraising for much need humanitarian aid for those in our world who need it most. They wish to support the World Food Programme.

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity, for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

We have arranged a JustGiving page for you to be able to make a donation here. The Sixth Form would be very appreciative of any donation you feel able to make.

Excellence Book

Congratulations to Hannah, Omhle, Poppy and Daisy who met with Mrs Hill this week to sign the Excellence Book. Hannah, Omhle and Daisy were nominated for their outstanding contribution to after school Art clubs this term. All three girls support the Key Stage 3 clubs and interact with the lower years admirably. Poppy received her nomination for completing a sketchbook/diary of exciting drawings outside of school time which showed creativity and flair.

Carols around the tree

You are very much welcome to join us, and the Parents and Friends, on Friday 15 December for a mince pie and an opportunity to sing some of our favourite Christmas carols with our Prep Choir. The event will take place in Junior Hall from 3.15pm.

Swimming Success

Congratulations to Maiah and Poppy in Year 8, who took part in the Derwentside ASC Christmas Cracker last weekend. Maiah won 2 gold and 4 bronze medals, with Poppy taking home medals in the 50m Freestyle, 50m Breaststroke, 200m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley. Well done girls on this tremendous achievement.

International Volunteer Day

This week marked International Volunteer Day and we are so proud of the volunteer work carried out in the local community by so many of our pupils.

Anna is our Upper Sixth Sports Captain and a very talented Durham High School netball player, who has dedicated so much of her free time to volunteer at Durham Palatinates Netball Club. She plays for the Club’s Senior Regional Team and, over recent years, has been a volunteer coach and umpire. She recently completed the England Netball Level 1 course to fully support senior coaches during sessions.

She said: “I’ve gained so much experience through volunteering; the Club has done a lot for me so it’s nice to give something back. I really enjoy helping there and it’s great to see younger players grow and develop as a team between sessions and matches.”

Ruth has volunteered at Bishop Auckland Parish Church for the last five years. She dedicates time there, working on the tech desk and helping with refreshments, every weekend around her A Level studies in Maths, Further Maths and Computer Science.

She said: “I think it’s important to give back through volunteering because it means that you’re able to engage with the community and help people.” Ruth has also given her time to volunteer in school, supporting the junior Buddy Scheme, helping Year 5 pupils with SPAG work, and running a Year 6 Maths Club.

Sport Update

The U14 Football team faced tough opposition on Tuesday and lost 3-0 in their game against Macmillan Academy. Despite the loss, the girls showed excellent effort and encouragement for each other. Players of the match were Annabelle and Lyla.

A number of girls in Year 7 took part in the Schools’ Games Indoor Athletics Competition this week. They were brilliant, achieving some fantastic results in their individual and relay events and finished in 2nd place overall.  Congratulations to Amelie, Anya Carola-Elen, Eliana, Esmee and Zarah.

In league Netball games against Hermitage School last night, the U13s lost and the U12s won.  Well done to players of the match, Isla and Rayah.

Christmas Wreath Workshop

Staff were invited to stay back today and learn how to produce their own fresh wreath, in a workshop led by Mrs Sneddon-Brown. It was a perfect opportunity to unwind, listen to festive music and learn how to do something to really get into the Christmas spirit. What an impressive array of finished articles.