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It is unfathomable that we have come to the end of yet another exceptional academic year. As always, our pupils, staff and families have come together and shown fantastic resilience through another uncertain Autumn Term of contingecy measures and Covid-related cancellations and an action-packed Spring and Summer Terms. When we look back at what has been achieved in the last few weeks and months, from a full GCSE and A Level examination programme, to two wonderful Gala Production Performances and a plethora of other events and activities, it reminds us of what a special place Durham High School is.

I should like to take this final opportunity to say thank you to parents and pupils for all your support and efforts, and to our tremendous teaching staff, and our magnificent Facilities, Cleaning, Catering, IT and Admin teams, for their tireless work in ensuring the best possible experience for our pupils. I look forward to my first term as the Principal of this wonderful school, as we continue the drive for opportunities and excellence in education for your children.

Independent Schools of the Year 2022

We are delighted that we have been shortlisted for the Independent Schools of the Year Awards in two categories. Durham High School has been shortlisted in the School of the Year for Student Wellbeing and the School of the Year for Student Careers Programme categories. Finalists will be revealed in September.

Staffing Update

Today we say farewell to Mrs Tomlinson from her role as Senior Deputy Head, though she will continue to work as a part-time member of staff from September, as well as Mrs McElrue, Mrs Lowes and Mr Raine. We also say goodbye to Miss Moss, who has completed her one-year Sports Graduate placement. We thank them for their fantastic service to the school and wish them all the very best for the future.

In September, we are delighted to welcome Miss Coulson as part-time PE Teacher and part-time Sports Graduate; Miss Shoulder as Teacher of RE; Miss Armitage as part-time History Teacher and Miss Robson as our Artist in Residence. Mr Bell, who is one of our Minibus Drivers and also supports the Facilities Team, will be taking on the part-time role of Performing Arts Technician. Mrs Davison and Mrs O’Donnell will be re-joining the school on one-year contracts as Teaching Assistants. We look forward to welcoming them all to Durham High School.

Nearly-New Uniform Sale

The Nearly-New Uniform Sale will be taking place on Wednesday 20 July from 10am – 3pm, with a lunch closure between 12.30pm and 1.00pm. Pre-booking is recommended, but not essential, and you can secure a 15-minute slot here. Please note there are very few items of PE Kit available.

When arriving, parents should not go to down the stairs to Main Reception. Please follow the building round to the right and down into the Main Hall from the fire exit door. If you are able to support on the day with setting up and helping to run the sale, all help would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the school and we will put you in touch with Dr Jenkins, who is organising.

Jubilee Day

Yesterday we hosted our whole school Platinum Jubilee Day, giving an opportunity for pupils from Early Years to Sixth Form to come together to celebrate 70 years of Her Majesty the Queen. In the morning, pupils took part in a British-themed Bin Bag Challenge followed by Dancing Through The Decades. All pupils and staff then gathered in the Quad to sing the National Anthem and enjoy a Jubilee Picnic.

In the afternoon, there was a pupils vs staff Rounder rematch from earlier in the summer and then Senior House pupils took part in a series of traditional sports activities, including welly throwing, egg and spoon races, a bean bag coconut shy and a penalty shootout. Our sincerest thank you to all the staff who have worked so hard to make this fantastic day possible.

Year 6 Play

Well done to Year 6, who performed Scheherazade to their family and friends on Monday evening. The play tells the story of Princess Scheherazade, who believes she can break an evil spell which has made the Sultan bitter and cruel. It was a wonderful performance and there are many dramatic stars in the making for future Senior Department productions. You can watch their performance on our Facebook page.

Uniform Shop

The Uniform Shop will be open on the following dates during the summer holiday:

  • Monday 25 July
  • Tuesday 26 July
  • Monday 22 August
  • Tuesday 23 August
  • Thursday 1 September
  • Friday 2 September

The shop will be open on these days between 9am and 4pm for appointments only, closing between 12pm and 1pm for lunch. Appointments must be booked via the Emblematic website.

All items of uniform can also be ordered via the website.  However, it should be noted that orders are completed in the school shop, during opening hours, before they are sent to Newcastle for despatch. This may lead to a delay between the order being placed and being delivered to your home. All orders placed online are for home delivery during the holidays.

Year 11 Prom

There was an amazing prom last week at Black Horse Beamish, for pupils in Year 11. It was a celebration that that was so well deserved, after an unsettling couple of years for the group. The evening was described by one of the pupils as “The perfect night”. They all looked fabulous and we wish them a very enjoyable, and well-deserved, summer break.

Rosalind’s Sage Success

Congratulations to Rosalind in Year 8, who has been offered a place at the Centre for Advanced Training at the Sage Gateshead. She has also been awarded a place in their Junior Orchestra, Young Sinfonia. Well done.

School Gateway

We are very excited to be introducing School Gateway to Durham High School, which is a parent engagement app that will allow you to pay for school trips, communicate with the school and view your child’s achievements and reports.

All school related communication, newsletters, reports, timetables, club bookings and, eventually, payments for trips, will go through School Gateway from Monday 5 September 2022. To stay up to date with what’s going on at school make sure you download the app for free. Just search School Gateway in your App store and download:

iPhone users, download the app here:

Android phone users, download the app here:

Your login details will be automatically generated using the contact information the school already has, so please make sure the details we hold for you are up to date before the end of this month. If you have any questions or would like some more information, please see the School Gateway site.


We will cease to use Firefly as a communication tool from Monday 5 September 2022. Although your access to the platform will not immediately disappear on this date, we would recommend that you save any information that is stored on Firefly that you wish to keep (e.g. progress reports) as soon as possible.


Classlist will be used for you to be able communicate with other parents in your child’s year group, and to enable the Parents and Friends to engage, and fundraise, with the parent community. For the avoidance of doubt, it will not be used a tool for the school to communicate with parents. SchoolGateway will be the only platform we use.


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

The invite for Senior House parents went out today, with the hope that all parents are registered on the platform in time for September.

Year 8 Future Business Magnates

The Year 8 FBM Team members attended the final Awards Ceremony on Friday and were treated to afternoon tea at Durham County Cricket Club. We were delighted to win ‘Best Business Plan’ and were presented with a trophy and vouchers. The group were also nominated for Best Marketing Concept and Best Environmental Award. The Year 8 pupils have worked exceptionally hard on creating their business idea and we are immensely proud of their achievements.

Climbing Competition

A number of pupils in Senior House recently competed in a schools’ climbing competition, set by Climb Newcastle at the Pool Climbing Wall in Newcastle Charlotte in Year 7 and Hannah S and Hannah E in Year 8 put in an amazing performance and their team won their age group. Overall, Charlotte came 1st place, while Hannah E was 3rd and Hannah S was 18th. Well done to them all.

Breakfast Club

From September, we will be introducing a paid Breakfast Club in the dining room, which can be accessed from 7.30am. It will be open to all pupils across the school. Further details will follow before next term.

School Transport

A reminder that parents of those pupils that anticipate accessing school transport provision in September should complete the form at by Monday 8 August. You should complete this form even if your child already accesses school transport. This will ensure there is space reserved for them for next year. If you would like further advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Wilson via [email protected].

Communication over the holidays

A reminder that the school breaks up for the Summer holidays from next Friday, 8 July. Please be aware that there will be nobody monitoring telephone calls until the middle of August, and phone messages will be checked sporadically. 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 an immediate response.