Our humanities departments cover all aspects of human society and culture. We aim to broaden girls’ knowledge and beliefs with stimulating lessons, related extra-curricular activities and field trips.
The Greeks and the Romans provide the cultural foundation of our own society. Students explore these roots through their Latin lessons in Years 7 and 8, with some girls taking the subject from Year 9 onwards. Trips are organised to Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda, to explore life on the edge of empire, and further afield to the British Museum or even to Rome.
Equipping girls with the skills of analysis of the written word and self-expression in speech and writing are just part of what we do: engendering a love of literature is equally important to us. Reading groups, writing competitions and a trip to the Globe Theatre supplement what happens in the classroom. With public speaking competitions for all year groups, we aim to enable even the shyest girl to acquit herself with confidence before an audience.
Can you handle a gun clinometer, a hydroprop or a turbidity tube? The Geography department fiercely maintains fieldwork as a fundamental element in the pupils’ experience of the subject. In each year group, girls are able to test hypotheses in the field, from settlement studies in Teesdale to glaciation in Langdale while residentials inspire older girls with a genuine love of the subject.
We introduce pupils to the breadth of human history and develop their ability to research and analyse evidence. Debating the knotty issues of the past engenders a strong spirit of inquiry and involvement with the complex world in which we live. The subject is brought to life at Durham High by trips to York, Fountains Abbey, various museums and to the battlefields of World War I.
We ensure that this subject is beneficial to all students, both as an academic discipline and as an opportunity to develop spiritual, moral and cultural awareness. In a caring and stimulating classroom environment, pupils develop as thinkers by critically analysing different religious beliefs. We encourage open-mindedness and a respect for all peoples and for the earth through philosophical enquiry and the study of the six major world religions.