Durham High

STEM subjects

It would be dangerous to tell our girls that STEM subjects are a male preserve. They would simply laugh at you. The remarkable take-up of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths is the single most powerful reason for all-girls schools, and our staff have the specialist skills and state of the art facilities to deliver Medics, Chemists, Engineers and Mathematicians to the doors of prestigious universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.


It’s the practicals which set us apart at DHS. With small classes, experiments and investigations are at the heart of Chemistry right from Year 7.  Studies are enriched by trips, links with universities and businesses and related extra-curricular activities. Our A Level students leave us as excellent theoretical scientists and as competent, confident practical chemists. Alumnae tell us how well-prepared they found themselves for undergraduate studies.


Our Biology staff have a wide range of specialisms from genetics and microbiology to behavioural ecology and entomology. Our mission is to enthuse students by letting them see our own immersion in the subject. We extend their studies through trips and competitions and the almost daily developments reported in the media. Girls learn skills in research, problem solving, and analysis, preparing them for future studies.


Physics can still claim to be the foundation upon which all science is built, making the subject a natural destination for enquiring minds. From Year 7, we explore the fundamental principles which underpin the natural world in ever increasing depth and detail. With trips to universities, ‘The Wonder Challenge’, the Arkwright Scholarship and even our House rocket-building competition, we work hard to engage pupils in this challenging but rewarding subject.


Our team of enthusiastic specialists, who also have backgrounds in industry and research, ensure that Maths is a joy, not a chore, and many girls extend themselves by participating in Maths Challenges, achieving impressive results at national level. We are especially proud of the high take-up at A Level, including Further Mathematics. We are proud to produce students who not only achieve excellent grades, but have real enthusiasm for the subject.

Computer Science

We aim to spark girls’ interest in programming by asking: “Why be the driver of the car when you can be the mechanic?” Pupils are taught basic programming with Python in Year 7 up to Object Orientated Programming at A Level. They experience physical computing using the Raspberry Pi or the BBC Microbit. Sixth Formers visit Bletchley Park and the National Museum of Computing and at the annual “Girls in STEM” event they realise how just how extensive and varied are the opportunities open to them.