At Durham School we try to offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which can cater for the requirements and needs of all the individual pupils in our care.
Years 7-9, Age 11-14
The principal aim is to lay the foundations for further study and to keep open as many doors as possible. Pupils study Mathematics, English, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Music, Art, Drama, Design and Technology, ICT (Information and Communications Technology), and Physical Education. In the modern world the study of languages is of vital importance. Therefore all pupils study French. In Year 9 they may opt to start German or Spanish, or they may opt for more English as an Additional Language support. Some pupils study Latin in Years 7 - 9, while those who do not spend more time on their French. In short we aim to deliver to our youngest pupils a curriculum with opportunities to develop creative, imaginative, aesthetic and scientific learning.
Years 10 -11, Age 14-16 (GCSE: General Certificate of Secondary Education)
All pupils take English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, and Science plus an additional Science or three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics). A modern foreign language (French, German, or Spanish) is compulsory, except for pupils with a recognised learning difficulty or English deficiency. All pupils follow the GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies.
Pupils then choose three from a list of optional subjects. The optional subjects currently available are: Art and Design, Design and Technology (Graphic Products), Classical Civilisation, Drama, Geography, History, ICT, Latin, Music, and PE. Pupils may also opt to study a second modern foreign language.
Years 12 -13, Age 16-18 (AS and A2-Levels)
Year 12 pupils are able to choose up to five Advanced Subsidiary level subjects (AS), although most of our pupils choose three or four.
In Year 13 pupils normally choose three of their AS subjects to continue to A2 level. They also have the opportunity to take General Studies at AS level in January and A2 in June. Alternatively, those applying to the best universities and/or for the most popular courses can take an AS in Critical Thinking (which is much more demanding than General Studies).
The subjects currently available for AS and A2 are:
- Business Studies
- Classical Civilisation
- Design and Technology
- English Language and Literature
- English Literature
- Further Mathematics
- Information Technology
- Physical Education
- Religious Studies
- Theatre Studies
These subjects are placed in subject blocks and most pupils choose one from each of 4 blocks. Every effort is made to accommodate all our pupils' desired options, whether they are existing pupils or pupils joining our Sixth Form from another school.
"In less than a term, our daughter gained hugely in confidence and self-esteem and this in turn led to a huge improvement in her standard of work, helped by a very early (within 2 weeks) identification of the need for some learning support, which was implemented and within only a matter of weeks showing massive benefits
The engagement in House musical activities, too, helped her build her self-assurance. In addition, the opportunities for games offered by the School mean that she has now played hockey for the school (she never achieved that in 8 years at her previous school) and has taken the opportunity to try rowing, a sport not even available previously. All this in only a few weeks!"
Mrs Neal, Parent