A Message from The Headmaster of Durham School
Durham School is about to celebrate 600 years of providing outstanding education, for 571 years to boys, and for the last 29 also to girls. Nor do we emphasise this extraordinary tradition simply to impress. A sense of place, of belonging and of history seeps from the very brickwork. It gives pupils an understanding of the importance of doing justice to the traditions and accomplishments of earlier generations, former pupils like Grenville Sharpe, the 19th Century anti-slavery campaigner, Noel Hodgson, the First World War poet who lost his life on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, and Geoff Parling, current England second row forward. At the same time we are a school looking forward as we prepare our pupils for a world which changes at a bewildering rate. In January 2013 we appointed a Head of Digital Strategy whose remit is to make us a world class digital learning community. We have recently announced a partnership with an Indian business, aiming to export the Durham School education to locations in India and elsewhere over the next few years. We believe in the development of inquisitive, analytical, passionate minds, educated in a dynamic and interactive environment. At the heart of this is a genuinely warm and inclusive pastoral structure where strong and supportive relationships between staff and pupils, and between pupils, is both expected and championed. Parents too are made to feel part of the family that is Durham School. If I am asked what matters most in education I will always say “happy pupils”.
These are supposed to be the best days of our lives and it is incumbent on the school to ensure that this is true in practice. So, alongside a rigorous and demanding academic curriculum is a rich and diverse co-curricular programme. We are the only All Steinway School in the North of England, providing our musicians with the opportunity to play on Steinway pianos, the Ferraris of the musical world!. We have a huge outdoor education provision, with currently over 140 pupils engaged in the Duke of Edinburgh award and 40 about to go on World Challenge expeditions to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and India. We recorded 34 competitive sports last year, ranging from the main sports, rugby, cricket, hockey and rowing, to such things as waterpolo, basketball, skiing, karting, golf, table tennis, biathlon, fell running and climbing. Our Combined Cadet Force offers opportunities for leadership, teamwork and new skills which would not normally be available. A very wide range of academic enrichment is on offer, including the Debating Society, the Politics Society, the Tristram (science) Society, the Heretics (advanced debating) Society, the Durham School Lecture Series, the multi discipline Academic Society and the newly inaugurated “Strength and Conditioning for the Mind” activity. Drama flourishes at Durham School, with all pupils encouraged to participate, whether through curriculum drama, school plays, House drama or the weekly Boarders’ Drama Club. If there is a desire to do something, we find a way to do it!
You really need to see Durham School to understand what we are about. Meet the pupils, see them at work and savour the wonderful, inclusive, supportive ethos. After 600 years I reckon we have plenty to shout about.
Mr. Martin George - Floreat Dunelmia
When you join the school, you get a buddy who is there to help you around the House and she is just like a big sister. I found that I soon made friends with all the other girls in MacLeod and many of the Pimlico girls. So settling in was not as scary and hard as I thought it would be - it was actually quite fun!"
Emily Phillips, MacLeod House