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Durham School

Day & Boarding School (Age 3-18)

Founded 1414


Academic Curriculum

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

Year 7 & 8 students at Durham School are offered a challenging, stimulating curriculum designed to stretch their capabilities. Within our school environment they will develop the time management, communication and study skills required to set them on the road to successful independent learning in the future.

Beginning in Year 7, each student is assigned to one of five houses where they will continue to build strong relationships with their peers under the watchful eyes of their tutor and housemaster or housemistress. The house staff will offer regular guidance, assisting with organisation, academic and pastoral support.

Lower School students will find opportunities for both leadership and participation in many different fields; musical activities, drama productions, sport and numerous clubs and societies are a feature of life at Durham School.

Years 10-11 (GCSE) 

All pupils take English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and either Science + Additional Science or three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). A modern foreign language (French or German or Spanish) is compulsory, except for pupils with a recognised learning difficulty. 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, PE. Pupils may also opt to study a second modern foreign language. 

Years 12 -13 (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:

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Design and Technology
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature
  • English Literature
  • French
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Spanish

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 existing pupils or pupils joining our Sixth Form from another school. 

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"

Durham School has provided an enriching environment for our two very different sons. The House system creates a support network for pupils where both individual and  team achievements are encouraged and celebrated.

"
Mrs Catherine Wood, Parent