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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. 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, Religious Studies. 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. 

More in this section:


The following downloads are relevant to the current page.

GCSE Results 2014 (206Kb)


Year 9 curriculum booklet 2014-2015 (133Kb)

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I think dividing people into different Houses is a great idea. It means you can make more friends, not just in your year group but right up to Year 13. I am glad my mum chose Durham School, its great!

Jordan Hauxwell, The Caffinites House