Confidence for life at historic Durham School
A sense of place, of belonging and of history seems to seep from the brickwork at 600-year-old Durham School. It gives pupils an understanding of the importance of following 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 and British Lion. At the same time it is a school which looks forward in preparing its pupils for a world which changes at a bewildering rate. The School recently announced an overseas partnership called Durham International Schools, aiming to recreate its distinctive education in locations around the world 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. It is a real privilege to lead such an exciting and inspiring School,” said new Headmaster, Kieran McLaughlin.
“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,” he added.
Durham School is the only All Steinway School in the North of England, providing all musicians (from age 3 to 18) with the opportunity to play on Steinway pianos. They have a huge outdoor education provision including the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and World Challenge expeditions to places like Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and India. They recorded thirty-four competitive sports last year, ranging from traditional sports such as rugby, cricket, hockey and rowing, to activities as varied as waterpolo, basketball, skiing, karting, golf, table tennis, biathlon, fell running and climbing. The School’s Combined Cadet Force offers its pupils further opportunities to develop their skills in leadership, teamwork and service.
A very wide range of academic enrichment is also on offer, including two Debating Societies, the Politics Society, the Tristram (science) Society, the Durham School Lecture Series, the multi-discipline Academic Society and the newly inaugurated ‘Strength and Conditioning for the Mind’ activity.
Drama too 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, the pupils will 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. Even after 600 years, the School is as committed as ever to providing the best educational experience it can”, said Kieran McLaughlin.
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