Senior Societies: Durham School: independent day and boarding school in the North East of England for boys and girls
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Senior Societies


Our range of Academic Societies are student led and offer students and staff with the opportunity to further their knowledge through a range of lectures offered by experts in their field and also presentations, debates and academic activities delivered by staff and students.  These societies are open to all, however due to the level of the content, will usually appeal to those in Year 11 and Sixth Form.

Recently we have enjoyed the following events:

  • BBC Any Questions Radio Debate
  • Politics Society - EU Debate with 2 local MEP’s and Politicians hosted by our own students.
  • MedSoc Lectures
  • Tristram Society Lecture
  • Heretic Society

Every Academic Department also offers a range of weekly workshops to allow students to explore their subject further and also access extra study support in that subject.

Academic Society

The Academic Society at Durham School is small group activity which allows students to develop their discussion, debating and presentation skills, all critical aspects which universities value. Controversial topics are proposed and students are asked to provide a presentation from the perspective of a certain subject. Following the presentations, students are given the chance to debate key ideas and offer arguments. All students, especially those aiming for competitive courses, are strongly encouraged to attend these excellent debates. The Academic Society is run by Mr Tyreman, Head of History.

Politics Society

Aimed specifically at students studying Government and Politics at A level but open to all with an interest, the Politics Society aims to generate an interest in current affairs, political concepts and practical issues of government in the UK and abroad. Debates, visits, lectures and competitions are run throughout the year. The Politics Society is supervised by member of staff, but is run by elected student officers.

Heretics Society

The Heretics Society gives students the opportunity both to present and debate heretical subjects. In each session, one student will present a defence of a controversial viewpoint before opening the subject up to debate and, ultimately, defending the argument, often against fierce opposition. The Heretics Society is supervised by Mr Muttitt, Director of Scholars, but is run by the students.

Tristram Society

Aimed specifically at potential scientists, but open to all students with an interest in this discipline, the Tristram Society offers targeted sessions focused on the world of science. Lectures from leading academics, seminars and visits allow students the opportunity to explore various scientific fields from a real life, practical and hands on perspective which will develop their understanding of the subject far beyond the confines of the A Level syllabus. The Tristram Society is supervised by a member of staff, but is run by the students. Named in honour of polymath Old Dunelmian Canon Henry Baker Tristram MA, LL.D., DD, FRS.


MedSoc is a newly formed group which aims to support and challenge students who are considering a career in the medical field; however it is open to anyone with a general interest in applied science. The group is organised by students and involves a variety of provisions, including lectures from academics, practical ‘hands on’ sessions at local universities, workshops with professionals relating to the various medical careers and tips on how to ensure a students application to study medicine at university is as competitive as possible. 

Hillard Society 

The Hillard Society is run exclusively by sixth-form linguists, and supervised by Dr. M. P. Alderson (Senior Master & Head of German), Mrs. K. L. Wilkinson (Head of MFL) and Mr. C. J. Hope (Head of Classics). It is named after A. E. Hillard, renowned Classicist and Headmaster of Durham School [1899-1905], and aims to promote the learning of Modern and Classical Languages, both to students at Durham School and to guests from other local schools, through an exciting series of lectures.By introducing pupils to the wider philosophical, historical, literary, and cultural aspects of modern and classical languages, we hope to encourage fellow pupils to pursue the learning of these subjects, both at school and beyond. 

Durham School Lecture Series

Every year Durham School welcomes a number of guests who provide interesting and informative lectures and discussion groups on a variety of topics. Leading academics, prominent public figures, authors and successful business people have all contributed to this exciting and ever developing series which provides students with the opportunity to explore a range of thought provoking and relevant issues.

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