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

The principal aim is to lay the foundations for further study and to keep open as many doors as possible. Pupils study Mathematics, English, Science, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Music, Art, Drama, Design and Technology, ICT and Physical Education. In the modern world the study of languages is of vital importance. Therefore all pupils study French, and in Year 9 they may opt to start German or Spanish too. Some pupils study Latin in Years 7 - 9, whilst others spend more time on their French. In short we aim to deliver to our youngest pupils a curriculum with opportunities to develop creative, imaginative, aesthetic and scientific learning.

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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