Preparation for University and Beyond: Durham School: independent day and boarding school in the North East of England for boys and girls
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Sixth Form

Preparation for University and Beyond

The vast majority (92%) of Durham School students progress to university with dedicated assistance and expertise from our staff. Of the other 8%, a wide and varied set of career paths are opened up by the underpinning purpose of the school to develop young women and men who have the confidence to pursue their dreams.

At the core of it all is our dedicated team of staff.

Meet Our Sixth Form Staff:

Head of Sixth Form: Ms Harriet Thompson

Ms Thompson graduated in the top 10 in her year with a 1st class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, before moving to UCL on an ESRC scholarship to complete an MSc. in Economics. 

Ms Thompson is a Principal Examiner for WJEC, writing the two AS Level Economics exam papers taken by students in Wales, and for Edexcel, writing one of the papers for their International A Level in Economics.  She is also a Standards Verifier for BTEC, and an External Expert for Economics, Business and Enterprise for Ofqual.  

Ms Thompson teaches Economics and Business. Prior to joining Durham School, she was Assistant Head (Academic Development) and Head of Modern Studies at Ampleforth College, having previously worked as Head of Economics and University Applications at Truro School.

Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Elite Applications Co-Ordinator: Carl Hope

Mr Hope has a First-Class Honours degree from Leeds University, a MPhil in Greek and Latin Literature and Language from Oxford University, and a Master’s Degree from Toronto University, Canada. Teach Latin, Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History.

Mr Hope writes the A level examinations for the exam board OCR - two Classical Greek papers and one Classical Civilisation paper. He is also the Assistant Examiner for GCSE Greek Prose Literature papers and for the Literature and Culture paper.

Mr Hope worked as reviewer for Bloomsbury for textbooks for new GCSE and A Level Specifications (2016-2017) for GCSE Classical Civilisation and Ancient History, and for A level Ancient History and Classical Greek.

Head of Careers: Stuart MacNair

Additional Support

All of our Sixth Form staff are available for the pupils, whether that be in person, virtually, or via email. Durham School is committed to the development of our pupils; here are some examples of the extra support provided:

  • Fortnightly careers lectures and workshops given by school staff and visiting speakers from a wide range of local, national and international universities and other relevant organisations
  • An experienced team of Sixth Form tutors who have detailed knowledge of the challenges faced by pupils at each stage of their Sixth Form career
  • The Head of Careers is available for one-to-one interviews with pupils
  • Support is provided for applying to overseas universities, with a track record of pupils having made successful applications to US, European and Asian universities
  • The UCAS week towards the end of Year 12 offers pupils an in-depth guide to the university application process, and the opportunity to visit both local (Newcastle, Northumbria, Durham) universities and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Sixth Form pupils have the ability to use Durham University’s libraries for their own research, and are encouraged to attend relevant public lectures and other events organised by the university
  • Opportunities to participate in a wide range of academic competitions, such as national Maths Challenges, science Olympiads, and Oxbridge essay competitions.  Support is provided to help students to prepare for these

Support for pupils applying to Oxford or Cambridge, or to read Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Medicine:

  • Ms Thompson and Mr Hope invite pupils regularly for one-to-one and small group meetings to advise on preparation, course requirements, and course, university and college choice
  • Help with finding work experience for those courses which require it
  • Detailed support is given with completing all aspects of the application process, including application forms, preparing for pre-interview tests, and mock interviews
  • Mock interviews are arranged with teachers and recent Oxbridge graduates for all Oxbridge applicants, and both panel and MMI mock interview events are arranged for MDV applicants, with the involvement of practising healthcare workers
  • Advice on softer interview skills, such as dealing with nerves, body language etc.








Sixth Form Booklet 2020-2021 (1.10Mb)

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  • Parent advisor (Advice for parents about the career options for their children)
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