Durham High School for Girls

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At Durham High School for Girls you will find a lively, friendly and caring community for girls throughout their school career. The High School is a Church of England foundation dating back to 1884. It is based firmly on Christian principles where every individual counts and where we believe each girl will find the spiritual and moral resources she needs to cope with the demands of life in the 21st century.

We are proud to be the only all girls’ school in County Durham, offering a continuous education from 3 year olds in our ‘Outstanding’ Nursery, all the way up to our highly successful Sixth Form. Durham High School was one of the first schools in the North East of England to take girls’ education seriously and we are proud to continue that tradition today; we seek to develop the potential of every girl in all areas of life.

We encourage academic excellence and a lifelong love of learning, but we also place great value on personal development in creative arts, in sport, in community service and in leadership. We believe it’s important that girls are encouraged to develop leadership skills, gain confidence in public speaking and acquire the ‘can do’ attitude which will help them succeed in a challenging world.

Our pastoral care is exceptional – girls enjoy being part of a secure, happy, family community, knowing that they are part of a team and where older girls act as ‘big sisters’ to the younger ones. Our parents appreciate our inclusiveness: whether their daughters are academic high-flyers or more interested in performing arts or sport, we nurture their interests so they can be the best they can be. Parents like the fact that their daughters can’t wait to get to school!

Senior House
We know how girls learn and we provide a stimulating environment in which they flourish. Happy girls do well, and our academic achievements speak for themselves – we ‘add’ lots of ‘value’ and our results at GCSE are consistently the best in County Durham.

While we’re small enough for every girl to be known, we’re large enough to offer a broad curriculum and a huge range of extra-curricular activities. There are numerous sport, performing arts and musical opportunities, as well as clubs ranging from Art to Astronomy, from Graphics to Greek and Sign Language to Science Club! We are also the largest centre for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the county. Our Charities Committee, Eco-Group, Amnesty Group and Community Service Groups all ensure that our students are also aware of their responsibilities to others. Sixth Formers also get the chance to work with charities in Malawi or Vietnam.

Junior House
In our Junior House you can be sure that your daughter will have the very best start to her education. There is a family atmosphere which makes everyone feel safe, happy and valued.

Our girls are encouraged to be creative and confident through our wide range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. We believe the more experiences and opportunities we can provide, the more talents the girls will discover.

All girls from Nursery to Year 6 enjoy coming to school and soon develop a sense of pleasure and excitement from learning. Care is taken to ensure that every girl develops socially, morally and spiritually into a confident, happy individual.

“As well as the hard work and persistence we all know are qualities essential for success, self-belief is also crucial. The most valuable life lesson school has taught me is to have the confidence in myself to try anything and to believe that women have the same skills and abilities as men. Almost from day one, when I was a shy new girl in Year 7, the teachers at the High School instilled in us the belief that we can succeed in any walk of life, irrespective of our gender.
Opportunities to build my confidence have been numerous, from being a form captain in Year 7, to leading assemblies later in my school career. It was the same self-belief that kept me going during my gruelling Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions in the Sixth Form. Tough, but worth it in the end!
The Young Enterprise competition was yet another opportunity to stretch myself and, as managing director of our business, ‘Treeties’, I felt well prepared for my role. To be able to stand confidently before a large audience of business people at the regional final and present our business plan was a daunting experience, but winning the award for Best Presentation made all the hard work worthwhile.
I’m sure that anyone meeting me as that shy 11 year-old, wouldn’t have seen a potential Head Girl; my achievement speaks volumes for the confidence and self-belief instilled in me throughout my school years.”
Jessica England, Head Girl 2013-2014

Gifted & Talented

Our commitment is to provide an environment in which all girls are enabled to realise their potential, with a sufficiently challenging curriculum for those who are more able. While we encourage academic excellence and a lifelong love of learning, we also place great value on personal development, in creative arts, in sport, in community service and in leadership.

Junior House

  • The Library in Junior House enhances the learning environment and is used for a variety of extension activities.
  • Wall displays throughout the building challenge the most able through examples of achievement.
  • Enrichment activities include Science Club making use of facilities in Senior House.
  • The Maths Challenge for Year 6 is a good example of girls undertaking problem-solving.
  • The Gifted and Talented are encouraged by the range of learning which takes place outside the school building from regular visits to Bede’s World and Holy Island to Nursery pupils’ study of snails in the natural environment.
  • Extra-curricular Russian lessons are on offer.

Senior House

  • A wide range of extra-curricular clubs is available to girls at lunchtime and after school each day including Science CREST Awards, Astronomy and Ancient Greek.
  • Opportunities to take part in programmes such as the Oxford Learning Project are presented to girls.
  • Leadership skills are fostered through team-building sessions such as the Lakeside visit for Year 9. Regular opportunities are also given to girls to prepare charitable and community service projects.
  • All girls are offered the chance to take part in regional and national competitions. For example, the Vellacott History prize, the Business Magnates’ Award and Maths Challenges.
  • Extended Project Qualifications are offered at appropriate levels and are supported by all subjects.
  • Girls in the Sixth-form are supported through specialist sessions to focus on university entrance. Particular sessions are held for Oxbridge entrance and for the Russell Group and specialist universities.
  • Subject departments are encouraged to prepare enrichment visits and invite outside speakers as part of curriculum development.

Currently 23 girls at Durham High state that their home language is ‘other than English’ and EAL specialist support is offered to them at an additional cost .

40 girls are currently on our SEN register with the following areas of need:

  • Specific Learning Differences (dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing difficulties)
  • Speech language and communication including ASD
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Visual impairment
  • Behavioural, social and emotional difficulties
  • General Learning differences

Support lessons are offered at an additional charge for :

  • Dyslexia intervention
  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
Bursaries & Scholarships

Scholarships and bursaries are available on entry to the School at 11+, 13+ & 16+ and there are also means tested scholarships for entry at 7+.

Bursaries are available to parents of girls who are normally in the top half of the ability range but cannot afford full fees. Bursaries may be worth up to 50% of annual fees, are means tested and reviewed annually.

Scholarships are awarded on merit and are available for excellence and potential in academic performance, art (16+ only), drama, performing arts, music and sport. Awards normally range from £500 to 20% of fees per annum but can also be supplemented, in appropriate cases, by a bursary up to the usual maximum of 50% fee remission.
There are also Ogden Scholarships available to girls coming from the maintained sector who wish to study Physics and Mathematics at A level. Whilst these awards are means tested and conditional on GCSE results they can be worth up to 100% of fees.

To find out more about such awards please view our website at www.dhsfg.org.uk

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