Promoting excellence in all areas

Lucy Darling teaching year eight English at Durrington High School
Lucy Darling teaching year eight English at Durrington High School
Share this article

STUDENTS at Durrington High School now have an extra incentive to take pride in their work with the creation of the Wall of Excellence.

A prominent space on the school’s first floor has been set aside to display ‘excellent’ work by pupils.

Shaun Allison, deputy head teacher, said: “We want our students to see examples of excellent work.

“It’s encouraging this ethic of excellence among them. It’s about hard work, effort and overcoming obstacles. The students and staff love it.”

Over the course of the year each subject will have a three-week period to exhibit work. Subject leaders put forward works for the wall and Mr Allison and head teacher Sue Marooney decide what goes up.

The ‘excellent’ work of students is reflected in their grades, especially when it comes to maths.

More than 80 per cent of students at the school received A*-C grades in maths, with a quarter of pupils achieving an A* or A.

Lee Ridout, head of maths, said seeing his students do so well felt amazing.

“We have a really strong team,” said Mr Ridout.

“We consistently set homework every week and that’s used to set individual targets for students.

“We use any weaknesses that come up to make sure we focus on those. A quarter of students get an A/A* which is amazing for a big school.”

Mr Allison said: “The maths department is massively successful, consistently well above the national average. It’s a real strength of the school.”

In addition to the success of traditional academic subjects, PE and creative subjects continue to thrive.

PE teacher Jack Corbett said: “Our after-school clubs are really well participated.

“We have also got lots of students taking part in an extra one-hour of sport each week which is fantastic.”

Students have two PE lessons a week and change the sport they are studying every eight lessons.

The drama department is no stranger to experiencing success.

The department has won a national award for choreography and soundtrack.

Last year, the school came third in the Rock Challenge Southern Premier Final.

Head of department Emily Isham said: “We have a huge number of children getting involved.

“We always get ex-students coming back to help which is really lovely and the ethic of excellence is huge.”

The school’s music department runs clubs on a daily basis, according to music teacher Tobi Stathers.

“We certainly try and get lots of different types of clubs,” he said. “We have got lots of vocal clubs, we have got the concert band and the wind band.

“Our big performance this year is going to be An Evening at the West End.”

Mr Stathers said while younger pupils could struggle with their confidence to start with, they build it up ‘pretty quickly’.

n Two prospective parents’ evenings are taking place in October.

The year six prospective parents’ evening will take place from 6pm until 8pm on Thursday, October 2, and the year seven evening will be Monday, October 6, from 6pm until 8pm.

These will be followed by a series of open mornings.

For more information, visit