Durham School for Girls was recently awarded the prestigious title of 'High Performance Learning (HPL) World Class School' and is the first all-female international school to have this honour bestowed upon it.
"It is an outstanding reward recognising the school's incredible approach to teaching and learning," Durham School for Girls said in a press statement.
HPL has been implemented throughout the school, including the creative teaching methods
HPL has been implemented throughout the school, including the creative teaching methods as well as the smart and innovative use of technology. "This has enabled Durham girls to achieve their personal best and make huge progress in their learning across all subjects. The embedding of this approach in conjunction with the strong British Curriculum, core school and Qatari values, has allowed the girls to be the best they can be and exhibit confidence for life in their approach to all that they do," the statement noted.
The school has also been recognised as a Microsoft Showcase School for its contribution in transforming the educational space. "The focus on innovative teaching and learning and equipping students for the digital future by providing an exceptional, state-of-the-art, technologically driven environment allowed Durham to join this exclusive global community of schools and is a credit to its exceptional ICT Department and the commitment of staff and students to embrace technology in a positive and meaningful way," the school stressed.
This year, Durham School for Girls has also celebrated some important academic milestones, most importantly Years 11 and 12 girls sitting for the British Standard Public examinations at IGCSE and AS levels, which allow students to move on to the next stage of their education.
Durham girls got the opportunity to be part of the Arab Cup 2021 as FIFA flag-bearers
A graduation ceremony for the Year 12 cohort with their parents, families and Durham staff saw them relive their time at the school, celebrating the end of formal education and the beginning of the next part of their road to success.
The students have been "extremely successful" gaining university places at Carnegie Mellon (early entry) Virginia Commonwealth, Aberdeen, St Andrews and Qatar University to study a wide range of subjects - from Business and Computing to Architecture and Art.
Continuing with innovative opportunities for girls who study at Durham, the Dual Enrolment initiative with SUNY ADK will see a number of girls attend university classes and gain transferrable university credits in their own environment supported by staff from the comfort of their own school. This head-start initiative already has a number of girls signed up to start in September.
The school takes every opportunity to celebrate the achievements of their girls both in and out of school. The opportunity to be part of the Arab Cup 2021 as FIFA flag-bearers in group games and represent their country on the world stage was a special one as they were also chosen for the final played in front of more than 60,000 people.
On an individual level, a Year 10 student was selected to represent the Qatar national women’s football team in a recent friendly match, while another student in Year 12 was an integral member of the successful Qatar national debate team in several international competitions.
Students have also become published authors and created in-house newspapers.
Durham School for Girls said it is "proud of these wonderful examples of students making a difference and pushing themselves to shine". The school’s merit reward system has seen a number of girls achieve bronze and silver awards, and two Year 7 girls reached 150 merits and have been awarded their gold badges – a "brilliant achievement".
Celebrating success is a regular part of Durham School for Girls and Vanessa Whay, the principal, said: “It has been wonderful to see girls being rewarded for both academic achievements and highlighting the 'MARK' (Moral Integrity, Ambition, Responsibility and Kindness) and Qatari values that are the bedrock of our school and impinge on all aspects of our daily life. Shoutouts in assemblies, certificates for achievement, kindness and other rewards are integral to showcasing what is happening throughout the school. It was lovely to have our prizegiving ceremony where those achieving excellence in all areas, including leadership and attendance.”
Every Year group was involved in an end-of-year assembly where the girls and staff were applauded for their efforts this year.