04 Sep 2020

Primary and Senior High Notes 4th September

Primary and Senior High Notes 4th September


It was lovely seeing everyone return to school this week after such a long time apart. An especially warm welcome to all our new pupils and parents who joined us for the first time. We look forward to getting to know you better as we look with anticipation to the term ahead. I would like to thank you for your messages of support and positive attitudes in ensuring a successful start to the new term. I have been delighted to see such a buzz around school this week, with the classrooms full of happy chatter and excellent work going on already. On Thursday I visited every class across the whole school; I was very impressed to see first-hand how quickly they were all settling into the new term and new routines.


I would like to welcome our new members of staff: Mr Jeremy Harper (Head of Primary), Mrs Sam Cooke (Head of Primary Music), Mrs Julia Seddon (Teacher of Psychology), Mrs Rachel Husskisson (Librarian) and Miss Harriet Kent (Teaching Assistant – Juniors). In addition the following members of staff take up new roles within the school; Mrs Rebecca Lesley (Head of Senior Music), Mrs Claire Bellman (Assistant Head Pastoral) and Mr Joe Gallagher (Head of Sixth Form).

It is with a tremendous sense of pride in the students and staff at Derby High School that I am reporting to you this year’s A-level and GCSE results. Students’ hard work, coupled with the expertise of our staff, has ensured well-deserved success. This year has been very different, but these successes are just as impressive because they represent the hard work, strength of character and resilience each student has shown. Students at Derby High are so much more than just a set of letters or numbers on a piece of paper - their achievements reach far and wide, from Duke of Edinburgh awards, instrumental music grades to grade 8 and beyond, performances in drama and music in front of large audiences, public speaking and great achievements across a fantastic array of sports. Our students can be proud of all they have achieved and we celebrate their many successes during their education at Derby High.

A level

A total of 65% of all grades achieved were at A*- A and 92% A*-B.  In addition to their A-levels, a third of students elected to complete an Extended Project Qualification, which universities value highly for the independent skills developed in the process.   Exploring a diverse range of challenging topics, 89% of these students achieved an A* - B. As part of our enrichment programme in Sixth Form, students can opt to take a variety of courses and activities. Our first group of students completing the two year Level 3 Certificate in Food Science and Nutrition (which is equivalent to half an A level) achieved outstanding results with 1 Distinction and 3 Merits.

I am delighted to report that all students have secured places at their chosen universities. 57% of our leavers will be studying at Russell group universities such as Nottingham, Exeter, Edinburgh and Newcastle, 9 students will be studying clinical courses such as medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, 4 students will be studying Law and 1 student is heading off to the US to study having secured a full scholarship.


At GCSE this year, 47% of all grades were at grade 8 and 9 (previously graded A*) and 73% of all entries awarded grades 7-9 (previously A and A*). We are immensely proud of these results and of the tremendous effort made by our students and staff, who should feel very happy with their achievements.

Our Year 11 and Year 13 students have had a challenging few months at the end of their GCSE and A level courses, as they have had the uncertainty of exactly how they would be graded. In the end, the Government accepted there was no simple way to award grades that students were not permitted to sit and reversed their original decision to use a statistical model. Instead they have reverted to the professionalism and integrity of teachers who know each student as an individual, reflecting the evidence collected over the 5 terms of assessed work and mock examination results. These students can now look forward to the next stage in their education, with an excitement and passion for learning. 

I would like to thank all our staff for the unstinting and conscientious hard work that has been put into this year’s results, our governors for their encouragement, and our parents for their unceasing support of our aims and ambitions for these wonderful young people.

Each school term always starts with the whole school community coming together to think, pause and reflect on the term ahead and this term was no different. Although we could not all come together in person in the senior hall, the beginning of term service was watched by the whole school from their classrooms. Thank you to Chaplain Jo and our readers for a thought provoking service which will help guide us through this start of term.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that we are doing everything possible to ensure Derby High is a welcoming and safe place, and that we are here to listen to any concerns you may have.

Best Wishes

Beginning of Term Service

To watch the beginning of term service on YouTube, please click here.


U3 Team Building

It was great to see our U3s working so very well together on their induction day. They demonstrated fantastic team work skills. The floor is ‘Lava’ challenge and Connect Four (a practical version of the game) were no match for this group! It was wonderful seeing the students getting active and enjoying time together.



East Midlands Chamber Business Awards

We are delighted to announce Derby High School has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Education and Business Partnership Award. Aimed at schools, colleges and further education providers that engage effectively with business, this award recognises those which can demonstrate partnership working with local businesses and how they help pupils develop crucial employability skills valued by employers. The judging will take place online on Friday 18th September. We look forward to updating you soon with the results! 

Late Waiting (Senior School)

We have had a few changes in procedures this week and I thank you for bearing with us.  One of these changes is a need to book a place in late waiting after school.  Thank you to those parents who have emailed headsecretary@derbyhigh.derby.sch.uk to book a place for their child.  Please can we ask that this is done on a week-to-week basis, rather than block booking, to avoid confusion.  If your plans change and your child does not arrive in late waiting, you do not have to let us know and we will not contact you


As we start the new term, just a gentle reminder to consider our neighbours when choosing where to park your car in the areas around school.  As always, thank you for your support in this matter.