Derby High School is an independent day school based on the outskirts of Derby for boys and girls aged 3 to 18.
About the school
The top performing school in the Derby area at both GCSE and A Level, Derby High has a very strong record for academic success.
Our small class sizes enable each child to progress at their own speed, with the support and challenge of exceptionally well qualified teachers.
We take pride in our excellent pastoral care throughout all stages in the school, with pupils feeling confident they are listened to and looked after.
Each lunchtime and after school, we offer a wide variety of clubs and activities and we encourage all our pupils to try something new each term, as well as continue to develop skills in areas they have grown to love. Our many and varied trips and residential experiences ensure each child is encouraged to expand their boundaries within a safe and secure environment.
Scholarships to a value of between £1,000 and £3,000 are available in the Senior School and Sixth Form. Suitability for an Academic Scholarship in Year 7, will be assessed by a separate scholarship paper taken on Entrance Exam day by all Scholarship applicants. Scholarships for Music, Sport, Drama and Art & Design are awarded each year in Year 7. Headteacher’s Awards may be awarded to girls entering Year 7 who perform well in the Entrance Exam and who are not awarded any other scholarship, but who are likely to make a significant contribution to the broader life of the school, for example in music, drama and / or sport. Any remission will apply only to the basic school fee, not to any extras. Awards range from £1,000 to £1,500 and any combination of awards will not exceed 25% of full fees. The Senior School runs its own Assisted Places scheme, which offers financial assistance of up to 50% of school fees to qualifying families.
When three or more siblings attend the school, there is a reduction of 33⅓ % on the above tuition for the youngest child on net fees. Payment is possible by monthly instalments. Please contact the Bursary for futher information. Derby High School operates its own Fees in Advance Scheme for the payment of school fees for future years, the percentage of savings is dependent on the interest rates at the time of payment. For further information please contact the Bursar.
Eleven aspiring Engineers at Derby High School have joined together to form the school’s very first Greenpower team.
2nd November 2020 — Eleven aspiring Engineers at Derby High School have joined together to form the school’s very first Greenpower team.
The students, all currently in the Lower Sixth in the Sixth Form, are planning to build their very own electric car this academic year. The design is currently underway and is being led by student Alex Hill, currently studying A levels in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Alex is designing the car as part of his Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Alex said “this is a fantastic opportunity for me to demonstrate my leadership skills. Ever since I was a young boy I’ve wanted to build and race a car. Having Greenpower on my CV when I apply to university will help me stand out and is something to be immensely proud of”.
The Greenpower Education Trust is a UK based charity which gets young people enthusiastic about science and engineering by challenging them to design, build and race an electric car. The Derby High Greenpower team has already begun work on the car, with thanks to Greenpower Education Trust for donating tyres to the school.
With Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths at the forefront of Derby High’s extra-curricular activities, Greenpower is a natural and welcomed addition to the schools opportunities. Mrs Chapman, Head, said “we are delighted to announce Derby High will be participating in Greenpower. I have been blown away by the team’s enthusiasm and we are all excited to see the Derby High Greenpower team begin racing in the IET Formula 24 and 24+ next year.”
Year 7 students will be able to join the team next year to compete in the IET Formula 24 challenge, once the initial car has been designed and constructed. The Derby High Greenpower team are now seeking sponsorship for their car. Any individuals or businesses who may be able to offer support in anyway, please contact Mrs Rachael Cotton, firstname.lastname@example.org,sch.uk.
Derby High School Celebrates Outstanding GCSE Results
Derby High School is delighted to announce excellent GCSE grades today, following on from the announcement earlier this week that students are to receive centre assessed grades this year, as a consequence of Covid related school closures preventing 2020 A level and GCSE examinations to be taken.
20th August 2020 — Derby High School is delighted to announce excellent GCSE grades today, following on from the announcement earlier this week that students are to receive centre assessed grades this year, as a consequence of Covid related school closures preventing 2020 A level and GCSE examinations to be taken.
Derby High School has consistently been one of the top performing schools in terms of GCSE results in Derbyshire, with this year 47% at grade 8 and 9 (previously graded A*) and with 73% of all entries awarded grades 7-9 (previously A and A*).
Headteacher, Mrs Amy Chapman said, “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 today. Our Year 11 students have had a challenging few months at the end of their GCSE 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.”
Derby High students should be rightly proud of their grades awarded today and have much to celebrate. They can now look forward to the next stage in their education, with an excitement and passion for learning.
Mrs Chapman concludes, “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.”
Derby High School Celebrates A Level Success Amid Disappointment with Downgrades
Derby High School has consistently been one of the top performing schools in terms of A Level results in Derbyshire, with this year 73% of A level grades at A*-B and 50% at A*-A grade.
13th August 2020 — Derby High School has consistently been one of the top performing schools in terms of A Level results in Derbyshire, with this year 73% of A level grades at A*-B and 50% at A*-A grade.
Despite the school’s excellent results, today should have been a joyous moment at the end of two years’ hard work for each of Derby High’s students. Whilst the school has much to celebrate, with the vast majority of students gaining places on their first choice university course, there remains huge disappointment that the flawed system of awarding A level grades this year has left some students with disappointment and incredulity that the education system has let them down at a time of unprecedented stress and helplessness.
Amy Chapman, Headteacher, commented, “I am incredibly proud of our amazing Year 13 students, who have shown resilience and strength of character throughout these challenging times. I am confident they will be able to put this exams fiasco behind them and move on to glittering futures. They deserve the best!”
She added, “Today, on receiving this year’s grades, I am shocked at the blatant disregard for the professionalism of my staff in our carefully considered teacher assessments submitted to the Examination Boards in May, as requested. 44% of our exam entries have been downgraded, and in two totally inexplicable cases from a B grade assessment to an E grade. Some of the final grades in no way reflect the evidence our teachers have collected over the five terms of assessed work and mock examination results.”
Mrs Chapman has now written to local MP, Amanda Solloway, and to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, asking for an urgent review of the process in the light of the Scottish Government’s acceptance this week that their system is flawed (a system very similar to that in England). The A level students in this country have had an incredibly difficult year, uniquely affected by the Covid shutdown of schools, and do not deserve to have their chances of attending the university course of their choice blighted by a computer algorithm.
Mrs Chapman concludes by stating, “Today we still celebrate, we celebrate an amazing group of young people who have bright futures ahead of them. They are more than just a few letters on a piece of paper, their achievements reach far and wide, from Gold Duke of Edinburgh, 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 today we celebrate their many successes during their education at Derby High.”
Bestselling Author and Actress Lisa Williamson, Visits Derby High School
Author and Actress, Lisa Williamson, treated Senior students from Littleover Community School, Trent College and Derbyshire’s top independent school, Derby High School, to a special visit on 29th January.
26th February 2020 — Author and Actress, Lisa Williamson, treated Senior students from Littleover Community School, Trent College and Derbyshire’s top independent school, Derby High School, to a special visit on 29th January. The visit coincided with Lisa’s paperback publication of Paper Avalanche. Students experienced a motivational and insightful talk through her painfully shy schooldays, her leap into the performing arts and then back to her love of writing.
Born in Nottingham, Lisa spoke about her time growing up in the East Midlands and her move to London to study Performing Arts at Middlesex University. After sharing personal photographs of her childhood and accounts of her time as a professional actor, Lisa explored her inspiration behind her bestselling debut novel for young adults, The Art of Being Normal. This was followed with short and captivating readings from Lisa’s novels All About Mia and Paper Avalanche.
Speaking of the event, one Year 9 Derby High student said “she was really inspirational and gave me ideas for what I want to write as a budding author”. Another pupil went on to say, “I found her very insightful, Lisa is very passionate about her work”.
Sue Bussey, Library Resources Manager at Derby High School, organised the visit. Commenting on the event, Sue said, “You always know that an event has been a good one when the students are begging for copies of the visiting author’s books. Lisa Williamson was a very motivational and warm speaker who seems to truly understand the way that teenagers think and what they need to help them to understand a great deal about themselves.
I love her books and can highly recommend them. The themes are all very different and the characters very empathetic. The students' questions revealed their interest in Lisa’s life and experiences and showed their wish to understand the issues of writing and how to develop the skills and story-lines required.”
Lisa delighted students at the end of the talk with a personal book signing and time to speak individually in the school’s Library.
Award Winning Author, Hilary McKay, Visits Derby High School
Author Hilary McKay treated pupils to a special visit at Derbyshire’s top independent school, Derby High School, on Thursday 5th December. To end Year Seven’s Reading Week Hilary came to meet pupils and see their cross curricular activities based on her book ‘A Time of Green Magic’.
10th December 2019 — Author Hilary McKay treated pupils to a special visit at Derbyshire’s top independent school, Derby High School, on Thursday 5th December. To end Year Seven’s Reading Week Hilary came to meet pupils and see their cross curricular activities based on her book ‘A Time of Green Magic’.
The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize winner and winner of Whitbread Children’s Book Award gave pupils a real insight into how she created the characters for her book. Hilary talked the audience through the conversations that she had with her characters as she let them help her to tell their story. Pupils were amazed at the attention to detail and market research the author conducts to ensure her stories are fully immersive, from drawing floorplans, piling up Ivy on her desk, to learning how to bake cakes featuring in the story. One pupil, Ella, Year 7 said “Thank you so much for coming in and talking to us and telling us how you were inspired”.
Sue Bussey, Library Resources Manager at Derby High School, organised the visit.
She said, “Our pupils loved the opportunity to showcase their work, talking Hilary through the work they had done during their Reading Week and demonstrated the skills that they had learnt. We are extremely grateful to Hilary for being so generous with her time”.
After individually signing each pupil’s book and question time, Hilary left the children with a key piece of advice to all the aspiring authors, she said, “My best advice would be to read a lot. I love reading. And also listen to people telling stories, that's where you get ideas. Read and listen.”
A Derby High School student has landed a lead role in the new season of CBBC series The Worst Witch.
7th February 2019 — A Derby High School student has landed a lead role in the new season of CBBC series The Worst Witch.
Annette Hannah plays witch Mabel Tapioca in the programme, which centres around a character called Mildred Hubble, a normal girl who attends a witching academy.
This is Annette’s second role in a major TV series after previously appearing in two episodes of Sky’s hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones.
The 13-year-old attends the Pauline Quirke Academy in Derby and its agency Quirky Kidz, which she joined in 2015.
Annette said: “It was the start of April last year when I got a call asking me to go to Manchester to audition for The Worst Witch. I learnt the script and went to Media City in Salford to audition. A couple of days later I was told they wanted to recall me and I was over the moon and then a few days after that they said I’d got the part and I didn’t need to do the recall.
“A few weeks later we did a read through of the first four episodes and I could see I had a good part just from reading the scripts.
“It was filmed around Manchester and in Germany, although I never went to Germany. I had to live there for part of it with the other cast members and they became like my second family.
“It was different to Game of Thrones, the atmosphere was quite different probably because there weren’t many adults, it was mostly young people.
“I didn’t see the season of The Worst Witch that I’m in until it actually aired and it’s been quite strange, people at school have been coming up to me saying they’ve seen me in The Worst Witch and I’m not quite sure what to say.”
Annette received a call to audition for Game of Thrones in 2015 but had no idea how big the programme actually was until she did some research.
She said: “I was only 10 at the time so didn’t really know about Game of Thrones, I didn’t know the whole story. It was surreal seeing myself on screen for the first time, like an out of body experience.
“We auditioned in groups and we each had to read a short script and then we were asked to stab a cushion with a spoon. Afterwards I was told I’d been pencilled in for a part but it wasn’t confirmed. I was excited and then a few days later I got the call to say I’d got the role. I was shocked and really pleased. We filmed in Belfast and in Seville in Spain and I was on two episodes in season six.”
Annette said acting was something that she may possibly pursue in the future.
She said: “I’m not putting all of my faith into acting as a career but it is something I would like to carry on doing.”
The Worst Witch is on CBBC on Mondays at 5pm.
Students wishing to join Derby High in Year 7 sit the 11+ Entrance Examination which takes place in January each year. Tests are set in non-verbal reasoning, English and mathematics. These are nationally standardised tests and are intended to be taken by pupils who come from a variety of school backgrounds. Applicants are assessed not only on their ability to cope with the curriculum on offer but also on their willingness to make a full contribution to the life of the school. Candidates will have an informal interview and we will request a reference from their current school. Pupils who are already in our Junior School are regularly assessed and are generally able to take their place in the Senior School without taking the Entrance Exam. Students are accepted into other year groups, assuming there are spaces and on a satisfactory performance on assessment papers along with a reference from their current school.