Chorister School, Durham
|Type||Preparatory day and boarding
Choral foundation school
|Religion||Church of England|
|Chair Of Governors||Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham|
|Houses||4: Flambard Langley Pudsey Skirlaw|
|Colours||Purple and gold|
The Chorister School is a co-educational independent school for the 3 to 13 age range. It consists of a nursery (opened in September 2008), a pre-preparatory and preparatory day and boarding school in Durham, England. It is located at 9 The College, a Grade I listed building adjacent to Durham Cathedral. The majority of the pupils at the school attend on a "day" basis, with about 45 boarders of both sexes making up the balance. Boys and girls who are choristers all board. Pupils are taught in small classes in a collection of historic buildings all of which form part of the college, or cathedral close.
The Chorister School should not be confused with Durham School, a mile or so to the west.
Its creation dates back to 1416 as a school for the cathedral's choirboys. Whilst historically the school had fewer pupils, from 5 to 24, ages 8 to 20, expansion began in 1948 to reach the numbers of today. This necessitated a number of moves of building in the cathedral area. The school became co-educational in 1994.
All Durham Cathedral choristers attend the Chorister School.
The Durham Cathedral Choir consists of 20 girl choristers and 20 boy choristers who sing separately alongside the 12 men of the choir. Choristers typically join the choir between the ages of 7 and 9 and remain until the age of 13.
The choristers receive a (50%) discounted education as boarding pupils. Further means tested financial support can be provided. Choristers are able to participate fully in all of the extra-curricular activities that the school offers, including drama and sport.
Choristers receive a first class musical education and experience performing to the highest of standards in one of Britain's favourite buildings. The majority of the choir's singing takes place during the daily worship of Durham Cathedral. However, the choir also takes part in concerts, recordings, live broadcasts on the radio and television and international tours.
The school is not noted for major sporting success, as it is a preparatory school, but they have had some years of note. A major year in the school's history for sport was from 2005-2006, when the boys' 1st teams went unbeaten for the whole academic year. The year started with rugby, and under head coach Jon Bland the team went 10 games unbeaten (Played 10 Won 10, Points for 486, Points Against 0) and had no points scored against them. This led to the award of 2006 School Sports Matters Team of the year. They also won the Northern Sevens Tournament held at Durham School. This led into the football term, where the 1st XI won all four games as well as a five-a-side competition at Newcastle School for Boys under coach Gary Brown, before heading into cricket term where they went seven games unbeaten, only drawing one and winning the majority by 150 runs or more, once again under the coaching of Jon Bland.
- Henry Madden: 1876-
- F. S. Dennett: 1914-1929
- Henry Yorke Ganderton: 1929-1957
- John M. Grove: 1957-1978
- Raymond G Lawrence: 1978-1994
- Stephen Drew: 1994-2003
- Ian Hawksby: 2003-2010
- Lin Lawrence (interim): 2010
- Yvette Day: 2011-2017
Notable former pupils
- Rowan Atkinson (born 1955), comedian and actor known for Blackadder and "Mr. Bean"
- Tony Blair (born 1953), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- James Fenton (born 1949), poet, journalist and literary critic
- Christopher Hancock (1928–2004), actor 
- Stephen Hancock (younger brother of Christopher), actor, who played Ernest Bishop in Coronation Street
- Sir John Laws (born 1945), The Rt Hon Lord Justice Laws, High Court Judge between 1992 and 1999, when he came to the Court of Appeal
- Paddy MacDee, (Patrick McDermott) (born c. 1950) radio programme host
- Sir Peter Vardy (born 1947), businessman
- James Wood (born 1965), Professor of the Practice of Literary Criticism at Harvard University and contributor to The New Yorker
- Hall Charlton (born 1979), scrum half for Newcastle Falcons
- Adam Welsh (born 1987), actor/musician