Derby High School, Derby

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Derby High School
Established 1892
Type Independent day school
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mrs D. Gould NPQH, BA Hons (Birmingham) PGCE (Birmingham)
Location Derby
DE23 7DT
Staff 45 full time, 10 part time
Students 560
Gender Coeducational age 3–11; girls only 11–18
Ages 3–18

Derby High School is an independent day school for girls aged 3 to 18 and boys up to age 11 in the suburb of Littleover in Derby, it is a member of the Girls' Schools Association.[1]

The school's main premises are at Hillsway, Littleover, and include sports facilities on site. A new building opened in late 2008, containing a Sixth Form Centre.[2]


Derby High School officially opened at Oxford Villas, a semi-detached house in Osmaston Road, in January 1892, later moving up the road to The Field (now demolished).

Prior to the start of the Second World War the school was forced to evacuate because of its vulnerable position close to Rolls-Royce and the Locomotive Works, both considered prime targets for German bombers. It moved to Mackworth House, now the Mackworth Hotel, a much smaller premises with no playing fields. Instead, children would play on a street and a teacher would keep watch for traffic. In 1940 the school returned to Osmaston Road but was damaged during an air raid on 19 August.

In 1955 discussions were held about moving the school to the site – then known as Hilltop – that it currently occupies in Hillsway, Littleover. The building was purchased but lengthy renovations had to be carried out and was hampered by a fire at The Field that caused more than £4,000 worth of damage. The school entered more troubled times as its buildings at Osmaston Road were flooded after the 1957 East Midlands earthquake damaged some pipes. After much difficulty it finally moved to Hilltop where it has been ever since.[3]

Derby High celebrated its 120th anniversary in January 2012. A book, High Life, containing historical information and old photos was published to commemorate the occasion.[4]


More recently, students achieved a 100% pass rate in the 2011 GCSEs.[5]


The curriculum is built around teaching for GCSE and A-level. In the senior school, all subjects are taught by specialist teachers.

The senior school begins with Year 7, which has two forms of equal ability, each with a form tutor. Girls are taught in forms for all subjects except Maths, for which there are sets. In Year 7, the traditional core subjects are taught: English (with Drama), Maths, History, Geography, French, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Art, Music, Design Technology, Home Economics, Religious Studies, PE and ICT.

In Year 8, German or Spanish becomes a second language.

In Years 9, 10, and 11, all subjects are offered to GCSE. All girls must take Maths and English and choose seven other courses, including at least one language and one science.[6]

Years 12 and 13 are the Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth, with most girls taking three A-levels or maybe four.

There are also programmes of visits to support learning, with regular trips to places and events outside the school for sciences, History, Geography, and Religious Studies.

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

Activities outside school are strongly encouraged and include school plays, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, public speaking, debating, the school choir, and school clubs for music, crafts, science and photography. There are music and drama workshops, some being joint events with the nearby boys' school Derby Grammar School.

There are annual trips to France, Germany, Ethiopia and Thailand, plus a four-week World Challenge expedition every other year.


Physical education is compulsory for all children in the school. The main school sports are hockey, netball, gymnastics, and tennis, plus dance, basketball, badminton, rounders, swimming, trampolining, and volleyball.[7]


There is an active "Old Girl's" society, a network for previous pupils of the school. Meet ups consist of lunches and a summer "get together" on the Headmaster's lawn.[8]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°54′15″N 1°30′55″W / 52.90406°N 1.51537°W / 52.90406; -1.51537