Deputy Head of School, Phaedra Davies (17) was a pupil at The Choristers School and is now a Year 13 day pupil at Durham School. She was in the Galilee Choir and enjoyed singing frequently in Durham Cathedral as well as boarding on occasion.
What were the things you most enjoyed about being a pupil at Choristers?
I loved the irrefutable sense of community that came with being a pupil at Choristers, due to its small size but also the ethos of the school. Furthermore, I loved the individuality of the school and all the opportunities that it afforded me as a pupil, for example being able to take part in many experiences with Durham Cathedral.
What made you choose Durham School when you were leaving Choristers?
Durham School always appeared to be the secondary school to Choristers and therefore, I was quite sure that I would have a fluid transition between schools (and I most certainly did). I also remember being so excited at the prospect of all the extra-curricular activities that Durham School offered and keen to get involved and try new things.
What were the similarities between the two Schools you experienced?
At Durham School, I found that strong sense of community which I had loved so much at Choristers – this was definitely due to the house system. In addition, just like Choristers, Durham School is made up of a collective of specialist teachers which I think is really beneficial to a student because it is so encouraging to be taught by people so overtly passionate about their subjects.
What were the main differences you noticed?
I think a difference between the schools comes from Year 8 in Choristers, also known as ‘sixth form’, in which pupils are given responsibilities in the school. I believe this helped me with confidence and leadership skills. Durham School has also enhanced my confidence, but I think being given responsibility at a young age was very beneficial to my development within school.
Did you enjoy a smooth transition between the two Schools? Absolutely. Seeing familiar faces of fellow pupils who had also come from Choristers nicely aided my transition. I also felt a smooth continuation between the schools as I believe they both have a similar environment and that strong sense of community. Furthermore, the school itself was familiar as Choristers and Durham School often share facilities, which already created a sense of unity in my mind.
Did you maintain links with Choristers and/or the Cathedral once you joined Durham School?
As well as the partnership events which were held between the schools, I was also happy I was able to continue singing in the Cathedral as Durham School services often take place there and I am a member of the school choir.
What interests and experiences have you pursued since arriving at Durham School?
I have loved being able to further pursue the sports I began at Choristers. In particular, it was so exciting to see the great rowing facilities at Durham School Boat Club. This has also led me to places such as South Africa on a sports tour in 2018, which was an unforgettable experience. I have also travelled to the likes of Russia, Naples and gone on ski trips with the school.
In terms of my academic side of things, I have been very grateful for the way in which the school has enabled me to pursue my love of English, which I am hoping to study at university. There are many academic societies which have helped in terms of this, but I believe I have benefitted most from my role as Editor of the school newspaper.
What have you enjoyed most during your time at Durham School?
The aspect which I have enjoyed most during my time at Durham School is simply the sense of community and the enjoyment I get out of going to the school and really being able to engage with the subjects I enjoy.
How do you feel about the coming together of the Schools?
I believe that The Chorister School and Durham School share a number of core values – including a strong sense of community, a genuine care for the wellbeing and education of pupils and a purpose of equipping pupils for life in the best way possible.
The coming together of the schools will provide the chance for the Durham Cathedral Schools Foundation to be composed of the very best characteristics of the two.