Academics at DHS

Academic education is one of the great challenges of the 21st Century. We live in a society that is changing with exponential rapidity. It is governed by shifting and blindingly quick technologies, environmental challenges and alarming conflict patterns. It is into this world that all school-leaving adults are launched. The boys, who are becoming men at DHS, are no exception.

Cognisant of the demands that will be made on the adults of tomorrow, DHS prepares its learners with the best possible education in this regard. Academic education is perhaps the most important component of this preparation and extends far beyond the achievement of exam results.

This school was built 155 years ago on the foundations of Loyalty, Trust, Pride, Honour and Courage – foundations that continue to this day.

Year in and year out, DHS is one of the stellar performers when the province’s matric results are listed, with an exceptional matric exemption rate over the past five years. The School frequently has learners in the top 10 candidate rating. A aggregates and subject distinctions are widely achieved on an annual basis and numerous successes have been notched up in the field of Olympiads and Science Expositions over the years.

These quantifiable successes are necessary if DHS is to be measured among the top academic institutions in South Africa. However, by its own standards, through a commitment to its “Heritage of Excellence” ethos, they are not always enough. The DHS holistic approach to education which incorporates a host of finely-tuned variables to prepare for the future prevails. This is an inclusive process for all boys, from average learners to top academics. It is underpinned by rock- solid support structures and a highly qualified, dedicated, responsive and committed staff who are passionate in their vocation and accomplished in their various fields. Classes are organised to be on average, less than 30-strong and boys are individually assisted through a goal setting system.

This individual support is augmented by a career guidance and a counselling infrastructure that encourages boys to assess their strengths and weaknesses critically . This practice assists them in their choice of subjects and potential career paths.

The successes of alumni in various academic pursuits bears testimony to the preparation provided by DHS during their vital senior school stage. This preparation is extended to encompass new options and possibilities for learners as we embark on an exciting journey in education, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) and Cambridge A-Levels for Grade 12 learners.

DHS facilities are top-notch. Our Media Centre includes a contemporary library, state-of-the-art IT and audio-visual centres. The School is embarking on an extensive upgrade of existing classrooms and specialised facilities, such as laboratories and dramatic arts  and music venues.

GET and FET Subjects Offered at DHS:
DHS offers the following subjects in the GET and FET phases:

Senior Phase
(Grades 10 -12)

English Home Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
isiZulu First Additional Language
Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy
Business Studies
Natural Sciences
Information Technology
Physical Sciences
Life Sciences
Visual Arts
Dramatic Arts
Engineering Graphics & Design

Junior Phase
(Grades 8 and 9)

English Home Language
Afrikaans First Additional Language
isiZulu First Additional Language
Economic Management Sciences
Arts and Culture
Natural Sciences
Life Orientation

Academic Information

Current class sizes in Grade 8 and 9 stand are a maximum of 28 learners per class. The philosophy behind this is to ensure that pupils in these two grades receive as much academic support as possible when they are making the transition from primary to high school. In certain subjects (ie, Mathematics and Languages) some classes are split even further to ensure that individual attention is provided to pupils who may experience difficulties in these specific subject areas.

Class sizes in Grades 10 – 12 vary according to subject choice and may vary from 1:15 to 1:30 (maximum). In addition to a well structured mentorship programme, learner support department and counselling policy at the school, we also offer Mathematics, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, English and Afrikaans Support Services to learners after hours should they wish to achieve additional expert tuition.

Academic Achievement

Durban High School is recognised as an educational institution of excellence and our results reflect this.

We frequently have learners in the top 10 in the province based on their National Senior certificate results and our pass and exemption rates over a number of years have been outstanding. The number of A aggregates and subject distinctions that are achieved on an annual basis makes DHS one of the top traditional boys school in KwaZulu Natal and one of the very best in South Africa. DHS also has an enviable reputation when it comes to academic achievements outside the classroom and numerous successes have been achieved in various Olympiads and Expositions that are held on an annual basis.

DHS has always prided itself on preparing ALL its learners for the future, whether it be the top academics or the average learner who might struggle with certain subjects. Our holistic approach to education, backed up by sound support structures and a committed, dedicated and well qualified staff ensure that DHS will continue to remain at the forefront of educational excellence in the years and decades to come.