Crack The Code (STEM) 2018

by James Burry

On Friday 20th April 2018, some of DHS  Year 9 students went to Worthing College for the annual Crack The Code challenge with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). As usual, the day was put on by Chichester University and STEM.

stem 3

We started the day with a presentation from a woman who was a Nuclear Fusion Scientist. This was nothing to do with the day ahead but it was really interesting to hear her story on what she does her research on, it sounded very interesting as it was about helping us find an alternative to our current energy supplies. It also provided us with an insight into how even if you don’t think you will end up working in a STEM field at first, there are always options available to you if you later decide you want to-regardless of what you have done in the past. There were a lot of students there from school all around the area and we were paired up with Worthing School.

Our first task of the day was in the large dome shaped tent, we had to create the tallest towers that we could out of paper in teams with people from other schools. However we weren’t allowed to speak, so it was made a lot more difficult! The towers had to withstand the force of a bag vortex generator filled with smoke.

We were told that the ring of air that shoots out of the hole cut into the bin is actually a flat, rolling vortex of air. A vortex is generated because the air leaving the bin at the centre of the hole is traveling faster than the air leaving around the edge of the hole. Also known as a big bin with a large rubber end that the guy hit to push air out of the front. Our tower did very well as it was the tallest and took seven hits before falling down, not bad seeing as some others only lasted 1 blow.

After this we made our own mini vortex generators with a balloon and a plastic cup, filled them with smoke and got to make some smoke rings. These actually worked surprisingly well, and we could see the smoke rings clearly in the air, even though they were made out of very basic materials.

The next task involved a code cracking task, where we learnt how to use Caesar ciphers and keyword ciphers. We did this by using a green screen that made it seem as if the students were in the computer and actually cracking the code themselves.

It was interesting because it was a fun, new take on something we had done before. The teacher running the task got students to sit in front of a green screen and we had to help release the students by decoding the code.

After the computing session we then went to the science section where we learned about DNA and how different problems in health can be passed down from generation to generation because of a concept called ‘dominant alleles’, where a more dominant gene is passed down over another. We have already covered genes and chromosomes in out lessons at DHS so we were able to answer quite a lot of the questions asked, the teacher seemed very impressed with our knowledge.

We looked into how DNA was tested for genetic defects such as huntington’s disease and then had the chance to do some testing ourselves. We were shown what do first by the students from the College and University and then got to try it ourselves. We also learnt how to read some of the DNA sequencing, and what it meant-this was the ‘Cracking the Code bit’.

Lunch was had outside, one of our students bought food from the canteen which had some very nice food on offer at reasonable prices. One thing noticed on the field was the lack of seagulls, at Durrington they are all over the place, Worthing College had 2.

After lunch we had the Math session. We looked into codes that were used from as far back as Roman times (such as ‘pig’ code and Caesar shifters) and had a go at breaking the codes. We then looked at the enigma code from world war two and created our own machine with the aid of some printed numbers and lines on a paper and a Pringles tube. We knew a lot about this subject as well, probably due to the Rock Challenge were they covered this subject last year.  

Creating an enigma machine is quite easy with the sheets and it is very effective, we made it with 3 wheels and 1 reflector but there are usually 5 wheels and 2 reflectors. Since we were the last group to do this activity, we were allowed to keep our homemade enigma machines, which some of the students did.

The end of the day finished with some prize giving and then a photo of everyone outside with the use of a drone, as it flew high above us we waved. Mr Paul seemed disproportionality excited about the photo with a drone and waved a lot. The Crack The Code challenge was a lot of fun and we learned a lot in all four subjects we had through the day, we would all love to have the chance to do it again.




By Melania Midgley and Ruby O’Hara

At Primary school, we were always proud of our English and felt we did well in the lessons but when we got to Durrington they push us to go beyond our best, when we think we have done the best we can, the teacher shows how to improve even more. As far as we are concerned, English is one of the best subjects in Durrington high school, every fortnight we have grammar and library.  We have a whole section of the school devoted to English, the area is very big which is nice when you go into the lessons, there is lots of space to wait for the teacher when we are waiting to get into the classroom and many exciting pieces of work on the walls.

One of our lessons with the English teacher is grammar, developing a good knowledge in grammar helps us put together sentences and helps to improve the way we talk to each other. In grammar lessons we learn about commas, adverbs, similes and metaphors. Grammar is every other Friday for us and it is so much fun! In library, we learn how the library works, where books are, and we find what type of books we like, this happens every other Wednesday.

This term we have been learning about poems such as: the ballad of charlotte diamond, timothy winters and the pied piper of Hamlin. We all agree that we have had an amazing time. The poem I enjoyed the most was the pied piper of Hamlin. The best bit was when we read about the rats.

blackoutWe have also done black out poetry which was also very fun. To create a blackout poem, you begin by scanning an old book’s pages for words or phrases you find interesting. You don’t need to know why, and when you start, it’s best to have no goal. After you’ve done this with a number of pages, you can pick a page that you especially like and begin blacking out the words that don’t interest you, leaving only those that work together to express a story, a thought, or a feeling that you probably didn’t even know you had in your mind. I did my black out poetry from a copy of the book, Alice in Wonderland.

We are looking forward to seeing what we are doing next, the English teachers always make this lesson fun, they obviously love the subject and are constantly challenging us to do well in the subject.


By Ruby O’Hara and Melania Midgley

In primary school art all we did was a bit of drawing and if we were lucky we got to do some clay modelling, here at Durrington High, we have lots to do. We have been looking at Picasso and his drawing; we are also going to make a cardboard GUITAR, now that’s not something you do every day. My favourite thing we have done is definitely drawing the instruments and my friend’s favourite thing is cubism. Cubism shows objects from many angles at once. Two main artists, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, developed Cubism. They believed that painters should not just present realistic views of subjects, some of the pictures we look at look amazing.


It is such an amazing place in the art department, when you walk into the hallway to the classrooms it feels like you are in the middle of an art gallery. Student’s work is all over the walls and ceilings and it looks amazing. 

If you go into one of the art classes you would see students’ work all around the walls. There are statues, paintings, drawings, booklets, cardboard shoes, instruments and much, much more. In art we DO NOT colour in, we use patterns,                                                                       lines and techniques to make our pictures come to life.   


If you go into one of the art classes you would see students’ work all around the walls. There are statues, paintings, drawings, booklets, cardboard shoes, instruments and much, much more. In art we DO NOT colour in, we use patterns,                                                                       lines and techniques to make our pictures come to life. So looking forward to our next adventure in Art.                                                                          


Been at Durrington a while now.


Joining Durrington High School is a great opportunity to be a part of something special, when we started here it was a bit scary, but now we have settled in, I thought I would tell you how it feels now. Whilst you are here you will learn loads of things that are not always necessarily educational, such as how to respond to big crowds and “going beyond your best” (which plays a big part at Durrington.) Life at DHS can be very daunting when you first start here, if you put in as much effort as you can though, you’ll find that within weeks you notice how the quality of your work starts to improve. Once you have been at the school for a few weeks you’ll be more confident and ready to learn. Getting lost can be scary but you will enjoy your time here, just like everyone else has and will. My first few weeks experience soon started to feel amazing and is even more so now, the staff are so welcoming. Personally, my favourite lesson is computing because you learn loads of fantastic, wonderful stuff and I have always loved computers at a young age. The teacher is so knowledgeable and just loves his subject, he is always smiling and spends time talking to you in class as well as in the hallway if he happens to pass by you. If you are planning on joining this school, I really do hope you learn to love Durrington, try your absolute hardest every day and “go beyond your best”, just like my friends and I have. So looking forward to our future.

Year 7 Science

By Caitlyn Pharoah, Daisy O’Hara and Judy Camber

As we are Year 7, the idea of science as a subject on its own was a completely new journey for us.  In Primary School we would do little experiments like ‘how long bread takes to mould’ although that was fun, science in Durrington High School is really interesting.

Today was a great day; for a change, we got to sit with anyone we wanted (in the class) and work on our knowledge of atoms and neutrons. Science is not always fun and games, it can be quite challenging remembering where everything goes in the periodic table and what charge are proton or neutron is but those days only come around every now and again.


During our last lesson, we got to revise on some of our favourite topics such as; gases and solids. Our favourite lesson so far has been boiling water with salt inside and waiting for it to dissolve.

We have also touched on the topic of the periodic table and labelling what goes where, also we learned the atomic number of each element.

We have also done some new exciting experiments including: waiting for purple potassium to dissolve in water, getting an egg to fit in a conical flask, boiling water (many times) and waiting for an ice cube to melt. It was all very exciting.


We have not done anything too extravagant or difficult as we are just in year 7, and we are still learning the basics. Science at this school is certainly going to be a lot of fun and we are really looking forward to doing all those fun experiments that the older students get to do.


Duke of Edinburgh Award

On Saturday 29th April some year 9 students participated in their Duke of Edinburgh practise hike. The students met in Amberly, early on the Saturday morning, got into their set groups of between 5 to 6 and then hiked to Yapton, where they set up camp for the night.

This required the groups to pitch their own tents and with the rations they had carried in their backpacks, cooked themselves a hot meal using their trangia which is a type of portable cooker and pan. Some groups prepared themselves a hot pasta dish, while other groups experimented with other foods, such as sausages, frankfurters, bacon and even haribos. They all enjoyed their delicious (well in some cases peculiar) dishes and sat round the campfire, before getting a good night’s rest.


Thankfully the weather stayed dry because they had an early start on Sunday, keen to get back to hiking as early as they could due to the weather forecast being rain that day. The happy campers cupped their selves some drinks and a breakfast, which consisted of porridge, bacon and eggs. After breakfast all campers had to get ready for the tasks ahead, all the groups had set off by 9am which gave them a good start to the day. During the course of the day they left Yapton and needed to get to Eartham before the dreaded rain caught up with them. Luckily for 4 out of the 6 groups, they made it to the goal before the rain came. However, unluckily for 2 of the 6 groups, the rain caught them before they got to the assigned finish point for that day, they got absolutely drenched!

Computing Champions

What  do the computing champions do?

Hello! We are computing champions and our job is to help you when you don’t know what to do or how to do it. We are all friendly and supportive and will help you with whatever you need in and outside of lessons, so if you need or want to know anything, just ask! We have a wide range of knowledge about computing and internet safety.

We know how to use lots of software and apps, but here are the things that we specialblog 6ise in: Kodu, micro:bit, Flowol, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and much, much more.

We know a lot about the internet and social media safety, and how to stop viruses getting onto your computer! We know how to use Kodu in great detail from making Kodu move to changing the time of day when you touch an item.


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We also know a lot about micro:bit, like how to make a magic 8 ball, or truth or dare. We also know a lot about computer safety, such as how to prevent a virus getting on your computer. To do this you should use anti-virus software and a firewall on your computer, and have a very secure password for your computer.


If you need help in your Computing lessons then just ask your Computing Champion.