At Notre Dame you will be encouraged to aim high, achieve well, and fulfil your potential. All our efforts are designed to support you to success. The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) in their report following the inspection of Notre Dame in April 2008 concluded that ‘Notre Dame is an outstanding college’, where students feel safe and happy, are motivated to do well, and achieve high standards.
Inspectors also praised the college for its programme of pastoral care for its students and the commitment to maintaining the Catholic ethos which is at the heart of the college.
Achieving academic excellence
We are proud to be rated as an ‘Outstanding’ college by Ofsted, and also to hold Learning and Skills Beacon College status. The college takes a great deal of pride in its examination results. The pass rate at A Level exceeded 98% in 2012 and in 28 subjects this year, there were no fails at all! Over half of our A level results were at grades A* to B, and the excellent 100% pass rate in applied subjects has been maintained.
Notre Dame has figured in the national newspapers as one of the top colleges in the country for examination results for several years. We are particularly pleased that our ‘value added’ score over the past three years puts us in the top 10% of all schools and colleges in the country.
The atmosphere of Notre Dame
You will study in an adult and friendly atmosphere. All members of the college community will support you in developing the high standards of self-discipline in your studies which are necessary for you to make the most of your opportunities. Notre Dame is not so huge or impersonal that students become lost in the crowd. With approximately 1500 students all of roughly the same age, we are a college where you can quickly make new friends, where the teachers know the students very well, and where there is a genuine atmosphere of community and a feeling that you really belong to something.
Our students come from a wide range of schools throughout the region, and we have a number of international students from as far away as China, Vietnam or South America. They bring a wealth of different backgrounds, culture and traditions, and so at Notre Dame there is a wonderful opportunity to meet different people and make new friends.
You will be supported throughout your time here by specialist teachers, a strong Learning Support Programme, Group Tutors, other pastoral staff, and you will have access to high-quality careers advice.
Notre Dame is academically ambitious, and we also aim to nurture the whole person. You will have opportunities to develop your religious, spiritual, and ethical views and values. Outside of the classroom, there is a vast range of sports and leisure activities to get involved in. Our ‘Enhancement’ programme offers weekly activities such as drama, voluntary work, rock climbing, women’s football, and rock guitar school as well as end of year residential trips to, for instance, Prague, New York, Spain and the coast-to-coast cycling trip.