WHAT IS A SIXTH FORM COLLEGE?
Notre Dame opened in 1989 and offers full time courses for students aged 16 –19 only, unlike other FE Colleges that take in many adults and part-time students. Another difference is that Notre Dame is not so large or impersonal that students become lost in the crowd. With over 1800 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.
A sixth form college also has great advantages over a traditional high school. There is a much wider choice of courses, and College students are given far greater freedom and responsibility in a truly adult environment. As a half-way house between school and university or employment, Notre Dame smoothes over the transition and enables students to settle into university life or their chosen career path painlessly and with far more confidence. One of the most frequent comments passed by students is that Notre Dame is basically ‘a great place to be’!
AN OUTSTANDING COLLEGE
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 students and the commitment to maintaining the Catholic ethos which is at the heart of the College. As the College Principal said, ‘We are all delighted by this report. It is a very strong recognition of the work of all members of the Notre Dame community; students, staff and governors. It is great to see these views publicly proclaimed, and it provides a real boost to help us all carry on the outstanding work of the College and make a vital contribution to post-16 education in Leeds’. See the full report at www.ofsted.gov.uk
A PLACE TO STUDY
Notre Dame offers courses at level 1, level 2 and level 3. With more than thirty A level subjects, GCSEs, and a variety of applied and BTEC courses, there is real choice and great flexibility when it comes to choosing the courses that will suit you best. The College takes a great deal of pride in its examination results. The pass rate at A Level was 98% in 2015, and in 16 subjects this year there were no fails at all! Half of our A level results were also at grades A* to B. 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 25% of all schools and colleges in the country.
The vast majority of our students go on to study for a degree at university, including a good number each year who go to Oxford and Cambridge. Much time is spent in advising students personally. Our Open Morning and individual interviews make it easier for you to choose the right course at the outset. There is no doubt that Notre Dame will give you a good education and enhance your chances of going to university or finding employment. But it is far more than that…
A PLACE WHERE YOU WILL BE LOOKED AFTER
Notre Dame is a Catholic college with a strong tradition of pastoral care for students. There is a weekly tutorial programme when tutors are available to give out important information about what is happening in College.
Topics covered include study and revision tips, careers advice, and going to university. The College employs full time career advisors so careers advice is available throughout the day, and a counsellor is also available on site every day. Extensive guidance is offered by staff and outside speakers to lead you through the complicated process of university application. Timetabled workshops are available for students who want to go over parts of the course that they may have found difficult. This is often on a one to one basis and can be invaluable in the run up to the final exams. The College is committed to supporting the study needs of all students. Students wishing to develop their study skills e.g. time management, literacy and numeracy, can do so by accessing Learning Support. Trained staff will help you to design an individual programme of learning that you will then work through together. You can arrange sessions yourself or through discussion with any of your teachers.
A PLACE TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS & DISCOVER NEW INTERESTS
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. Outside of the classroom, there is a wide variety of sports and leisure activities to get involved in. We offer an extensive range of weekly activities and we also offer end of year residential trips to, for instance, Dubrovnik, New York and Berlin.
A PLACE TO RELAX
College life is far different to anything you have been used to. Your day is split into subject classes and study periods. Each day
is different. Sometimes you may not have a lesson until mid-morning, a gap between lessons in the day, or an early finish. Spare time can be spent in the large College library, the drop-in IT Centre, the dining room/coffee bar, or the student common room in order to complete your work and then spend time with your friends. You may wish to go to the local shops or even slip into town, which is only a ten minute walk away!
A PLACE FOR EVERYONE
Additional learning support is offered by experienced teachers to all students. We provide specialist teaching for students with a learning difficulty and support for students with a disability or long term medical condition. Where appropriate, access arrangements are made for exams. Support for literacy, numeracy and study skills is available in Learning Support. The department has a number of facilities and resources available to help students with their studies which include two well-equipped study rooms and self-access learning materials. Specialist equipment is available for students with a learning difficulty or disability, for example, a portable hearing loop and laptops. Students can access this support at any time. Further information is available in the Student Planner.
The College is committed to ensuring that disabled people, and those with learning difficulties, are treated fairly. All reasonable adjustments to provision will be made to ensure that disabled students and other disabled people are not disadvantaged.
Notre Dame has around 60 international students who benefit from the high standard of teaching and learning and the excellent pastoral care at the College. Several of our international students have won coveted places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. A wealth of information and an application form are also available for international students on the College website. Contact Rose Lou for further information and answers to your questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org