Clare Devine was a student at Notre Dame from 2014 to 2015. She studied classics, history, ICT, and philosophy and ethics.
During Clare’s lower sixth year, the Careers Department at Notre Dame arranged for Sky to visit as part of the programme of support offered to students to help them fulfil their ambitions, whether these are related to higher education, employment or apprenticeships. Sky were raising awareness of their Software Development Apprenticeship, which was brand new to Leeds that year. Having always enjoyed ICT, Clare applied for the role. She successfully completed a number of initial tests, then spent a day being assessed in the Sky environment, and was offered a place on the 2015 intake. Clare accepted and, though we were sorry to lose her, we knew this would be a great opportunity for her.
Since joining Sky, Clare has been provided with a variety of different opportunities such as speaking at a Women In Technology conference, representing Sky at numerous events, and creating a brand new component for Sky’s styling, which is also fully accessible to the blind. Clare achieved a level 4 Computer Competence and Systems and Principles qualification (equivalent to a foundation degree) in less than 18 months.
Clare’s fondest memory from her time at Notre Dame ‘…is learning Ancient Greek on a lunchtime. The class had amazing energy and was always a great laugh!’
Stephen studied geography, history and law at Notre Dame and graduated in 2009. He is currently a supervisor at Lyons Davidson Solicitors in Leeds. Aside from studying and work Stephen has also continued swimming for Scotland in open water events across Europe, training for a total of 25 hours a week. Stephen’s lasting memory of Notre Dame was leavers day and the high spirits of all the staff and pupils.
Joanna Matheson was at Notre Dame from 2009 until 2011. She studied law, psychology, maths and English language. Joanna studied Medical Imaging/ Diagnostic Radiography at The University of Bradford. ‘To students who are currently pursuing their studies in psychology, I would say this helps you in every aspect of life, even if you don’t know it yet. It was my favourite subject to study and the knowledge I gained is very useful on my current course. My proudest achievement to date is my progress so far in fulfilling my future ambition, including great grades. My lasting memory of Notre Dame is that it was a great platform for building my independency and prospects for the future.’
Amy O’Connor was at Notre Dame from 2005 until 2007, studying biology, chemistry and English literature. She came to Notre Dame with lots of her friends from Cardinal Heenan High School. Amy chose Notre Dame because it was the only Catholic sixth form in Leeds. After finishing her A levels, and having put her place at Liverpool University on hold for a year, she took a gap year where she went to Thailand to teach English to 7 to 11 year olds. After her year out, she returned to study orthoptics at Liverpool University, and on completion secured a place with North Lincolnshire Trust NHS Foundation, where she has her own clinic of patients. Her lasting memory of Notre Dame is: ‘A warm college community which gives you confidence to develop and which went the extra mile to help its students achieve their best. I loved my time there.’
‘Since I was a young boy my aspiration in life was to pursue a career in veterinary surgery. However, by the time my A levels were upon me the mismatch between academic prowess and career aspirations was readily apparent. The staff at Notre Dame helped me focus on my aspirations and provided me with the support and guidance all teenagers require to help them reach their academic capability. Without the tireless encouragement and personal dedication of the tutors at Notre Dame I would have without doubt allowed my career aspirations to slip from my grasp. Happily, after a long struggle with revision, and a good talking to from a certain biology tutor who will remain unnamed, I gained the required grades in the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics and received an offer to study veterinary surgery. I qualified as a veterinary surgeon from The Royal School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh, in 2007 and sad though it seems this was one of the happiest days of my life. I now work in a busy orthopaedic veterinary practice in Surrey (www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk) taking care of cats and dogs from all over the country and the job is everything I dreamed of as a child! I look back on my time at Notre Dame with extreme gratitude; I am only where I am today because the tutors that taught me ensured I fulfilled my potential – thank you!’