Notre Dame Newsletter

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A level delight

Notre Dame students are celebrating after another highly successful year of A level results. The overall pass rate at A level was nearly 98% and at BTEC was 100%. Sixteen subjects achieved 100% pass rates. In English, Modern Languages, Theatre Studies, Art and Design over three-quarters of candidates achieved grade A*, A or B.

There were some outstanding individual performances also, with seven students gaining two A* or more, four gaining three A*, two gaining four A* and one student actually achieved five straight A*s!

College Principal, Terry Coen, said “These results are a tribute to the tremendous hard work done by staff and students alike. We are very happy for the students concerned and I am delighted to say that it looks like the vast majority of the students leaving us for Higher Education will move on successfully to the University of their choice. We wish all of our leavers every success and happiness in the future.”

(posted 20 August 2015)

The Big Trip to the Big Apple!

Enhancement week at Notre Dame is one of the most exciting times of the year, especially for those students who wing their way across the Atlantic to spend four fun-packed days in the city that never sleeps. This year, twelve students took part in the New York trip, which featured a number of activities for them to enjoy.
One of the most popular evenings was spent taking in the razzle dazzle of a Broadway show, and this year the students were very lucky to be in the audience for ‘Matilda’, the musical based on the Roald Dahl classic. A visit to New York would not be complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty close-up, so the students boarded the Staten Island ferry and spent several hours exploring and photographing the famous monument. A more reflective activity involved a visit to the 9/11 memorial before the Notre Dame visitors went to the top of the Rockefeller Centre to absorb the views of the city. A few shopping trips were also built in to the itinerary!
Helen Ince, a member of staff who accompanied and helped to organise the trip said, “All the students gelled as a group and were so lively and entertaining. They really were a credit to Notre Dame.”
Any students who are interested in going to New York in 2016 should see either Ms Wylie or Miss Ince.

New York residential

(posted 20 July 2015)

Students Experience Trip of a Lifetime!

21 students experienced a life-changing residential during enhancement week, when they travelled to China to absorb everything this fascinating country has to offer.

The Notre Dame visitors managed to cram four separate cities into their itinerary. To begin with, they spent four days in Beijing, where they saw Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace, attended a Kung Fu show and spent some time on the Great Wall. They also upheld the ethos of Notre Dame and made a sizeable donation of drinking water to a children’s orphanage.

From there, they moved on to Shanghai, where they visited the Pearl Tower, and then on to Xian and the famous Terracotta Warriors. Finally, they arrived in Cheng Du, home of a Panda Sanctuary where students were able to learn about the preservation of this endearing species.

The whole trip was enhanced by a personal guide who was able to provide more of an insight into the culture of China and the places visited.

Careers teacher Anna Geldart, who accompanied the trip, said, “It was an amazing trip and I can’t believe how much we crammed into one week. The students saw and learned so much about the language and culture of the country.”

Pictured are the students donating drinking water to Sun Village Children’s Centre.

China trip

(posted 20 July 2015)

Game of Thrones Residential to the Land of 1000 Isles!

The English department took sixteen students on a trip to the beautiful medieval walled city of Dubrovnik last week, to learn about the fascinating history of the place and to immerse themselves in the land of “Game of Thrones”.
Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, was chosen as the setting for Game of Thrones due to its astounding beauty. One of the highlights for the students on the trip (most of whom were self-confessed ‘Throners!) was a walking tour led by a very knowledgeable guide, who had worked as an extra on the series and was able to provide a fascinating insight into the actors and the filming locations.
The students also enjoyed learning more about the history of Dubrovnik and Croatia, when they took a cable car to the summit of Mount Srd, where Fort Imperial (a medieval fort) has been redeveloped as The Museum of Croatian War.
The students enjoyed it so much that the English Department staff are hoping to repeat the visit next year – any first year students starting in September 2015 will need to see the English department as soon as possible in order to secure one of the limited places!
One of the visiting students said, “Dubrovnik is a beautiful place with great views. I loved it and would definitely come back if I could. It was an excellent way to finish the college year – with your friends and in the sun.”
Pictured are the students at the summit of Mount Srd.

Dubrovnik retouched

(posted 20 July 2015)

Students head to Spain for Easter

Thirty students headed to Toledo, an hour south of Madrid, during the Easter holidays to take part in a study trip designed to improve reading, writing and speaking skills in Spanish.

The students enjoyed Spanish lessons in “Aula Toledo”, a very successful school, where they were able to develop their understanding of Spanish culture, as well as the language. They also took part in a student exchange activity in another local school, where the Notre Dame students were finally able to meet their ‘e-pals’, with whom they had been in contact for several months. Some became very good friends and have arranged to meet up again in the summer. The Notre Dame students were hosted by families who don’t speak English, in order to provide even more opportunities for them to speak in Spanish.

Evening activities included visiting a Flamenco show, a tapas tour, a treasure hunt and a sangria making workshop. There was even time for a couple of day trips; students visited Consuegra, where they enjoyed a guided tour of the medieval castle, as well as Aranjuez, where everyone appreciated a river cruise.

Students Antonia Elsey said, “I loved all the activities but I think Salsa was the best as it broke the ice between a lot of people. From that moment on, we were a group who had lots of fun.”

Spanish Trip

(posted 12 June 2015)

Notre Dame Students take to the Polls!

The main hall became a polling station on election day, 7th May 2015, as Notre Dame held its very own mock election. Four candidates were in the running: Joseph Doyle stood for UKIP, Maryline Ebu represented the Conservative Party, Annie Maloney was the Labour Party candidate and George Walker stood for the Green Party.

447 students voted over lunch time and at 4pm the results were in! In first place, with 46.1% of the vote was the Labour candidate, followed by the Greens in second place, with 31.1% of the vote. In third place was the UKIP candidate with 13.2% and in fourth place, the Conservatives, who received 9.6% of the vote. The results proved to be an interesting contrast to the national results.

The election was administered by the politics department in college. Politics teacher Kevin Warnes said, “Our thanks to all the students who took part and to the candidates for taking a leading role and organising such fine campaigns. You are all a credit to the College, and to British democracy! You are all an inspiration.”

Pictured is George Walker, the Green Party candidate, casting his vote.


(posted 15 May 2015)

Sporting Success for Notre Dame

Students and staff were able to celebrate this week, as our football team were crowned West Yorkshire Schools Under 19 League Champions and diver Matty Lee was selected to take part in the FINA World Diving Series, to be held in May.

The football team secured the trophy after a thrilling match against Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School, played at Ossett Albion. The Notre Dame side won 2-0, with the “Man of the Match” accolade going to Sam Jobson. Well done to all the players and PE teacher and coach Scott Broadley.

Further congratulations are in order for lower sixth student Matty Lee, who will be part of the team representing Great Britain at the FINA World Series Grand Prix in London on the 1st to the 3rd of May. Matty, who recently won the Young Sportsperson of the Year title at the Leeds Sports Awards, will compete in the men’s synchro 10m platform event, with partner James Denny, and the mixed synchro 10m platform competition with Georgia Ward. We wish him the very best of luck!


(posted 7 May 2015)

Politics Department Hosts Question Time!

Notre Dame became a hotbed of political activity on the 25th April, as the drama studio became a TV studio and hosted “Question Time” as part of the college’s activities in the run up to the General Election.

Five political parties were represented by local candidates; Hilary Benn arrived to represent the Labour Party, Michael Hayton was present for the Green Party, Liz Kitching spoke on behalf of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Alan Lamb represented the Conservative party and Anne Murgatroyd came on behalf of UKIP. Politics teacher Kevin Warnes acted as chairperson.

The debate began with each representative being given the floor for three minutes to present their manifesto to the audience, made up of over 150 students and staff. After this, questions were put to the panel, covering topics ranging from the economy to immigration, with each panellist given two minutes to answer each question.

The event, organised by the Politics Department, was very well attended by students and staff.

Question Time compressed

(posted 7 May 2015)

Notre Dame Students Visit Newcastle University

Twenty-seven lower sixth Notre Dame students took part in a visit to Newcastle University on the 1st of April. The day was intended to inspire and motivate students to aim higher and to consider applying to a Russell Group university.

The event, run by two Graduate Ambassadors from the university, included a tour of the campus, a presentation about student life and a ‘University Challenge’ style quiz. The visiting students are part of the “Aspire to Achieve” programme and the day allowed them to begin their research and preparation for Higher Education. The students thoroughly enjoyed the day, with one describing Newcastle as “the best university I have visited so far”.

Anna Geldart, a careers teacher at Notre Dame who was responsible for arranging the day said, “The trip to Newcastle University was a great success and is a new partnership that Notre Dame have recently established. We are keen to encourage all students to aim high and explore all the possible options after A levels. Newcastle University were very welcoming and we are already looking forward to visiting again next year!”

Newcastle University Visit

(posted 28 April 2015)

Lord Mayor of Leeds Welcomes Notre Dame International Students to Civic Hall

Thirty-one of Notre Dame’s overseas students took part in a visit to Civic Hall on the 24th of March, to meet the Lord Mayor of Leeds and ask him questions about his role.

Councillor David Congreve, the Lord Mayor of Leeds, invited the students to visit and was accompanied on the day by Lady Mayoress Janet Harper. The visitors were given a tour of the council chambers and the opportunity to sit in the seats used by council members. They were then served refreshments and were very impressed by the crested china!

The students were then given the chance to chat with the Lord Mayor and asked him a number of questions, including whether he lived in the Civic Hall, what kinds of powers he held and how he felt that Leeds will change economically in the future. The Lady Mayoress talked to some of the girls about history and the importance of trade unions, especially for women.

The international students at Notre Dame come from several different countries, and represented on the day of the visit were Belgium, China, Congo, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Russia, Taiwan and Vietnam. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” said Leung Hoi Tung Daisy, one of the students on the visit.

Lord Mayor visit

(posted 28 April 2015)