Notre Dame Newsletter

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Ex-Student Lands Exciting Role at Arsenal

Notre Dame would like to congratulate ex-student Ben Wrigglesworth, who has secured a position as a talent scout for Arsenal Football Club.

Ben was a student at Notre Dame from 2007 to 2009 and studied for A Levels in Spanish, Leisure Studies and PE. After leaving, he spent three very happy seasons with Leicester City before recently moving to Arsenal, where he will be responsible for finding the star players of the future.

He has described his career as providing “so much fulfilment and life experience”. All Notre Dame staff wish him the very best of luck with his new role. Well done Ben for your superb achievement.

Ben Wrigglesworth

Ben Wrigglesworth

(posted 2 February 2016)

Medics Conference held at Notre Dame

Ambassadors from the University of Leeds visited Notre Dame this week to provide students with an insight into the reality of life as a medic in training.

The ambassadors provided an outline of how lectures, lab activities, and placements were spread across a four year medical degree, and talked honestly about the challenges and high points of their courses. Topics ranged from dissection to Harry Potter!

Different routes into medicine were also explored, including the options of taking a gap year or studying the subject as a post-graduate degree. The ambassadors also talked about alternatives to medicine such as neuroscience and psychology.

The visitors stressed the importance of looking into the style of teaching and assessment when researching different medical degrees. When it comes to writing a personal statement, they explained that admissions tutors want you to explain what you’ve learnt from your work experience, rather than just listing it.

At the end of the event, Notre Dame students had the chance to ask questions. They quizzed the ambassadors on entry grades and tests, asking what they could do to make their applications stand out.

The event was very useful and informative. Thanks are due to the Careers department for making the visit possible.

One of the University of Leeds Ambassadors presenting to Notre Dame students

One of the University of Leeds Ambassadors presenting to Notre Dame students

(posted 1 February 2016)

Theatre Studies Students’ Organise Successful Production

Two of Notre Dame’s Theatre Studies students, Jack Tosney and Evie Appleson, made their directorial debut last week, when their production of Hans Christian Anderson’s “Mermaid” was performed to a sell-out audience.

The script is a creative adaptation of the famous story, adapted by Polly Teale. It is narrated from the perspective of ‘Blue’, a self-conscious 14 year old girl, riddled with insecurity, who finds refuge in the story of The Little Mermaid. Meanwhile, in the ocean, the Little Mermaid is desperate to grow up and broaden her horizons. In a rebellious move, the mermaid resorts to donating her voice to a sea witch in order to gain access to land so she can fall in love with a prince.

“Mermaid” was produced solely by Notre Dame students and is a testament to their hard work and dedication. Along with the directors, the back-stage crew worked tirelessly to make the production a success. The leading roles were acted superbly; Laura Banks took on the role of Blue and Lucy Herbert became The Little Mermaid.

Well done Jack, Evie and all of the other students who took part. Thanks are also due to Graham Hamlyn, Paul Graham and Kieran Bowes, Notre Dame’s Theatre Studies staff, who supported the team.


Pictured are the cast and crew

Pictured are the cast and crew

(posted 29 January 2016)

Table Tennis Expert Coaches Notre Dame Students

Fourteen of Notre Dame’s lower sixth BTEC Sport students enjoyed a fantastic opportunity last Friday, when they took part in a Table Tennis England coaching course.

The course was delivered by Sally Shutt, Table Tennis England’s Coach North Development Officer, who has a wealth of experience in the sport, including coaching table tennis at international level.

As well as fourteen Notre Dame students, teaching staff from both Notre Dame and Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School took part in the training.

The course was organised by PE teacher Jill Camm who said, “The course was enjoyed by everyone. We all now feel up to date with the skills, tactics and rules of this fast reaction sport.”

Sally Shutt is pictured coaching some Notre Dame students

Sally Shutt is pictured coaching some Notre Dame students

(posted 26 January 2016)

Fantastic Opportunity for Notre Dame Students to Meet John Bercow

It is not often that young people get a chance to meet the Speaker of the House of Commons, but on the 15th of January, 27 of our students managed to do just that.

Accompanied by Law teacher Jill Chamberlain and Politics teacher Kevin Warnes, the students travelled to Beckfoot School in Bingley, to take part in a Q and A session with the legendary John Bercow MP. They joined about 200 other sixth formers from across the county to take part in the experience.

The hour-long session yielded valuable insights into the role of the Speaker, and several Notre Dame students were able to ask questions. These ranged from how Mr Bercow decides to pick who to speak in the Commons chamber to how he is able to remain in the chair for so many hours at a time!

After the formal session finished, the students were able to have their photograph taken with Mr Bercow. The happiest of them all was Paris Wilkinson, who was celebrating her 18th birthday that day, just a few days short of Mr Bercow’s 50th.

Kevin Warnes said, “The meeting with Mr Bercow was great fun and a fascinating encounter. The students gained a huge academic boost as they begin to study the Parliament topic as part of their AS Level studies.”

Pictured are some of our students with John Bercow

Pictured are some of our students with John Bercow

(posted 25 January 2016)

Notre Dame Student Selected as Finalist for “Young Scientist of the Year” Competition

Congratulations are in order for second year student Ashleigh Ruane, who has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious “Young Scientist of the Year” award in the National Science and Engineering Competition.

The National Science and Engineering Competition is open to all 11-18 year olds living in the UK and in full-time education. The Competition aims to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. All finalists, including Ashleigh, will showcase their project work at the “Big Bang Fair” in March where the eventual winner will be chosen.

Ashleigh’s project is based on producing a new cancer treatment using only an injection of magnetic nanoparticles and an external magnetic field, causing them to heat up and kill the tumour. She said, “My research took around 3 months, and the end result was that I discovered how to most accurately calculate heat production in the human body due to the magnetic field (something future scientists may use).”

Ashleigh is currently studying for A levels in Biology, Physics and Maths. We wish her every success at the fair in March and with her future scientific endeavours.

Ashleigh ruane

(posted 13 January 2016)

A Warm Welcome for a Former Student

Notre Dame was extremely happy to welcome back one of its alumni last week, when Fr Sean Crawley visited the college in order to speak to current students.

Fr Sean was a student at Notre Dame from September 2004 to July 2006.  He studied Sciences, achieving 5 As at A Level and an A* in Latin GCSE. Principal, Terry Coen, taught him Physics.

Following his time at college, he went to the University of Oxford to study chemistry, but ended up following his vocation, spending a Propaedeutic Year at the English College in Valldolid. Afterwards, he attended the The Venerable English College in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in July 2015.  He is now a priest at Immaculate Heart parish on Harrogate Road and is also chaplain to Cardinal Heenan High School.

Fr Sean was one of the visiting speakers for Notre Dame Feast week and gave a thoughtful, informative and well-received talk about the Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis in assembly.

Fr Sean is pictured with Notre Dame Principal, Terry Coen.

Fr Sean is pictured with Notre Dame Principal, Terry Coen.


(posted 18 December 2015)

Forever Young at Notre Dame!

Notre Dame hosted its annual ‘Forever Young’ party last week, providing an opportunity for local pensioners to get together to enjoy this special time of year.

Organised by Andrew Sullivan, Notre Dame’s Lay Chaplain, the party provided an afternoon of entertainment and merriment for the visitors. This year’s celebration was particularly well attended, with over forty local pensioners arriving to enjoy the festivities.

The college community pulled together to deliver some superb entertainment; several students demonstrated their musical talent by playing instruments and singing, and the staff choir sang a wonderful selection of Christmas Carols. Food and drinks were provided and several staff members helped the visitors to move around the site.

The party was a huge success and Andrew has already begun to plan next year’s celebration!

Pictured are several visitors enjoying the afternoon.

Pictured are several visitors enjoying the afternoon.


(posted 17 December 2015)

Maths Challenge 2015 Success for Notre Dame Students

Thirty-eight Notre Dame students were able to celebrate after being awarded their certificates of success in the Senior Maths Challenge. Organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, the Senior Challenge is a national competition aimed at all 16 to 19 year olds studying mathematics at advanced level. The challenge involves answering 25 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes and is sat in school or college under normal exam conditions. The top 60% of students nationally receive a gold, silver or bronze certificate and each institution also receives a Best in School certificate.

Notre Dame were especially pleased with the overall results this year as 76% of the students who entered received a certificate, which is significantly higher than the national average.

Two students (Joe Marsden and Xuan Li) achieved the gold award this year, with the “Best in School” accolade also going to Joe. Sixteen students achieved the silver award and twenty students received the bronze certificate.

The challenge is organised in college by maths teacher John Watson who said, “I am delighted with the results this year. Well done to all who participated and achieved an award.”

Pictured is Joe Marsden, winner of the 'Best in College' award.

Pictured is Joe Marsden, winner of the ‘Best in College’ award.

(posted 17 December 2015)

Information Evening for Prospective Students

Pictured is English teacher Sajida Muneer with some prospective students

Pictured is English teacher Sajida Muneer with some prospective students

Notre Dame would like to say a big thank you to all who attended the Information Evening on Tuesday 1st December. The event proved extremely popular and both teaching and support staff were kept very busy for the whole evening.

Students from a huge variety of schools across Leeds and beyond attended. Our staff commented on the enthusiasm of all the visitors and look forward to meeting many of them again at enrolment in August.

The application window is now open and the deadline for submission is January 15th 2016. We recommend that applications are made as early as possible as the college is usually oversubscribed.


(posted 2 December 2015)