On 6th December Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College held its annual Forever Young Christmas lunch, hosted by students and staff for the local elderly community. The afternoon was full of Christmas cheer with a festive supper served by volunteer students, entertainment to raise spirits with traditional carols sung by the staff choir, various musical performances from students, and some festive fun and games such as bingo. Father Christmas even took time out of his busy schedule to pay a visit and help spread a little Christmas magic amongst our guests!
The event is run every year by our Lay Chaplain, Andrew Sullivan, helping to provide strong support networks within Notre Dame’s community.
On Wednesday the 22nd and Thursday the 23rd of November, A level Theatre Studies students took to the stage to perform their own self-composed plays to a full room of teachers, parents, and peers.
Showcasing an array of talent throughout the night, each group presented eye-catching performances through a range of theatrical approaches such as contemporary dance and dramatic monologues, each lighting up the stage for a packed theatre.
The amount of extracurricular hours that had been invested in their performances was evident. Each group delivered an impressive show, bringing a unique story to life for the audience. Between setting up the stage and getting props in place, it was clear the theatre team (both teachers and pupils) held a strong bond throughout the process, allowing the superb performances seen tonight to run seamlessly.
A very special round of applause for anyone involved in the performances.
Our post today has been written by upper sixth student Charlie Tallott
Winner of the BBC Big Painting Challenge 2017, and ex-Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College student, Suman Kaur, returned to college to tutor an A level Art group. She worked with the students to create charcoal portraits, whilst sharing her talent, advice and expertise.
The BBC program sees 10 artists go through a range of artistic challenges, to test and prove their skills, with one winner voted for by the judges. The success came to Suman shortly after she had made the decision to leave her current occupation in Prosthetics and Orthotics to become a full time artist.
Suman has been volunteering at colleges and schools hoping to give something back to art, offering guidance to young artists by sharing her enthusiasm and work ethic, and showing students that you can achieve anything if you work hard towards it.
The workshop had an emphasis on the skills and techniques used in her own artwork. Suman also shared her knowledge of tools and contextual references, with some fantastic results from our students.
On October 25th, Notre Dame’s Lay Chaplain Mr Andrew Sullivan met Pope Francis in Rome. Mr Sullivan and his family visited Vatican City where they were given the opportunity to meet His Holiness Pope Francis in St Peters Square.
Mrs Audrey Sullivan, Mr Sullivan’s wife, contacted Bishop Marcus, the Papal Nuncio and the Vatican itself to request tickets to meet His Holiness. Mr and Mrs Sullivan and their son Aidan Sullivan were granted three tickets that enabled them to be ushered to the front of a crowd of 20,000 people.
Mr Sullivan, who is still in awe of the encounter, reflected with these words:
‘As Pope Francis came closer to me and I found myself shaking his warm and soft hand, I suddenly thought What do I say? I said “Father, this is my son, Aidan.” Three weeks later our family are still buzzing from our four minutes with his holiness.’
Andrew Sullivan, who has been Notre Dame’s Lay Chaplain for 15 years, embraces this great honour for all the people and family he is connected with.
Students secure a £3,000 Royal Society Partnership Grant to research microbiology with Leeds Beckett University
After a successful application made jointly by Sarah Barber, Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College Curriculum Area Manager for Science, and Dr Donna Johnson, Postgraduate Course Director for Biomedical Sciences at Leeds Beckett University, the Royal Society awarded both organisations a £3,000 Partnership Grant. This fantastic award will allow our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students to work directly in connection with Leeds Beckett University’s Biomedical Sciences Team, on microbiology research.
The Royal Society offers Partnership Grants to enable students to carry out STEM projects, and since it began in 2000 it has awarded £1.3 million to 800 schools and colleges. Our students will gain a better understanding of the latest developments and technology used in STEM as well as an insight into STEM in the working world.
With the rising popularity of STEM subjects in higher education and employers, this really is a terrific opportunity for our students to work first hand with professionals in the subject area, use industry standard equipment, and to be part of current academic research.
Performance from actress Jas Chattha
On Friday 20th of October students from upper sixth CTEC Business arranged an exciting event celebrating the diversity and wealth of cultural backgrounds at our college.
The group recruited Notre Dame students to show off their own personal cultural dress in a thrilling fashion show. There was an assortment of tasty traditional foods served, alongside dance and singing performances; including routines from Bollywood actress Jas Chattha and Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Mythical Onez!
Thanks, and well done, to the students that arranged this spectacular event, and to all of those who took part!
Students with thier contribution to the Young Minds bunting campaign
Organised by our in-house college counsellor, Charlotte Anderton, Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College held a World Mental Health Day fair to educate, and to raise awareness amongst, our flock of the network of charities accessible close to home.
A grand total of eight charities attended the event, these included; The Key, Women’s Health Matters project for girls and women ages 13-25 in Leeds, providing an abundance of amenities from support groups to a practical daytime crèche; Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service; Samaritans Leeds; Mindwell, a ‘go-to’ place in Leeds for up-to-date information about mental health, offering a whole network of contacts; and St Anne’s, a Leeds based community service offering a wide range of care and help, including treatment for those with mental health issues.
Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in an assortment of activities, including the Young Minds bunting campaign, which is aiming to collect 10,000 messages worldwide, and a fun photo booth (with props), which also saw the launch of our brand new Instagram account!
Alongside the stalls, staff from the Samaritans and Imagine Independence offered sessions tutoring our pupils and providing valuable advice and information around mental health issues.
Charlotte, our college counsellor, said “The day was fantastic and hopefully it showed our students just how much support is available on their doorstep. Mental health issues can affect anyone so raising awareness is very important.”
On October 4th, Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College hosted its third annual science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) fair. The event was arranged by the Careers Department with the intention of building awareness of the range of degree courses and jobs available in the STEM sectors, and to aid our students in making informed decisions when planning their future careers.
Interactive table top activities were provided by a number of top universities, including Huddersfield, Sheffield, Leeds, and Leeds Beckett. The subjects promoted ranged from pharmacy and music technology to construction and electrical engineering. Also in attendance were PwC, a professional services firm whose representatives included an ex-Notre Dame student, and ISG, a local construction company, as well as Leeds College of Building.
With 72% of all UK businesses relying on staff with STEM skills, this was truly a key event for students searching for a suitable career path. The event gave students the opportunity to discuss prospective career options, gain invaluable first-hand advice from professionals and graduates in the STEM sector, and get a clear overall view of what a career in the STEM industry can offer them.
Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College has been awarded an amazing ALPS 1, which is the top result nationally for pupils completing their EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). Staff and students have been working extremely hard and with 20 A* grades and 8 A grades out of a total of 33 entries, it appears as though their hard work has definitely paid off!
To gain an EPQ qualification students put many hours into completing a self-directed project in which they plan, research and develop their personalised idea, working towards a 5000-word dissertation, or an artefact with a 1000-word supporting essay. Due to its high level of academic content, as well as the sheer amount of effort and planning that is put into it, the qualification is highly valued by universities (and it is also worth valuable UCAS points.).
Topics can cover a wide variety of areas and allows learners to research into a subject specialist to their own desires. Some previous entries have included; measuring distances in outer space, treatments for Parkinson’s disease and theatre production stage management.
A massive well done to all those involved.
Fresh from London’s West End theatres, actor David Ahmad visited Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College to speak with students about his lead part of Amir in the play The Kite Runner. Currently showing at the West Yorkshire Play House, the stage adaption of the book is described as a ‘haunting tale of friendship’, that ‘follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption’.
David inspired students with his tales of acting and presented them with an insight into his approach to the role as Amir. He offered students a truly sterling experience as the play itself was rated a grand 5 stars from well-regarded British theatre arts newspaper The Stage.