Notre Dame Newsletter

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Oscars Night for the Media Department!

The red carpet was rolled out and Notre Dame Media Studies students arrived on Wednesday 23rd of September for their annual ‘Oscars’ award ceremony in recognition of the excellent work the students have produced. The best work from the coursework submissions in 2015 was showcased to the audience and the winners were presented with certificates and an ‘Oscar’.

Amongst the successful students was Dominic Nkosana who, along with some of his classmates, won the “Best Genre” award for his music video. “Our ideas came spontaneously,” he said. “We had a vague idea of how we wanted our video to appear and we took opportunities to film scenes when we were out and about.”

Jack Donahoe won the ‘Director’s Choice’ award, which was presented by a visiting professional director; Jack’s video was chosen for its intellectual storyline and stunning visuals – he was described by the visitor as a “brilliant and rare talent”. “I was really happy to win this award,” Jack said. “It will help me with my university application and beyond.”

Liz Slee, head of Media Studies, organised the event and arranged for several visitors to attend, including ex-students who now work in the media and professionals from the industry. “I chose the winners of the awards based on stand-out videos which excelled in both creative and technological aspects,” she said.

The event was a huge success and the media department are already looking forward to next year.

Oscars night

Pictured l-r: Liz Slee, Head of Media Studies, and Oscar winners Leah Carter and Kate Whittaker.

(posted 30 September 2015)

Law Prizes Awarded to Notre Dame Students

Geoff Fowler, an admissions tutor from the Law department at Huddersfield University, arrived at Notre Dame last week in order to award prizes to five of our students.
The students were nominated by their law teachers for outstanding commitment to the study of law. They were awarded a certificate and a book in recognition of their achievements.
Notre Dame and Huddersfield University have an official partnership, and the law departments from each institution have collaborated several times over the past year. We were very happy to welcome one of their admission tutors to Notre Dame to award the prizes.
Law teacher Jill Chamberlain said, “We are extremely proud of our students and delighted that they have received these awards. They are all very hard-working and committed students who will be an asset to whichever university they choose.”
Well done to our excellent students!

Law prizes

Pictured l-r: Hamza Saddique, Dennis Amofah, Geoff Fowler (Law Admission Tutor from Huddersfield University), Sylwia Zajac, Rahul Sharma and Hayley Gaulton.

(posted 24 September 2015)

Business Students Visit Addspace

22 Applied Business students visited the “Addspace” factory last week in order to explore how the factory is managed. Addspace, based in Rotherham, manufactures flat pack furniture for large retailers, including Asda, Tesco and Argos.
The students, accompanied by Head of Applied Business Jim Mullowney and Business Studies teacher Francesca Ashton, explored how the factory manages to remain competitive, especially in a market where many manufacturers have moved production abroad.
The visit proved very enjoyable and many students commented on how useful it was to witness real life examples of concepts they are studying.

Addspace trip

(posted 24 September 2015)

Notre Dame Lourdes Pilgrimage

17 students and 4 staff from Notre Dame headed off to Lourdes in July to take part in the annual pilgrimage, working with the Leeds hospitality team – an adult group of nurses and carers who accompany sick pilgrims the whole time they are there.

The students worked extremely hard, sometimes starting at 7am. They assisted the pilgrims at mealtimes and accompanied them to all the pilgrimage events. They also took part in all the services themselves, developing their own faith and spiritual awareness in the process. Along with Mount St Mary’s Catholic College, one of Notre Dame’s main feeder schools, they students played a pivotal role in the reconciliation service; they delivered readings and mimed the gospel story of the Prodigal Son.

In the evenings, the students took on the role of performers, and sang songs in order to entertain the sick pilgrims.

Trip leader and teacher Pete Smith said, “The entire college community is extremely proud of our Lourdes students. They were always patient and put the pilgrim’s needs above their own without any complaint. It was a privilege to share this wonderful experience with them.”

Pictured are some of the Notre Dame students accompanying a pilgrim.

Lourdes 2015

(posted 15 September 2015)

Notre Dame Students Excel in University of Cambridge Chemistry Challenge!

A record eight students from Notre Dame were able to celebrate receiving an award in the 2015 University of Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. The competition, launched in 2011, aims to stretch and challenge AS Level Chemistry students interested in pursuing science courses at university. Set by an experienced team of teachers and university chemists, it is designed to be accessible to Year 12 students but will take them significantly beyond the syllabus. All participating students take part in a monthly online quiz and sit an exam paper in June.

This year, our students performed brilliantly, with seven achieving the ‘copper’ award and one student being awarded ‘silver’. Such is the challenging nature of the exam that only 60% of candidates receive an award

The “copper” award winners were Alexander Bold, Mehnoor Bashir, Ashleigh Ruane, Nandana Syam, Harry Wilson, Joseph Perry and William Collumb. Adam Jakubas scored high enough to win the prestigious ‘silver’ award.

An awards ceremony was held on Wednesday for the successful students, with certificates presented by our principal, Terry Coen. He also accepted a trophy on behalf of the college awarded by St Catharine’s College in Cambridge, for Notre Dame’s continued support of the challenge.

Pictured (l-r) are Menoa Bashir, Nandana Syam, Alexander Bald, Terry Coen, Ashley Ruane, Harry Wilson and Joseph Perry.

Chemistry award 2015

(posted 15 September 2015)

Students head to Berlin for Enhancement Week!

One of the most popular residential visits which took place in Enhancement Week in 2015, was the annual trip to Berlin, organised by the History department. Forty-two of our students headed across to the famous city, accompanied by five members of staff, to absorb the history and culture it has to offer.

The visit incorporated excursions to several key sites relating to the Cold War, including the Berlin Wall, DDR Museum and Checkpoint Charlie) as well as the Bundestag Dome and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial.

All the visiting students, some of whom were not actually studying History, found that the trip broadened their historical knowledge and gave them a real insight into the city. “We all had an amazing time,” said Kate Whitaker, a student on the rip. “We all bought “I Love Berlin” t shirts so we can remember the time we had.”

The trip is hoping to go ahead again in 2016. Any interested lower 6th students should contact Mr Dixon or any History teacher for information.

Berlin trip

(posted 11 September 2015)

Notre Dame Teacher has Debut Novel Published

Margaret Mulligan, a History teacher at Notre Dame, has recently had her first book published by Bloomsbury. Entitled “Katy Parker And The House That Cried”, it is an adventure story for nine to twelve year olds, set in the 1940s and the modern day. It is available from bookshops throughout the country. Described as ‘fast-paced, gripping and intense’ the novel centres around a trio of characters who travel back in time to prevent a tragic accident.

Despite working hard to educate Notre Dame’s History students, she has found some spare time over the past three years to come up with the characters and create the book. With publishers receiving thousands of manuscripts per year from budding authors, Margaret’s achievement is no mean feat.

“I think being a teacher has given me an insight into what children find fascinating about history,” Margaret said. “After writing the book in five weeks, I spent the next three years editing and redrafting – a real labour of love- and testing it out on children in local primary schools. I knew I had it right when one pupil said he couldn’t put the book down at night because he wanted to find out what happened next.”

To mark the launch, Mrs Mulligan celebrated with a vintage tea party at Horsforth Park Cricket Club, complete with wartime costumes and decorations, live vintage music and food from the era. She is pictured at the event.

Margaret Mulligan

(posted 11 September 2015)

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)