Notre Dame Newsletter

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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)

Students take part in Bradford University Archaeology visit

Fifteen Classical Civilisation and Latin students visited the University of Bradford on the 25th of February, to take part in an Archaeology workshop entitled “People in the Past”.

The students were given the opportunity to learn what bones can tell us about the age, gender, state of health of a person and how that person lived. The students studied synthetic skeletons in the laboratories, under the guidance of Bradford University lecturers and reported their findings back in small groups. They were asked to determine whether the skeleton was male or female and its height.

The Bradford University lecturers praised the enthusiasm and engagement of the students and the professional way they fed back their findings.

This visit was one of the many enhancement opportunities offered by the Classics department at Notre Dame.


(posted 28 April 2015)

Notre Dame Careers Fair a Resounding Success

The main hall became a hive of activity on the 11th March, when the college hosted its annual careers fair. Over 40 organisations set up stalls at the event, where students were able to find out about a range of full and part time job opportunities, as well as training and apprenticeships.
Companies from a range of different sectors were in attendance, including Addleshaw Goddard Solicitors, British Gas and Office Angels recruitment consultants. Marks and Spencer were present for the first time and have since teamed up with Notre Dame to provide a structured work experience programme for our students who may be interested in working for them in the future.
The event, organised by Careers Co-ordinator Anna Geldart and now in its third year, attracted a huge number of students throughout the morning. Dean Coleman-Walker, a Business Development Advisor at engineering company Appris Management Limited said, “We’ve had some fantastic students come to see us today and it’s been inspiring to see the number of female students here who are interested in going into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industries.”
The careers department are now looking forward to a successful fair in 2016!

Careers fair final

(posted 19 March 2015)

Notre Dame hosts Oxbridge University Conference

200 students from Notre Dame and other Leeds high schools attended a conference this week, led by admissions tutors from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. The visiting tutors were from our partner colleges, Selwyn College at Cambridge and Worcester College at Oxford, and came to Notre Dame to discuss what studying at Oxbridge is like, as well as to offer advice to potential students about making applications and attending interviews. 120 pupils attended from high schools across Leeds, in addition to about 80 Notre Dame students.
The first session was led by Dr James Keeler and Dr Richard Earl, who gave a presentation about Oxbridge life including information about teaching styles, what type of person they were looking for and extracurricular opportunities. This was followed by more subject specific workshops, covering arts and humanities, biomedical sciences and physics, maths and engineering. Students attended lectures in small groups and were given the opportunity to ask questions at the end.
Ashley Pickering, a Notre Dame student who attended the event said, “The small group discussions relating to the degree area of your choice was the most helpful part for me because it gave me invaluable information about what universities are looking for in an applicant, not only Oxford and Cambridge, but competitive Russell Group universities in general.”

Oxbridge visit March

(posted 19 March 2015)

Notre Dame student wins Young Sportsman of the Year Accolade

Matty Lee, a lower sixth student at Notre Dame, had cause to celebrate this week after winning the Young Sportsman of the Year title at the 2015 Leeds Sports Awards. The awards, now in their 12th year, are organised by Sports Leeds, a city wide network that exists to bring together all the agencies that are responsible for providing and developing opportunities in sport.
Matty was one of a field of three nominees for the “Young Sportsman” trophy. He trains at the City of Leeds Diving Club and 2014 was his most successful year to date. His achievements included two junior golds, a junior silver and a senior bronze medal at the GB National Cup. He was subsequently chosen for the GB senior team in the FINA Diving World Series. However, later in the year he had to pull out of the Commonwealth Games due to an elbow injury, from which he has now made a full recovery. A lower sixth student, he is currently studying for a BTEC Qualification in Sport.
“It can be hard to balance the amount of training I do with my schoolwork,” said Matty, who trains six days a week for up to six hours at a time. “But I have received a lot of help from my Sports teacher at college.” His plans for the future include taking part in the 2016 Rio Olympics and he hopes to challenge for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. His next competition, however, takes place during the Easter holidays when he will travel to Canada to take part in the FINA grand prix.
Former Notre Dame student Alicia Blagg, also did well, scooping the Young Sportswoman of the Year title.

Matty Leesmall

(posted 19 March 2015)