Notre Dame Newsletter

You can download the latest college newsletter here: Download Notre Dame Newsletter

Long Jump Sporting Superstar!

Reynold Banigo long jump

Congratulations are in order for upper sixth student Reynold Banigo, who came 2nd in the long jump at the British National Championships.

The Business and ICT student jumped a huge 7.42 metres. Head of PE at Notre Dame, Scott Broadley said, “It looks like he is never going to come back down!”

Very well done Reynold from everyone at Notre Dame. We all look forward to following your sporting career in the future!

View the video of Reynold’s jump here

(posted 16 March 2017)

Future plans made at Notre Dame’s annual careers fair

The college held its annual ‘careers fair’ last week, a thriving event which sees the main hall turned into a marketplace for employers. It gives all Notre Dame students the opportunity to meet with potential employers and find out about exciting future career opportunities.

The event was a great success and there was a real  buzz amongst the 500 or so students who attended! Forty-six organisations attended this year, including the NHS, Morrison’s, BT, ITV, Jacobs, PwC, DLA Piper, Faithful & Gould, Grand Futures, West Yorkshire Fire Service and Leeds Apprenticeship Hub. The event also conveniently fell during National Apprenticeship.

Students were able to find out about apprenticeships, job vacancies, work experience, volunteering, gap years, part time work and hints and tips with CV’s and applications.

It enabled everyone to become aware of progression opportunities and, in particular, local labour marketing information and growth sectors.

A representative from Lyons Davidson Solicitors said, “It was a very well organised event with very enthusiastic students. It was extremely useful for our company and we would love to come back again”

The Careers department would like to thank all the staff involved in supporting the day and the wonderful student volunteers. Most importantly, a huge thank you goes to all the employers and organisations who attended and helped to raise aspirations and promote excellent opportunities available in Leeds to Notre Dame students.

(posted 16 March 2017)

Work Experience for Languages Students

Joely Hopwood is pictured working at a Spanish music shop

Emily Gilpin is pictured working at a Spanish music shop

Seven modern languages students visited either Alicante in Spain or Lille in France to complete a work placement and stay in a Spanish or French host family, over February half term. The placements were extremely varied, including a brasserie, a cat and dog groomers and a music shop.

Fran Aylward completed her experience in a brasserie in Lille, staying with a host family just outside the city. “I was constantly using French,” she explained. “I used French in supermarkets, on buses and I had to use it to greet customers in the brasserie too. It was an amazing opportunity to basically live like a French person!”

Beth Rees visited Alicante and worked in a cafeteria for the week. “My three employers were all lovely, welcoming people, who made my trip a very enjoyable one. Although none of them could speak any English and the first two days were a little daunting, it was a great opportunity to develop my skills at speaking Spanish and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!”

Well done to all seven brave students and for the modern languages department for organising the visit.

(posted 1 March 2017)

Notre Dame goes bananas for Fairtrade Fortnight!

Fairtrade fortnight

Students and staff took part in “Fairtrade Fortnight” last week, an annual event which raises awareness of the important cause and one which Notre Dame always fully embraces!

This year, everyone was treated to an informative and thought-provoking assembly, focussing on Taylor’s of Harrogate tea and how the company aim to promote and adhere to Fairtrade ideals. Perhaps the most exciting part of the assembly was the ‘Gladiators’ style pugil-stick battle using inflatable bananas!

Thank you to all the students who presented in assembly, to the Geography department for organising the event and to Andrew Sullivan for refereeing the inflatable banana tournament!


(posted 28 February 2017)

GB Badminton Player Coaches ND Students

Jamie (far left) with ND students and staff

Jamie (far left) with ND students and staff

The Notre Dame Sport and PE department were privileged this week to welcome ex Great Britain badminton player Jamie Bonsels into college. Jamie arrived to deliver a coaching course to all Level 3 CTEC Sport students, along with anyone else who was interested in improving their badminton or coaching skills.

Jamie, a former St Aiden’s High School pupil, has been a successful badminton player for over twelve years, taking part in many national and international competitions. He currently studies at Leeds Beckett University.

Everyone who took part very much enjoyed the course, which provided practical advice, ideas and experience of badminton and coaching. As well as an increase in the participants’ skills and confidence, each student also finished the day with a certificate of attendance to add to their CV’s.

Thank you to Jamie, the PE department and all the students who enthusiastically took part in the course.


(posted 28 February 2017)

Notre Dame on national ITV news

ITV news item still 240217

Notre Dame students, their parents and teachers would have spotted some familiar faces on the national ITV evening news on Friday February 24th.

The College was approached by ITV to provide an opinion about the government proposal to introduce a new two year fast-track degree. The suggestion is that the teaching hours of a three year course will be compressed into two. The annual fees would be more expensive than for those of a three year degree, but the cost of a third year of accommodation would be saved. And, of course, students would graduate a year early.

Five of our students were interviewed on this subject; upper sixths Catherine Warr, Kerry White, Tadi Kativhu, and lower sixths Isaac Grinnell and Joe Higgins. Although only Kerry and Tadi were featured in the news item, all five students gave a variety of views and made some excellent points. The overall consensus was one of uncertainly as to the suitability of this fast-track course for the majority of university students.

In addition to the student interviews, viewers caught a glimpse of the Notre Dame site, and were treated to part of a lower sixth politics lesson taught by Head of Department Mr Clifford.

Notre Dame was glad of this opportunity to discuss a new development in higher education, and proud of the articulate responses of our students.

Click here to see the news item in full.

(posted 27 February 2017)

Amazon Voucher Winner Announcement!

Open Evening Paul Graham

Notre Dame are pleased to be able to announce that the winner of a £50 Amazon Voucher for completing the visitor survey after our recent open evening is Dhanyal Hussain, a student at Carr Manor High School.

Our open morning and open evening events offer all visitors the opportunity to win, simply by completing a short survey. This year’s events were particularly well attended so Dhanyal has been very lucky to win his prize.

Pictured is teacher of Theatre Studies, Paul Graham, speaking to potential students at the open evening. Thank you to everyone who attended and entered the competition.



(posted 10 February 2017)

Head of history appears on Look North.

Screen shot

Notre Dame’s Head of Department for history appeared on Look North earlier this week, after the musical job advert for a new priest became an internet sensation. Thomas Dixon helped to compose the advert, which features the Junior Choir of St Paul’s in Shipley and is based on a song from Mary Poppins. The advert has already been viewed on Facebook more than 29,000 times and can be seen here:

Thomas Dixon’s musical talents also extend to running the College choir, which has 15 regular members and often performs for students and staff alike. Today in college they provided Valentine-themed entertainment in the lower common room.

Commenting on his role in church and college, Mr Dixon said: ‘I’m amazed at the reaction we’ve had to the video but it’s been a lot of fun, particularly being interviewed by Look North. I’m a great believer in the importance of music as a way of creating a sense of community. This is something I try to do both in college and at church. New recruits for both choirs would be very welcome!’


(posted 10 February 2017)

Students Celebrate Oxbridge Success


Six Notre Dame students were able to celebrate, after they were offered places to study at either Oxford or Cambridge University. This year’s high number of offers marks a continuation of the success of our students being offered Oxbridge places.

Four students have been offered places at Cambridge: Eneko Johnson-Legaria has received an offer to study History, Joe Marsden has been offered a place on a Chemical Engineering degree, Miriam Bolton-Gabrielsen has received an offer for Philosophy and  Grace Parker has been offered a place to study Psychology. Two students have received offers from Oxford, Shuhaan Miah to study Mathematics and Caleb Dodd to study PPE.

Any student at Notre Dame who is interested in studying at Oxford, Cambridge or a Russell Group University has the opportunity to join OCRE (Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group Experience), an enhancement group which is co-ordinated and delivered by English teacher Kitty Graham, supported by several other staff members at the college. Students in the group are offered guidance on application and interview, assistance in developing research and presentation skills and the opportunity to attend a conference with a visiting admissions tutor from Cambridge.

“I’m especially pleased with the number of offers our students have received this year,” says Kitty Graham, “Not only have many students received offers from either Oxbridge or Cambridge, but several others are looking forward to being offered places at some of the world’s top twenty-five universities, including Imperial College and University College, London. They all deserve their places and we are very proud of them!”

Pictured L-R: Miriam Bolton-Gabrielsen, Shuhaan Miah, Kitty Graham, Grace Parker and Joe Marsden.

(posted 8 February 2017)

Biology students’ superb performance!

Bronze Award winner, Isaac Copeland

Bronze Award winner, Isaac Copeland

Seven Notre Dame Biology students took part in the British Biology Olympiad in January and the results, which have just been announced, are superb.

Organised by The Royal Society of Biology, the British Biology Olympiad challenges and stimulates students with an interest in Biology to expand and extend their talents. It is hoped that competing in the Olympiad will encourage students already interested subject to continue their study beyond A-level.

Our students sat two, one hour, multiple choice papers, competing against 7500 other students in the country. Very few students manage to achieve an award as the competition is so tough, but the Biology department at Notre Dame are very pleased to announce that Molly Brereton achieved a ‘Commended’ score, Nathan Allinson and Emily Waring achieved a Highly Commended score and Isaac Copeland (pictured) has been awarded a highly coveted Bronze certificate for his score of 52. Isaac has therefore been invited to attend a special awards ceremony in London at The Institute for Engineering and Technology.

Very well done to all the students who took part and a huge thank you to Susan Lowe who organised the competition entries at Notre Dame.


(posted 3 February 2017)