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Exam Results Day 2017

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Huge congratulations are in order for the class of 2017 whose results were published yesterday. The vast majority of students were able to celebrate and smiles, laughter and tears of joy were in abundance as two years of hard work came to fruition.

The results were even better than last year’s and pass rates were above the national average. Most students were able to celebrate securing their place at their chosen University or other next step. All applicants to either Oxford or Cambridge achieved the grades they needed and a record number will go on to study Medicine in September.

Very well done to all of our successful students. Everyone at Notre Dame wishes you the very best for the future, whatever choices you decide to make.


(posted 18 August 2017)

Adventures in China

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The last week of the academic year for lower sixth students is always given over to ‘Enhancement’ activities. Eleven of our students travelled to the Far East as part of the annual enhancement trip to China, for a packed ten days of sightseeing and cultural experiences.

Included in the trip were visits to three different cities: Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, where the students visited some of the major landmarks. Highlights were The Great Wall of China, the Terracotta Warriors, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

The trip was certainly an active one! The visitors were given the opportunity to toboggan down some of the Great Wall, to cycle the whole of the Ancient Wall of China in Xian and to climb the Oriental Pearl Tower to look through the glass floor, 863 feet in the air!

As well as all the sightseeing and activities, the students enjoyed absorbing Chinese culture, the food and the traditions, as well as challenging themselves to do things they didn’t think were possible – including learning basic Chinese.

“It was the best trip I’ve ever been on,” said Lauren Dwyer. Ellisha Cotter said “I had such an awesome time!” Thank you to Chary Gonzales-Latham for organising it and to all the staff who accompanied the students.


(posted 5 July 2017)

Students Enjoy Trip to Granada

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39 Notre Dame students headed to Spain over the Easter holidays, enjoying a visit to Granada as part of their A Level Spanish studies. The visitors stayed with host families in order to immerse themselves in Spanish culture and improve their language skills. It was a very successful trip, which the students thoroughly enjoyed.

Highlights included a 17 kilometre hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, travelling through a gorge on the river, salsa dancing and table football night. The students also attended lessons every morning at a superb Spanish school, where their language skills were really put to the test! The group also visited another Spanish secondary school where they were given a presentation about the education system in Spain and treated to a concert where the Spaniards really showed off their talents. Not to be outdone, our students were able to show off their own skills, with Kiera Carr playing the piano and a group performing a humorous dance to ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’!

Beth Anderson, one of the visiting students described the visit as ‘the best trip ever!’ and Roisin Darley said, “It is the best way to practise your Spanish. There is nowhere to hide!”

Thank you to Chary Gonzales-Latham, teacher of Spanish, for organising the trip and the other members of staff who accompanied our students.

The students and staff are pictured in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


(posted 15 June 2017)

Students back on Look North!

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Our students were back on BBC Look North (Yorkshire) on Friday June 9th, talking about the results of the general election. Four of the seven students interviewed back in April got the chance to give their opinions on the outcome of the June 8th vote. Look North reporter Charlotte Leeming was particularly keen to find out what they thought of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour manifesto.

As part of the news items, Head of Politics Mr Clifford commented on the encouraging increase in those aged 18 to 24 turning out to vote. The Politics Department ran a mock election at Notre Dame to help students understand and engage with the election process, which certainly seemed to have a positive impact.

Notre Dame would like to thank the upper sixth students – Louisa Barlow-Simson, Grace Franklin, Emna Tesfamariam, and Matthew R Caton – who gave up their time during a vital revision period to voice their opinions.

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(posted 14 June 2017)

Upper Sixth Leavers Celebrations!

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Upper sixth leavers balloon release

On Friday 26th May, 2017 Upper Sixth Leavers day began with an inspiring mass. This was followed by an exciting (and loud!) assembly celebrating the successes of the students throughout the academic year.

As always, students arrived in a plethora of wonderful fancy dress costumes, with a group of students dressed as tennis players, and another group as superheroes. One particularly innovative outfit was worn by Catherine Warr, who arrived dressed as Kate Bush!

This year, we were truly blessed with the weather, and the sun shone as students released their balloons, sending their hopes for the future soaring into the atmosphere.

The year group then enjoyed a final celebratory lunch, and there were tears and laughter as students said their final goodbyes before the examination period officially began.

Goodbye and the best of luck to the class of 2017.


(posted 13 June 2017)

Challenge Accepted!

One of the teams presenting their ideas

One of the teams presenting their ideas

Students from Notre Dame worked together with some Corpus Christi Catholic College and Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School students on the 18th of May, to take part in ‘Live Event’ challenge. 20 Notre Dame students teamed up with 30 students from our partner high schools to engage in what was an extremely exciting and fast paced challenge!

Organised by Ahead Partnership, the participants were set an interactive challenge, where they were set a brief to develop their own live music event concept, take part in workshop masterclasses and pitch their ideas to expert judges. Using Roundhay Park as their venue, the teams had to organise every aspect of their music festival, including planning the entertainment, booking all the services they required and planning a marketing pitch to show how the event would be promoted and advertised.

All of the teams really got stuck in and developed a number of skills in doing so. In particular, they enhanced their teamwork and communication skills and gained ‘real’ experience of how they can apply their subjects they are currently studying to a work context.

The challenge was a huge success and all students involved had a fantastic time. Thank you to Paul Graham and Graham Hamlyn from the Theatre Arts department for organising the event.












(posted 12 June 2017)

Product Design students show their skills

Olivia Sunderland with Ian Grainger and Carol Sheward

Olivia Sunderland with Ian Grainger and Carol Sheward


Eleanor Amato

Eleanor Amato


Richard Blinston

Richard Blinston

Notre Dame’s annual Product Design Showcase took place on Wednesday 25th June, giving our students the opportunity to show off the results of their hard work and skills. The results of the 21 upper sixth Product Design students’ final projects were on show, as well as some work that our lower sixth students have produced.

The event was very well attended by parents, staff, students and friends. A special award was presented this year to Olivia Sunderland. The award has been created to commemorate Arnie Appleyard who worked in the Product Design department for 17 years and very sadly passed away on the 4th of April. Olivia was presented the award for her determination and the way in which she managed the production of her own project. She is pictured with Ian Grainger, Head of Product Design and teacher Carol Sheward.

“All of the students have done exceptionally well this year,” said Mr Grainger. “I am very proud of them and their work and I was very pleased at how well attended this year’s show has been.”

Also pictured are upper sixth students Eleanor Amato and Richard Blinston with their creations.


(posted 8 June 2017)

Election fever takes hold!

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In the run up to this week’s General Election, the Notre Dame Government and Politics department have been extremely busy organising visits and events.

The college has been very lucky to host a number of visiting politicians. Leeds Central Labour candidate Hilary Benn was one of our first visitors, followed by Conservative Party candidate Stuart Andrew and Labour’s Fabien Hamilton. Finally, Green Party candidate Ed Carlisle visited on the 25th of May. All of the politicians spoke to both students and staff about a number of issues and were asked some tricky questions!

Notre Dame has also held its own ‘mock’ election, with brave students Alfie Haley, Ben Robinson, Eliza Duckworth, Ellie Holden and Fabien Newton-Edgar standing as candidates. Not only did they present to fellow students in assemblies, they also took part in a lively hustings event. The student body took to the polls on the 18th of May and the results were as follows:

Labour – 312 votes

Green – 77 votes

Yorkshire Party – 55 votes

Conservative – 36 votes

Liberal Democrats – 20 votes

Everyone is looking forward to seeing how these compare to the national results on Thursday! Kevin Warnes, Government and Politics teacher thanks all the candidates and everyone else who helped out. “We hugely appreciate your energy, enthusiasm and commitment and look forward to seeing you all elected to the House of Commons!” he said.

Pictured is the scene in the “polling station” on mock election day.


(posted 5 June 2017)

PE Department Sports Awards

Nathan Wyspianski sports award

2017 has been a very successful year for the PE department at Notre Dame, with ‘Team ND’ sports teams playing (and winning!) a huge number of matches. Students at Notre Dame have the opportunity to play basketball, football, volleyball, netball and rugby throughout the year. ‘Team ND’ also has a unique partnership with Leeds Beckett University, which means that specialist coaches from their highly successful sports department come to Notre Dame to train our students in the available sports.

To celebrate an extremely successful year, an awards ceremony was held last week in order to commemorate some brilliant performances by our students. Here are the awards presented to our fabulous students:

  • Basketball player of the year – Precious-Patrick Onyia
  • Football Academy player of the year – Bailey Collington
  • Football player of the year – Billy Dawson
  • Outstanding Sportspersons of the year – Mikolaj Oledski and Vassilissa Zukova
  • Netball player of the year – Elizabeth Smith
  • Rugby player of the year – Jo Denver Gamayon
  • Team ND Activators Awards – Jackson Bradley, Myles Smith and Nathan Wyspianski
  • Coach of the Year – Nathan Wyspianski
  • Academic Award for PE– Alex Plenderleith

A very special well done to all of our award winners!

Pictured is Nathan Wyspianski after receiving his Coach of the Year Award.

(posted 18 May 2017)

Year 11 prepare for “Enhancing Excellence”

Pastoral Area Manager Kirstie Kohling welcoming visitors to the event

Pastoral Area Manager Kirstie Kohling welcoming visitors to the event

Notre Dame welcomed over 200 guests on the 3rd of May, in order to introduce them to the ‘Enhancing Excellence’ programme. The visitors were made up of prospective Notre Dame students, who are currently coming toward the end of year 11, and their parents.

The ‘Enhancing Excellence’ programme aims to assist academically able students to achieve their potential, provides practical support to students with regards to making an informed choice of course and helps students to put their application together. It also encourages students to be aspirational with their choice of university and benefit from the experience of Notre Dame staff who have an excellent record of enabling students to gain places at Oxford, Cambridge and other many top Higher Education providers.

The programme offers a wealth of activities, including discussion groups, personal statement workshops, mock interviews and invaluable trips to Oxford, Cambridge and Durham, with whom Notre Dame has developed close links over several years.

Many visitors commented on the usefulness of the evening. “The student feedback in the presentation was invaluable,” said one visiting student.

Any prospective Notre Dame student who wishes to apply for the programme can do so using the application form on our website. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and to the Enhancing Excellence team for their hard work in organising it.

(posted 11 May 2017)