Past and present staff, students and governors from Notre Dame celebrated its 25th anniversary on December the 8th, with a Mass at Leeds Cathedral followed by a celebration dinner at the college itself.
The Sixth Form College site has been providing Catholic education in Leeds since 1898, when the Sisters of Notre Dame came to Leeds and to the parish school of St Anne’s, which is situated across the road from the current site. In 1904, the main building of what is now the Sixth Form College was built and opened as Notre Dame Collegiate School for Girls. The school became the Notre Dame High School in 1978, a catholic comprehensive school for pupils aged 13 to 18, with around 650 girls.
In 1989, Catholic education in Leeds was restructured. The site became the sixth form college for the Leeds Catholic high schools, and also became co-educational for the first time. It now educates almost 1,900 16 to 19 year olds from a wide variety of schools across Leeds, Wakefield, Bradford and beyond, making it ten times larger than the average Leeds sixth form, and provides qualifications in over 30 subjects. Previous notable students include BBC sports presenter Gabby Logan, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University Monica Grady and Alicia Blagg, diving bronze medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Over 300 staff, governors and students celebrated the occasion, including three past Principals of the college, and several students also provided entertainment at the event. Terry Coen, Principal of Notre Dame since 2012 said, “December the 8th was a special day for a special college. It was wonderful that so many current and past students, staff and governors could join us to give thanks for the last twenty-five years and to celebrate our community – a community which we hope will continue to provide excellent education for the young people of Leeds and surrounding areas for many years to come.”