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Notre Dame Results Day 2019 Success!

Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College are proud to announce our students have once again achieved exceptional results.

We are celebrating 828 A Level high grades (A*-B) achieved; 75% of students achieved high grades (D*-D) in BTEC courses; 142 A* grades achieved and a phenomenal one out of every two students achieved a high grade at A Level.

Some students gained exceptional results, including 43 students achieved three A*-A, 204 students gained 3 or 4 high grades at A level and 65 students gained a high grade in A Level Chemistry.

The success keeps on coming! Each year a number of the College’s students go on to secure places at the most highly sought after and competitive universities in the country, including Oxford and Cambridge. We are pleased to announce 100% of our Oxbridge applicants achieved their place. This can be put down, in part, to the College’s Enhancing Excellence programme. Notre Dame students are at the front of the queue when it comes to receiving the best advice, guidance, support and preparation when applying to Oxbridge and also to other Russell Group universities.

Grace Scanlon (pictured) gained her place studying English at the University of Oxford after achieving three As. Justin Augustine (pictured) is also celebrating gaining a place at the University of Manchester to study Computer Science after achieving an A* and three As.

Notre Dame Principal, Justine Barlow said: “I am absolutely delighted by the results students achieved this year. This is clearly a result of hard work, determination and high aspirations from not only our students, but from parents and our dedicated staff who always go above and beyond to support our students. Congratulations to all and we wish you all the best in your bright futures”.

(posted 15 August 2019)

Ex-Student A Right Swine!

Ex-Notre Dame Student Tom Lewis in recent BBC production Gentleman Jack.

Here at Notre Dame, we were very pleased to see college alumnus Tom Lewis gracing our TV screens in the recent HBO/BBC production, Gentleman Jack. Tom, who left Notre Dame in 2010, played beleaguered son Thomas Sowden in the series. His character’s storyline led to a dramatic incident in a pigpen. If you haven’t seen it yet, the entire series is still available on BBC iPlayer, but only until August 6.

Tom Lewis attended Ralph Thoresby School before he came to Notre Dame. Here, he took A levels in English Language & Literature, History, Theatre Studies, and also attained an AS in Classics. Staff who knew him at the time weren’t surprised by his success, stating, ‘You could tell he had talent. We always thought he’d go far.’

With a second series announced, it won’t be long before Tom is back, filming at Shibden Hall, near Halifax. We wish him the very best of luck with this, and can’t wait to see what he does next.

(posted 31 July 2019)

Making an Art of the Exhibition

Notre Dame alumna Georgia Stones with her piece at the
SFCA National Arts Exhibition.

One of Notre Dame’s alumna had her work on display at this year’s SFCA National Arts Exhibition, entitled Cloud Land. Based in Alexandra Palace, London, the aim of the exhibition was ‘to advance arts in education, to recognise and celebrate excellence in the arts, and to stimulate our thinking.’ (Read more at

Among the pieces chosen for the exhibition was the work pictured, by ex-student Georgia Stones. Georgia went to Temple Moor High School before she studied A level Art, Biology and Psychology at Notre Dame. After leaving us in the summer of 2018, she worked towards a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Leeds Arts University. From September 2019, she will be studying for a BA in Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University, where we hope she will continue to make an exhibition of herself!

(posted 29 July 2019)

What Matty Did Next: Olympic Hopes for Medal-Winning Ex-Student

Matty Lee (right) and Tom Daly proudly display their bronze medals at the FINA World Championships.

Notre Dame alumnus Matty Lee has another sporting medal to add to his collection.

Having teamed up with world champion diver Tom Daly (yes, that Tom Daly) around a year ago, Matty recently competed with him in the FINA World Championships. On July 15 2019, the pair won a bronze medal in the men’s 10m synchronised diving event. This achievement secured them a place in the same event for Team GB at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

This news was especially welcome to the Notre Dame community, as Matty studied with us from 2014 to 2016. In additional to training for – and competing in – various European and world diving championships, Matty completed a BTEC in sport. It was a surprise to no one when he passed with flying colours.

We always knew Matty was destined for great things. In 2015, he competed in the FINA World Championships, won the 10m platform gold medal at the inaugural European Games, and was awarded the Young Sportsman of the Year trophy.

We can only imagine what he’ll go on to achieve, and would like to wish him the very best of luck from all of us here at college.

To read more, and watch Matty and Tom diving in each round of the FINA World Championships, visit the BBC news website:

You can also follow Matty on Twitter:

Matty Lee demonstrating his strength and balance while still a student at Notre Dame.
Matty Lee and Tom Daly mid-dive at the FINA World Championships.
(posted 24 July 2019)

Art Students Offer Community Enrichment

As part of this year’s Enrichment Week, students from the Art Department visited Inkwell Arts in Chapel Allerton to deliver a sculptural book folding session.

On Tuesday 2 July, the Notre Dame students headed to Inkwell, where the café manager, Mr Mark Cruise, talked to them about how the project was set up. Inkwell Arts is ‘a safe, creative and accessible space where passion and skills entwine, challenging the stigma of mental health and celebrating the diversity of its participants. It seeks to engage, stimulate and absorb all abilities through creative activity.’ You can read more about Inkwell on their website:

Mr Cruise also told students about the courses that Inkwell offers, as well as giving an insight into his own career path and more general information about careers in the arts. The students then led their workshop with members of the public, supporting them to create fabulous work like the piece of art pictured.

Our Art Technician Ms Erin Hyde said, ‘The students did an outstanding job of both preparing for the session and running it. The art staff and I were very impressed!’

(posted 22 July 2019)

Notre Dame Leads the Way with Social Mobility

College Principal Mrs Justine Barlow with our award.

On Thursday 13 June, Notre Dame’s Principal proudly received a social mobility award on behalf of the College.

This second place award was presented by the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) in recognition of the work we do. Our results and destinations data make us one of the highest achieving colleges in the country for disadvantaged students. As an inner city college, we are a diverse community. 42% of our students come from widening participation postcodes or are in receipt of financial support from college. Over half come from minority ethnic backgrounds. 15% have special educational needs or disabilities.

We achieve such excellent results using a variety of college-wide activities, including: regular staff training to address barriers to social mobility; close tracking of our students’ progress; an average of three visiting speakers per week from different employers and universities; a huge variety of extra-curricular activities including compulsory work experience for students on vocational courses; active promotion of university widening participation programmes; and a plethora of work-place visits, university tasters, and employer engagement opportunities offered through exclusive partnerships with high-profile companies like Addleshaw Goddard solicitors.

The impact of all these activities is clear: our A Level results for disadvantaged students are third nationally for any college with comparable numbers, and we have the highest progress scores in the country for disadvantaged students studying applied subjects. In terms of destinations, in September 2018 82% of our leavers progressed to higher education, compared to 61% nationally. A quarter of those progressed to a Russell Group institution, compared to less than 10% nationally. Equally as impressive is the fact that 70% of disadvantaged students from Notre Dame progressed to university, compared to 46% nationally.

It’s no surprise our Principal, Mrs Justine Barlow, looks so pleased in the photograph above. We really are doing our best by all our students. As Mrs Barlow says, ‘Social mobility is at the heart of what we do at Notre Dame. We aim to educate the whole person and achieve each individual’s full potential, while recognising the uniqueness of each student.’  

(posted 25 June 2019)

Stairway to Heaven-ly Knitting

Thanks to the community spirit of our students and staff, Notre Dame’s chapel steps received a woolly makeover in June 2019.

College Counsellor Miss Charlotte Anderton runs a weekly knitting and crochet group for students. One of them, Scarlet Gale, asked to use their knitting skills to brighten up the steps leading to our PTE classrooms and the College chapel. Scarlet and their peers worked on a rainbow design that was bright and welcoming. Scarlet knitted all the rainbow bunting and their mother knitted the Notre Dame banner.

Miss Anderton said, ‘It took an entire lunchtime to assemble the bunting. The aim was for it to look like a rainbow following the route up the stairs to the chapel. Scarlet and I have had so many comments and messages about how lovely it looks.’

Scarlet Gale and their knitted creation.

Our thanks go to Scarlet, whose colourful contribution feels like a cheerful celebration of this core part of our college site.

(posted 24 June 2019)

Farewell to Level Two Students

Level two leavers in our chapel.

We said goodbye and good luck to our level two students on Friday 14 June. These students had enrolled on a one-year programme at Notre Dame but we’ll be seeing many of them again in September, when they begin level 3 applied courses or A levels here at college.

Thank you to all staff who made the last day for these students such a warm and celebratory experience. The students enjoyed their leavers’ assembly and engaged with their leavers’ mass in a quiet, reflective manner.

We wish them all the very best of luck, whatever they choose to do next.

(posted 21 June 2019)

Excellent by Design: Student Showcase

College Principal Mrs Justine Barlow admires the work of student Jai Mistry.
Pictured left to right are: Abhik Roy, Head of Design Mr Ian Granger, Ray Laybourn, Jai Mistry, Wilgrace Gerona, and Mrs Barlow.

A level Product Design students had the chance to showcase their work on Wednesday 22 May. The annual exhibition for this department took place from 5 to 6:30pm so that parents, staff and students would all have the chance to view the project pieces on display. Highlights included:

  • The chessboard and pieces created by Charlotte Jones using epoxy resin casting and low temperature pewter casting.
  • Ash Allen’s oak storage box for Dungeons and Dragons game pieces. The design includes sliding drawers and a resin lid for dice rolling with embedded timber sections.
  • Jai Mistry’s flat-pack record player and vinyl storage unit.

Mr Ian Granger, Head of Product Design, said, ‘We are extremely proud of the dedication and enthusiasm shown by students this year as they adapted to the new specification criteria. They have produced some outstanding prototypes with many moving features.’

Notre Dame’s Principal Mrs Justine Barlow also attended the event, and was very impressed with the quality and professionalism of the work produced.

Ash Allen’s oak storage box.
Chessboard and pieces created by Charlotte Jones.
(posted 11 June 2019)

Parting Sweet Sorrow for Upper Sixth Leavers

The Class of 2019 prepares to say goodbye.

Our upper sixth students left on a high note on Friday 24 May.

The leavers’ liturgy was full to bursting with music and prayer provided by our students. The highly talented Macy Loftus, Laureen Missidimbazi and Tamara Gaskin Henry opened the liturgy with a worship song, accompanied by Omaatla Phiri on the piano. Led by Joe Robinson, a small procession of students brought the cross, candles and flowers to the front of the hall. Hannah Boyle, Louis Hickling (and College Principal Mrs Justine Barlow) read passages from scripture beautifully.

The students also offered prayers of thanksgiving for all the experiences they had been blessed with at Notre Dame. These were illustrated by the various artefacts – such as sports and Lourdes shirts, books, flags and a giant globe – that made up the backdrop to the main stage. Both our Lay Chaplain Mr Andrew Sullivan and our College Principal spoke eloquently about the importance of being a community rooted in Catholic values.

Towards the end of the liturgy, all students had the opportunity to come forward and receive a blessing, while the staff choir gave a beautiful rendition of The Lord is my Shepherd. To close, Simran Athwal wowed her peers with her performance of Song of Thanksgiving.

After a short break, our students returned to the hall for their leavers’ assembly, to celebrate their time at Notre Dame. We congratulated the Student Executive team for all their efforts, and noted that they had raised a stunning £4945.63 over the past year. Each Head of Faculty awarded High Flyer and Rising Star Awards to students from their subject areas. We also recognised student resilience with three awards, and chose eight Notre Dame Legends, all nominated by staff (award winners are listed below).

Then came a musical interlude: students Simran Athwal and Christina Xaviour sang Stand by Me, and everyone joined in, creating one of the most heartfelt moments of the assembly. Students used their mobile phones as torches, swaying in unison, each point of light adding to the sense of community and belonging.

After a whistle-stop tour of the past year’s events, we moved on to the Student Awards, voted for by the students themselves. King and Queen of Notre Dame were Feras Abulula and Aimee Denton, with Aimee also receiving the award for Notre Dame’s most inspirational student. Before the assembly ended, the audience chose the best fancy dress outfit: Notre Dame’s two student spidermen.

Refreshments in the sunshine of St Joseph’s Court provided an excellent photo opportunity, as you can see from the pictures below. An email has been sent to all upper sixth students containing a link to photographs taken on the day.

Higher Flyer Award Winners for academic excellence

Omar Valeinis

Sean Carey

Yasmine Bridge

Macie Buchanan

Rising Star Award Winners for most improved student

Kerys Hall

Finn Rea

Thomas Chappell

Mine Cothay

Student Resilience Award Winners

Shakra Ahmed

Rene Rowe

Nelima Begum

International Student Award Winners

Miranda Chen

Anastassiya Bukova

Notre Dame Legends

Amie Jobarteh

Hannah Boyle

Janos Magyar

Louis Hickling

Emily Anslow

Sergejs Mezeckis

Emma Watson

Jo Parker

Student Awards

Most Likely to Become Famous: Christine Xaviour and Joseph Robinson

Couple Most Likely to Get Married: Matthew Peyton and Luke Dickinson

Snapchat Superstar: Seb Trujillo

Baby Face Award: Craig Baker

Award for Best-Dressed Students: Kasia Klekot and Sajib Miah

Ray of Sunshine Award: Khoirotun Daud

Most Inspirational Student Award: Aimee Denton

King and Queen of Notre Dame 2019: Feras Abulula and Aimee Denton

Students singing along to Stand by Me.
The nominees for best fancy dress.
Some of our talented singers.
The king and queen of Notre Dame.
(posted 3 June 2019)