We got a fascinating glimpse into Notre Dame’s past recently. Following a request from an ex-student for photos of the college in the 1940’s, we discovered the images below.
1) The main college entrance.
Our gates may be new but our welcome is the same. St Julie Billiart, founder of the sisters who established Notre Dame, said, “Education is primarily a work of faith, hope and love. Faith because everything we do is important. Hope, which is always a source of new courage in order not to lose heart in the face of sufferings and problems. Love, as we work to help those around us.”
2) Our charitable students.
In 1944 Notre Dame was a girls’ school. As part of their voluntary war work, some of our students visited Cragwood, a country house near the River Aire, to help lift potatoes.
In the lead up to Christmas last year, our staff and students generously donated food and household items. Each box of practical presents was then passed on to Leeds Women’s Aid (LWA), an independent charity providing services to women and children.
3) Our staff.
On the left are the Sisters of the Notre Dame community. During the 1940’s, the school’s headteacher was Sister Gonzaga, who was renowned for being short in stature but not in presence.
Now we have a much larger and more diverse staff, but the same belief in educating the whole person.
4) St Joseph’s Court.
5) Our principal.
Mrs Justine Barlow is our first female principal since 1989. Although she’s leading us almost 80 years after Sr Gonzaga was headteacher, they’ve each been inspired by the same set of core virtues, which are at the heart of our college and our ethos.