Our Mission and Ethos

Our mission inspired by the Christian tradition is to be a community based on faith, hope and love; developing each individual intellectually, emotionally and spiritually to achieve their full potential. 

To achieve this we will:

• Provide a welcoming, supportive community where everyone is valued. 

• Provide a high quality, meaningful education which encourages the development of the whole person, inspired by the Notre Dame tradition. 

• Promote a caring environment, rooted in the virtues of service, kindness, gratitude and respect. 

• Work together for the benefit of each person as well as the wider community. 

• Recognise, celebrate and treasure, without exception, the unique gifts and dignity of each person, ensuring equality and fairness for all, as found in the teaching and example of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College is committed to equality of opportunity. We recognise the value of diversity within the College, and that people with different backgrounds, attitudes and experiences bring fresh ideas and perceptions to the College and enrich all our lives. The College will treat all individuals with respect and dignity, and seek to provide a positive environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation. 

The Catholic Life and Mission of Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College

Our Roots

St Julie Billiart was born in Cuvilly in 1751. Her family were smallholders, who owned a small shop. Julie, like her siblings, had to supplement the family income by helping her parents and sometimes working in the fields.

At 23 she became paralysed after suffering from shock when someone shot a fun into her house. Despite her condition she helped to teach young girls from her bedside. As a person of faith she was a target for revolutionary mobs so had to go into hiding. There she met Francoise Blin de Bourdon, an aristocrat, who was to become her life-long friend and a co-foundress of the order of sisters, which was to become the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

On February 2nd 1804, they began their work with the official founding of the order. St Julie saw education for everyone as a basic human right, and teaching as the "greatest work on earth". Her vision would expand far beyond its roots in Belgium and France.

The Sisters of Notre Dame first came to England in 1844, 40 years after the establishment of the order. In August 1898 they arrived in Leeds to take charge of the nearby schools and to help train teachers.
They arrived at Leeds Rail Station with no one to meet them and found a horse drawn cab to take them to St Mark's Avenue. By knocking on the doors of houses they eventually found the one that was theirs but had no way of getting in. The cabby, at the request of the Sister superior, used his wooden leg to break down the door.

Despite this inauspicious beginning, the sisters were ready to open the schools within a month. October 12th 1905 saw the formal opening of the newly built Notre Dame Collegiate School. IN 1929 the newly built chapel was officially opened, dedicated to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady of the Angels. The stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke were completed in 1930. Each window represents part of the story of Our Lady.
In 1905, there were 7 teachers and 75 students. Over time the school progressed from a collegiate school, to a grammar and then a comprehensive. IN the reorganisation of Catholic education in Leeds in 1989, it became Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College.

Although many of the buildings have changed, some of the tradition names have remained, for example the Trinity Building and Cuvilly Building. All the other buildings are named after saints or role models to exemplify the key virtues we aspire to. This is because part of the story of Notre Dame - from its beginning - is the vision that education is part of a bigger picture.

To teach the students what they need for life, we not only offer subjects for study but also a rounded education for the whole person. This supports all our students to be the best they can be, to be role models and servant leaders in their communities - to be the saints of the 21st century. This siters came to Leeds in Faith, Hope and Love, and we continue their work.

Faith, Hope and Love

St Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians 1:13, ‘"And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love’", encapsulates the vision for our community. At the crucial stage of development of our students from child to adult we look to these key virtues to guide our actions as a community. These virtues build character and inspire in our young people qualities needed to live life to the full. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life and have life to the full. ” (John 10:10)




Faith - to encourage optimism. "having faith does not mean having no difficulties but having the strength to face them and knowing we are not alone." - Pope Francis

Supporting Exploration and discernment in out students as they develop their autonomy in matters of spirituality and personal belief in a diverse multi-cultural inner city college.

To recognise, celebrate and treasure, without exception, the unique gifts and dignity of each person, ensuring equality and fairness for all.
Hope - to help us realise our students' potential not only as part of an educational community but, more importantly, as a community of human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Everyone is valued as a child of God and is helped to mature to become "a human being fully alive." - St Irenaeus

A changing world requires an act of hope becomes hope is always a source of new courage, for "the one who has hope lives differently." - Pope Benedict XVI

To provide a welcoming, supportive community where everyone is valued.
Love - "It is not about how much love you put into it." - St Teresa of Kolkata

For "Education is not and must never be considered as purely utilitarian. It is about forming the human person, equipping him or her to live life to the full." - Pope Benedict XVI, address to religious teachers on his visit to Twickenham, UK, 2010

To promote a caring environment. rooted in the virtues of service, kindness, gratitude, and respect.
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