Why Notre Dame

At Notre Dame we aim to offer a holistic and personalised education, in a secure and stimulating environment where pupils are encouraged and challenged to fulfil their potential: academically, socially, creatively and in sports, music and drama, while gaining an appreciation of the global world in which they live. Our students are encouraged to learn to respect each other as valued individuals and to develop their own confidence, independence and self-esteem. Our pupils have a responsible and independent attitude towards work and their roles in society and contribute willingly to the wider community.

Our students have extremely positive attitudes to work, and our quality assurance measures indicate that teaching and learning is of a high quality across the school. There is careful attention to individual progress by subject teachers, middle and senior leaders and the headteachers. In order for students to learn they need to be happy and engaged. Notre Dame’s pastoral system, which was graded ‘excellent’ by the ISI inspectorate, ensures that our pupils are confident and happy students, who are therefore ready and able to learn effectively and achieve highly. Our pastoral care ethos is deeply embedded in the way we work in lessons, on duty at break or lunch, on the sports field and in extracurricular and social activities. Students are nurtured and accompanied in their learning and their social development. School council, peer mentors and big sisters give formal opportunities for students to support each other, along with the encouragement of positive relationships fostered in form groups, PSHE and assemblies. Students at Notre Dame are encouraged to consider spiritual and moral issues with tolerance and respect. Students gain an understanding of global social and environmental issues through the curriculum, through the work of the Chaplaincy team, in assemblies and in PSHE.

Learning should be engaging and fun as well as challenging and stretching. That’s why at Notre Dame we have invested in our dedicated, caring, highly-qualified and experienced staff. Staff training and appraisal is designed to encourage the highest quality teaching. Active and engaging lessons motivate the students to work hard and make the learning memorable. Small class sizes and the drop-in help sessions means lots of teacher input and guidance is available. Public examination results are consistently high. To progress and achieve, students need challenge and they need teachers who have the highest aspirations for them. All students at Notre Dame are provided with the challenge and support needed to ensure academic progress, with detailed individual tracking of attainment designed to enable personalised measurement of progress.

Notre Dame is a vibrant and eventful place, with a huge range of opportunities for our pupils, in drama, music, sports, trips and expeditions, master-classes and lectures, while at the same time focussing on rigorous academic challenge.