Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending our annual Shoah service, when we follow the pattern of the service held each year in Tel Aviv and Berlin on Holocaust Memorial Day.
As Mr Scriven explained during the service, the word ‘Shoah’ is a Hebrew word which refers to a ‘destroying storm’ and there are those who feel this to be a more appropriate term than holocaust to describe what happened during the Second World War.
We hold this service annually with Y9 students as part of our response to holocaust remembrance day in school. During the service, we hear the stories of those who survived as well as those who didn’t. While it is clearly sombre and challenging, there is also a message of hope in the belief of so many whose lives were lost that God is good and that ultimately good will overcome evil.
My thanks to Mr Scriven & Mr McShane for leading us in such a powerful service, along with all the students and members of staff who played their part with such dignity. I was, as so often, proud to be associated with the students and staff of this school.
Last week I also had the joy of attending to one of my favourite jobs, when I welcomed students from Y7 and Y8 for juice and biscuits during their ‘praise panel’. Each monitoring period, Mr Maydom and Mr Lacey select some students who have achieved in some particularly notable way from one monitoring period to the next, so that I can have the chance to congratulate them and thank them personally on behalf of the school community. While there are so many success stories great and small going on all the time, it is great to be able to take time to recognise as many of them as we can.
Beyond the day to day work in the classroom, we have also seen some success stories from extracurricular activity over the last couple of weeks. On Saturday 4th February, we had a number of students running in the South Yorkshire Cross Country Championships, representing Sheffield. Isabel Causer won the Y7 girls race and three other students, Zena Hartley, James Hartley and Amelia Lancaster, qualified for the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships. Mrs Kay is rightly proud of these students and all who competed.
Also over the weekend we had a team of Y7 students taking part in an indoor rowing competition. My thanks and congratulations go to Nye Roberts, Seamus Grant, Liam Siggs and Steven Pritchett as well as to Ms Tazzyman for leading the team.
Also, last week, a team of students from Years 7, 8 & 9 took part in a Dance Competition in Halifax, having joined our new dance club. Miss Wildes was very proud of their dedication and how well they performed, particularly based on practices of just 40 mins per week. Once again, I want to thank these students (named below) and Ms Wildes.
Jessica Mac-Amoo Musah
While noting some of the excellent involvement with a range of extra-curricular opportunities, it is a good point for me to highlight the work of FOND (Friends of Notre Dame). FOND organise events which aim to help build community and raise money which goes to support the extra-curricular opportunities at Notre Dame. Over the years they have helped to pay for sports kits, music equipment and kit for DofE as well as helping to reduce the cost of activities more generally for students.
Just as importantly, events such as the Spring Ball and the Summer Festival create opportunities for us to come together as a wider school community and enjoy time together.
You will shortly be receiving an email outlining some of the ways you can support this work, from helping to organise events, using contacts to get hold of great prizes for competitions through to joining our 200 club. We understand the many different pressures and demands on different peoples’ lives, but if you can support this work in some way, we would be very grateful.
Please note that the deadline for applying for access arrangements in exams is 21st February. This is JCQ’s deadline and the school is not able to change it.