Dear Parent/ Carer
Just over a week ago we had our alumni morning at Notre Dame. There was an excellent turnout, with past students who attended Notre Dame over a 50 year period between them.
As always, there was a wonderful atmosphere and it was great to hear all the anecdotes from the school over the years. During the morning one of our alumni, Marie Garside, spoke to us all about her time at Notre Dame and how it has shaped her life. In 2014, Marie was awarded a CBE for services to education following a 40 year career most notably as head teacher of a nationally acclaimed school in Salford. Marie’s talk was deeply inspiring as she talked about the real sense that Christ is present and was present through the love within the school and how that has shaped the person she is. During the rest of the morning, hearing about the extraordinary things that former students of the school have accomplished, whether they have been recognised publicly or not, was really wonderful.
For me, it was certainly a great moment of reflection and recommitment to the purpose and values of this school. I share it with you as I hope too that our young people will recognise that they are part of a community that has a rich tradition in helping young people to go on and find their vocation, to be fully who God created them to be and to make a positive difference to the lives of those around them. If this gives them some confidence at moments when their future might feel uncertain, then I will be glad.
School life continues as normal, with students in all year groups working hard. As noted in the last Blog, I am always particularly aware of milestones for students at this time of year. We have been out meeting the Y6 students who will join us next year. They have just finished their SATs and have their eyes towards a great end to their time at primary school and the new beginning with us. Meanwhile, our Y7 students are now moving into the final term of their first year and look and feel like established members of our community. Y8 students will soon be getting confirmation of their options courses for next year while our Y9 & Y10 students are currently sitting GCSE exams.
Our Y12 students too are sitting some external exams and looking toward Y13 and choices about their next step in education. Of course, our Y11 had their last week of ‘normal’ school last week and are now well in to exams.
I will end with Y13, who have their leavers’ mass and assembly next week, before embarking on their final exams after the half term break. Some of them have been with us for 7 years, others for less time, but they have all added something unique to this school. I wish each of them all the very best for the future and I would ask you to keep them all in your prayers along with all our students as they tackle different milestone moments in their lives.