Headteacher's Blog 11..07.18

crest800 600

Dear Parent / Carer

We are already at the last Blog of the year and I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. We have had a wonderful couple of weeks with some great annual community events and I have been so proud to see staff, students and parents making our community Hallmark a living reality.

The Summer Festival was a wonderful event, with so many students, members of staff and parents participating, helping out and attending the event. It felt like a real celebration of the talent of our students and of our community. In a similar way, the Sports Presentation evening continued to go from strength to strength and the students who have contributed to a great year of sport were rightly congratulated and had a wonderful night thanks to the work and support of staff and parents. Meanwhile, we have been well represented by students and staff in the diocesan youth pilgrimage to Lourdes and as always, I am so proud of our young people and thankful to the colleagues that work so hard to make the pilgrimage happen.

We also recently received a letter of thanks from the coordinators of ‘Readathon’ and ‘Read for Good’ who we were supporting through the event. Our students raised a fantastic £1790 this year, which is greatly appreciated. Not only that, but they helped to raise the profile of reading, which we know is so crucial, not only to helping children in their academic progress, but also as something that can enrich our lives and help us to be happy and well.

As I write this, we are looking forward to Sports Day, another great community day and also to the 6th form ball where we say goodbye and good luck to our Y13 students. We will wrap up the year with rewards assemblies for each year group in the final week of term.

As always at this time of year, we are saying goodbye to some members of staff. Ms Poole is looking forward to a well-earned retirement after 36 years’ service to Notre Dame as a much loved teacher of Chemistry and, for so many years, the leader of that team of staff. Mr O’Sullivan will be going on to one of the family of Diocesan High schools as he takes up the position of Head of Maths at St Mary’s in Chesterfield. He goes with our thanks and our best wishes in his new role. Mr Saleem too is going on to a new role in another school after six years of service here at Notre Dame, as a teacher of Sociology, Psychology and Health & Social Care.

Mrs Wright is moving on to a new challenge after six years of great service to our school as clerk to the governors and PA to the senior leadership team. Many of you will recognise the name of Mrs Wright as the person who does so much to coordinate FOND and Alumni events. She has not only been a highly skilled professional in her ‘day job’ she has been a great example of someone who goes above and beyond to help make this a wonderful community.

Miss Mann and Mrs Oatridge are also moving on from Notre Dame, each of them having been with us for two years. Both are moving for family reasons and we wish them every success in their futures. Both have been wonderful colleagues and teachers and have given so much to the community over the last two years.

Miss McKenzie, Miss Smith, Miss Bashforth and Mr O’Connor are all moving on, having a year, or in Mr O’Connor’s case, two years covering maternity leaves or various other periods of absence. While the roles have been temporary, I can say in every case those colleagues have thrown themselves fully into the life of the school and have made a lasting impact on so many of our students. We are very blessed that they have been part of our school community. Miss Bliss is also leaving our Science technician team after doing a wonderful job stepping in a very busy and challenging year. I know she has made a tremendous impact on her colleagues and will be very much missed.

Finally a couple of not quite farewells! Mr Hiley will be moving on from the role of LSA which he has filled with such great dedication and skill over the years. We are delighted, however, that he is not really leaving us, in that he has accepted a place to train as a teacher of technology with our SCITT next year and he will be based at Notre Dame for much of his training.

Another person who is not leaving, but who is changing role is Mr Johnson. He has decided to step down from the role of Head of Year after many years of outstanding service in that role. We are, however, delighted that he is continuing as a teacher of Biology so we do not have to say goodbye to him.

Whether we are saying goodbye, or just marking a change in role in the school, I would like to thank every one of these colleagues personally and on behalf of the children, parents and colleagues they have served and worked with. We wish each one well in the next chapter in their lives.

I have included below some key dates over the summer and into the new school year for your convenience. I have also included a copy of some information that will be relevant to any students who are receiving external exam results, for GCSEs or A Levels over the summer. You should also have received this information by email or letter.

For now, though, have a wonderful end to the school year and, for all students and other members of our community who have some holiday in the coming weeks, I pray that you have a wonderful and refreshing break.

God Bless

Mr Davies

Dates for the diary

  • A Level results day; Thursday 16th August. Members of staff will hand out results from the Salle from 7am. Mr Dransfield and other colleagues will be available for support and advice on University places.
  • GCSE results day; Thursday 23rd August.Members of staff will hand out results from the Salle from 9am. Mr Birch, Mr Dransfield and other colleagues will be available to discuss courses at Notre Dame 6th form and also applications to other post 16 providers.
  • First day of term for Y7 students only; Monday 3rd September
  • First day of term for all other students; Tuesday 4th September

Parents' information evenings;

  • Parents of Y7 & Y8 students; Wednesday 12th September
  • Parents of Y9 & Y10 students; Thursday 13th September
  • Parents of Y12 students; Tuesday 18th September
  • Parents of Y11 students; Wednesday 19th September



Summer 2018 Results Distribution

A level results will be distributed in the Salle on Thursday 16th August 2018.  A2 results will be available for collection between 7:00am and 9:00 am, and AS results will be available for collection between 9:00am and 10:00am.

GCSE results will be distributed in the Salle on Thursday 23rd August 2018.  Y11 results will be available for collection between 9:00am and 10:30am, while results for students in other year groups will be available for collection between 10:30am and 11:30am.

If your child is unable to collect their results in person on results day, they should complete the 'Collection of Results 2018 (options)' form (available on the school website), indicating which alternative method of collection they would prefer, and return it to Mr Hirst, Exams Manager. Please note, friends or relatives who are collecting results on behalf of your child will be asked to show some ID, such as a passport or photocard driving licence. Candidates who would like their results to be posted out should provide a stamped, self-addressed A4 envelope with the options form. No results will be given over the phone.

The exam boards offer a number of post results services which are available to candidates who have not achieved the results they were hoping for.  These include a clerical check, in which the exam script is checked to ensure that marks for all the sections of the paper have been added up correctly, and a review of marking, in which the script is checked to ensure that the mark scheme has been applied correctly.  Candidates will be able to discuss these options with staff on results day.  The school will also be pro-actively looking at all results and taking the following steps:


  • We will be comparing results to the expected grades based on teacher assessment and where there is a difference of two or more grades between the actual or expected, or where a whole class/group of students appear to have lower grades than expected, we will be approaching students to recommend a review of marking, for which we will need their consent.
  • We will also be looking at marks on individual papers and, again, if we see any anomalies we will approach students to recommend a review of marking, for which we will need their consent.
  • If a review of marking is carried out and we see that marks have significantly changed, we will consider whether we have concerns about the general quality of marking for that paper. We may well recommend a review of marking for other students who sat the same paper, for which again we would need their consent.

Head Teachers Blog Drama 09.07.18 1

Head Teachers Blog Drama 09.07.18 2

back to top