Notre Dame High School is a popular and successful Catholic co-educational Academy with a very wide catchment area drawing on all parts of the city and beyond. It has 1382 students, including 356 in the Sixth Form. The school population includes 19.94% of children from various ethnic minority groups.
The ethos of the school is Christian and we are primarily concerned with the distinctive Catholic education of students whilst respecting and welcoming children from other denominations. A major responsibility of our school is to help our students develop an understanding of their faith and to provide opportunities to foster and develop its practise. Each day begins and ends with a prayer and all students attend regular assemblies and services. A liturgical calendar is produced annually and the school community recognises and celebrates special times and holy days in the liturgical cycle. All staff employed by the Governors are asked to guarantee that they will uphold the Catholic/Christian ethos of the school and are required to sign the Catholic Education Service contract. All teachers are therefore expected to pray with students and accompany them to acts of worship held in the school. Please click here to find out more about the School Ethos.
Staff are committed, experienced and friendly. There are over 152 members of staff, of which 85 are teachers. The Senior Management Team consists of the Headteacher, one Senior Deputy Headteacher, two Deputy Headteachers, the Bursar and five Assistant Headteachers. The Pastoral Team is led by a Deputy Headteacher and includes Heads of Year, Pastoral Administrators, a Pastoral Assistant and the Form Tutors, who are at the centre of the pastoral care system. The Bursar oversees all aspects of finance, contracts, administration, catering and premises. The Lay Chaplaincy Co-ordinator provides counselling support to students and staff. An Assistant Headteacher is responsible for the Sixth Form. Staff structures have been developed to meet the academic demands of the curriculum and the self-governing nature of the school. Teachers work in subject based teams. Teaching and learning is supported by a reprographics room and technical and administrative staff. The school is committed to open, participative and supportive management. There is a strong commitment to continuous improvement and a performance management process involving every member of staff. This has been recognised as outstanding.
The school operates a five one-hour period day. The school day begins at 9am and finishes at 3.35pm. There is a twenty-minute form period at lunchtime that includes registration.
Some Valued Traditions
The school is widely recognised for the quality and range of extra-curricular activies. The school has a strong musical tradition. Each year there is an advent service and concert. The school has a number of instrumental ensembles including orchestra, wind band and stage band.
The sports tradition has grown with some of our students reaching final national trials with the Football Association and national championship levels in badminton and rounders. Staff are encouraged to lead extra-curricular sporting activities. The school also runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. The school has achieved recognition because of a participative approach to prayer and worship which is proving to be pivotal in the faith development of students and staff. A significant aspect of this is the special relationship between the school and the Catholic Chaplaincy of Sheffield University.
The school has a ‘Friends of Notre Dame Association’ whose members offer their expertise in many ways, including the organisation of a range of social and fund-raising events. They have also been involved in the development of interview techniques with students seeking employment or entry to higher education.
Recent Curriculum Developments
Key Stages 3 and 4
Notre Dame has always endeavoured to ensure access for all our students to a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum and encourages and expects all students to achieve their full potential.
In Years 7 & 8 all students follow courses in:
- Religious Education
- Personal and Social Education
- Modern Foreign Languages
- Balanced Science
- Physical Education
For students experiencing difficulties in literacy, there are extra English lessons instead of modern foreign languages.
Cross-curricular themes, skills and dimensions, including Information and Communication Technology, are integrated into the subjects of the curriculum.
Key Stage 4
Students have an element of choice within the curriculum determined nationally and can develop their own strengths and interests. Full courses in English, English Literature, Mathematics, Dual Award Sciences, Technology, Religious Education and a Foreign Language are followed by most students. All courses lead to public examinations and the results achieved are well above both the local and national averages.
The Sixth Form is based in the beautiful Oakbrook House. Our Post 16 students have access to a wide range of courses, which cater for a wide ability range. A large number of courses at Advanced level are offered, as is the opportunity to follow GCSE Mathematics and/or English. Numbers of students in the Sixth Form are rising quickly. All Sixth Form Students follow a course in Religious Education. Please click here to find out more about Sixth Form.
Over the last few years, the academic achievements of students have improved dramatically. The proportion of students gaining 5 A*-C EM at GCSE has increased year on year to over 80%, and 5 A*-G is over 99%.