Headteacher's Blog 11.06.18

Dear Parent / Carer

Welcome to the final half term of the year. I can’t believe how quickly time is going.

I am going to focus on a couple of upcoming events in this Blog, before handing over to our Technology Department who will give you a snapshot of what students are doing with them at the moment. I do want to take a moment, however, to highlight a couple of recent events.

Last week, a large number of our Y7 students went out on a residential retreat to The Oakes, with half of them out from Monday to Wednesday and the other half from Wednesday to Friday. The feedback has been brilliant as always. This retreat helps to strengthen the sense of community amongst students and staff, with time for fun and for reflection on the goodness of God. My huge thanks to all the staff who went with the students and threw themselves into the retreat and my thanks also to all the staff who supported the organisation and covered lessons so that this could happen. One of the students, Sophie, was very keen to share a bit of her experience:

  • I went to the Oakes on Monday
  • I stayed at  the Oakes for 2 nights
  • It was good
  • Suzanne was there she pushed me on the swing and got higher than the moon
  • We sang songs together
  • We ate pizza and chips  and ham  sandwiches
  • We ate ice cream as well

Oakes 1

I also want to say a big thank you and well done to the students who represented Notre Dame in the One Sheffield Many Cultures festival on Saturday 9th June at the city centre. I was so proud to be associated with our singers and dancers and grateful too for their time, making sure we were represented at a festival with such an important message.

Now, looking ahead, first of all I want to highlight ‘Healthy Eating Week’ which we are getting involved with this week. This is a national campaign where students (along with their teachers and parents) are encouraged to set themselves challenges around some of the principles of a healthy diet and lifestyle. The spirit is one of fun and encouraging each other to eat well and be active. The challenges that students are encouraged to think about, cover five areas:

  1. Breakfast
  2. 5 a day
  3. Drink more
  4. Be active
  5. The fifth area is ‘Make a change’ and is all about setting challenges for the week to kick start a permanent change to lifestyle that will help us to stay healthy

The link below gives you access to some of the resources and messages that form tutors will be sharing with you children. It would be great if you can encourage them to think about a challenge or challenges that they want to take on.


I also want to look ahead to our Summer Festival, which features our Art Exhibition and Summer Showcase. This year’s festival is taking place on Thursday 28th June, from 5pm until 7.30pm and will take place at Notre Dame.

The Summer Festival is an annual event, organised by Friends of Notre Dame (FOND) and the main aim is to enjoy time together, celebrating the many things that are part of the life of our community. Through the festival, we also aim to raise money that helps to support extracurricular opportunities in school.

Last year, for the first time, we moved the Summer Festival to an evening and we combined it with two other annual events, the ‘Art Exhibition’ presenting the examination work of our Art, Design and Photography students and the ‘Summer Showcase’ for our actors, singers and dancers. This worked well, giving a real platform for the life of the arts within our school and the great skill and creativity of our students.

This year we will follow a similar format. We will have the examination work of our Art, Photography and Design students displayed in the Salle and in one of the Art rooms, with some catering produced by our Food Technology students.

Our actors and dancers will be putting on a series of performances in the Chapel, spread across two acts, one from 5-5.45pm and the other from 6-6.45pm. Meanwhile, in a Marquee outside the chapel, we will have performances from our percussion group, our rock band and several solo singers. This programme will run from around 5.30 to 6.15pm.

Meanwhile, there will be a range of other games, activities and opportunities for food and refreshment round the site. We will have old favourites such as the coconut shy, wet the teacher, sporting competitions, bungee run and bucking bronco. Other extra-curricular clubs and groups will be represented, such as our mountain biking club who will be riding on the track that they have built through our woodland. There will be a book stall, tombola and a place to try on & buy school uniform. There will be drinks, cakes and other refreshments in the canteen and we will also have catering vans on site from Harris Catering and The Greedy Greek.

Those of you who are football fans may have noticed that England play Belgium in the World Cup on the same evening. We will be showing the first half of the game in the Chapel following the Summer Showcase, so that students, family members and staff who want to support the festival and watch the match can do both! While the football is being shown, other activities will continue round the site through until 7.30pm for all those who are not interested in the football. We will then close down by 7.45 so that everyone can enjoy the rest of the evening and those who want to can find somewhere to watch the second half.

It would be lovely to see as many of you there as possible, so I encourage you to put the date in your diary and pop along for as much of the evening as you can. If you have a child who is performing in the Showcase or whose work is being exhibited, you will have received or will shortly receive a direct invitation. Even if your child is not directly involved in any of the activities, please do still come along to enjoy the evening with us. Please feel free to invite your friends and family to come along with you. They will be most welcome.

While the biggest way to support the event is to come along, you can also lend a hand in other ways. Mrs Wright will shortly be writing to you, asking for donations to our bookstall and tombola. We will also need people who are willing to give half an hour during the evening to help run a stall or activity, so that everyone involved in running the event can also have some time to enjoy it. We will be asking the students to lend a hand too, so please encourage your children to offer some time to help run an activity.

There is no charge to come to the festival, but we do have some costs to cover and we look to make money on top that goes to fund many of the extra-curricular and enrichment activities that will be on display. We will therefore be selling cards that entitle you to the refreshments that we are selling*, and to having a go on the activities round the site. You can buy cards (including ‘top ups’) on the night, but you can also pay for cards via WisePay and they will be waiting for you on the evening. If you don’t wish to buy a card, but are willing to make a donation, that will also be gratefully received.

* The private catering vans will be taking cash separately – the cards are for refreshments and activities organised by Notre Dame

I look forward to seeing you there.

God Bless

Mr Davies

Dates for the diary

Summer Festival including

Summer showcase and art exhibition;      Thursday 28th June 5pm at Notre Dame

INSET Day;                                                    Friday 29th June

Y6 parents’ induction evening                    Wednesday 4th July

Sports Presentation Evening                      Thursday 5th July

Last day of summer term                            Friday 20th July

Some things going on in school in the coming weeks

GCSE & A Level Exams end;                      Friday 29th June

Enrichment Days                                         Monday 9th & Tuesday 10th July

Sports Day (at the EIS)                                Friday 13th July

End of year rewards assemblies                Week beginning 16th July     


A week in the life of the Technology Department

 Monday 3rd June:

The Y10 D&T classes were all working on the mock NEA’s (practice project work) as well as preparing for their upcoming mock exams and the Y10 Food and preparation students were completing their mock 3 hour practical exam where they have to cook 3 dishes in 3 hours, that have a Mediterranean theme.  Some very tasty dishes were produced – well done guys!

We were also running revision sessions for the Y11’s and Y13’s who have their exams coming up very soon.

DT 1

Tuesday 4th June:

The Y7 technology classes all moved to their new area today and were busy starting on the different projects that they complete; Food students were making Croque Monsieur, Textile students were tie-dying the fabric for their tote bags, Electronic students were making the circuit boards for their light up Frisbees and the Resistant Material students were making the wood frames for their gumball machines.  The short fat GCSE classes in Resistant Materials and Food Preparation & Nutrition continued with the revision for their exams, however the Electronics students, who have already sat their GCSE exam, were making recycled clocks, using reclaimed materials.

Wednesday 5th June:

In the morning we had the Y9 GCSE classes which were all completing different practical work; Electronics were programming their circuit boards for the MP3 amplifiers that they’re making, the Textile students were learning how to insert zips into garments, the Resistant Material students were making wooden automatas, using the hand tools in the workshop and the Food & Nutrition students were making chicken Kiev’s, using the breast meat from whole chickens that they had all portioned themselves.

   DT 2

In the afternoon the practical work continued with the Y8 groups, who have also just moved into their new materials areas and were busy starting on their practical work, Electronic students were once again programming circuit boards, Textiles students were making the patchwork for their zipped up cases, the Resistant Material students were working with metal to make the stands for their clocks and the Food students were all making their own shortcrust pastry and using this to make cheese & onion pasties.

Thursday 6th June:

In the morning we had the two sixth form classes running; the Y13’s had their last revision session before their Product Design exam tomorrow morning, they were practicing their sketching and annotating techniques under timed conditions as well as running through some Keyword knowledge checks.  The Y12’s are busy working on their mock design project, they were all producing their working drawings ready to start cutting out the pieces of wood to begin making their projects next week. A variety of products have been designed and are being created including; portable student study desks, games console storage units, adjustable multi -purpose shelving and computer monitor stand and shelving. In the afternoon we had the Y7 lessons running again for the other half of the year, who were completing the same work as the groups on Tuesday.

Friday 7th June:

The morning started off with the Y13 exam running, good luck to all our students who are sitting the exam this year J  We then had the other half of the Y8 groups working who were completing the same lessons that ran on Wednesday.

DT 3

In the afternoon the short fat GCSE classes were running again, exam revision continues, as did clock making and the Food & Preparation students were making mini quiches (to freeze) for the buffet that we will be putting on at the Art & Technology exhibition this year.  This will be on the evening of the school Summer Fair, Thursday 28th June from 5pm, please come along and see the work that our A-Level & GCSE students have been producing for the coursework element of their qualifications and taste the wonderful buffet food made by this year’s short fat GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition class.

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