Dear Parent / Carer
As is so often the case, I am able to start this Blog with news of success from one of our teams. This time, students have won their heat of the Kielder Challenge which took place at Rother Valley Park just over a week ago. This is a long running competition, in which teams of students, some who have a disability, work together to overcome a series of physical and mental challenges. The focus is on teamwork, overcoming challenges together. It is a competition that we have long been associated with and have done extremely well in. I congratulate our most recent team for upholding this tradition and for the way in which they have reflected the values that are so important to us at Notre Dame. I must thank Ms Tazzyman who works tirelessly both to support the running of this event and to lead our team.
Meanwhile, back in school the form groups have been working hard to raise money to buy CAFOD Cows. This is supporting the work of CAFOD to buy livestock to support sustainable development in some of the poorest parts of the world. The generosity of the students along with the great fun in all the activities that they have been organising has created a great atmosphere round the school. My thanks to parents for dipping your hands into your pockets when your children let you know (probably as you head out the door) that it is a bake sale or inter-form football that day!
This time of year is very busy with transition as we have a number of events running helping to support the children who will start Y7 and Y12 next year with that change. Students and staff have been very welcoming and I hope that those who are joining our community are feeling excited and ready to do so. It certainly does not feel like a year since we were meeting with our current Y7 and Y12 students and yet they are now ‘old hands’. It was lovely to see some of our current Y7 students working with the Y6s. They were great in the way that they reassured them about the step from primary to secondary school and I really appreciate their help.
Looking ahead, we have our Summer Festival this week. It looks like we will be blessed with the weather and it will be great to see as many parents and students there as possible. We have performances from our actors, dancers, musicians and singers along with a display of art, photography and design work that is outstanding. There will be football, mountain biking and a range of games and activities including the bungee run and the bucking bronco. For those who are following the world cup, we’ll finish with a screening of the first half of the England game.
We then move into a bit of a sporting focus. On Thursday 5th July, we have our Sports Presentation Evening, which is another great night in the school year. We will be celebrating the sporting life of the school, recognising commitment, participation and success in competition. The following week, the whole school will be together for Sports Day, which is always such a wonderful day. I always leave Sports Day feeling so proud of our students, the way they give their best for their house and the way that they get behind one another.
For now, though, I will leave you with our Social Sciences department, who will give you a snapshot of what has been going on in classrooms in recent weeks. Reading through some of the things students are learning about and the big issues that they are exploring, I think that it is a great glimpse into the real breadth of knowledge and ideas that students encounter in their day to day lessons. I pray that the things they learn in the classroom and in the experiences beyond the classroom help them to more fully appreciate God’s creation and their unique place in it.
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
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