Headteacher's Blog 12.11.2018

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Head Teacher’s Blog – 12th November 2018

As we move into November, our focus in school turns to remembrance. We mark Remembrance Day on 11th November and this year of course, that is particularly special as we reach the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The History Department, working with other colleagues in school, have developed a programme of activities to mark this special anniversary and Mrs Burrows, joint Head of History, has written a few words to explain what is happening which I have included below:

This year marks the centenary of the end of WW1 and the History Department are hosting a Remembrance Month. With this being such a significant anniversary we wanted to enable our students to commemorate those who were affected by WW1and involve all of our Notre Dame community. To do this, the History Department - alongside other members of staff - have created a program of events with activities every lunch time throughout November that are open to staff and students which allow everyone to take an active part in Remembrance.

This week students will be able to create a Postcard for Peace to mirror the exhibition held at the Thiepval WW1 memorial to remember those who were lost in the Battle of the Somme. They will also be able to make poppies with Mr Quinn in DT and take part in remembrance based activities with Mrs Otieno in RE. The debating club, run by Mr O’Farrell, will be taking the First World War as a theme for the month. We are also providing support to those wanting to research family members and find out about their role in WW1 – we felt this was important as lots of our students have family connections to WW1. Every year on the Battlefields Trip with Year 11, where we visit the WW1 battlefields of Belgium and France, we have students asking about family members who fought and died in WW1 and we try and visit as many of their resting places as possible. Giving our students this time to research may help them to locate family members, find out more about them and even lead to them visiting their resting place in the future.

We feel very privileged to be able to offer our students so many ways in which to participate in Remembrance and, with your encouragement, we hope to help them to learn a little more about the effects of WW1.

My thanks go to all members of the History department and other members of staff who are contributing to this effort. I would encourage all our students to get involved in at least one part of the programme at this significant point in history. I have included a copy of the programme of remembrance events along with the normal ‘dates for your diary’ at the end of the Blog.

November is also the month when we celebrate the feast of All Saints and mark All Souls day. For this reason along with our remembrance of those who have died as a result of conflict, we also make space and time to remember and pray for all those family and friends who have died. This will be a feature of prayer time and assemblies during the month. On Friday 9th November, we also celebrated our remembrance mass. It was, as always, a really powerful occasion and an important part of the way we journey together as a Catholic community. My thanks to all those students, parents and members of staff who attended and contributed to the liturgy.

God Bless

Mr Davies

 

 

poppy web

Remembrance Month

What do you want to take part in?

Everyone welcome! Every day from 12.40-1.10pm

Day

Activity

Staff

Location

Monday 5th November

Postcards for Peace

MR

H4

Tuesday 6th November

A Chance to Remember

Postcards for Peace

RO

EB

108

H4

Weds 7th November

Remembrance Poppies

Debate Club – WW1 themed

RQ

POF

TD1

003

Thursday 8th November

Remembrance Poppies

RQ

TD1

Friday 9th November

Remembrance Poppies

RQ

TD1

 

Day

Activity

Staff

Location

Monday 12th November

Postcards for Peace

ES

H3

Tuesday 13th November

A Chance to Remember

RO

108

Weds 14th November

Debate Club – WW1 themed

POF

003

Thursday 15th November

Postcards for Peace

EB

H4

Friday 16th November

Find your family in WW1

SS

H4

 

Day

Activity

Staff

Location

Monday 19th November

WW1 Acorns

MD

H4

Tuesday 20th November

A Chance to Remember

RO

108

Weds 21st November

Debate Club – WW1 themed

POF

003

Thursday 22nd November

Find your family in WW1

MS

H2

Friday 23rd November

Find your family in WW1

MR

H1

 

Day

Activity

Staff

Location

Monday 26th November

WW1 Acorns

MD

H4

Tuesday 27th November

A Chance to Remember

RO

108

Weds 28th November

Debate Club – WW1 themed

POF

003

Thursday 29th November

Find your family in WW1

EB

H4

Friday 30th November

Find your family in WW1

SS

H4

 

Dates for your diary

  • Y7 Parents’ Evening; Tuesday 13th November 5pm-7.30pm
  • 6th Form Open Morning*; Saturday 17th November 10am-midday
  • Y12 Parents’ Evening; Thursday 22nd November 5pm-7.30pm
  • GCSE Prize Night; Tuesday 4th December 7pm
  • School production “Hairspray” Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th December
  • Evening Advent Service; Tuesday 18th December 7pm
  • A Level Prize Night; Thursday 20th December 7pm

*The 6th form open morning is a great opportunity to come and find out what 6th form study is like at Notre Dame. While our Y11 students know the school well, there is a lot still to find out about A level study and the differences between life as a Y11 and life in 6th form. A Level teachers, members of the 6th form team and current 6th form students will be available around the site to answer all your questions. You will also have the chance to see our recently refurbished common room which we have expanded in response to the increasing number of students choosing to study at our 6th form. For more information about the open morning, please follow the link below. I look forward to seeing you there.

https://www.notredame-high.co.uk/index.php/sixth-form

 

Some events happening with students during school time over the coming weeks

  • Form group services On-going through the year
  • Marking Remembrance Day Events throughout November (see above)
  • Begin fundraising focus for Advent Monday 19th November

 

A Word from the Biology Department

bio web

KS3

What a great start Y7 have made in biology at Notre Dame with the Cells and Reproduction module. Students have created some fantastic homework by making model cells including posters, photos of household objects made into cells and cakes! In the reproduction topic they have enjoyed dissecting flowers.

Y8s have returned full of enthusiasm and have been keen to study topics including staying alive where we have looked at the immune system and made agar plates of bacteria and worked on the variation topic looking into our characteristics and genetic engineering.

Keep up the amazing enthusiasm for the rest of the year.

KS4

Our GCSE students are working hard - Y9 students have started their biology GCSE using microscopes to look at cells and carried out practical’s to find out how substances get in and out of cells. Y10 students are currently looking at the immune system and Y11 students are finishing the GCSE course studying variation and finally ecology. We look forward to welcoming many Y11 students at the open morning on Saturday 17th November.

Y12/13

We are so very pleased with the way our Y12 students have settled in and started on their studies in A level biology. They have been studying biological molecules and cells in Y12 – completing a required practical on mitosis (cell division) whilst Y13 students are currently studying the nervous system and how muscles work. We are again looking forward to taking the Y12 students to Cranedale Field Centre in North Yorkshire next summer to complete lots of ecology work. We very much appreciate the help of our Y12/13 students who have volunteered to give up their Saturday morning to help out at the 6th form open morning.

Extra-curricular

An essential feature of the science department is caring for our wildlife and environment, both within our school and global community. Wildlife Club helps maintain Notre Dame’s eco-school status by completing events such as The Big Light Switch Off and maintaining the schools battery, paper and glass recycling points. If you would like to contribute your used batteries, please ask your child to drop them at the collection point, in the ECL.

Wildlife Club also appreciates and helps nature on the schools grounds. Over the last term the club has inspected insects, recycled pumpkins, created hedgehog houses and created natural tie-dye from handpicked berries and leaves. This term, Wildlife Club are creating bird cakes, wreaths and eco bricks from non-recyclable plastics. The eco-bricks will be used to create ramps on school grounds for the mountain biking club.

 

Tie-Dye produced from turmeric and leaves:

tie dye web

 

Hedgehog house produced by the wildlife club:

hedgehog house web

 

Current wildlife club project creating eco-bricks

eco bricks web

 

Recycled pumpkin lantern used to feed birds and squirrels

pumpkin lantern web

 

Alongside Wildlife Club the biology department has also been involved in the running of a KS3 STEM club. STEM club has been set up to increase enthusiasm for STEM subjects and improved practical skills of pupils. Assisted by sixth form pupils who are studying science at A-level STEM club allows those pupils with a real passion for science and math’s to explore STEM subjects in innovative and inventive ways outside the curriculum. Over the course of last half term pupils made lighthouses, sparklers, balloon rockets, biodegradable plastic and created painting using natural household pH indicators. Key stage 4 STEM club have enjoyed dissecting lungs, hearts and fish heads to get a hands on look at anatomy.

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