Headteacher’s November Blog

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Dear Parents & Carers,

November has passed by in a flash and we are now underway with our Advent activities and preparation for end of term Liturgies, it is always a busy and exciting time in school. In the next newsletter I will have much to share about the themes we are focussing on this year and how we have been putting faith in to action.

In the last communication I shared with you how we marked remembrance on All Souls Day in school, but another very important aspect of school life is marking Remembrance Day on the 11th November.

I am very grateful to the History department who again led on this. Mr Scriven led a very moving assembly for each year group, including sixth form, on the origins of Remembrance Day and its relevance to our lives today. It was lovely to be joined by one of our Y13s who performed a song related to Remembrance.

The focus this year particularly explored the contribution of forces from right across the commonwealth in the First World war, which resonated strongly with many of our students.    

Resources were also shared with years 7-11 for use in form time which covered many different aspects of Remembrance from the origins of World War 1 to the impact and consequences for all involved. It was lovely to, once again, be involved in our community approach for Remembrance Day especially as we have been able to run three trips to the battlefields of WW1 this year for our Y13s and Y11s so the consequences of WW1 were in recent memory.

Remembrance Day this year fell on our 6th Form Open Morning on 11/11/23. Movingly, everything stopped in school at 11am, with visitors, staff and students alike joining in, as we marked a 2 minutes silence to remember those who are no longer with us. Mrs Shields played The Last Post on the drive at the statue of St Julie and Mr Scriven read the Ode of Remembrance.

The following Monday in school, as is traditional, we gathered the whole school on the yard for a 2 minutes silence. I am delighted to say that students observed this as always, with respect and reverence.

As the month progresses it is also an opportunity to remember all those in conflict still and our form prayers often reflect this. Sadly, again this year we see so many suffering in new and continuing conflict. At times when we can do little else, we can turn to the power of prayer.  I include the following prayer which you may want to say at times when the news is so bleak.

Ever living God,

We remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence;

May that same peace calm our fears, bring justice to all peoples and establish harmony among the nations,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Geography Trips

Mrs Revill’s Year 11 class and Miss Jackson’s and Mrs Harrison’s Year 10 classes have been on their GCSE fieldwork trips this half term.

The aim was to collect data on the quality of life across the city. Our students were completing questionnaires and environmental quality surveys, amongst other techniques. We were all impressed with their focus on these trips and how well they represented the school. They have learnt several new fieldwork techniques which will be useful in many different careers and also for their GCSE exams.

The Geography Department

Sheffield and District Royal Society for Chemistry – Top of the Bench Quiz

Our school took part in this competition, which is a qualifier for the national final. This year it was held at King Ecgbert’s school in Dore. Having won the regional heat and qualified for the finals in 2017, 2018 (cancelled due to snow) and 2020 (cancelled due to Covid), our plans of another trip to the national finals were thwarted by bad weather delaying a taxi by 75 minutes.

Our chemistry superstars of Fiona Lee, Daiyan Khan, Raphael Akanuwe and Caleb Loh have had a go at some of the sections they missed at lunch and showed how well they work as a team. Huge thank you for the team being so patient while waiting for the taxi, Mrs Shields for taking over waiting for the taxi when Dr Searle had to run to make nursery collection time and Mr Randall for supervision at King Ecgbert’s.

Good luck to Mercia School who will be representing our region at the finals in 2024!

Dr Searle- Head of Chemistry

October Monthly English Writing Competition Winners

Mrs Cramphorn from the English Department organizes a monthly writing competition which is open to students from Y7 to Y10. There is always a monthly theme and any interested students can go to room 101 on a Wednesday at lunch (1pm) for a chat with other student writers or for some staff input.

This is a fabulous opportunity for students to develop their writing skills but as an added bonus they also collect points for their House by simply entering the competition. The top entries from all year groups win additional prizes

Magnus Bushell (Y8) and Hamda Akram (Y7) won the October Writing Competition. They were asked to write a spooky short story inspired by Halloween. An extract of both students’ stories are included below:

Magnus’s story:

He shouldn’t have come here and he should go, but he walked into the stone arch which slumped on the dark, beaming entrance to the crypt.

He walked in, the first person in 500 years. He walked to the grave in the centre, running his hand along the cold stone. Something moved and slid to the top of the coffin. He peeked inside; a cold coil of chain wrenched at his stomach.

“Leave! Leave!” screeched a voice in his head. He looked again something was down there.

He only remembered falling after that and hitting the ground very hard. He stood up and side stepped to the left. When he met nothing, he continued to side step. He must have moved over 50 metres by the time he stopped. He turned around, and a sight so cold met his eyes. Hundreds of dead hands reached up like pale, flesh caltrops.

He ran back to underneath the grave, waiting for the ghostly moonlight to tell him to stop. He ran into something: the walls of the grave. He looked up into darkness.


Hamda’s story:

“you finally returned,” Aurora murmured, her voice laced with a mixture of gratitude and anger. “I’ve waited for this day.”

Evita’s heat sank, realisation dawning upon her.

“Aurora, I am so sorry. I never meant to leave you trapped for so long.”

“You have trapped me to protect others, but you forgot about me, Evita. I have been alone for five long years.”

The ghost’s presence flickered, a mixture of anger and what Evita thought to be acceptance. She reached to unlock the cage, her hands trembling. As soon as the latch clicked open, the ghostly figure of Aurora emerged, her radiant violet eyes filled with rage.

With a final sigh, Evita disappeared into the night, her heart at peace.

Aurora watched. She never took her eyes off her.

Evita never returned to the campsite.

She never ate her birthday cake.

Evita was never seen again.

But Aurora was…

Train to Teach

Sheffield SCITT Opportunities

If you know of anyone – for example an older sibling, relative, or a family friend who is interested in finding out more about teaching as a career then please see the information attached. This includes an opportunity to experience a day in school, and also a paid opportunity to undertake a three-week internship during summer 2024.

If you are interested in either opportunity then please register an interest by clicking on the links in the fliers. We train both primary and secondary teachers and would be very happy to have a conversation with anyone who is interested in finding out more.

Dr J Coats

Can you help with Careers?

We are currently in the process of planning a series of mock interviews for our Year 11 students on the 24th January 2024 and are looking for volunteer interviewers from a diverse range of career backgrounds. In addition, we are looking for volunteers for our lunchtime careers drop in sessions.

This would involve a volunteer discussing their career path, skills and lived experience with our students alongside fielding questions. We would like these events to be representative and inclusive of our whole community, if you feel you can help it will be greatly appreciated.

Please contact careers@notredame-high.co.uk for more information and to volunteer.


Mr T Day – Head of Careers and PSHE

Prize Nights 2023 – Celebrating exam success for GCSE and A Level students

These are always a really enjoyable evening recognising the achievements of our ‘Classes of 2023’. It provides a final chance for them to gather together as a year group in celebration.

This year A Level Prize Night is on Thursday 21st   December at 19.00 in the Salle. Students will receive their A-Level exam certificates from the Summer 2023 series.

Individual subject awards will also be presented nominated by all departments.

Email invitations have gone out to all parents – please reply to kriswatson@notredame-high.co.uk to confirm if you are attending and how many guest seats you will require. There will be parking on school premises.

We look forward to welcoming as many parents, students and guests as possible!

Mr Scriven

Round up of Sporting Activity and Achievements

Fixtures and results during week commencing 13 November 2023

Tuesday 14th Y11 girls’ football against All Saints (away) the result was a 4:3 win against Newfield

Wednesday 15th Y8 boys’ football against Newfield (away) – the result was 1:0 win to us!

Thursday 16th Y8 basketball against Kind Edwards School (away) – our team lost 44-38.

Friday 17th  Y7/8 girls football tournament (2 teams) won 4, lost 3, drawn 3 and third in groups

Saturday 18th November cross country at Longley Park:

Y7 girls 2km Hattie Hawkridge 6th place, Y8/9 girls 3km Rose Gudgeon 5th place, Y8/9 boys 4km Harry Kirkman 4th place and Toben Ugonna 5th place, Y10/11 girls 4km Grace Igoe 2nd place, Y10/11 boys 5km Will Platt 2nd place and Y12/13 girls 4km Heidi Shackleton 3rd place.    

Congratulations to all!

PE Department

Headteacher’s Breakfast Club

 . . . . .  And last but certainly not least, there were many interesting discussions in this month’s Breakfast Club.

Thursday 23 November 2023 – attendees:

The Young Writers Integer Anthology competition entrants attended and gave an outline of the stories they had written which was interesting and inspiring! The students were; Adriel Mondenou, Rebecca Bartolozzi Ogbonna, Emma Deneka, Nina Mwita, Joey Coleman, Emily Hall, Katie Self and Cole Higgins –

At the same time, Sylvie Vas, Sofia Abbey and Kitty Walker from the Y8 netball team, came for their sporting achievements and their contribution to the wider school community.

With warmest wishes, God Bless,


Dates for your diary

GCSE Prize Night – Salle

Thursday 7th December


Y7 & 8 School Disco


Thursday 14th December

6pm -8pm

Advent Carol Service at St Vincent’s

Tuesday 19th December


A Level Prize Night- Salle

Thursday 21st December


Last Day of Term

Friday 22nd December


First Day of Spring Term

Monday 8th January


School Production Drama Studio, University of Sheffield

Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th January 2024


Y11 Parent’s Evening

Thursday 25th January

5:00pm -7:00pm

Events happening in School over the coming weeks

Y11 & Y10 midsize Assessment week

11th to 18th December

End of Term Advent Liturgies (All Year groups)

Friday 22nd December

Y12 Assessment week

 8th to 12th January

Enrichment Day 2

Wednesday 24th January