Dear Parents & Carers,
It already feels like we have been back more than 4 weeks, the summer holidays are certainly a distant memory! The start of the year is always an exciting time and this year has been no different. It has been joyous to see the new Y7 and Y12 settle so quickly, they already are well and truly part of our community. Y7 have impressed us with their excellent attitude and smart uniform as well as a cheerful approach to school life. A very large number of them acted as guides or supported in subject areas for our Y6 Open evening last week. It is incredible to think that after only being here a few short weeks they are able to help with the next cohort of Y6 and give such a good impression of the school.
Hallmark 5 “We embrace the gift of diversity”.
Our Chaplaincy team set the scene beautifully for the coming year by preparing a special welcome service for all year groups in the first week. This year our inspiration is Hallmark 5 “We embrace the gift of diversity”. Through Gospel readings and reflection time, we thought about how we have all been made unique by God; made in his image and all different. Yet we are connected, part of one family regardless of what background, faith, country, gender we hail from. Our message to take home was that embracing diversity means accepting and celebrating everyone and not excluding people because they are different to us in some way.
The following poem was shared in the service and has such an important message that we will continue to explore with students over the coming year;
I am Diversity
I Am Diversity, Please Include Me
I ‘m present in every place you go
Depending on your lens I’m friend or foe
I’m present when two or more are together
If embraced I can make the good even better.
I’m not limited to age, gender, or race.
I’m invisible at times and yet all over the place.
Don’t exclude me due to a lack of knowledge
Welcome me like the recruit fresh out of college.
Let me take my seat at the table
Even though I may be differently able.
My experience, my passion the authentic me
Can help add value for your school or company.
I exclude no one I am strengthened by all
My name is Diversity and yes, I stand tall.
Recognise me and keep me in the mix
Together there’s no problem that we can’t fix.
Your lives and school will continue to change
The need for Diversity and Inclusion will also remain.
Do all that you can to truly embrace me
And experience life’s fullness and richness, completely.
I’m the thought lurking behind the unfamiliar face
To help and support your school, learn the gift of embrace.
I’m the solution that came from the odd question that was asked.
I stand out in the crowd when I, Diversity, am allowed to be unmasked.
I’m diversity embrace me and we’ll journey far.
I’m Diversity include me and we will reach the shining star.
Coupled with Inclusion our lights burn longer
Together we are smarter, better and stronger
I am Diversity
Yes, that’s me
Improvements over the Summer
Our students may have been on holiday, but our Premises and IT teams have been busy making improvements to school and our systems, ready for September. The biggest project was the installation of a new shelter on the yard to give students somewhere else to go if it’s too hot or drizzling at break and lunch times.
Change of Mobile phone policy
Our new mobile policy came in to force this September, and as expected our students have responded maturely and co-operatively to the change. We have had very few issues in relation to this and I would like to thank you all for your support with implementing the change.
I was utterly delighted to be able to accompany 37 of our Y11 students on the trip to the Battlefields of Belgium and France between the 22nd and 25th September. It was an absolute pleasure to be in their company and they were a credit to the school. They were respectful throughout, and showed great interest everywhere they went. They tested Mrs Shields extensive knowledge to the limit at times!
As I write we have a group of Y13 students on an additional trip because they missed the opportunity in Y11 due to the pandemic. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to the History department, Mrs Paine and staff who give their time, for all their hard work in running this trip and providing such an inspirational experience for our students, who will remember it forever.
Black History month – Saluting our Sisters!
This year as is customary, our students have been leading assemblies to mark Black History Month. “Saluting our Sisters”-is the important theme for this year, as the stories of incredible Black Women don’t always get the attention they truly deserve.
During the assembly the student leaders drew attention to many remarkable black women such as Moira Stuart (newsreader), Bernadine Evaristo (Booker prize winner), Vanessa Kingori (Vogue magazine) and Dr Maggie Aderin- Pocock (Space scientist).
There are posters and displays around school focusing on Black Women with inspirational stories. Over the next month, there will be a closer look at the lives of many black women throughout history in form time, hopefully inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
A huge thank you to the following students who lead the assemblies so beautifully;
Y7-Y11 Information Evenings
In the next few weeks we are holding our start of the year Parent’s information evenings to which you are all warmly invited. During these sessions you will hear some important messages for your child’s Head of Year and have an opportunity to attend workshops to help support your child with their learning. There will also be some important safety updates for parents about online activity, as well as vaping.
More details to follow from your child’s Head of Year.
We hope to see as many of you there as possible.
Notre Dame 6th Form
Open morning Saturday 11th November, from 10am to 12 noon.
As our Y11 students start to think about their next step, we would like to invite you and your son/daughter to our forthcoming Sixth Form Open Morning. This takes place on Saturday 11th November, from 10am to 12 noon.
During the morning you will be able to find out about our Sixth Form entry criteria, the subjects that interest your son/daughter, as well as the exciting progression routes taken by the Y13 students that left us this summer.
More information about our sixth form can be found on our website by clicking here.
If you have any questions, or wish to know more about any aspect related to Sixth Form at Notre Dame, please don’t hesitate to contact Mr Birch our head of sixth form firstname.lastname@example.org
Bromcom – Failed payments and problems with accessing the App
We are aware that there have been issues for some of you when trying to make payments. The Customer Support team have identified several problems causing this and has been deploying fixes over the last two weeks, this included an update to the MCAS App. Following this, there has been a large drop in the number of failed payments. However, some may still be experiencing issues and there is still some work to be done to improve things further which they are attending to as a priority.
The advice they have given us if parents do get failed payments is that you should check the following.
• Make sure the latest App is installed
• Remove any saved card details
• Ensure the card details are correct
• Ensure address information is accurate for the card used
We are also aware that some parents are having issues logging into the App (they can login to the Web okay). This is also being worked on and we expect an update to be released early next week.
Finally, we would like to thank you for your patience on this, we understand how incredibly frustrating this is for you.
Headteacher’s Breakfast Club
The following Y11 students attended Breakfast Club because they were all very successful in their mid- size GCSE which they sat in the Summer when they were in Y10.
Congratulations to you all on your well- deserved incredible results!
Dates for your diary
Y11 Parents Information evening
Tuesday 10th October
Y9 & 10 Parents Information evening
Tuesday 17th October
Y7 & 8 Parents Information evening
Thursday 19th October
6th Form Open morning
Saturday 12th November
10:00am -12 Noon
Half term begins
Monday 23rd October
Training Day 2
Thursday 9th November
Training Day 3
Friday 10th November
Ski Trip 2023 Parents’ evening
Tuesday 28th November
Events happening in School over the coming weeks
Friday 6th October
Enrichment Day 1
Friday 13th October
St Clare’s Trust Mass
Thursday 19th October
Y13 Assessment Week
30th October to 3rd November
Anti Bullying week
13th to 17th November
Flu Vaccinations Y7-11
Friday 24th November
Y11 French/Spanish speaking assessments
27th November to 1st December