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Nuffield Presentations

The four Notre Dame Sixth Form students who successfully gained Nuffield Research Placements earlier this summer have now completed the programme. They presented their findings and received their certificates at a special ceremony at Exeter University.

 

Nuffield Research Placements provide over 1,000 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians – and of the 20 south west places, Notre Dame secured the largest number.

 

The four 17 year-old students were involved in a variety of research projects. Emily worked with Dr Paul Hewson at Plymouth University investigating malnutrition data from Niger. Maeve focused on cell biology and cystic fibrosis with Dr David Sheppard at Bristol University. Alexandra worked at Derriford Hospital with Dr. Umesh Acharya on testosterone use in poor IVF responders and Amy focused on aspects of Biomedical Science, again at Plymouth University.

 

Prior to the event the girls gave presentations to the school’s new Y12 students. This required them to not only talk about their research, but also discuss the whole experience and inspire the next round of applicants – a task they accomplised in style.

 

All four have been full of praise for the opportunity and for Mrs Fuller, who coordinates the Nuffield programme in school. Amy said, ‘The opportunity to work in a professional research environment on really challenging material has been brilliant. It’s give me a real taste for the future.’

 

Maeve said, ‘I’d like to thank Mrs Fuller for her support and commitment to us all. She has really pushed us to aim high.’

 

Walking In Another's Shoes

Y12 students gained an insight into the work of Plymouth’s Street Pastors as part of their regular Religious Studies programme.

 

Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. There are over 260 Street Pastor initiatives throughout the country and more than 10,000 Street Pastors.

 

In Plymouth and Torpoint 50 people commenced training to become Plymouth Street Pastors in January 2008. Four months later the course was completed and on 23rd May, 48 newly commissioned Street Pastors began their patrols and the service has continued and grown since.
 
The pastors talked to the students about their work and the support they give to members of the public late at night on the streets of Plymouth.
 
Student Alex Donnelly said,

‘It was well worth listening to. What they do is valuable to the community and I admire their dedication.’

 

Citybus Changes to School Services

The Plymouth Herald this weekend reported proposed changes to Citybus school services 104, 109, 115 and 143 from November 3rd.
 
The full story can be read here: www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Citybus-axe-10-Plymouth-school-buses-month/story-19888915-detail/story.html

Biology Getting To The Heart of Things…

Y12 Biology students recently visited Express Diagnostics at Tamar Science Park.
 
The picture shows Caitlin taking an ultrasound scan of a ‘willing’ volunteer to look at his heart function. It’s not every day that you get to use £80,0000s worth of equipment! The students also had a chance to see an ECG being carried out – a part of their course.
 
But even more exciting was the chance to hear about the jobs and professions around the world where science can take you. Express Diagnostics is a global company so what better place to hear about the opportunities out there?
 
Mrs Fuller

That Notre Dame Feeling

At the heart of a busy week at Notre Dame Plymouth was the annual Open Evening. An opportunity for Year 5 and 6 children and their parents to visit the school and soak up its atmosphere ahead of making secondary school decisions, it was a busy and friendly affair.
 
Visitors to the school were able to explore all the elements that make Notre Dame tick and get a personal feel for what Ofsted in their July 2013 report described as the ‘very strong family and faith atmosphere’. Smiling students and staff were on hand to talk about their school and what makes it special for them, and many visitors were impressed by the clear fondness their student guides had for the school.
 
Visitors also expressed their admiration for the Senior Students and Senior House Captains who led the formal presentations, truly reflecting the student voice and leadership at the heart of the school. They were also impressed by the honesty and confidence of 4 new Year 7 students who, in their own words, talked about their feelings for Notre Dame. Their words capture perfectly why Notre Dame is the choice for many girls and their families from the city and beyond:
 
Sophie:

“What Notre Dame means to me is a place where everyone is valued, no one is forgotten. It is really easy to make new friends because everyone is so friendly, including the teachers. Everyone thinks going to secondary school is a really daunting experience, but here at Notre Dame anyone can fit in as it is such a delightful place. I would recommend it to anyone. Not forgetting our school motto, Head, Hearts and Hands.”
 
Aeryn:

“Notre Dame is a lovely school with lovely people and if you […]

Citizenship In Action

The theme of the week at Notre Dame is Citizenship and Y11 student Leah, a Police Cadet at Devonport Police Station, has spoken of her role and promoted the service as part of a Parks House Assembly.
 
Alongside Police Community Support Officers from Devonport, Leah outlined the roles and responsibilities of Police Cadets, the training they receive and the huge variety of activities they get involved in.
 
In her time as a cadet, Leah has had fire and first aid training, participated in speed awareness campaigns and run fundraising events. As someone who is considering a career in the police force she finds the cadets invaluable. Beyond this, though, she says it has improved skills such as communication, confidence and teamwork, making cadets a great choice for anyone aged between 13 – 16.
 
Most police stations across the city have cadet groups, with the latest currently being formed at Crownhill.
 
More details at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/GetInvolved/cadets/Pages/default.aspx