Our School History
Notre Dame High School can trace its origins back to October 1864 when the Sisters of the Order of Notre Dame arrived in Norwich to teach their first seven students. From this small beginning we have grown considerably, and now have approximately 1500 pupils aged 11 – 18, of whom 390 are studying in the 6th Form. There are approximately 210 students in each year group.
Notre Dame High School Norwich converted to become an academy on 1st March 2012, and became a founding member of St John the Baptist Catholic Multi Academy Trust in April 2016. We are supported by the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia and the Department for Education (DfE).
St Julie and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Our school was established by a religious order of nuns called the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1864. St Julie Billiart was the foundress of the order. When you come into our Main Reception, you are welcomed by a statue of St Julie.
St Julie had a passion for providing all young people with an education 'for life' and that gave them 'hearts as wide as the world'.
Julie used the image of a sunflower always turning towards the sun as a metaphor for how our lives should be focussed on the goodness of God. This is why you'll find the symbol of a sunflower displayed around our school.
We work closely with the seven other Notre Dame Schools in England and Scotland and participate in linking projects with other Notre Dame schools and universities in continents around the world. For example a group of staff and students visit Notre Dame Hiroshima in Japan each year.
The students at Notre Dame Hiroshima recently made this wonderful gallery of images showing the chapels of Notre Dame schools and universities around the world.
The school site, in the centre of Norwich, is conveniently situated for those students and staff who travel in. It is a conservation area and we are fortunate to have attractive grounds. However, there is very restricted parking on site for staff and visitors. There are seven buildings housing specialist accommodation for all subjects in the curriculum. The school has a student/computer ratio of 4:1
In addition to the usual classrooms we have the following specialist facilities: Specialist Drama Studio, Modern Languages Multi-Media Room, Learning Resource Centre, Chaplaincy, Music Practice Rooms, Gymnasium and Weights Room, Sports Hall (4 badminton court size), twelve/thirteen Science Laboratories, four/five Workshops for Design and Technology. Two specialist rooms are dedicated to Food and Textiles and we have a specialist Graphics Room and Computer Rooms.
On the school site we have a re-surfaced and fenced Multiple Use Games Area where students can play football, tennis and other games in all weathers. The school uses playing field facilities for outdoor games on the nearby Hewett School campus.
We are very lucky to have our Chapel at the heart of the school. Students and Staff have prayed here since 1896, making it a very special place to find a moment of stillness and contemplation.
We are blessed to have one of the largest private gardens in the centre of Norwich. When the Sisters of Notre Dame lived here they had orchards and a small farm to be as self sufficient as possible.
Today our grounds have a diversity of mature trees and greens alongside our playgrounds and muga pitch.
In Spring visitors are welcomed as they come up our main driveway by our stunning wild crocus lawns.