Notre Dame High School (Norwich)

For schools of the same name, see Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame High School is a Catholic school located in Norwich, England. The current Headteacher is Mr John Pinnington. The school was opened in 1864 and is now a specialist-language College, a Science College, a Training School and a Sixth Form College, teaching 11-18 year olds. The school currently teaches around 1,400 students, 400 of whom are in the sixth form. The Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia, Norfolk County Council, and the Department for Education and Skills all support Notre Dame High School.


In 1889 a new wing was built to accommodate around 70 students, and in 1915 what is now Franchise House with adjoining land on Surrey Street, was purchased. On this land the present main building was erected and opened in 1926 when there were 238 female students. A year later, the school became recognised by the Ministry of Education. In 1939 additional buildings became available for the dining hall and domestic science and in 1973 the Lady Julian Building, which had formerly housed the Notre Dame Preparatory School, became part of Notre Dame High School.

A major development in the school took place on September 1, 1979 when ownership of the school was transferred from the Sisters of Notre Dame to the Diocese of East Anglia, and the school's status changed from Direct Grant Girls' Grammar School to Voluntary Aided Mixed Comprehensive School.

Since 1980, the St Peter's Building (Science & Technology completed in 1994), the St Paul's Building (Sports Hall, 1985), the St Julie's Building (Reception and Administration, 1996) and St Catherine's Building (Modern Languages, 1996) have been acquired and modernised. In 1995 the Lady Julian Building (Library, Careers, History and Sixth Form Centre) was refurbished. In 2006, the St Paul's building was extensively refurbished, providing a Drama Studio and four new classrooms for Religious Education. This allowed the old Chapel, up until then used as a Drama studio, to be refurbished and turned back into a Chapel. A new building is currently being built; it is expected to be completed by the end of October 2006, and will house a Sixth Form centre, a cafeteria, a library and extensive language classrooms. The St Catherine's building will then be used for staff training. The St Mary's building, currently the cafeteria, will be demolished. The school has purchased a plot of land, once belonging to Norwich Union, for use as a playground for students once the new building is completed. Mr John Pinnington became the first lay headteacher of the school in January 1997, as successor of Sister Mary Cluderay. The school was awarded specialist school status for Languages in September 2000. Since then the school has become very much involved in charity work, including a student visit to Phuket, Thailand by two students in October 2005. As well as this the school also works closely with the charity HCPT, which raises money for sick children, to take part in an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes.

The school has also recently been awarded the specialist science college as well. The school also has a new teacher training building. It is also the host to a new, innovative science room and a biosphere.

The school's Sixth Form annually perform a Panto. 2007 saw a production of Cinderella, under the able directorship of Charlie Sawdon and with a strong cast including Liam Emrick, Jimmy Wheeler, Peter Loughlin and Edward Smith.

Recent building work

The new building is now ready and available, it has been named St. Mary's, the new playground, created as a result of this recent building work, is now open. St. Mary's is a language block, also consists of a library, a computer room (25-30 Computers) and a brand new cafeteria.

Notable alumni

  • Margaret Beckett - MP for Derby South and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
  • Myleene Klass - Classical pianist, broadcaster and former member of the manufactured pop group Hear'Say.

External links

Notable staff

  • John Pinnington - Head teacher, since January 1997.
  • Richard Crozier - Geography teacher, since before anyone could remember

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