The Notre Dame UK Schools Conference is an annual event. The idea was born in 2006 at the Notre Dame Global Educators Conference in Kentucky when participants from the UK decided they wanted to forge and sustain closer links between pupils and staff from their Notre Dame Schools and Colleges.
To this end, a selected group of pupils met last year in Southwark and again this year in Liverpool. Schools taking part were St. Julie’s Catholic High School; Notre Dame, Southwark; Notre Dame, Glasgow; Notre Dame, Sheffield and Notre Dame, Everton Valley. The event was co-hosted by St. Julie’s and Liverpool Hope University College, Education Deanery and took place at facilities kindly provided by Liverpool Hope.
The theme of the event built on work started in Southwark on global citizenship and took a particular interest in the theme of freedom. The aim was to encourage students to reflect on the importance of freedom, to raise their awareness of issues of global citizenship and to give them an opportunity to meet young people of similar ages from different parts of the country.
During their few days here, student delegates took part in a range of activities which included creative writing and PowerPoint presentations on the wider interpretation of freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of dress, freedom of the individual to be who they want to be. On Wednesday they were out and about in Liverpool, touring sites in Liverpool City Centre associated with the slave trade guided by Mr Eric Lynch who runs the History of Slavery trails in Liverpool.
Delegates later took the opportunity to go sightseeing, with a river ride on the DUCK or a “Ferry across the Mersey”. On their return to Hope they took part in Dance and Drama workshops to develop the theme and to prepare for the closing ceremony.
All pupils involved were a credit to their schools. They took part in all activities with interest and enthusiasm. The venue was excellent and evening activities included Latin Dancing and a Disco. The number and range of staff involved from St Julie’s meant that we were able to offer a diverse range of activities, and we were delighted to welcome the presence of Sheffield and Glasgow who added a new element as they weren’t represented last year.
The closing presentation was excellent and pupils are already looking forward to next year’s conference.
Special thanks go to all staff involved.