Extra Curricular

Notre Dame offers a wide range of extra activities. From sports clubs and drama to music, art, science and technology there is plenty to choose from. Older students benefit from a vibrant Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme as well as a whole range of trips and visits.

The school runs Challenge Week every two years, regular Dimension Days when normal lessons give way to new approaches to learning, and there is an exchange programme for students with Notre Dame Academy near Boston, USA.

The school also provides a strong faith life. Retreats, reflections, liturgies and Mass are part of the pattern of the school year.
Lunchtime and After School Activities

For a list of all lunchtime and after school activities for this term, please click here (updated 30.01.2020):

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The PE Department provides a range of extra curricular opportunities throughout the year including netball, dance, table tennis, rounders, tennis and athletics. We also have our Fitness Suite available at lunchtime and after school.

We also provide students with an opportunity to compete against other Plymouth schools in netball, rounders, cross country and athletics.

We also have a thriving Interhouse Programme throughout the year which covers the following events, held at lunchtimes:

Cross country
Sports Day – Rounders, Tennis, Rowing, Table tennis, Athletics
For a list of all lunchtime and after school sport activities for this term, please click here:

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Among the many musical activities offered is membership of the school Choir; ND Chorus. Students can participate in musical productions for public performances. We have large choirs in Christmas Concerts and have produced, alongside Drama, many musicals including “Grease” and “An Evening of Musicals”. Students can also enjoy participating in the school jazz band.

Intervention and ‘catch up’ sessions are available at lunchtime each week where all year groups are welcome, with the exception of exam periods. Every Friday lunchtime there is an art club for all years to enjoy experimenting with drawing, painting and mixed media to enhance their skills.

The Art department also delivers Monday after school sessions for Year 11 students to provide them with the opportunity to extend their portfolio.

Catch up and revision lessons are available at lunchtimes during exam periods. We take part in competitions including the Bar Mock Trial, the Carnegie Award, Young Writers and numerous other competitions which take place throughout the year.

There is a programme of theatre visits and drama workshops and a weekly KS3 Drama Club. Drama students also participate in the many concerts, assemblies, liturgies and productions the school presents each year.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award aims to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people aged between 14 – 25. By undertaking the award students make new friends, discover new activities and develop new skills. The award is undertaken during lunchtimes, after school and weekends. The award has been running in the school for a number of years and is very successful.
[toggle title=”What’s it all about?” open=”no”]This nationally recognised award scheme has been running for over 50 years; the aim is to help young people plan and undertake their own programme of activities to develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. …It’s not just about walking over Dartmoor! The award is equally about learning new skills, assisting others and carrying out activities that they enjoy. It is levelled at bronze, silver and gold.[/toggle]
[toggle title=”What are the benefits?” open=”no”]The award will bring out the best in young people in a non competitive environment. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Self-belief
  • Self-confidence
  • Personal development
  • Learn new skills
  • Teamwork
  • Awareness of potential
  • Have some fun!
[toggle title=”Who is eligible to enrol?” open=”no”]Anyone in Year 9 – 13[/toggle]
[toggle title=”What do you have to do?” open=”no”]Each level has the following sections:
Volunteering – to encourage service to individuals and the community. It could include activities such as helping out at after school clubs or St John’s Ambulance ie. helping others

Skills – to encourage personal interests, social and practical skills. This could include learning to play a new musical instrument, fashion design, fly fishing, ICT, juggling or drama

Physical Recreation – to encourage participation and improvement in physical activity, and could include activities like surfing, sailing, mountain biking, dance or yoga

Expedition – to encourage the spirit of adventure. This section involves a 2 day walk with an overnight stay[/toggle]
[toggle title=”How long does it take?” open=”no”]Assuming you spent about an hour a week carrying out the awards activities it should take about:

  • Bronze 6 – 9 months
  • Silver 9- 12 month
  • Gold 18 months
[toggle title=”How do I get started?” open=”no”]Anyone requiring further information or details should contact Mrs A Morgan.[/toggle]
Design and Technology

Technology provides a variety of opportunities for pupils to enhance their learning by allowing pupils to work on personal projects as well as contributing to whole school projects at designated lunchtimes and evenings every week. This could take any form such as making delicious and skilful products in Cookery Club to building a boat to compete against other schools in the Southwest. With this department being at the forefront of new technologies, the possibilities are endless for a budding innovator.
Information Technology

There is a computer club, and access to ICT facilities during lunchtime and after school.
Faith Development

The liturgy and worship of the school is central to its ethos as a Catholic school and there are many activities to support faith organised by Emma Bonard, the Lay Chaplain.

There are Sixth Form residential retreats each year, and we also provide House Retreats for all Year 7 students at Buckfast Abbey. There is a well attended group of Young Spiritual Leaders (YSLs) who meet weekly to plan and support in the spiritual life of the school and a regular Mission programme which, in 2017/18, focuses on the theme given to us from St Julie “Ah! Quil est bon, le bon Dieu.” – How Good is the Good God.

Mass is celebrated at least twice for the whole school every year, and we are visited by local clergy who offer mass and the sacrament of reconciliation on some holy days.

We celebrate a Mission week once every four years which provides lots of opportunity for extra-curricular worship and praise activities.

Students of other faiths are welcome to take part in the spiritual life of the school and we provide a room where our Muslim students can find a space to pray.
Learning Support

The Learning Support team run a breakfast and lunchtime club daily for students wishing to complete homework or coursework with the added support of Learning Support Assistants.

All year groups attend this well structured and friendly environment, building social skills and widening friendships.
Modern Foreign Languages

There is a lunchtime Latin club for those that like a challenge. Students can also test themselves against the best linguists in the school to see if they have the ability to go on and earn a fortune at the E.U.!
Challenge Week

Every 2 years for one week in the summer term the normal timetable is stopped and students take part in a wide range of different activities, for example water sports, horse riding, scrap booking, skiing, and discovery days. The students choose which activity they will take part in and they may involve a residential experience such as a week in the UK or abroad. It is a great opportunity to learn new skills and take on exciting challenges that encourage students’ personal and social development, enabling them to learn about themselves, other people and the world in which we live.
MKC Heroes

Military Kids Club Heroes is a unique student voice group, affiliated to the Royal British Legion (Devon), for the support of Service children and young people. This group works, actively, in harmony, to ensure that every member has a voice and is able to use it for the benefit of all. Members of MKC Heroes are ambassadors and young advocates for Service families. Most importantly, they are friends for each other, especially in times of need.

Thank you to our military sponsor who sent us the following message:

“This year more than ever I have come to really appreciate the support provided by Notre Dame. On completion of my own training early this year I was assigned out of my Baseport area to a very busy training organisation in Northwood, Middlesex. For the first time in my 20 year career, and outside of operational deployments I was not home every day to see my family. However, the impact of this separation has been significantly lessened by the care, understanding and support given by the Notre Dame teachers and students alike. Now that I have experienced this for myself I’m sure I can speak for all the military families with children attending Notre Dame that my own welfare is not at risk when I know that my daughter is among friends, including very helpful staff who can relate to what she is experiencing as well. Not only that but I am a strong advocate of HMS HEROES within the school and know that every Tuesday she gets together with pupils who are in the same boat, no pun intended. The tie that Notre Dame has with the MOD receives my utmost support.”
Young Carers

The Young Carers group meets on a weekly basis for mutual support and fun. Membership is open to all students who have to care for someone at home and the group arrange a variety of activities and trips.

For more information, please visit the Young Carers page here – https://ndonline.org/young-carers/