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Our Enrichment Programme

The enrichment programme is diverse and includes sport, charitable works, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, art, music and drama. Many of our pupils have a particular talent and wish to further hone their skills outside of their lessons. As the activities are delivered by our teaching staff the girls continue to benefit from the expert tuition which they offer. Facilities such as our indoor swimming pool, recording studio and professional theatre provide an inspirational setting for our activities.

Engagement with enrichment activities is of great benefit in developing girls’ confidence. Universities and employers increasingly value the skills and attributes which pupils gain from participation.

Sport: Active Women Of
The Future

At Notre Dame, our outstanding Sports education offers choice and opportunity across all abilities and year groups to instil a lifelong love of sport and exercise.
Sport is an important part of everyday life in our Senior School. This means that all students regularly participate, and everyone can have the opportunity to shine. Our specialist teaching and coaching staff have the knowledge, as well as the creativity and flair to ensure every student finds at least one sport or exercise that they enjoy. So, whatever the starting point, they will push personal development and inspire individual potential.

Competitive sports are important to us and we are continuing to expand our fixture programmes in Hockey, Netball, Cricket, Football, Swimming and Athletics as well as Cross-Country, Biathlon and Tennis.

We don’t put students into ‘sporty’ and ‘unsporty’ buckets. We make our curriculum and co-curricular opportunities wide, offering 9 competitive sports and 41 active clubs because we believe that by offering variety of choice, there will be something every student can enjoy. Students learn vital skills in our Sports education such as resilience, teamwork, skill, and sportsmanship as well as developing strong self-worth and enjoying moments of real pride. Most importantly though is developing healthy, happy, active women of the future and a lifelong love of exercise.


Drama: A Passion
For the stage

We have a varied extra-curricular drama programme at Notre Dame School designed to develop our students’ individual talents and abilities. The Christmas Musical is the school’s main production and is a full-scale large-cast musical performed in our 350-seater professional standard theatre. This is an auditioned production with a cast ranging from Year 13 to Year 8, with opportunities for technical operators, stage managers, wardrobe assistants, scenographic painters and prop-makers as well as a large cast of dancers, actors and singers. The Lower School Play is rehearsed during the Spring Term and performed towards the end of the Summer Term. This is a chance for actors in Years 7 to 9 to take the leading roles in a show designed specifically to showcase their talents.

The Inter-House Drama Festival Competition is rehearsed in the Spring Term during the activities hour; where keen students in Years 7 to 10, led by Year 10 Drama GCSE student-directors, produce a half-hour play in their four house groups, to be performed to a school audience in May. The winning house play, judged by a guest adjudicator, is awarded the House Drama Cup.
Notre Dame’s Exposure Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the opportunity for our Sixth Form actors to perform for a week at Edinburgh’s exciting Fringe Festival and also take advantage of the huge variety of theatre, music, dance and comedy performances on offer during their stay.

LAMDA Private Drama Lessons are an extra-curricular activity for those students interested in performance, literature and public speaking who want to improve their knowledge and technique. LAMDA students explore vocal technique, characterisation, improvisational skills, mime and physical theatre, taking at least one graded examinations in Acting, Verse and Prose or Public Speaking throughout the year.

Music: Enthusiasm
For Performing

Music is for everyone at Notre Dame, whether a beginner with only a few notes to play or a proficient performer ready to start a Music Degree. It covers all genres and styles from plainchant to rap and from a Classical concerto to a Blues “Improv” session. There is a wide range of musical styles to choose from: our musicians have attended the Guildhall Junior School and have successfully auditioned for the National Schools Symphony Orchestra, while others have started their own Pop groups, or have chosen a career path associated with management in the music industry. Our choirs tour regularly and have performed in cathedrals in London, Rome, Paris, Vienna and Santiago di Compostella. A major Musical is produced each year in conjunction with the Drama Department.

The senior school has a variety of co-curricular options from which to choose:
Notre Dame Singers, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Concert Band, String Ensemble,
Jazz Ensemble.


Art: Unleashing Visual

The Art Department at Notre Dame is a vibrant space which provides a popular venue for pupils who choose to study Art as an examination choice. It also caters for pupils who do Art as a leisure activity. An activity session is available to support examination students and our younger pupils are also very much welcomed.
The Art Department caters for painting and drawing, sculpture /3D, photography, collage, fine art textiles, computer art and print making. There are art activities for all age groups and the rooms are open every lunchtime and two evenings each week. The atmosphere is relaxed and pupils can listen to music, mingle with their friends and generally have fun being creative.
Recent junior art clubs have made two large-scale group art works that are permanently exhibited in our beautiful grounds.

Students are encouraged to enter several competitions each year and some regularly attend life drawing classes and Saturday art classes organised by The Sorrell Project. Students are also encouraged to visit major art exhibitions independently to extend their contextual understanding and thus enhance their analytical and aesthetic knowledge.
Senior girls studying A Level Art have the added benefit of a discrete art studio which enables them to develop their portfolios in their study periods.

Each year the department hosts a major end-of-year art exhibition in the Summer Term which celebrates the creative strengths and hard work of our girls. This popular exhibition is open to the pupils, parents and the wider public.

STEM: investing in the future

In the senior school we build on Prep School foundations so that our girls continue to explore STEM through their curriculum and in their co-curricular activities, careers programmes and competitions and masterclasses.

Our digital strategy means that the use of IT in the classrooms leads to enhanced quality of modelling, understanding and explanations; increased quantity and quality of pupil practice and improved efficiency of assessment and feedback. There is more independent learning, more varied teaching and learning, and we are carefully preparing our younger pupils for possible online public exams.

Our students are competent digital citizens and are well equipped for their next educational steps and the workforce. Our science, computer science, maths, food and nutrition and art and textiles departments have the highest expectations of our girls, and make sure that active and engaging learning leads to outstanding results and high numbers of students taking A Level and degree level courses in STEM. Our bespoke, individual preparation for university and future careers means that our girls have access to work experience, internships and career preparation across STEM with our own alumnae keenly supporting the younger pupils following on after them.

In our Innovation Space students utilise and embed STEM into their learning across the curriculum – with CAD-CAM, 3D printing, laser cutting, podcasting, VR activities and greenscreen filming – so that STEM is actively promoted by all our staff and is not siloed into small sections of the timetable.

All students are required to take part in co-curricular activities including academic programmes and so there is a wide range of STEM to choose from – right from Year 7 all the way up to Year 13 – in weekly clubs like robotics, iDEA and CREST, to long projects like our satellite building and coding programme, to one-off competitions like the Top of the Bench chemistry competition.