We align to our Trust’s Curriculum Design and Principles. Read more about these here.
At Notre Dame High School, we offer a genuinely broad and balanced curriculum.
The curriculum has one central principle: that for each of our students and staff we develop a sense of ‘moral purpose’, and that we ‘light fires’ of intellectual curiosity, which in turn opens their eyes to opportunities including those that they might not even know exist.
The curriculum aims to develop knowledge-rich* students, who feel confident in the application of their knowledge within a variety of different settings and contexts. Moreover, the structure and delivery of our curriculum will enable students to retain powerful knowledge and skills within their long-term memory, thus enabling them to make connections and links between topics they have been taught both within and across subjects and subsequently accelerate the acquisition and understanding of new knowledge and skills.
We aim for our curriculum to provide all of our students with the cultural capital that on leaving us will enable them to engage with people in all walks of life, through being able to access and participate in discussions, debate, and conversations on a breadth of topics. The cultural capital they gain through their studies at Notre Dame will help them make sense of the world they live in, and appreciate subjects beyond the confines of examinations. Each of our departments plays a crucial role in making this a reality, through the curriculums they design, that aim to give students access to the most important and powerful knowledge, ideas and skills from their respective disciplines.
Literacy forms a key component of our curriculum, as we recognise that without high levels of literacy students cannot access our curriculum to the full. We prioritise 'disciplinary literacy' in our curriculum, meaning that we take subject specific approaches to supporting students in their reading, writing and oracy skills. Across the curriculum, students read a range of academic texts that enhance their subject knowledge and we make explicit the unique approaches to writing required by each subject discipline.
Assessment is evidence-informed and focused on giving students the opportunity to recall and apply their knowledge whilst also providing next steps for both teachers and students. Our assessments consist of a mixture of low-stakes retrieval practice, in class formative assessment and more formal summative assessments.
Assessment and knowledge retention are further supported through the school undertaking an ambitious project to provide students with booklets for each topic they study throughout their time at Notre Dame. Booklets contain the key content they need, alongside model/worked examples and retrieval questions for students to test themselves outside of the classroom.
Finally, we have a responsibility to develop young people with a high moral calibre and commitment to Gospel values. We will ensure that they leave Notre Dame spiritually and academically nourished, with the example of Christ at the centre of their lives, as part of their developing vocations and careers.
*In terms of substantive, declarative knowledge, and disciplinary, procedural knowledge.
British Values are embedded through a wide range of subjects. They are also explicitly referred to and explored in assemblies and form time activities. For more information visit our British Values page.
Our School Day
08:50 – 09:05 Registration/Assembly
09:05 - 10:05 Period 1
10:10 - 11:10 Period 2
11:10 - 11:25 Break
11:30 - 12:30 Period 3
12:30 - 13:20 Lunchtime
13:25 - 14:25 Period 4
14:30 – 15:30 Period 5