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Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame
High School

Curriculum

'Teach them what they need to know for life.' St Julie Billiart

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 ofmoral purpose’, and that welight 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. Therefore, we have embarked on a scholastic reading programme across Year 7, 8 and 9 alongside a school wide focus on disciplinary literacy to enhance each student’s vocabulary, literacy levels and subject knowledge. 

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.

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