The purpose of the College’s enhancement programme is to broaden the range of activities, experiences, skills and qualifications open to you and provide an opportunity to meet and socialise with other students. Alongside a good academic profile, employers and university admissions tutors look favourably on students who have developed other interests, skills and experiences. With competition increasing to secure jobs and university places, anything extra that makes you ‘stand out’ from the average student will give you a head start. The enhancement programme at Notre Dame offers you this.
There are many activities offered as part of our weekly programme and a full list is provided in the enhancement flyer (please click on the link at the top of this page). These include numerous sporting and recreational activities, ranging from men’s and women’s football to climbing, as well as certificated courses such as first aid. Departments within College also run more subject specific enhancements including the drama enhancement run by Theatre Studies and the College newspaper which is produced by the English department.
At the end of the lower sixth year, the College runs an enhancement week where you can enrol for a residential trip or choose from a programme of in-college activities and day trips. Recent residentials have included trips to New York, Dubrovnik and Berlin. There are also many day trips such as those to the York Museum and the Leeds Magistrates’ Courts. There is a wide choice of in-college activities ranging from sporting and physical sessions such as basketball and zumba, to activities such as the Philosophy Club and Debating Society. You also have the option of work experience, which is particularly popular amongst students interested in applying for higher education courses in vocational subjects. During this time there is also the opportunity to be part of the group of young people who travel to Lourdes in collaboration with the Leeds Diocese. Here they assist the sick, disabled and elderly, helping to enrich their pilgrimage. Both the weekly programme and end of year Enhancement Week enable you to make the most of your opportunities to enhance both your education and your life.
THE CAREER READY PROGRAMME IN LAW
Career Ready is a UK-wide charity that links schools and colleges with employers to help prepare young people for the world of work. It offers a programme of masterclasses, mentoring, workplace visits and internships that enables students to dramatically enhance their employability skills, aspirations and social understanding. Notre Dame has been working with Career Ready for over 8 years to help students gain the skills, attitudes and experience they need to succeed in their future careers. All of the students who completed the Career Ready programme in recent years said their aspirations had been raised as a result.
There are a wealth of volunteering opportunities available to students at Notre Dame that offer them the chance to build the skills and experiences necessary for their future pathways into higher education, employment or training. Students receive volunteering bulletins on a monthly basis which alert them to initiatives in the local area and organisations they can contact to get involved. Some examples are The West Yorkshire Police Explorer Programme, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, V-Inspired and local charities including St Georges Crypt, Oxfam and many more.
National Citizen Service (NCS)
This scheme provided students with the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community. It involves building skills for life whilst on an outdoor residential followed by team work on a social action project in their local area. Planning, managing and completing a project gives students a graduation certificate signed by the Prime Minister which acknowledges their effort, dedication and life skill development. This is a national scheme which is recognised and highly regarded by universities and employers.
This is a level one qualification delivered in the College by Guide Dogs for the Blind and involves awareness training about issues for people who are blind and partially sighted as well as practical training in how to be a sighted guide. This is a certified qualification which gives students the additional option experience and training with guide dogs for the blind as a ‘my guide’ volunteer for someone in their local community.