Stella Maris and PTE





Stella Maris Leadership Award

What is PTE?

At Notre Dame we want to help you develop as a whole person, and that includes the spiritual. To that end, the Philosophy, Theology and Ethics (PTE) Programme gives you the opportunity to share, listen, understand and evaluate your own thoughts and beliefs as well as those of other people. You will be encouraged to question, challenge (respectfully!) and engage in healthy debate. PTE involves no exam or homework but lots of teamwork! For one hour a week, it gives you the chance to stop and reflect as well as discuss some of the big issues in our world today in a safe and unpressured environment. Every lesson includes a “still and silent moment” – a minute for you to reflect, pray or just sit. Topics of debate can include: What can we know about God; What does it mean to be a good person; What are our duties to those in need in our own society and further afield.

Students will achieve the Stella Maris Leadership Award as part of their PTE programme. Students will be able to achieve a Bronze, Silver and Gold Award and is accredited by Leeds Trinity University.

PTE is important because it supports the distinctive ethos of Notre Dame: that we are a community that puts the human being at the centre of everything we do. This helps to develop students’ values and attitudes outside of the main subjects. PTE is the only lesson where you can meet people outside your chosen courses, encouraging inclusivity and understanding among our diverse student population.

Through the PTE programme, you will have opportunities to explore and live out your faith. For those who want to take part, there’s an annual residential retreat to Ampleforth, as well as the chance to be part of the Leeds Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, where students care for sick and vulnerable pilgrims from our area.

"PTE taught me so much about the world, understanding, forgiving, accepting, and most of all, loving in a world where it is more important to do so than ever. PTE lessons allowed me to be who I am. They made me a better person who can go out into the world and be more loving, caring and understanding - I am most certainly never going to forget them" 

- Lower Sixth Student (2020)

What is the Stella Maris Leadership Award?

The Stella Maris Leadership Award fulfils our mission inspired by the Christian tradition is to be a community based on faith, hope and love; developing each individual intellectually, emotionally and spiritually to achieve their full potential.

Intellectual Virtues

Temperance/ Self-Control
Love of Learning
Sense of Humour

Moral Virtues


Civic Virtues

Responsible Citizenship

Performance Virtues



Practical Virtues


Bronze Award

Spes – Hope
To achieve this award students must have achieved in PTE a certain level of attendance as per student agreement, and completed the required assessed written elements, plus commendations and/or evidence for two virtues. One virtue to develop them personally and one that develops them as a person for others e.g. Responsible citizenship or service that are evidenced by contributions to College charities, helping at the ‘Forever Young Party’. Students must also have reflected on their progress the slips, challenges and successes [Practical Wisdom]
Award focus - service

Silver Award

Fides - Faith
To achieve this award students must have achieved the bronze award plus commendations and/or evidence for two additional virtues [different to the ones evidenced for the bronze award]. In addition they must have shown further progress in the virtue of service to others and responsible citizenship, not just contributions but regular active participation showing leadership in one or more activities; such as helping out in assemblies, open events, involved in sport, involved in drama or extra-curricular activities, departmental charities, involved in social action led by College, e.g. Lourdes / homeless sleep-out etc. Students must also have reflected on their progress the slips, challenges and successes [Practical Wisdom]
Award focus - leadership

Gold Award

Caritas - Love
To achieve this award students must have achieved both Bronze and Silver. Plus they must show they have made progress in all four virtue classifications [using evidence from [bronze and silver] as well as shown initiative and leadership (e.g. led and developed something themselves) such organising an event to raise money or awareness for a charity, a social action project. Or a person who has overcome or is dealing with extreme circumstances (e.g. carer, bereavement) and has evidenced the virtues in these circumstances students must also have reflected on their progress the slips, challenges and successes [Practical Wisdom]
Award focus - innovation

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