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 spirituality. 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. 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 we consider include: Why believe in God? Why not believe in God? Should we care for people we don’t know? How should we conduct ourselves in our relationships?

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 are awarded in partnership with 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.

What is the Stella Maris Leadership Award?

The Stella Maris Leadership Award in partnership with Leeds Trinity University is designed to cultivate the habits and virtues necessary to be a fully rounded person able to meet the challenges of the 21st century. These include the development of good sense, or practical wisdom, and the capacity to choose between alternatives. The aim holistically is to develop students who reflect and act on how to ‘be my best self’ Integrity in Action.

To lay the foundation of a good character we believe we need to create an arena in which students gain virtue literacy through both the teaching of virtues such as respect, perseverance and responsibility and the opportunities to practise and apply these skills in college, at home and in the community. Each student through the teachings in PTE will learn about the virtues and how these can be acquired through deliberate acts. 

There are three levels of the award: bronze, silver and gold. Each student will be expected to gain at least the bronze level by the time they leave College. Each award will be recognised by a star shaped badge, and certificate.

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. These could include assemblies, open events, sport, drama, extra curricula activities, departmental charities, and involvement in social action led by College, e.g. Lourdes / homeless sleep-out etc. Students must also have reflected on their progress; their 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 as well as shown initiative and leadership (e.g. led and developed something themselves) such as organising an event to raise money or awareness for a charity, a social action project. They may have overcome or be dealing with extreme circumstances (e.g. carer, bereavement) and have 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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