Our Enrichment Programme.

Enrichment is at the heart of St Leonard’s school. We are dedicated to providing opportunities so that all pupils can benefit from opportunities outside of the classroom. This ranges from Public Speaking to Rowing; from Chess Club to Rugby; from Musical Performance to the Duke of Edinburgh; and from Cyber Security to Ancient Greek.

The full range of our clubs can be found below, this includes the many societies that are run by our Sixth Form students. At any one time we have over 60 clubs actively running during the school week.

The following are just a small selection of our clubs and activities, a fuller guide can be found here:

Boat Club

Established in the early 1970s by Mr Parker the St Leonard’s Boat Club really took off and was soon winning medals in national competitions. The club has several notable alumni including Nathaniel Reilly O’Donnell, a double world champion and European gold medallist who was part of the men’s rowing team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

St Leonard’s Boat Club has run successfully for many years, and the training sessions are open to all pupils to join. We are fortunate that our boat club has its own boat house on the River Wear at Durham, and over the years the school has had notable local and national success. If anyone is interested in joining the Boat Club please see Mr Smith or Mrs Shaw.

Eleanor has recently competed at the British Rowing championships in Strathclyde. Eleanor performed exceptionally well and achieved a bronze medal with her teammate Jasmine. This means the duo are the 3rd fastest women’s 14 quad in Great Britain, which is an astounding achievement! Eleanor also competed in a single where she won the B final placing her 7th overall.

Musical Success

We are proud to have a thriving Music Department with Choirs and Orchestra’s regularly performing at school events. We work in very close partnership with Durham Music Service and we have over 150 pupils with either individual singing or instrumental lessons.

Duke of Edinburgh

We have a very large uptake of pupils participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, with over 100 in some year groups singing up to the award. Pupils start on the Bronze Scheme and can move through to the Gold scheme. The weather isn’t always kind on these outdoor trips, but it never seems to lessen the pupils’ spirits!

Academic Enrichment

There are many clubs that link to the curriculum, including all subjects at Sixth Form, so that pupils with a passion for a particular subject have the opportunity to pursue their interest. We always want to celebrate students who have this passion. Recently one of our Sixth Formers – Amy Beverley – won the prestigious Oxford University Tower Poetry Competition with her poem, Dance of the Prisoner.

Educational Visits

Educational Visits We run many educational visits throughout the year to enhance our pupils’ experience and give our pupils an opportunity to learn outside of the classroom. Most of these trips would take place in final week of the academic year in July, as part of our Activities Week celebrations. 

Catholic Life: We run a variety of retreats at the Emmaus Village in Consett for our Year 7 and Year 10 pupils. This is to help develop our pupils’ faith, confidence and build friendships. In addition to this, we also run an annual trip to ‘CYMFED Flame’ in London for our Year 10 pupils. This is the largest Catholic gathering of young people in England and Wales with over 10,000 people attending the event at Wembley. Headline acts have included Guvna B, Faith Child and Adenike. In July, we offer our Year 9 and 10 pupils an opportunity to attend the Summer Festival at the Youth Village. Pupils participate in workshops, activities, reflections, dancing and live music. 

PE: For PE, we offer our Year 7 and 8 pupils a residential experience at an Outward Bound Centre in Ullswater. Activities on this trip include: scrambling, rock climbing, abseiling, wilderness camping, hiking, kayaking and a high ropes challenge. In addition to this, our Key Stage 3 pupils are offered an opportunity to attend our football trip during Activities Week. This takes place in a variety of European cities, and our pupils play inter-group fixtures and visit other cultural sites. 

Geography: As part of our Geography course, we undertake a residential fieldwork in Blencathra in Sixth Form. In addition to this, as part of Activities Week, we offer our Year 9 pupils a chance to put their geographical knowledge into action by visiting Sorrento, Italy. Pupils visit the historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and called into Capri. 

History: Our History trip to Ypres offers our Year 9 pupils a first-hand insightinto the historical sites which stand as reminders of World War One. Pupils visit various First World War cemeteries, memorials, trenches as well as wreath laying at the Remembrance Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres. This trip takes place during Activities Week. 

RE: The purpose of our Year 9 Rome trip is to allow pupils the opportunity to opportunity to reflect on the city’s religious heritage, whilst exploring their own beliefs. They will develop informed insights on fundamental questions relating to identity, belonging, purpose, truth, values and commitments – leaving them better positioned to express their own beliefs and discuss differing views. This trip takes place during Activities Week. 

French: Our Year 8 France Trip allows our pupils to use their linguistic skills and immerse themselves in French culture. Previously we have travelled to Paris and Nice. Très bien!

Science: As part of Activities Week, our Science department offer a residential at Lockerbie Manor. Over the three days, the pupils will complete a variety of 9 main activities, which could include open canoeing, abseiling, obstacle courses, fencing ,rifle shooting, blind trails, mountain-biking, climbing, kayaking and archery.

Art: Our Sixth Form Art trip usually takes place in half term 3. Pupils have previously visited a variety of locations including London, Amsterdam and Paris. It’s the perfect opportunity for our Sixth Form students to embrace a variety of culture and develop an appreciation of different cities. 

Operation Wallacea: This opportunity is available to our Sixth Form students  who are interested in conservation and the environment. Our pupils fundraise for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Previous destinations have included Mexico, South Africa, Dominique and Croatia. 

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Updated | 21st January, 2024 |

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