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Academic extension is at the core of the education we provide for every pupil at Ampleforth. In addition, we offer a variety of academic enrichment opportunities as part of our co-curricular programme including:

Ampleforth News: One for our budding journalists. The Ampleforth News Group writes and produces our student-run school newspaper, collecting news items, writing articles of interest, and interviewing key figures. The news group also writes articles for the local press and is regularly published in our local county newspapers.

Arcadia Classics Society: Aims to broaden the experience and enjoyment of those studying Classical subjects by focusing on learning about aspects of the Classical World which aren't covered in any of the exam board specifications - geared towards enjoyment! A super enrichment club for those considering Classics at university or just come to learn something new.

Art Club: Offers activities in Life Drawing, Stained Glass Design, Critical Studies, Art Open studio, Ceramics, and Art Printmaking and facilities for Digital Imaging and computer art, History of Art and Art appreciation resources, Drawing & Painting in a variety of media, and working in stone, wood, clay, plaster, and metal in our Sculpture Studio.

Astronomy Club: Meets weekly in Lent and Autumn terms to look at the night sky. We are privileged to be on the edge of a Dark Skies national park.  Throughout the year, there are additional events (based on significant space news and events such as meteor showers etc) and trips to nearby observation towers and observatories.

Aquinas Society: Named after the great medieval philosopher and theologian, gives students in the sixth form the opportunity to read more widely in these disciplines and discuss them. Meetings take the form of informal discussions based on a text. Involvement in the society is an ideal way of preparing to study Theology, Philosophy, or related subjects at university.

Biology Olympiad: For Sixth Form students who wish to increase their biological knowledge and understanding and take part in the National Biology Olympiad Competition. A great activity if you are considering a career in Medicine or Biochemistry.

Coding Club: Aimed at those interested in programming and Computer Science. Open to Years 9 to 11 to engage in programming challenges, cyber security activities, or improve their knowledge of computing systems. Some of the school’s best Sixth Form Computer Scientists are on hand to give students individual attention and help in whatever interests them.

Da Vinci Decathlon: An academic competition run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon, designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of students. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines: Engineering, Mathematics And Chess, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and General Knowledge.
Debating Society: Hosts discussion of current issues in the United Kingdom and abroad.  All are welcome. Benefits those who would like to improve their public speaking skills, be informed voters, hope to study politics or PPE at university, or are simply interested in the world they live in and want to know more about the decision-making process.

Eco Club: Explores a range of eco issues that can lead to working with the Eco-Schools Programme involving exciting environmental projects.  The Eco-club allows us to embark on a meaningful path towards improving the environment in both our school and the local community whilst at the same time embracing the Benedictine core value of stewardship.

Geography Society: The Royal Geographical Society delivers a range of fascinating lectures and this society is a forum to listen and discuss the numerous topics on offer. This is not just an option for Geographers, all are welcome. Examples of previous offerings include: The path from Paris: the new global politics of climate change - Professor Michael Jacobs; An atlas of countries that don’t exist - Dr Nick Middleton; and Travels with a camera to the ends of the Earth - John Aitchison.

Senior History Club: Develops students’ depth of understanding of the past, going far deeper than exam syllabuses, with the focus on looking at historiography, current issues and debates in History, and preparing for studying History at a more advanced level.

Linguistics Olympiad: For Sixth Form students who enjoy the challenge of exploring the complexities of language structure and would like to take part in the National Olympiad Competition in which students solve language puzzles. 

Maths Olympiad: For Sixth Form students who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of maths and take part in the National Olympiad Competition. A great activity if you are considering a degree in pure or applied Maths or Engineering.

Model United Nations: Students assume the role of national ambassadors to debate and seek to solve global issues. Any UN body or agency can be simulated (eg Security Council or General Assembly). By role-playing meetings, students get a unique insight into how the UN works and research, debate and try to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems just like the real thing. It’s great fun and helps develop and demonstrate key skills like public speaking, teamwork and negotiation. We link with other schools to provide greater diversity of views and speakers and provide an opportunity to meet new people.

Poetry Society: Meets weekly to enjoy poetry in the peaceful surroundings of the Library after sunset. Members bring along published poems as well as their own composition, to read and discuss. Meetings are typically "themed" eg Christmas poetry with mince pies, Irish poetry around St Patrick's day etc. Practising poets visit and read their work. Former members have gone on to win prizes in national writing competitions and publish their poetry in some of the UK's best university creative writing departments. 

Physics Olympiad: For Sixth Form students who wish to increase their knowledge and understanding of physics and take part in the National Physics Olympiad Competition. A great activity if you are considering a career in Physics or Engineering.

Politics Society: Come along and catch up on world events, engage in political discourse and discuss readings of the week. This is a student-led activity.

Psychology Club: An opportunity to explore some of psychology’s most famous experiments and research that highlight the often surprising scientific work that have changed what we believe about ourselves and what makes people tick. There are also opportunities for students to suggest and/or involve in psychological experiments and investigations. Open to all Junior years and led predominantly by sixth form psychology students.

Science Club: Aims to increase scientific knowledge and rediscover the fun of science through conducting experiments and investigations of a greater variety and in more depth than is plausible during class time.  Activities are drawn from all sciences with some experiments conducted in the Science Labs as well as surveying and observing the wildlife which lives in the valley.  There are also opportunities for students to suggest experiments or investigations which they would like to conduct.

UK Rocket Competition: Work as a team preparing a rocket to take part in the regional heats, and hopefully National final of the UKROC competition. Students will gain an understanding of systems and control principles, aerodynamics in designing and testing a rocket that can meet this year’s specific criteria of height and flight time.

Vehicle Restoration Project: Ampleforth has been rebuilding and renovating vehicles as an activity since 2006. This activity introduces and/or improves basic mechanical skills and also develop understanding of engineering and in particular electric vehicles. It involves the removal and restoration of body panels, identification and handling of mechanics tools, preparation and painting body panels. This year, we have the support of an OA to electrify a Berkeley T60.

A Compass for Life

Full Boarding & Day School for students aged 11 to 18