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Feast Day

On May 15th 1949, St Jeanne de Lestonnac was canonised. We celebrated the Feast Day of St Jeanne de Lestonnac on Wednesday and we were certainly blessed with stunning weather!

The Mass was concelebrated by Father Mervyn Williams, Father John Garry and Father Jonathan How, with lots of fabulous singing from senior, prep and staff choirs.

Feast Day Mass May 2019

Following the Mass, we all filed out of the Sports Hall and into our beautiful sunny grounds for a huge BBQ picnic lunch. This was followed by our traditional afternoon of games with both Senior and Prep girls mixing into groups.

Feast Day BBQ Picnic

Lots of fun and laughter was had by all!

Click on the collages to see the full photo galleries on our Flickr channel!

15 tips for emotional well-being for Mental Health Awareness week

by John-Paul Davies


1.      Accept you’ve always done your best and that there were no reliable crystal balls or fortune tellers available. No regrets, no records of wrongs. You’re never getting the time back, but it’s enough to take the lesson of whatever the difficult experience was, forgive yourself, decide how you might do it differently next time and do what you can to achieve that.


2.      Everything you take into your body through your mouth, ears and eyes, is mind, emotion and body-affecting. Try to notice what’s happening from a feeling/bodily point of view when you play that computer game, watch that film, check Instagram or even read the news. You know the news is full of things you ‘should’ be frightened of and/or angry about and/or stimulated by. The media is largely about getting your attention, rather than helping with your well-being, especially in today’s hypercompetitive, clickbait environment.


3.      Being grateful for where you’ve been, who you already are and what’s around you now is a key way to connection with self and others. The quickest way to happiness is to want what you already have.


4.      Video games, social media and books are all outward-in ways to change your state. Although you choose whatever it is, you’re largely then a passive recipient. You need to be able to shift yourself to happiness and contentment without always relying on outside input. Also try to balance these more passive behaviours with ones that involve movement, action and active interaction, both alone and with others.


5.      Do you find yourself saying that someone ‘made’ you, do it/think it/feel it or saying that others ‘drag you down’, ‘wear you out’, ‘wind you up’, ‘do your head in’, ‘let you down’ and annoy/outrage/bore/disappoint/upset you? Try to hold in mind that no one can ‘make’ you feel anything: other people shouldn’t have control over your thoughts and feelings in the way this implies.


6.      If you breathe easily, you relax and settle your body, because that’s how you breathe when you feel safe. You slow your heart-rate and calibrate your body to actual levels of safety. With no agitated body to support distressing thoughts and feelings, your thoughts and feelings can calm down – they assume that if your body isn’t worried, then you must be safe. Which you most often really are.


7.      A key way to increase happiness through relationships is to help and take care of other people and to accept their help and care where you can. In neuroscientific terms, caring for someone activates your sense of well-being in the way that being cared for does. Being selfless makes you feel good too. Whereas you might believe you’ll ‘burden’ others if you go to them for help, know instead that accepting others’ kindness, support and generosity most often helps them to feel good too. It’s a win–win.


8.      Thoughts are just a little passing piece of your human experience. Like the sound of a car driving past or an itch. They’re only a collective idea you’ve learned to hold on to, reusing the limited data you’ve taken in to date. You need to try not to collude with any overinflated sense of the importance of thoughts. They are always an invitation. Acceptance of them by you is always optional. 


9.      Try to avoid comparing yourself to others. Instead, only compare you to you in the past and direct most of your attention to taking care of your own business. It’s important to be mindful of and moderate any tendency you might have to compare and compete all the time with other people. Some competition is enjoyable and motivating for you, but always competing is always being disconnected. 


10.  We might have a tendency to take people-pleasing too far, maybe think about the ‘rule of ten’, i.e. with nine other strangers in a room at a party, three will like you, three won’t mind either way and three may dislike you. It isn’t possible to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine – you can still be safe, fulfilled and happy. Try to let go of the need to be liked by everyone, if this is what you experience. When you’re trying to be liked all the time, you’re focusing completely on the other person, rather than dropping inside and checking whether you actually like them.


11.  Think in terms of choosing whether or not to respond, rather than reacting, when you’re annoyed about something. Wherever possible, don’t allow anger to be in charge when you speak to others and choose the right time – when both of your nervous systems are balanced, therefore receptive and therefore capable of empathy and connection. This way, you can be sure you say what you mean, that you mean what you say and that, to the extent you’re in control of this, the other person will be doing the same.


12.  Try to hold in mind that, while you know the important space you inhabit in the world, no one is less beautiful, or more special, than anyone else. As amazing, irreplaceable and unique as you are, you’re one part of this great, interconnected body of humanity; a part of something much bigger than you and a world that doesn’t revolve around you. Which is quite a relief, actually, because it means you can now just get on and do your own thing.


13.  Your brain – possessing no inbuilt, automatic process to identify and expand experiences that make you happy – is not naturally programmed to turn your positive experiences, like that great feedback or an unprompted warm hug from someone, into neural pathways you can keep going back to. You therefore need to try to deliberately do that now, every day, whenever you remember. By doing this, you’ll increase your ability to recognise and grow the good in yourself and others.


14.  Distressing and negative thoughts held in mind will then be experienced in life due to your natural biases. For example, people who believe you’re not meant to enjoy your work are unlikely to ever enjoy what they do. This is the virtual reality of thinking. Try to be aware that if you think it all the time, it had better be what you want.


15.  Another way of connecting more with people is to try to see yourself in others and others in yourself. We’re all much more similar than we are different. We all cry, can create and destroy, need to love and be loved, get frightened and angry. You can connect to almost anyone by means of a basic, imperfect and beautiful humanity.


John-Paul Davies, Cobham based Counsellor, Therapist, Coach

Author of the self-help book "Finding a Balanced Connection", now available on Amazon

Book reviews include:

“A totally wonderful and inspiring book.”

“I cannot recommend it more highly. I think this book will change the way you see and go about your life”

“This is a book full of compassion and wisdom in a format that's easy to read and to apply...he will help to change the way you relate to yourself and others.”




WWI Trench Models by Year 9

Some of the Year 9s have taken part in a homework project in History this term to recreate a visual image of a WWI trench.  The task was to complement as well as to increase their knowledge of the topic of trench warfare which they have been studying in class ahead of the Year 9 trip to Ypres where they will visit a WWI trench.

Year 9 WW1 Trench Models

They were given the task to create a visual image to show to what life was like for soldiers fighting in the trenches in WWI.  They had to include at least 3 pieces of information choosing from:

  • What a trench is
  • Parts of a trench (diagram)
  • Conditions in the trenches (a letter or a  diary entry that explains what is was like)
  • Diseases that soldiers in the trenches suffered from (a medical report from a doctor explaining symptoms and treatments)
  • Weapons used (diagram) in the trench
  • How trenches were defended/attacked

They could choose to present the information in any way including:

  • Making a 3D model
  • Making a cake of the trenches

Lots of the girls took part and made the most incredible models, some were made from cake and some from cardboard, paint and even sand.  I was so impressed by their creative ability and attention to detail.  We had blown off arms and legs and rats and the cakes, despite looking disgusting, actually tasted delicious.  A huge well done to all the girls who took part. 

Mrs Best

23.2 million people are still using '123456' as their password!

Baffling, even in 2019!

‘123456789’ (7.7 million) closely followed by ‘qwerty’ , ‘password’ and ‘111111111’ were the most hacked, and quite ridiculous, passwords according to a list published by the National Cyber Security Centre. These staggering facts were the recent highlight of an excellent assembly delivered by our very own Year 7 Digital Leaders to their peers on the topic of hacking. They also proved that an alarming number of Year 7 actually have passwords in the top five; time to change those passwords!

Year 7 Digital Leaders

Our intrepid Digital Leaders highlighted the fact that there is increasing demand for this highly skilled profession, as companies and businesses attempt to protect themselves from cyber-attack but also the different types of hackers that exist: Black Hat (unethical) and White Hat hackers (ethical). Well done: Millie E, Ananya P, Aoife S, Abi W.

Mr Lawley

Foxes Squirrels & Hedgehogs Learn About Life-Cycles
FSH Life Cycles

Foxes, Hedgehogs and Squirrels have been busy learning about life-cycles this week with caterpillars, butterflies, seeds and flowers.  They have been observing their live caterpillars and have created beautiful 3D pictures showing the full life-cycle of the butterfly!  The children have also planted seeds, are looking after their plants and eagerly waiting for them to grow!

Chaplain's Corner May 17th

This week we celebrate the Feast Day of our foundress, St Jeanne de Lestonnac. For me, St Jeanne embodies the qualities which I aspire to demonstrate within my own life. She was courageous, brave, humble, tenacious, caring and generous. St Jeanne was also a strong leader and she led by example, although she did not let her authority go to her head. Most importantly, as Father Mervyn said yesterday in his homily at Mass, she listened. She listened to what God was telling her and acted on it, which has ultimately led to us all being here in Cobham, getting on for half a century later, still doing what she set out to do!

St Jeanne is my heroine and I am so glad that we had such a lovely Mass, with amazing music and a pervasive spirit of community. She deserves to be honoured in such a celebration and I feel certain she was smiling down on us all on Wednesday as we came together in the sunshine. I’d like to thank everyone who made it such a special day.

We are all so lucky to be part of the Notre Dame community and to have St Jeanne as our inspiration, whether as students, parents, teachers or staff. Because of her, countless young women have grown up to become strong and independent women who have gone out into the world to try and make it a better place, dedicated in their service of God. With that thought, let us always keep the flame of St Jeanne burning bright within our hearts and throughout the world.


St Jeanne de Lestonnac

I will leave you with a short Lestonnac prayer which I have rediscovered this week

In the company of Mary Our Lady, we pray that the flame enkindled in the heart of St Jeanne de Lestonnac, our foundress, may continue to inspire us.

May we be enabled to maintain her unique vision, stretching out a hand to serve in a way that is always new.

We ask that the spark of her charism may spread to burn within the hearts of everyone throughout the world .


Mrs Hopkins, Chaplain


ND Staff Walked The Walk

Breast Cancer Charity Night Walk


Congratulations to Mrs Ingram and Mrs Franco and all of the wonderful women who walked the Moonwalk on Saturday night! It's an evening full of emotion and 26.2 miles (Full Moonwalk Marathon) or 13.1+2 Miles (Half Moon Marathon) of walking through the night around the streets of London! The walk raises money and awareness for Breast Cancer and this year was the 22nd Moonwalk London!

Well done ladies!



Summer Touch Typing Courses


Summer Touch Typing Courses


Following our oversubscribed Easter Courses, we are pleased to provide details of our 

Summer courses. Ideal for those with Dyslexia and other special needs. Recommended by the 

Richmond Dyslexia Association and we receive referrals from Educational Physiologists.


Courses start on the 30th July. Four courses of four mornings.


All the details are on the above poster or phone Jane on 020 8568 4633.


Online booking and card payment now available on


Early booking discount ends 24th June.


16th year.


FoND Weekly News May 17th

 Ice Lollies

Ice Lollies on Sale Every Friday

Thank you to the Year 1 mums who raised £116 in ice cream and ice lolly sales last week.  Ice-creams will be on sale today by the Sports Hall. Do bring your small change and enjoy a refreshing ice cream or ice lolly!

Second Hand Uniform Shop

Nearly New uniform

Nearly new uniform sale shop is open today from 3.15 to 4.30pm do pop in and have a look at the range of items we have in stock.

Senior Summer Disco

Year 7 and 8 Summer Disco

The Summer Senior School Disco is being held on Friday 28th June. Calling all Year 7 and Year 8 students, this event is packed with loads of fun, music and entertainment. Tickets go on sale today and are £10. There are limited spaces. Please note that tickets MUST be purchased in advance.

Garden Tea Party

Afternoon Tea Garden Party

We are looking forward to our Garden Party Afternoon Tea next Wednesday 22nd May, and we hope to see lots of you there.

Daddy and Daughter Camp Out

Daddy and Daughter Camp Out

Daddy & Daughter Campout tickets are now on sale. Hurry Dads!  Enjoy quality time with your daughters while enjoying a BBQ in our beautiful grounds.

Christmas Ball

Christmas Ball at Hampton Court

Notre Dame' Annual Christmas Ball 2019 - please note that tickets go on sale on Friday 7th June at 9.30am.

Sports Board

Prep Sports Board May 17th

Walton Cricket League Night 2

Walton Cricket League

The girls have shown so much improvement since we last played. This time round they score the most runs, over the four games played and their also got the most wickets, which showed great team work and improvement in their skills. We won one game and lost one game, so next time we are going for the wins! Well played girls.


Surrey Tennis Fixtures

This week the girls have played lots of their Surrey League tennis matches, against Danes Hill, St Teresa’s and Putney.

Surrey League Tennis

The girls had a great afternoon against St Teresa’s winning all their games! Thank-you to Michelle for stepping in and playing at the last minute.


U11A- C Rounders v Claremont

The Notre Girls had a wonderful afternoon of rounders against Claremont on Tuesday, thankfully in the May sunshine too! The girls played very well and have all shown great improvement since their last match. Well done to the A and B teams who both won their matches and very well played to the C team who narrowly lost 8-10.


U8-U11 GHS Athletics

U8-U11 GHS Athletics

On Wednesday, the girls attended their first athletics competition of the year hosted by Guildford High. It was a great afternoon with the girls achieving top three places in the majority of events, which stands us in great stead heading into District Athletics next week. Especially well done to the Year 3 girls as, for most of them, this was their first athletics competition for the school.


U8A-C Cricket v Claremont

On Friday 17th May the U8 girls had their first cricket match of the season against Claremont. It was a wonderful afternoon where the girls learnt so much about the game and demonstrated the skills they have been learning. Thank you to Claremont for coming! Photos are on twitter.

The Notre Dame girls are back in action on Friday 24th May against Rowan.


Fixtures next week and after half term

Monday 20th May – U11A- C Rounders v Halstead @ ND 4:15pm

Tuesday 21st May – U11 A- D Cricket v Rowan 3:15pm-4:15pm Home /AWAY

Wednesday 22nd May – District Athletics 9:00am-2:30pm @ Chaterhouse School

Thursday 23rd May – U8-U11 Athletics @ MHS 4:30pm

Thursday 23rd May - U10/U11 Surrey Tennis v Wimbledon AWAY 4:00pm

Friday 24th May – U8 Cricket v Rowan @ ND 2:30pm

Monday 3rd June – U8-U11 Cross Country Relays @ ND 4:30pm

Tuesday 4th June- U11A Rounders v Milbourne Lodge AWAY 3:15pm

Friday 7th June – U8 Tennis v CLFS @ ND 2:45pm

Saturday 8th June- IAPS Swimming FINALS

Mrs Purgavie

Prep Intersquad Gala Report
InterSquad Gala 2019

Last Thursday we finished the season with our annual Inter-squad Swimming Gala with 41 girls competing including 6 year 2 girls. We witnessed some really exciting races. 92 new records were set, last year we had 79 records and 46 girls so this show how well the girls were swimming. Almost every girl set at least one new personal best time. I have attached a table showing who has set new records and in what stroke.  All these new records are so impressive and this is one of the reasons we hold this event each year because the girls consistently produce their best times at this event. Girls if you would like to know your times please let me have your planners and I will update them.


New Records Set at the Intersquad swimming Gala  - 9th May 2019

  • = Gold Time


Year 2


Holly H


Lauren K


Olivia K


Angelica K


Bella M


Aleksandra S

















Year 3


Elisia CJ


Charlotte G


Campbell  B


Ainsley L


Hettie P


Ella N


Alexandra B


















Year 4


Lucy D


Phoebe J


Michelle E


Luella W


Ella |H


Grace P


Natalie S

















Year 5


Lexi T


Mia-Lily H


Madison B


Serena G


Sabrina CJ


Jas W


Olivia H


Annie P


Sarah G














FC*,BK,BR, Fly







Year 6


Grace G


Alexia W


Taylor K


Olivia B


Stephanie W


Lila R


Ciara S


Gracie H


Lily-Ella B


Gabby P























At the presentation awards after the swimming event awards were  given for commitment to the Notre Dame Swimming Team and some girls were presented with Special awards.

Star of the Year Award:- Year 2 – Holly H,  Year 3 –Ella N, Year 4 – Valentina SF, Year 5 Serena G.

Year 6 Awards:- Diving Cup – Grace G, Outstanding Breaststroke – Lila R, Outstanding Backstroke – Alexia W, Most Versatile – Steph W, Perseverance & Commitment – Olivia B, Outstanding Commitment to Swimming at Notre Dame – Ciara S.

The Captain’s and Vice Captain’s Award went to Campbell B.

Many thanks to the current captain Ciara and vice-captain Alexia you have done a great job this year and thank you for your lovely speech.

Green Book Awards were awarded to:- Lila, Alexia, Steph, Taylor, and Ella H, for achieving National School Speed Award Gold standard in at least 3 out of 4 strokes. I have now looked at the times and the following girls have also now achieved the required times:- Lucy D, Sabrina CJ, Serena G, and Grace G – These Green Books will be handed out in assembly.

Well done to all the girls that attended the IAPS regional round and Good Luck to the girls in the finals on the 8th June.


The swimmer voted by the girls for Swimmer of the Year was Elisia CJ – Well done Elisia.


After checking all the result one race was announced incorrectly the Year 4 Backstroke race, the correct result is:

1st Lucy D, 2nd Ella H, 3rd Luella W, 4th Phoebe J, 5th Cameron S, 6th Grace P. Sorry girls I will issue new certificates and these will be presented in assembly.


Finally many thanks again to the parent and staff helpers over the year and to all the parents for their support throughout the year. Thank you all so much for my fantastic gifts and the lovely flowers I received it is so kind of you all.


Swimmers you have been amazing this year and I am so proud of you all, you are so committed and dedicated to swimming at Notre Dame and I am looking forward to next year.


Many thanks

Elaine Jones

Senior Sports Board May 17th


Surrey Tennis League


U13 and U15 Surrey Tennis League Matches v Surbiton

U13 Surrey Team tennis match v Surbiton High

We lost but Kakou had a thrilling singles match, losing 6-3 to a higher-ranked opponent.

U15 Surrey League team were 3-3 going into the final round but lost the match 6-3.

Marie Cup

Marie Cup Round 2

Well done to the 15 girls who competed in the second round of the Marie Cup tennis competition. There were some great matches. Congratulations to Kakou N, Emma G, Hannah S, Isabel C, Katie C, Saskia W, Verify P + Olivia F who have all qualified for the 3rd round.


U12 A & B v Manor House

U12 A and B Rounders v Manor House

ND U12 rounders matches v Manor House was played in glorious sunshine last night and it was so close!

ND A’s sneaked ahead 18.5-16, ND B’s won 23-17.5 player of the night was Emma G

Gold for Sophie in the Pool!

Congratulations to Sophie K who picked up GOLD in the girls 50 breaststroke regional finals last weekend. This is the first medal for her! Well done Sophie! #thisgirlcan 

Sophie K-Swimming Gold Medal


Performing Arts

Senior Drama Board May 17th

Emil and the Detectives

Rehearsals recommence for the Lower School Play which will be performed in the Montaigne Theatre on 26th and 27th June 

Emil and the Detectives Poster

Congratulations to all our Inter-House Drama actors and directors for last weeks' excellent festival which really showcased the talent of so many of our new and current younger actors in the senior school.  

Now, many of our Year 7 to Year 9 actors are rehearsing again on Wednesday evenings and Thursday lunchtimes up to summer half-term, for the forthcoming Lower School Play, Emil and the Detectives

Cast members should make sure that they check on Firefly, the Drama Notice Board, or on the photo board in the Montaigne Studio, for the updated rehearsal schedules that Mrs Hehir has posted, which give specific details about which rehearsals to attend and which scenes to be prepared for.

After half-term and exam week, the final two weeks of rehearsals will begin in earnest, leading up to the performance dates of Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th June.  We hope lots of family and friends will be able to attend this exciting production, so please mark the dates in your diary.

Miss Graham

Prep Music Boards May 17th

Feast Day

Congratulations to all of the Prep choirs on their beautiful singing at the Feast Day Mass!

Prep choirs at Feast Day Mass

Summer Soirees

The instrumental teachers are currently arranging dates for the summer soiree concert series.  Most instrumental teachers do run a soiree concert in the summer term, and these concerts are organised by the teachers.  You will hear directly from your daughter’s instrumental teacher if they would like your daughter to perform in a soiree this term.  Most concerts will take place after half term and the concert series timetable will be published before half term. 

Faith and Music assemblies:


The next Faith and Music Assembly is:

24th May, 9am

Faith and Music assembly 5H

Theme: Flourishing in our relationships/reconciliation


Mrs Shaw

Senior Music Board May 17th

Feast Day

Congratulations to the choirs and soloist who sang brilliantly at the Feast Day Mass!

Senior Feast Day Mass Choirs



Prep Library News May 17th

Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May

This week many books for young children, that acknowledge or explore mental health issues, are brought to the public’s attention. Reading books together can help to encourage dialogue, reduce stigma and increase understanding. The Book Trust lists a range of books that can help parents to explore their children’s range of emotions and perhaps provoke a useful discussion too.

For younger children:

The Colour Monster

The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas; published by Templar.

“An original and entertaining picture book using colour, collage-effect illustrations and a delightfully cute monster to help youngsters identify and understand different emotions.”

The 10pm Question

The 10pm Question by Kate Di Goldi; published by Templar.

“Like his desk, Frankie likes life to be orderly and neat. But then Sydney arrives, and disturbs Frankie’s carefully organised world, forcing to ask a hitherto unspoken 10pm question.”

The Cloud

The Cloud by Hannah Cumming; published by Child’s Play.

“Everyone loves art class; everyone except the little girl who sits alone and draws nothing, a black cloud glowering above her.”

See also:


Museums at Night 15-18 May

Museums at Night

Museums across the country will be open at night for special activities, sleepovers and performance art. Have a look here to see if there is something at a museum near you.


Abi Elphinstone visit 16 May

Abi Elphinstone Workshop

We were delighted to welcome author Abi Elphinstone to the Prep School, to talk to the girls in Years 3,4,5 and 6. Her inspiration for her award-winning books comes from her many travels and adventures; from abseiling into seaside caves to crossing the Arctic with a dog sled, Abi’s enthusiasm is infectious and we can’t wait to read the latest in her ‘Unmapped Chronicles’ series of books. Rumblestar is the first in the series and many girls were delighted to receive their own copies and start reading! Thank you for your support and we look forward to following Abi’s next adventures, wherever they might take her.

Mrs Hughes

Senior Library News May 17th


Year 7 Library Project - Poetry

Last term students in Year 7 completed some amazing Poetry Projects – many of which are now on display in the Senior School Library. As part of the project, they explored different types of poetry; learnt to recognise literary devices; created an anthology of their favourite poems and finally wrote their own poem. Here are some of the very creative winning entries.

Year 7 Library Projects

Due to the very high standard of entries – there were 11 winners and 21 runners-up (judged by class). Prizes were awarded during Year assembly this week and the overall Year 7 winner was Annie Campbell for this very clever flower design.

Year 7 Winners                                                                               

Mia S, Mia D, Thea W, Sienna W, Flora C, Annie C, Emma L, Kakou N, Sophie Trotman, Hajin L, Caitlin Mc.


Runners Up

Alice C, Lex A, Eva A, Amy F, Abi W, Xenia DS, Vera SF, Gia G, Bea D, Connie L, Kitty W, Alice H, Thea D, Lauren LP, Sophie K, Molly C, Millie E, Isabella A, Vittoria BB, Darcey D, Eva T.


The Year 8 and 9 Library Project prizes will be awarded during Year assemblies on Monday 20th May.


First News Education iHub

Well done to Isabella B, Kakou N (Year 7), Maya B, Bea CS, Chloe S and Scarlett R (Year 8) who were awarded certificates for their excellent use if First news iHub.


Congratulations to Sam AB and Yana S in Year 9 who have completed their Reading Passports and received Book Awards.


Mrs Finch