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Chaplain's Corner Nov 27th

Sunday marks the beginning of the season of Advent.  The liturgical colour in the chapel has been changed from the green of Ordinary Time to the purple of Advent.  Our Advent wreath awaits the lighting of its first candle.  Pupils and students in both the Prep and Senior schools will be reflecting on the significance of Advent next week. 

The season of Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas.  It provides a countdown to Christmas, easily illustrated by Advent calendars, literally marking off the passage of time from the beginning of the season to its end.  For some of us it gives a sense of urgency … better get on with buying and wrapping presents … better write and send cards … better organise a food order … better put up decorations.

All these things are important, because without preparation no celebration will go as well as it could, no celebration will be fully enjoyed.  Preparation is necessary, and Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas.

It would be easy to think though of Advent as merely a means to an end, with us looking forward only to the end of Advent, because at the end of Advent is Christmas.  It would be a missed opportunity to regard Advent in this way.

Amongst the excitement of getting our homes and our families ready for Christmas, Advent provides an invitation for us to prepare our own hearts to welcome the birth of Christ.  Advent provides the invitation for us to reflect on the extraordinary and immense gift of Christmas time – that God chose to become man; that out of love for us God chose to live on earth.

Just as we prepare the important practicalities, it is also important to prepare our hearts and to give ourselves the time and space to encounter God’s love – the love that when Christmas day comes will say, Christ is born for YOU.

Advent is the time for ensuring that Christ is at the heart of Christmas.

Advent 2020

Wishing every blessing during the season of Advent.

Mr George, Chaplain

Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2020 Results
Bebras 2020 computational thinking challenge

It may be into its 4th year but that doesn’t mean the girls are getting complacent or being any less competitive. Whilst the girls might find the challenge ‘gritty’, and rightly so as it isn’t called a challenge for nothing, yet again we’ve had some outstanding results.

Congratulations to all who took part. Big kudos to the following who were top in their respective age group with particular mentions to:

1.      Hattie A (Year 8) for not only outperforming all of Year 9 but for also achieving the highest score we’ve ever had and

2.     Annabel W (Year 11) for achieving her 2nd consecutive ‘Best in School’.




Juniors (Yr7):




Intermediate (Yr8/9):




Senior (Yr10/11):




Elite (6th Form):




We eagerly await an announcement of those pupils who achieved scores in the top 10% of the country and lucky for them they will be invited to take part in an even tougher challenge in March “The TCS Oxford Computing Challenge”, which aims to help talented computational thinkers develop by challenging them to solve tasks with programmed solutions. Watch this space…

Lastly, the 2nd ever inter-house Computing Challenge and recipients of the highly coveted ‘Golden Debugging Duck’ trophy was won (convincingly) this year by…. Lestonnac. Huge congratulations, sorry Montaigne we can’t win everything.

Bebras Challenge 2020 Graph
Inter House Computer Science Duck Trophy

Mr Lawley

Food & Nutrition Nov 27th

Year 10

Y10 have been developing their understanding of Nutrition: Vitamins and Minerals. The girls have been producing Mock-tails identifying the ingredients sources, nutrients, deficiency diseases and suitable target groups. Here are the finished Mock-tails:

Group 1

Year 10 Mocktails

Group 2

Y10 Mocktails Group 2


Year 9

Y9 Notre Dame Great British Bake Off Challenge. First Challenge is a Technical Bake: Cookies

Year 9 GBBO - Cookies


The girls have their basic ingredients bags and their Basic (blanked out recipe). Good Luck to all competitors!

Mrs Anderson

Senior House Points Champions League - November Round Up

English department launch independent enquiry into house point rigging and Lestonnac demand Montaigne ‘Stop the count!’  

They’ve yet to provide any evidence but Rudy Gilliani’s team, with time on their hands now, have apparently taken an interest in the English department’s allegations of house point irregularities within the Geography department. 

Subject House Points Nov

November has seen thousands of house points being awarded… 

Monthly Totals Nov

but Montaigne continue their overall dominance. Small consolation, but Lestonnac did win the Inter House Computer Science challenge (Congratulations), with those house points yet to be added.  

House Totals Nov

Key stage 3 dominate the top spots of the individual table…  

Champions League Top of Years - Nov

and overall too. Well done to Year 9 too for keeping Year 7 keen and Year 10 and 11, it is close! 

Year Groups - Nov

How is you form doing? Take a look… 

Forms - Nov

Mr Lawley

Year 2 Excuses Excuses!

Miss Harris' Year 2 English group have been learning about the features of letter writing. They enjoyed reading and learning the story 'Dear Teacher' and wrote letters inspired by this book to Mrs. Morgan explaining 'why they cannot come to school'. The children were THRILLED to receive replies from Mrs. Morgan in the post! 

Year 2 Excuses Letters

It is a good job that they are all safe and sound and back at school following their adventures!! 

Miss Harris

Forest School Weekly Round Up - Nov 27th

Upper Nursery

Upper Nursery Forest School Nov 27th

Upper Nursery FS session this week was full of new experiences! We have started to build our insect hotel using nails, hammers & mallets for the first time - amazing job nursery #hansonbox

Upper Nursery Forest School Nov 26th

Upper Nursery were back in the Forest yesterday having lots of fun using their senses to find materials suitable for our bug hotel!

Lady beetleMrs Skuse, Forest School Leader

Boxes of Love

Over the years we have established very good friendships with our neighbours who are resident at Whiteley Village, particularly those living in residential care.  Sadly, this Christmas we will not be able to visit and spend time with the residents to sing carols and Christmas songs, and to share the joy of Christmas in that way.  What we can still do though is package up some ‘Boxes of Love’, made up of little Christmas gifts, that can be delivered to our friends in residential care.

A Little Box of Love

The types of small gift suggested by Whiteley Village are:

Shower gel

Puzzle books




Talcum Powder

Hand cream

We would welcome any of these, that we can then wrap and package and deliver.  Please can any gift donations be brought to school by Wednesday 2 December.

Thank you very much for your support.

Michael George, Chaplain


Sports Board

Prep Sports Board Nov 27th

Inter House Badminton

Year 5

On Monday 23rd November, Year 5 took part in the very first inter house badminton competition. The girls all earnt 5HP for entering the tournament and as they progressed earnt more HP for their houses. Well done to all that took part, you did you houses proud and played wonderful badminton.

We had an all Richard Final, with Elisabetta and Poppy winning the tournament over all.

Below are the number of House points each house earnt throughout the tournament










Year 5 Inter House Badminton Tournament


Inter House Hockey

Year 6

Year 6 inter House Hockey Nov 27th

Badminton racquet and shuttlecock

Well done to all the girls who played in the Y6 Inter House Hockey Cup competition. The girls played great hockey and used all the skills they have learnt this term.

Well done to the winning house Jeanne for winning the tournament.

Inter House Swimming Gala

Year 5

Y5 Inter House Swimming Gala 2020

Well done girls - you all swam brilliantly in the inter house gala!

Congratulations to the winning house - Richard!

Overall Results:

1st - Richard, 2nd Gaston, 3rd Jeanne and 4th Michel

Virtual IAPS Swimming Gala

IAPS Y5 Virtual Swimming Gala

Last night at Year 5 swimming club we took times for our virtual gala!

Virtual XC Competition – Sent off

Over the past 2 weeks, girls from Year 3-6 have volunteered to take part in a virtual cross country competition against 17 local schools in the area. Year 3 and 4 had to run 1.5km as fast as they could and Year 5 & 6 had to complete a 2km course. The Notre Dame times have been sent off and will find out the results before the end of term.

Good luck TEAM ND!

Around The World Challenge

Year 4 Around The World Challenge - Netball

Y4 completing their ‘around the world challenge’ as part of their netball warm up last night!

Year 5 Around The World Challenge - Speed Bounce

Yr5 completing their speed bounce and around the world challenge as their warm up! 

House Steps Challenge

Next week Monday 30th November- 7th December the girls will have the opportunity to take part in the inter house steps challenge. The girls will try and complete as many steps as they can throughout the week and keep track of their daily steps.

If the girls have a watch that calculates their steps they should use that and if they don’t they can use this simple way of calculating their steps; 1 min of walking = 100 steps.

The girls will either send me their steps via teams each evening or they can keep a note at school and I will collate the results at the end of the week


Mrs Purgavie

Senior Sports Board Nov 27th

Inter House Swimming Gala

Year 7

Year 7 Inter House Swimming Gala 2020

Well done to all the girls who participated in the inter house swimming gala, they all swam really well. It was a lovely event and a great opportunity for the girls to have an element of competition during these strange and unusual circumstances. The final results were: 4th place Eyquem with 21 points, 3rd place Montaigne with 23 points, 2nd place Lestonnac with 33 points and the winners in 1st place were Montferrant with 43 points. A big thank you to the Year 7 captains who supported and encouraged all swimmers as well as made sure all their team were swimming in the correct races.

The girls who participated in the 100m Individual Medley races swam very well too! The results are:

Year 7: 1st Lexi T, 2nd Serena G, 3rd Olivia S and 4th Maddie B

Inter House Cross Country Competition

Year 7

Year 7 Inter House Cross Country 2020

On Tuesday all of Year 7 participated in the Inter-House Cross-Country Competition. It proved to be an excellent competition with all the girls running to the best of their ability and setting themselves their own personal target. The girls should all feel proud of their achievement and it was lovely to see them encouraging one another. Congratulations to everyone who took part. The top 3 finishers were:

1st – OLIVIA B (Montaigne) – 7:09

2nd – SOPHIA N (Eyquem) – 7:20

3rd – STELLA T (Lestonnac) – 7:30

Performing Arts

Prep Music Board Nov 27th

ABRSM Success

Ella GB and Phoebe - Distinction for ABRSM exams

Congratulations to Ella GB and Phoebe J for achieving "distinction" in their grade 4 singing and cello exams!

Faith and Music Assembly

5T's Faith and Music Assembly which was due to take place next Friday 4th Dec has been postponed until next term!


Mrs Shaw

Prep Drama Board Nov 27th

The Nativity Season Has Begun!

Reception Nativity

Reception Nativity Collage

Bravo to our wonderful Reception class on their wonderful performance of Shine Star, Shine! 

The performance was recorded and has been posted on Firefly. 

Please click on the collage above to see the link!

Drama Llamas of The Week

Drama Llamas Nov 20th

Reception have also been nominated as Drama Llamas of The Week for their fantastic show!


Prep Library Board 27th November

The Reading Agency – books for children and families during the Covid-19 crisis

The Reading Agency

Together with Libraries Connected and ASCEL, the Reading Agency has produced a collection of books to help children remain ‘safe, calm, connected and hopeful’ during this pandemic.

Children’s mental health is badly affected by the current social restrictions, especially when living under lockdown, with 55% of children saying that they felt stressed and anxious. The Reading Agency reports that children have reported “other stressors such as missing friends, loss of routine and exposure to troubling news stories and adult conversations”.

The book list is available in Powerpoint – Covid children’s booklist.pptx here:

The Reading Agency also produce a Reading Well for Children collection, to help children cope with tough times, here:

SLA Information Book Award 2020


SLA Information Book Award 2020

In partnership with their sponsors, Hachette Children’s Group, the School Library Association (SLA) announced the winners of this annual award which ties in with Non-Fiction November.

Overall Winner – SLA Information Book of the Year 2020

Judges’ choice – Africa, Amazing Africa, by Atinuke, illustrated by Mouni Feddag (Walker Books)

Category Winners

Age 7 and under – Heroes Who Help Us From Around the World, by Liz Gogerly and Ryan Wheatcroft (Franklin Wattts)

Age 8 to 12 – Africa, Amazing Africa (as above)

Age 13 to 16 – Black History Matters, by Robin Walker (Franklin Watts)

Unfortunately, due to current pressures in schools caused by the pandemic, it wasn’t possible to award the Children’s Choice for 2020. However, all schools that took part will receive a certificate, recognising their participation.

The winner of the Hachette Children’s Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books is Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom.

Hachette Children’s Group Award for Outstanding Contribution to Information Books

The mobile Prep Library

Each week the Prep Library trolley visits the Nursery children, bringing them a new selection of books to borrow and read at home. The children really enjoy choosing a book, and there is time to listen to a story too, before the end of the session.

Mobile Prep Library Visits Nursery

Mrs Hughes

Senior Library Nov 27th

Short Stories

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” – Neil Gaiman

Book Trust

Short stories can be a great way of engaging reluctant readers, or even introducing confident readers to more advanced stories.

We have recently re-vamped and expanded our Short Story section in the Senior Library. Students can access a range of short stories, compendiums, Classics and short stories by genre. Some of the new titles this term…

Winter Magic by Abi Elphinstone

Abi Elphinstone heads up this gorgeous collection of wintery stories, featuring snow queens, frost fairs, snow dragons and pied pipers . . . from classic children's writers Michelle Magorian, Geraldine McCaughrean, Jamila Gavin, Berlie Doherty, Katherine Woodfine, Piers Torday, Lauren St John, Amy Alward, Michelle Harrison and Emma Carroll. 'Captures all the excitement of the season' The Guardian. An unmissable, enchanting treat of a collection that will be enjoyed for years to come, by readers of all ages. Browns for Books

Mystery and Mayhem by Katherine Woodfine

This collection has twelve different mysteries told by twelve fantastic authors. The mysteries are grouped together by type - poison, closed-system, canine and impossible mysteries - but there's a range of motives and solutions to the crimes. Booktrust

Oscar Wilde Stories for Children

Includes Oscar Wilde's best-loved stories, including "The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose", and "The Selfish Giant". 

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales

Hans Christian Andersen's classic tales which have captivated children and adults alike for nearly two centuries. This collection includes The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea and The Emperor's New Clothes.

We have a new area on Firefly dedicated to Short Stories (Library/Short Stories) which also includes recommendations from the Booktrust website and guidance on how to write a short story review (which we share with students during Library lessons).

Mrs Finch


Careers Fair 2017

Can you help inspire our girls? From medicine to marketing, whatever career path you chose after leaving Notre Dame, your experiences are very valuable in helping our girls make important career choices for the future.