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Planning Application for New Art Block - Please Support

We are very excited to announce that our planning application for the new Art Block has been submitted.

The proposed building will provide a more efficient, functional and dynamic working environment for students and staff.

On the first floor, a new larger technical room and preparation room will serve both Art and Textiles.

The second floor will house a new Sixth Form space and Junior Studio space(s), which will provide the required space for large canvases and 3D pieces, as well as providing the required individual space for A-Level students. The whole of the second floor is designed to be flexible with the ability to subdivide the space using movable partitions. This will help the Art Department carry out a wide variety of activities throughout the academic year, including Art classes, special PowerPoint presentations, examinations, workshops and demonstrations. The ability to subdivide the second floor will enable teaching to large groups and smaller groups, helping to maintain the School’s high standards.

All of the studio spaces will have high ceilings and large windows that create a spacious working environment, maximising the availability of light from the northern aspect. 

Overall, the new building will offer larger, more functional and progressive art spaces that meet space requirements, enable a wider variety of teaching methods and encourage collaboration and exchange of ideas. This would extend opportunities for ambitious, creative learning to more pupils in Years 7-11, following the success of this in the Sixth Form, as recommended by the Independent Schools’ Inspectors in their latest Report (p2&3)[1].

The proposed development will re-provide the staff room, common room and changing room with more modern and spacious replacement facilities.

The proposed new staff room is smaller in overall floorspace but better rationalised, with clearly defined zones to maximise use of space and create areas conducive for work (marking and desk-based work), relaxation and breaks. The proposed large glazed screen onto the open cloister will create a lighter room, whilst also enabling passive supervision of students while allowing students both independence and responsibility.

The positioning Year 10/11 common in the core of the school will make it easier for staff to supervise at break times and will also reduce students being late for class. 

The new changing room will be larger, warmer and dryer, which means that whole classes can be easily accommodated and create a more pleasant environment. This will improve health and wellbeing of students by helping encourage students to engage in extra sports at lunchtime and after school, especially those who are more reluctant to engage in sports. The new changing room will also assist in hosting sports fixtures where changing facilities are required (eg swimming or biathlon events). Having this third good quality changing area would enable the school to host a swimming gala (needing two changing rooms) and also have another sports activity (internal or a fixture) as students could use the third changing room for that.



[1] ISI (2017) Senior School Educational Quality Inspection Report. Accessible at


We would therefore encourage all parents to go to the website to support the proposal.

The Elmbridge website is

Our application number is 2018/2485

Love Learn Flourish

As part of Project Florecer, we continue in this new academic year to work together to Love, Learn and Flourish.

Our focus for this term is Love and our first whole school assembly of this academic year centred on the story of Zacchaeus and how Jesus changed a life by offering an invitation of love and kindness. 

Acts of love, invitation and kindness are a part of everyday life at Notre Dame and this term those pupils who show this in any area of school life will be awarded with a special certificate.  One copy of this will be sent home for you to share with your child and a second copy will be displayed on the board outside Miss D’Aprano’s office. 

Our message this term is: 


GOOD SCREEN-TIME - Tips by Nicola Morgan

Has your family got its online offline balance right? Nicola Morgan gives excellent advice:

TIPS from Nicola Morgan, brain and learning expert and author of many books to support young people
through adolescence and beyond.

Screens bring great benefits for work, social life and enjoyment but over-use risks negatives. People of all ages are vulnerable to over-use because we’re naturally social, curious and distractible and our devices give us endless chances to be just that. My advice uses up-to-date science, deep understanding of psychology and my own tendency to love my phone too much!

Messages for adults

  1. Set a good example. We can’t tell young people that over-use of phones is harmful, while on our phones. Would you make your child eat lettuce while you eat chocolate?

  2. Discuss, with up-to-date knowledge, why we should control screen use. It’s not just about safety or cyber-bullying but mental health, brain function and success.

  3. Create moderate rules, which will become good habits. I believe devices should be out of sight and hearing at meals; 1.5 hours before bed until morning; and when anyone wants to talk to us. Adults should negotiate, make the rules and set an example. It’s parenting.

Messages for all

  1. Tech is not bad: over-use is bad and it’s too easy to over-use. Have tech-free periods every day. Do something fun in that time. Notice how good that feels.

  2. If you give enough time to these, you’re not over-using: physical exercise and fresh air; face-to-face interaction; your work; thinking/day-dreaming; sleep; non-screen hobbies.

  3. If you are tempted to use your device too much: set measurable targets such as, “I will work for 45 minutes without my phone on”; investigate Apps that help you control use; agree with a friend to help each other. And see the next point.

  4. Out of sight is out of mind. When doing anything that needs focus, put your phone OFF and out of sight. Research shows that the presence of a phone lowers focus and results.

  5. Never message or post if angry or upset. Walk away and do something else. When arguments happen online, get perspective: it’s nasty and feels horrible, but it will pass. Best strategy is to focus on something else until you feel calmer.

  6. Don’t measure your self-worth by how many people “like” your posts. You are worth far, far more than that.

  7. Never have a screen on between 1.5 hours before you go to bed and getting up time in the morning. You don’t need it for your alarm clock: you can buy a really cheap clock!

The Teenage Guide to Life Online has all the details and explanations and many more tips. You’ll
also find lots of help in the Life Online area of my website. 

Copyright © Nicola Morgan

Chaplain's Corner Sep 14th

Last Sunday was Education Sunday. It is a national day of prayer and celebration for everyone in the world of education; teachers, students, support staff, parents and in fact anyone associated with being an educator. My children think I am a teacher as I work in a school and I often have to correct them that I am not a teacher in the academic sense. However, in many ways I AM a teacher as I guide, mentor and care for people in my role as both a parent and a chaplain.

This got me thinking about how, actually, everyone is an educator.  By simply being who you are, you can teach others by example. This can be in a wide number of ways; by being strong in the face of pressure, pursuing your goals tenaciously, being unselfish, generous, kind and compassionate to those in need or simply by exuding love and joy. By sharing you also become a teacher of others. Without even knowing it, a conversation or passing comment you share with another person may be just what they needed in their life; a compliment, a wise word or even a smile! You may be imparting a nugget of wisdom but you may just be letting them know that you understand and that you care, which can profoundly change a person’s outlook.

Jesus was often referred to as “teacher” by his followers, although I do not think he had any formal teaching qualifications! In fact, he was probably the greatest teacher of all. So like him, let us be examples of how to live with each other, sharing and educating others in the values of the Gospels.

Titus 2:7-8 “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Hopkins

Sports Board

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Prep Weekly Round Up Sep 14th


All clubs will start on Monday 24th September. You will have needed to have signed the consent form which has been uploaded onto Firefly

Consent Form

Advance Warning of Club Cancellations

On the following dates, there will be NO clubs taking place due to other sporting fixtures;

  • Monday 8th October- Years 3 and 4
  • Tuesday 16th October- Years 5 and 6
  • Tuesday 20th November- Years 5 and 6


Please ensure all girls from Years 2-6 have their Hockey kit in school, particularly on the days they have PE and matches. As the weather becomes more changeable I suggest making sure they have their tracksuit in their PE bag.

No Jewellery to be worn during PE lessons!


Opro has been rescheduled for Monday 24th September. Please visit their website to book an appointment for mouth guard fittings. All girls from Years 2-6 will need a mouth guard for hockey.  You still have time to do this if you would like to.

My apologies that they cancelled on us this week.  Hopefully all those who were booked onto the Monday session have received a mouth guard to use in the meantime.


All fixtures are now on the school website.  These will be updated regularly with more details regarding the matches. Please make sure you check this every week. If you follow the links detailed below you will find the Calendar.

Notre Dame Website> News>Sports News> Prep Fixtures


Upcoming Fixtures

Monday 24th September- U10A-D Netball v GHS

Tuesday 25th September- U11C Hockey v Downsend

Wednesday 26th September- U11A- C + U10 A Netball v LEH         

Saturday 29th September- U11A and B Hockey Tournament @ Downsend


All details of the above will be on the website and updated the week before the matches take place.

Senior Weekly Update Sep 14th


After a busy 10 days of term with trials for all ages in Netball, Hockey and Swimming our extra-curricular programme is well underway. There are matches on Monday - Thursday next week for Years 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 against six different schools.

Training Sessions

Regular lunch time practices are now underway and are essential if girls want to play in teams; these are always open to all just to improve and get some exercise. The programme for next week is as follows:


Triathlon Success for Tate

Congratulations to Year 8's Tate G who came an impressive second out of 29 competitors in the Guildford Aquathlon. She really pushed herself!  #thisgirlcan


County Relay Success for Camilla

Congratulations to Camilla M (Y10) and her team from K & P Athletics Club who won the U15 Surrey County Relay Championships 4 x 300m Relay with a new club record of 3.02.07 last weekend! #thesegirlscan 


Performing Arts

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Prep Music Board Sep 14th

Christian Resources Exhibition – Save the Date!

On Tuesday 16th October in the morning, the Bordeaux and Lestonnac Choirs will be taking a trip to Sandown Park to sing at the opening ceremony for the Christian Resources Exhibition

The emphasis for the exhibition this year is Additional Needs and we will be singing as the backing choir for the well-known blind Christian singer/songwriter Marilyn Baker  Free tickets will be available for parents and a consent form for the trip will be coming out next week. 

Music Lessons and Clubs

Music lessons have started for most girls from Thursday 13th September.  Music Clubs and Ensembles will be starting in the week of 17th September.

If you wish to apply for instrumental lessons you can have a look at the instrumental lessons handbook and download an application form here:

This year we are operating a new system for applying for Prep Music Clubs and Ensembles.  You should sign up using the consent form for Prep Music Clubs and Ensembles on Firefly.

A link to this application form is here:



Congratulations to everyone who took a music examination last term – all candidates passed. The results can be found on the music page of Firefly or by clicking on this badge:

You should hear from your daughter’s instrumental teacher if your child is taking an exam this term.  They will ask you to reply and return some information so that they can submit their candidates.

  • Wednesday 19 September: Deadline for parents to reply to the instrumental teacher
  • Friday 21 September: School internal deadline for candidate submissions
  • Friday 28 September: ABRSM online entry deadline
  • Thursday 22 November: Proposed rehearsal day
  • Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 November: proposed exam days

Mrs Shaw

Autumn Term Private Ballet Lessons

Welcome back to Ballet!

Here is the Autumn Term Private Ballet Timetable and Carousel:


Prep Drama Board Sep 14th

Year 3 have been preparing their new drama folders for a busy year ahead!


Senior Drama Board Sep 14th

'Made in Dagenham' Auditions

Thank you and well done to all the girls who came to auditions for 'Made In Dagenham' this week. Miss Graham, Miss Arthur and Mrs Hehir have some difficult decisions to make with all that talent!



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Prep Library News Sep 14th

Roald Dahl Day 2018

On Wednesday 13th September, the Prep Library celebrated famous author Roald Dahl’s birthday. Each year, on this day, there is a global celebration of this wonderful storyteller, his much-loved stories and unforgettable characters.

James and the Giant Peach was the first of Roald Dahl’s children’s stories and became one of the most popular. The story of James Henry Trotter and his horrible aunts, it tells how some magic crocodile tongues, a peach tree and various insects changed James's life. As the book chosen as the theme for this year, many ideas for activities and games involving bugs and insects can be found here:

Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and memorable book characters celebrate story-telling, helping children everywhere to develop a life-long love of reading.


All you do is look

At a page in this book

Because that’s where we will always be

No book ever ends

When it’s full of your friends


-          Roald Dahl, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me


Chatterbooks Book Club

The first Chatterbooks meeting of the term will now take place on Tuesday 2nd October in the Prep Library, during the afternoon activity break from 2.10pm. This club is open to Year 6, and new girls are very welcome to join us.


Mrs Hughes


Senior Library News Sep 14th

Library reading classes are well underway and it has been fantastic to see so many Year 7s enthuse about their books. The most popular choices so far have been the Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens.

Coming Soon …

Students are eager to make their requests for ‘must have’ fiction titles and this includes the Young Adult ‘Oldest Soul’ trilogy:

In this week’s copy of First News – there is an article about the book You Are Awesome which is written by the Times journalist, two-time Olympian and best-selling mind-set author Matthew Syed. The book was also mentioned during a recent Year 10 Parents’ Information Evening and we will definitely be obtaining copies of it - as well as the accompanying journal.

Throughout the year we will be expanding our Fiction section to include books written by award winning authors, books of different genres and …

Books that will change your life

Books to read before they become 2018 films

Books Harry Potter fans must read!

New titles will be displayed in the ‘New Books’ stand and we will be discussing them during Library lessons.

Mrs Finch


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FoND Weekly Board Sep 14th

Ice-Cream Sales

FoND Ice-cream sales (weather permitting) every Friday at 3:15pm outside the Junior Sports Hall. Starting today until further notice!!!


Curry & Jazz Night

FoND is proud to present Curry & Jazz night on Saturday 29th September for only £20 per person with proceeds going towards your daughter's school facilities.  This event will be held in the Montaigne Studio at 19:30hrs. Spaces available to book on Firefly now!!!


Other FoND Activities to look out for:

Junior Disco Party

Disco Party on 13th October (Form available on Firefly),

The Avorians Bonfire Night


The Christmas Gift Fair

The Winter Ball