Notre Dame Senior School is an independent Catholic day school for girls aged 11–18 in Cobham, Surrey. The school belongs to the Company of Mary Our Lady, which was founded in Bordeaux in 1607 to educate girls of all faiths, and is the oldest recognised educational order in the world. There are more than 300 CoMOL schools across 26 countries, of which Notre Dame Senior School is the only one in the UK.
Notre Dame offers girls thinking space, growing space, and breathing space. All students are supported and encouraged to pursue their highest aspirations while discovering new interests and developing unique talents. The school recognises that society’s focus on examination from a young age can detract from time spent building character and life skills, and combats this by focusing on happiness first and foremost.
The pastoral care system at Notre Dame is the building block upon which individual growth takes place. There’s a ‘big sister’ scheme for Year 7 pupils, who have sixth form students as mentors and friends, while every girl in Years 10 and 11 has a staff academic mentor to monitor progress and support each child to maximise their learning. The school’s bespoke well-being strategy, The Lestonnac Approach, sees students engage in multiple activities to build key skills and plan ahead for their futures.
Head: Mrs Anna King
Address: Notre Dame Senior School, Burwood House, Convent Lane, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1HA
Admissions contact: Mrs Beccy Johnson – [email protected], 01932 869993
Age range and gender: 11–18, girls only
Number of pupils: 460
Open day date: Thursday 9th February 2023 – book a place online
Overview of selection procedure: entrance exam, informal interview and school reference
Registration closes: October in Year 6
Assessment date: November in Year 6
The current fees at Notre Dame Senior School are £6,323 per term. Lunch is compulsory for pupils in Year 7 and costs £346 per term.
Notre Dame is able to offer bursaries (means-tested financial assistance) to families who might be unable to pay the fees to have their daughters educated at the school. While the school is proud of its heritage as a Catholic Foundation, it welcomes girls of any faith background. If you think your daughter might qualify for a bursary for entry to Notre Dame Senior School, you will need to submit a bursary application form before 30th November when your child is in Year 6.
Notre Dame Senior School offers a 20% sibling discount. This is applied to the youngest child when three or more children are studying at the school at the same time.
Children applying for Year 7 entry to Notre Dame Senior School may also apply for a scholarship. Scholarships are not means-tested and are worth 10% of tuition fees per year. Candidates can apply for art, drama, music or sports scholarships – academic scholarships are automatically awarded to children based on their performance in the entrance exam, and do not need to be applied for.
The term dates at Notre Dame Senior School for 2022–23 are:
Autumn term: 5th September – 13th December 2022
Half term: 20th–28th October 2022
Spring term: 5th January – 24th March 2023
Half term: 13th–17th February 2023
Summer term: 18th April – 7th July 2023
Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023
The term dates at Notre Dame Senior School for 2023–24 are:
Autumn term: 6th September – 12th December 2023
Half term: 19th–27th October 2023
Spring term: 4th January – 27th March 2024
Half term: 12th–16th February 2024
Summer term: 23rd April – 12th July 2024
Half term: 27th–31st May 2024
The closing date for Year 7 entry to Notre Dame Senior School in September 2023 has now passed. If your daughter is currently in Year 5 and you are considering entry for September 2024, you are invited to enrol on the school’s 7 Twenty-Four programme. When the programme launches later this year, Notre Dame Senior School will send you a welcome pack and a link to your dedicated webpage, providing you with information and insights about the school and the admissions process.
Once the admissions cycle for 2024 has officially opened, the process will be as follows:
You will need to complete an exam registration form and pay a non-refundable registration fee of £125. The deadline for this will likely be in late October 2023. If your daughter is applying for a co-curricular scholarship, you will need to complete the relevant scholarship application form and submit this by the same date.
After you have registered your daughter, Notre Dame Senior School will request a detailed character reference from your child’s current school.
All children who are registered will be invited to attend an entrance exam at Notre Dame in November 2023. This comprises three written papers, an informal interview, and fun activities for candidates to relax and get to know one another.
Your daughter will take the following tests. As a rough guide, successful candidates are normally working within the top 40% of the cohort’s ability range:
English: a test comprising tasks in reading comprehension and [creative writing]https://atomlearning.com/blog/11-plus-creative-writing). This paper will target levels 4–6 of the Key Stage 2 English curriculum.
**Maths:**a non-calculator paper assessing children’s knowledge and application of levels 4–6 of the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum. Find out more about the topics included in the 11 plus maths exam.
Non-verbal reasoning: a test which will assess your daughter’s ability to analyse visual information and solve problems using shapes, diagrams and pictures. Take a look at typical questions in our guide to 11 plus non-verbal reasoning.
Notre Dame Senior School will post a letter detailing the outcome of your child’s application before Christmas in 2023. If your daughter has been successful in securing a place in Year 7, you will need to formally accept by early March 2024 (the deadline will be after state school offers).
Children who perform particularly well in the 11 plus entrance process may be awarded an academic scholarship for entry to Notre Dame Senior School. If your daughter applies for a co-curricular scholarship, there will be additional assessments in January 2024 relevant to the particular scholarship:
Art scholarships: children will need to submit a creative portfolio. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to a practical assessment which will take two hours in total.
Drama scholarships: candidates will need to inform the admissions office of any drama activities and productions they have participated in and submit LAMDA/Guildhall/Festival comments sheets (if applicable). They will also need to submit a short review evaluating a drama production they have seen, which will form the basis for an informal discussion if invited to an audition. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to perform a short character monologue from a play and will participate in a group drama workshop.
Music scholarships: all music scholarship candidates will be invited to an informal and relaxed audition. This will consist of two contrasting solo pieces on the child’s first instrument, a solo on the child’s second instrument or voice (if provided) and some simple aural tests. You will also need to supply information about your child’s level of skill and involvement in music in and out of school.
Sports scholarships: sports scholarship candidates are expected to offer at least one sport to a high standard. To apply, you will need to send a written record of your child’s sporting achievements to the admissions office. Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to a practical assessment, where they will be assessed in a variety of fundamental motor skills in addition to their ability in a selection of activities.
The 11 plus exam for entry to Notre Dame Senior School will assess your daughter’s knowledge and understanding of levels 4–6 in Key Stage 2 English and maths. Your child will also be tested on their non-verbal reasoning ability, which is not taught at school.
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