notredame senior school at cobham surrey

(29 Posts)
Mellisa Fri 22-Mar-13 20:30:33

can anyone from cobham advice me how good and academic notredame senior school at cobham is are they academically strong or not or just a nice caring school but not academic where do the girls end up any idea

abidawn Thu 28-May-15 21:28:06


pantpickerupper Mon 23-Feb-15 16:06:03

I'm really sorry to hear these horror stories but I have friends who have daughters either currently at the school or who have just left. All of them speak very highly of Mr Plummer and where there have been incidents these have been dealt with swiftly and effectively. What I hear from other parents and teachers at our Prep is that it is a caring and nurturing environment which takes a diverse range of girls and gets the best from them.

BitchPeas Mon 23-Feb-15 16:00:32

I was friends with a girl and her sister who went there when I was in my teens, about 10 years ago. They both hated it, were bullied, had no friends in the school and left nervous wrecks with below average GCSEs.

Doesn't look like much has changed.

surreymummy0917 Mon 23-Feb-15 15:50:25

My daughter attended Notre Dame from year 5-11. My husband and I thought we'd struck gold having such an idyllic catholic school on our door step ... Oh how wrong we were!

Prep school:
There was a lovely head teacher, Mr. Plummer, who was exceptionally charming and knew most parents on a first name basis - which really added to the personal touch. Some bullying occurred upon my daughters entry. The teachers kept an eye on it and it soon dwindled out. However, D'aprano repeatedly refused to admit that there was a problem and attempted to fob us off.

Secondary school:
I really wish I hadn't of wasted our money. We essentially paid for our daughter to be bullied to the point where I barely recognised her character any more.

Year 7: She was hit, pushed, slapped and spat on by other girls. The teachers did absolutely nothing because the girls who were doing it were "favourites", they never even brought them in for a meeting.

Thankfully, I raised a resilient girl and she actively sought a new group of friends who gave her protection for years 8 and 9. However, most of these girls had to leave the school and she was alone again.

She made a new group of friends and all seemed well. Then disaster struck in year 10. The girls turned on her, she was completely excluded from everywhere, wasn't allowed in the common room or IT suits and ate her lunch in the toilet. If this wasn't bad enough, she stuck through a year of this nonsense and that summer she had death threats posted through our door, warning that if she returned for year 11 she'd be seriously harmed.

I frantically phoned around all local private schools to see if they would take her but being half way through her GCSE's, they couldn't. It was a disaster, teachers did nothing (despite the note being printed on the back of chemistry homework so we knew which girl it was), she was forced into the library and thankfully the librarian let her eat her lunch in there with her.

She severely under performed at GCSE level. The teaching quality was shocking, we ended up paying thousands on private tuition to try and remedy the situation. Four teachers said in year 10 they wanted my daughter to drop their subject so it wouldn't affect their performance table. When she was moved for 6th form she obtained four A levels - all at A grades, so it obviously wasn't her ability!

I hear that Mr. Plummer has now taken over both schools and if anyone can turn it around then it's him. I hope this school is better, it has the potential to be brilliant. This is my own experience and unfortunately, nothing will ever change my mind - this school was abysmal.

I hope that helps - sorry I can't be more unbiased!

papalazaru Tue 07-Oct-14 15:15:48

I have friends who's daughters are either still at the school or just left this year. All of them rate the teaching and pastoral care very highly. The bottom line here is that you can find an anecdote to fit any opinon you want for a school. The only way is to visit the school, talk with the teachers, address issues as and when they arise and if you're really not happy then take your kids elsewhere. Surely that is the benefit of being able to afford private schooling and if the school doesn't suit your child then do something about it.

Chairofliverpool Mon 06-Oct-14 10:04:55

Does anyone think it strange too how Manzanas messages have been deleted. Me thinks it's the work of the school or those dedicated to the school to always have positive spin on and control what is read about it. Louplum is I imagine Louise Plummer the Principals Mr David Plummers wife. She is an IT teacher at the school and I believe she just loves the Internet media, she has also been a mum of 2 girls who went to Notre Dame.
It is strange the amount of negative threads I have read about it and if I hadn't experienced ND myself with my own children I would never have looked up the reviews.
They went into ND believing they were in a good school but bricks and mortar and all the money in the world spent on fabulous looking resources can sell the school but it does not make up for exceptionally poor and inadequate teaching. I believe the local state school would have been better.

Fabury72 Thu 12-Jun-14 11:21:08

Help..... I was thinking of sending my daughter here entry into yr 7 but am now not sure.....

drthomas Thu 13-Mar-14 22:38:38

Hillarious NigellasDealler you picked up the posters purpose. I've just checked their past post history on mumsnet and funny, they haven't ever posted before. Also that they posted after two comments have been removed, after obviously being spotted by the school.

It is hard to check up on the reality of private schools like this when any slightly negative comment is blasted by an input from mumsnetters who have never posted before, but suddenly appear from nowhere. I think generally you have at least a small history if you are a genuine musnetter.

I posted some great reviews about the school (under a different name) quite a while ago and whole heartedly supported the school until I had a wake up call. All my dd's friends, who were probably no brighter than her and in the local non selective state schools, were doing so much better academically than her at this expensive, selective, private school. Something was going very wrong.

Newton65 Wed 12-Mar-14 12:46:25

DD's have loved the school. We have done the nursery, pre- prep, prep, senior and sixth form. The school has achieved the best for our girls, they have made great lifelong friends,they have respect for others, and the oldest is a well rounded, polite, caring young lady, now at Uni, having achieved excellent results.The second is enjoying the changes being made at the moment, and is greatly inspired to work hard, and achieve her best. Which is all we can hope for as parents.

Atkin Sat 08-Mar-14 21:51:17

Thank you for the inadvertent compliment regarding my writing style - I typed straight off the top of my head from direct experience as a parent

tess73 Sat 08-Mar-14 20:55:18


Bettanys Sat 08-Mar-14 17:54:53

Maybe I'll consider a career change into marketing as I am definitely a real live parent !!

NigellasDealer Sat 08-Mar-14 12:48:30

Atkin and Bettanys, grin nice try, could do better. C minus in fake marketing speil.

Unexpected Sat 08-Mar-14 12:44:21

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Bettanys Sat 08-Mar-14 11:48:23

DDs have been very happy at ND since prep and are appreciating the new vibe that exists with the recently appointed leadership team. Many opportunities are given for girls of varying ability across the spectrum of subjects with many going onto Russell Group universities but equal support given to those whose strengths are more artistic or sports based. An outstanding faith school with a big vision for enabling each girl to be the best they can be with a supportive and friendly parent body interested in more than just results. Girls get the chance to link with sister schools abroad and engage in international trips for academic and sporting advancement becoming capable and well rounded individuals able to cope with the responsibilities and demands of university when the time comes.

Atkin Fri 07-Mar-14 21:41:44

Our experience has been totally positive with both daughters achieving external exam results well beyond expectation. The school succeeds in both challenging and nurturing with high commitment from the teaching staff to their students. Last year’s results speak for themselves with Oxbridge entrance offered and attained. Equally valued are pastoral care and other disciplines with fantastic facilities meaning that art, music & drama can be showcased with excellent sports results now warranting proposed further development. The new executive team are working hard together to raise standards in every area and the new head of sixth form is both respected and popular with the girls meaning that next year the sixth form is expecting at least 50 members with increased opportunities in terms of subjects offered and extracurricular activities.

Manzana17 Fri 21-Feb-14 19:10:46

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pearl1963 Sat 15-Feb-14 13:31:24

Put DD in ND midway Y5. Now in Y7. Mixed experience. Some remarks on here spot on. If you are 'new' you are bottom of the pile. There are favourites who get over-exposed. My DD has had some issues with 'mean girls' though I have to say when it was brought to the attention of Ms Dudgeon she dealt with it swiftly, excellently. Have to say though that the the mean-girls problem has not gone away. Learned recently that DD had been bullied since joining (hit in face. 4 x with netball, 2 x rounders ball - teachers did nothing?). Not academically impressive and I struggle to understand their evaluation method. They are responsive. Mr. Plummer a real charmer. We are RC so I like that part of it. However, I am (on basis of DD continuing unhappiness) reconsidering if it's right place. Could be that she just misses home in USA too.

Longsuffering2 Sat 08-Feb-14 16:41:53

Hi there - we left ND last year after daughter being there for many years. Notre dame is a lovely school is so many respects. My views on the strengths are:- drama/performing arts, pastoral, good variety of girls, great community spirit. It's downsides:- senior school science teaching, favourite kids are plugged to death, overbearing parental involvement dominated by a few big characters. The school caters for a broad ability and there are some extremely able girls who are clear Oxbridge material. Demographically, the families are wealthier than many indie schools and consequently sometimes we felt that it didn't matter if girls did well or not - cos daddy will look after you. The new Head, Plummer is excellent as is d'Aprano. School needs to develop a vision for the next 10 years plus to cope with competition.

Manzana17 Sat 08-Feb-14 06:32:07

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lily9478 Fri 21-Jun-13 22:59:15

My friend's daughter also left Notre Dame due to poor academics, unfriendly girls who were causing her to become very unhappy and partly because it was too much of a problem for her to get to and from as the only way you can get there is by coach or car - if you miss the coach and both parents are working it is difficult to get to as you cannot access the school via public transport. After everything my friend has said about the school, I would personally not recommend it.

Schmedz Wed 29-May-13 16:21:26

Am sure the new senior management structure and changes will only be for the betterment of the school. Know a number of staff there and it is very caring, very supportive and girls are generally very happy and do well. ND a fabulous alternative to other hothouse/highly academic girls schools nearby. If you don't mind the Catholicism, that is.

Arragon Tue 28-May-13 20:59:01

Hi, we're planning to send our DD to ND Senior School this September - would love to know why Simplythebest had to pull your DD out!

simplythebest4thekids Thu 23-May-13 12:14:20

I'm sorry to say we left NotreDame totally disillusioned. We had heard the reports of poor academics and teachers having favourites but wanted not to believe them - I wish we had. If you are spending money on your daughters education, don't be fooled by the lovely buildings and gorgeous setting -bricks and mortar do not create a good school.

All Heads are charming and promise the earth when you visit - speak to other parents, take your time to make a decision. My girls left ND needing to do a lot of catch up in the basics - which we had thought they were getting!

There are other excellent schools in the area as mentioned in other Mums messages.

Good luck Mellisa!

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 27-Mar-13 21:54:09

Fabulous. Had a disastrous Y7 and Y8 elsewhere. This school welcomed dd (even though we declined their offer two years earlier). Our dd turned around from miserable and deflated within half a term. It is caring, loving, sound and gets the best from girls who are not high high flyers and really really encourages the bright girls who were crushed elsewhere for being a bit quirky, quiet or not as confident as some of their counterparts. It provides a traditional education and seems to appreciate the difference between being well educated rather well well qualified.

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