Notre Dame Cobham?(9 Posts)
Please tell me everything - whatever you know! We're looking possibly for dd1 (go into yr10) and dd2 (into yr9). How's pastoral care? Academic? Sport? Thanks!xx
I know a few mums of girls who have either just left or are currently in the school. All of them have very positive things to say. According to the school website it also recently moved up 95 places in the Sunday Times league tables (I think) but as I dont have a subscription I can't check that out. My DD is in Year 6 and we are considering it strongly for her senior school. It is definitely her favourite.
Friend's dd is there and is very happy. It's not the most academic of schools but seems to be a happy place
It has very small numbers of girls in the sixth form doing science subjects so that might be a concern if your dd is interested in science plus there are a lot of very wealthy families - plenty of swimming pools/ponies!
It has a large catchment so her dd's friends are spread over quite a wide area
Basically what basildonbond said.
The sixth form is too small I felt and doesn't offer enough choice of subjects, so you are rather limited on what combinations you can take. They're very strong in Art, Drama etc and have fantastic facilities. The sports side of things is excellent (the pool is amazing, I would have sent DD there just for the swimming) and there are plenty of options even if you don't like traditional team sports (including their own equestrian team!!)
They are really improving academically but there is some way to go to compete with the other similar schools in the area, but it's definitely an improvement on previous years. I found that a lot of families chose ND when they moved to the area for work, but only stayed a couple of years before being posted/moved elsewhere so it was difficult making long term friendships. Pastoral care is very good.
Having said which, there is something about the school that I can't quite put my finger on which doesn't feel totally right and we chose to go elsewhere. I wish I could be more helpful!
Excellent school, good all round, with change of heads, the academics are getting stronger every year. girls are charming and well grounded, and as a current parent, the comment about ponies and swimming pools is just wrong. Lots of normal hard working parents. Catholic ethos is also good for community and self confidence.
As far as the League tables are concerned.. please research this for your own satisfaction. Many excellent local private schools scored zero - as they choose to take different gcse exams. Which in turn makes a mockery of the League Tables that ND use as a selling point. Was ND rise up league tables as a direct result of the majority of these excellent schools being eliminated from the tables?. Please reassure yourself with your own research that the rise of 95 places was merit and not the exclusion of other excellent schools. As a past parent of ND I was asked to go on to mums net to counter negative comments from current parents a few years ago. This put me in an awkward position as I was a current parent at that time. Suffice to say we are no longer at the school.
I totally agree that league tables are to be taken with a pinch of salt. Especially last years'.
I really think that you have to go on your feel for a school and how it suits your child. I realise being asked to go on Mumsnet to counter negative comments is a bit tactless but isn't that just because people complaining will always speak out whereas those who are happy feel less need to bang the drum....?
DD was unhappy at Notre Dame and changed schools in Year 8 as it just wasn't right for her and she found it difficult to make friends there. The sixth form is very small indeed - when DD was there, there were only about 10 girls in Year 12! The school seems to suit some girls more than others though.
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