Lingfield College, Surrey

The School

Notre Dame School was founded in 1940 by three of the School Sisters of Notre Dame who arrived in Lingfield from Faversham with 14 WWII evacuees. Originally occupying small houses in the village, pupil numbers increased to 70 pupils by the end of the War and the Sisters purchased Batnors Hall on the present site of the Junior School.

The day/boarding school roll continued to increase and a Senior School was established with the purchase of the St Piers Lane property, Ivy House, later to be renamed Le Clerc in honour of Blessed Alix Le Clerc, a 16th- century foundress of the original Notre Dame Order.

The 1950s and 1960s saw a rapid expansion of the school with major building projects. St Joseph’s Wing was developed providing accommodation for the increasing number of nuns, a chapel, dining hall and classrooms. Stables were converted to create an Infants’ Department and development continued on the Senior School site with the provision of classrooms, laboratories, a gymnasium and an auditorium.

Over the next twenty five years there was a decline in vocations and in 1986 the Sisters decided to leave Lingfield in order to apply their resources to more needy causes worldwide. They invited four parents to create an Educational Trust under lay management to purchase the establishment. This was completed on 1st January 1987. The boarding house was closed, senior teaching staff employed to replace the Sisters, and a Board of Governors created

In 1992 Nuala Shepley was appointed as Principal and a period of rapid expansion began. In 1996 the Governors announced their intention for the whole school to become co-educational. The end of the 1990s witnessed the construction of a new Science block, classrooms and a Music and Drama building, and following the purchase of an additional 17 acres of adjacent farmland a new playing field was developed.

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