Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Notre Dame Girls Willing to Rise to a Challenge!

Notre dame girls with guests at Women in the Arts event
When it comes to raising £100 million to save famous Titian paintings for the nation, you need to find a Notre Dame girl to rise to the challenge. Former pupil Sarah Ward, now Director of Public Affairs and Development at the National Gallery, explained to an enthusiastic audience of current pupils how the school had prepared her to face the big challenges in life.

The packed audience in the school’s new Montaigne Theatre were treated to an afternoon of fascinating talks about the role of Women in the Arts, starting with a bird’s eye view from Vikki Heywood, Chair of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), formerly Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). At the RSC she was responsible for the rebuilding of the theatres in Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford upon Avon. This huge project was a far cry from her early days in the RSC as a stage manager and she inspired the girls with her stories of taking chances and seizing opportunities to build her career.

Another Notre Dame alumnus, Lara Cowin, gave an entertaining introduction to the world of the professional actor, whilst Roxane Cressy explained the role of the theatre wardrobe department and workroom in a large organisation like English National Opera. Roxane also teaches at the London College of Fashion and was able to give tips on portfolios and applications.

The event was held as part of the Sixth Form General Studies programme, organised by Mrs Mary Lewis, English Teacher, Careers Advisor and Assistant Head of Sixth Form. Notre Dame School, Cobham is well known for its commitment to and achievements in the Performing and Visual Arts. Following this event, pupils have some clear ideas of career paths that they could follow whilst pursuing their passion for these subjects.

Eleanor Keighley-Elstub, Deputy Head Girl, said “All the women were extremely fascinating and engaging speakers, giving realistic insights into the different kind of careers in the arts. It was a motivating session that inspired many pupils.”

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