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Inspiring Confidence in Middle School Girls

At the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, girls are empowered and inspired to become confident, compassionate leaders.

As all parents and educators can attest, the Middle School years (ages 11-14) mark a transformative period of growth and discovery for girls. Along with the physical changes of early adolescence, many significant emotional and cognitive changes are also taking place during this time.

Aside from infancy and early toddlerhood, no other human developmental stage is marked by such considerable growth as the Middle School years. Girls begin to think in more sophisticated, analytical ways as they explore new interests and consider who they might want to be in the wider world. Through play, investigation, and healthy risk-taking, Middle School girls hone their critical thinking skills, considering how problems can be solved in multiple ways.

There are myriad ways parents can guide their Middle Schoolers in navigating this challenging, yet exciting, time in their lives.

1. Listen. Parental input is still important to Middle School girls. When your daughter wants to discuss her friendships, her worries, the future, let her. Ask what kind of person she wants to become and help her to be the best version of herself.

2. Build her self-confidence. Let your daughter explore new interests and passions. Let her discover and dive into something she loves. Involve her in some of the decision-making at home. Let her take the lead. Be her champion.

3. Encourage her to take healthy risks. When we move beyond our comfort zone, change feels less scary. Missteps and disappointments will come, but that’s okay. Let your daughter build resilience by moving forward after those missteps.

4. Model healthy behaviors. Middle School girls are always watching, even when we think they’re not. They are very much aware of what adults around them are doing, and if their parents are modeling a healthy lifestyle, they will also want to do so.

At the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, girls are empowered and inspired to become confident, compassionate leaders.

Notre Dame recognizes that Middle School is a time of considerable growth and self-discovery for girls, and our students thrive in a learning environment where they are encouraged to explore new ideas and take intellectual risks. This environment, coupled with a 9:1 student-teacher ratio, allows our faculty to celebrate and nurture the unique gifts of each student and help them become curious, independent, and successful learners.

From her first days in Middle School through her last moments in the Upper School, each Notre Dame student benefits from a program that promotes positive self image, goal setting, leadership development, organization and time management, and healthy peer relationships.

A world of possibilities opens up for our students as they explore new cultures and languages, investigate the sciences, delve into history, express their creativity, and develop strong critical thinking and writing skills.

The combination of our steadfast belief in the goodness of God, the goodness of our students, and our Honor Code creates a community of respect for one another.

Notre Dame students graduate from Middle School ready and eager to accept the challenges of Upper School as confident, self-advocating learners. Learn how Notre Dame will inspire your Middle Schooler.

Middle School Points of Pride:
  • Eighth Grade Capstone Project
  • MacBook Air Laptop Provided for All Students
  • Sixth Grade Survey of World Languages – Spanish, Mandarin, French, and Latin
  • League and Club Sports
  • Clubs During the School Day
  • Travel and Leadership Opportunities Through the Center for Global Leadership
  • Campus Ministry and Student Government
  • Middle School Musical, Dance, Chorus, and Instrumental Music 


Discover for yourself the opportunities that await your daughter at Notre Dame. Schedule an after-hours tour – just for your family – or register your daughter for an entrance exam or practice entrance exam. Request more information, and register for an entrance exam:

Contact admissions@ndapa.org to schedule your tour, or visit www.ndapa.org to find out more about Notre Dame!

The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur supports the Main Line Parent Community. 

Since 1856, the Academy has educated, empowered and inspired young women for a lifetime of compassionate leadership and service guided by our Catholic faith and an abiding trust in the goodness of God. Our graduates are leading and contributing to medicine, art, law, science, education and business throughout the world, setting the standard for social responsibility by their lives and actions. They are our inspiration. www.ndapa.org

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