St Mary’s is proudly academic and judging from the grades that the girls achieve, they are doing something right. Genuine interest is instilled into the students and they go about their work cheerfully. St Mary’s students are invariably academically strong but they are also a lively, chatty and confident bunch and praise here has to go to the school for its excellent pastoral care. Each student has a tutor, head of house and senior girls to help look after them. They will feel completely supported while they are away from home.
Although obviously shadowed by the academic achievements, the school still offer a great deal when it comes to sports and have recently revealed a new sports hall in order to provide the girls with the latest facilities to train and learn. The drama department opened a 440-seat theatre back in 2009 and it is fully equipped to house the productions that occur throughout the year.
St Mary’s accepts entry at 11+, 13+ and 16+, allowing around sixty-five students at each point.
For 11+ entry, candidates apply in year 5 and attend the school’s exam and interview in January/February of Year 6. A report is required from your child’s current school. The assessment consists of papers in English, maths and a general paper, which includes spelling, non-verbal reasoning and listening skills.
For 13+ entry, candidates apply in Year 7 and attend the school’s exam and interview in January/February of Year 8. A report is also required from your daughter’s current school. The 13+ exam consists of papers in English, maths, science, religious studies, history or geography, a modern language and Latin.
For 16+ entry, candidates also apply two years in advance of the proposed date of entry. They sit a general paper and have interviews in the subjects they wish to study at A-Level.
The school does not issue sample or past papers but supplies your child’s school and you with guidelines. With the school being so competitive and academically oriented, it is expected that your child be ahead of the national average. There are past papers from other schools that can be used as practice in the preparation to the exams and it’s best to start this early to avoid a crazy last few weeks of intensive study.