Here is a selection of questions we are often asked. If you have a query that is not listed here, please fill in the form on the Contact Us page and we will get back to you with an answer.
What is the average class size?
We have no more than 16 girls per class in Nursery and Key Stage 1, with a maximum of 20 In Key Stage 2. In Senior House we have pastoral tutor groups of 16, with teaching groups even smaller depending on setting and options groups.
What are the exam results like?
St. Mary’s consistently achieves excellent examination results which are higher than the national average. You can see recent exam results under the Information tab.
What are the computer and Internet facilities like, are they monitored?
At St. Mary’s we believe that IT skills are crucial to learning in the 21st century and we have a programme to continually review and upgrade the IT resources. The provision of IT equipment in all teaching and learning areas is generous. There are whiteboards and laptops as well as standard PCs, a fast broadband connection to the Internet with both wired and wireless connections and a new school network. We also use parentmail, a system for communicating via email with parents. The girls’ use of IT is monitored to prevent any unauthorised internet access but girls may bring their own devices into school for classroom use.
How involved are parents with the school?
We have a thriving parents’ association called the SMA (St. Mary’s Association) which holds social and fundraising events throughout the year, contributing a great deal to the St. Mary’s community. There are also regular parent meetings where individual progress is discussed and termly reports on every pupil for each subject they are studying. Teachers are also happy to discuss any individual concerns that parents may have from time to time.
Where do pupils go on to? How many go to University?
Over the last five years, 100% of our Sixth Formers have gone on to university and we have a well-established and efficient system to help them decide which course and university would best suit each girl. A list of universities attended and courses studied by St. Mary’s pupils over the last three years is available on the Academics Results page of this website. The careers room is very well-stocked and we have a programme of careers advice to guide and inform the girls about all the possible options available to them.
What is the pastoral care like, who is responsible to whom, and are problems spotted early?
Pastoral care is a strength of St Mary’s. This enables every girl to be successful across all aspects of school life, whilst developing their resilience and confidence. We have a carefully monitored system that looks after the girls’ well-being. Girls always know where to go with any issue and we can identify any potential problems quickly and deal with them effectively. In the Preparatory Department, as well as the class teacher, pastoral care is overseen by Mrs Carney, the Head of Prep. In the Senior House an experienced team of form tutors and deputy form tutors work under the leadership of Mrs Kingston, the Deputy Headteacher alongside the Heads of KS3 and 4, and Miss Dodd, Head of Sixth Form. A trained school counsellor is also available and all the teachers are experienced in pastoral care. The pastoral system is effective and provides a holistic caring and nurturing environment for all pupils.
Is a copy of the ISI inspection report available?
Copies of the latest St. Mary’s School Inspection reports can be downloaded from the home page of this website or are available on request from the school office (01753 883370). The most recent whole school inspection report issued was in February 2011 and we received a glowing report!
Are lunches provided and cooked on the premises?
We have a team of external caterers who produce a delicious and varied range of meal options for the girls to choose from. There is a choice of hot meals and a well-stocked salad bar every day and vegetarians are well catered for. School lunches are healthy, nutritious and popular with both pupils and staff.
Are the staff friendly, approachable and warm?
St. Mary’s staff are inspiring and enthusiastic teachers who are committed to providing the best education possible for the girls. The last school inspection commented on the excellent relationships and respect between teachers and pupils. The girls know that they can always approach any member of staff with a query.
What are the standards of discipline at St Mary’s?
We place particular emphasis on mutual respect, tolerance and consideration for others. We have high expectations and high standards of behaviour for everyone connected to St. Mary’s. Visitors frequently comment on how well-behaved and happy the girls are and on how well they conduct themselves.
What extracurricular activities are available?
We have a wide and varied range of extracurricular activities and events at St. Mary’s so that there is something for everyone, no matter where her interests may lie. Many sporting clubs exist, for both teams and individuals, together with a diverse array of other activities from kick boxing and chess to cookery and chamber singing. Drama and Music are popular here and many girls have individual instrument tuition.
What arrangements are there for looking after children before and after school?
A breakfast club is available from 7.30 am for all girls in Year 1 and above. Girls in the Preparatory Department are cared for in Early Birds from 8 am onwards and Senior House girls may work in the library from this time. Provision is made for girls in Year 1 and above in Busy Bees in the Preparatory Department until 5.30 pm, occasional requirements for younger girls may be arranged on an individual basis by talking to the Head of the Prep Department. There is supervised prep in the Senior House until 6pm.
Does St. Mary’s have links with any other schools?
We acknowledge the crucial importance of such links and work closely with a number of schools in the area in our Gifted and Talented programme, our French Verse Speaking competition (which involves around 20 local schools) and as part of the Young Enterprise programme in the Sixth Form. We also maintain close links with the boys’ school at Thorpe House whether in the sharing of facilities and speakers or at our annual combined Art Exhibition.
Are girls allowed to leave school during the day?
The girls’ security is of paramount importance. Only Sixth Form girls are allowed to leave the school premises during the day and they are required to sign out and in if they do so.
What is the Head Teacher like?
The Head Teacher is vital to the character and success of any school. At St. Mary’s we have the Headmistress and a strong Leadership Team. They are a very experienced and dedicated team, committed to the well-being of every girl at St. Mary’s. The best way to get to know them is to visit the school and meet them face to face. We would be happy to arrange a tour at a time convenient for you.
What time does the School day start and finish?
The school day starts in both the Preparatory Department and the Senior House at 8.35 am. Finishing times vary in the Preparatory Department with Nursery ending at 3.00 pm, Reception at 3.15 pm, Year 1 at 3.20 pm and Year 2 at 3.30 pm. All other Year groups in the Preparatory Department finish at 3.40. In Senior House, girls finish at 3.50pm.
MEET THE HEAD
Meet our Head,
Mrs Jean Ross, and discover
her passion for education
and how St Mary’s could
be the perfect school
for your daughter.
COME TO OUR OPEN DAY.
WHAT OUR PARENTS SAY
Mrs Ross the Headmistress assured me that she would help my daughter to become the very best that she could be. With great academic results and a well balanced and happy daughter I believe this has been achieved… Read More
St Mary’s has given our daughter a platform to grow – to be stretched academically & to shine theatrically and musically. All her needs and ours have been met and we can only applaud St Mary’s staff for their positive attitude… Read More
From the day we first went to look around both my daughter and I have been made to feel incredibly welcome… Read More