St Mary’s School, Cambridge

About St Mary’s School, Cambridge

St Mary's School, Cambridge

St Mary’s School, Cambridge is a traditional day and boarding school for girls aged 4 to 18 in the heart of England. Situated in the centre of the vibrant city of Cambridge, we offer an academically rigorous education in a safe and secure learning environment. We are renowned for our academic excellence and superb pastoral care. Established on a founding vision which is over 400 years old, our educational provision continues to be tailored for girls.

St Mary’s School, Cambridge is a Christian school of Catholic heritage in which girls of all faiths and secular backgrounds are warmly welcomed and where the precious uniqueness of each individual is valued. The students profit from proximity to the prestigious University of Cambridge as well as other educational centres including Anglia Ruskin University. Currently, there are 170 girls in the Junior School, 360 in the Senior School and 90 in the Sixth Form.

Class sizes are small at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, around 20 children per class. Reflecting, valuing and celebrating the cosmopolitan community of Cambridge, nearly 20% of our students are from overseas, from around 30 countries worldwide. Senior School and Sixth Form girls are invited to board on a weekly, flexible or a full-time basis, in our newly-refurbished Mary Ward House in Brooklands Avenue.


Type of School All girls' school
School Address Bateman St, Cambridge CB2 1LY
Number of Pupils 704
Pupils Prep 158
Number of Boarders 84
International Boarders 67
Age Range 4 to 18 years
Religious Tradition Roman Catholic heritage but we welcome girls of all faiths and none.
Distance from Airports

London Stansted – 28 miles

Distance from London

45 minutes via train from Cambridge station to London King’s Cross (60 miles)

Educational Programmes

At the Junior School we have created an innovative Creative Curriculum, which merges traditional elements of learning with creativity, challenge, independence and discovery. The practical and cross-curricular approach integrates different study disciplines – such as Science, Art, Geography, and Music – under one unifying topic, to ensure girls see the relevance of each discipline in context. For instance, a topic such as The Titanic will lead to reflections on the lives of the individuals at the time (History and English), designing and building boats (Engineering), and investigating floating and sinking (Science). Moving up to the Senior School our nurturing environment and passionate teachers inspire our enthusiastic girls to reach their academic potential. We encourage students to become more inquisitive about related areas of investigation, and to gain an understanding of how different subjects work together to build a clearer understanding of the world as a whole. The girls develop creative, critical and reflective thinking, and become excited and committed learners – demonstrated by the results they achieve across all academic and creative subjects in their public examinations. Our belief that a single-sex approach enables our students to buck gender stereotypes is evidenced by their results in both Mathematics and Science A Levels. Our Senior School curriculum is split into a pre-GCSE curriculum (students aged 11 to 14, in Year 7 to Year 9), and the GCSE curriculum (students aged 14 to 16, in Year 10 and Year 11). We continue to enhance our students’ learning experiences by ensuring our educational approach caters to their preferred learning styles, enabling their intellectual curiosity to flourish. Often taught in class sizes of fewer than 10 girls, our A Level students receive excellent teaching and personalised help. Lessons are conducted in tutorial-style groups with plenty of opportunities for discussion of ideas and development of independent thinking. We offer a purposefully broad range of courses at A Level, and with the introduction of the new style A Level courses, the majority of students will select three subjects to study throughout the two year course, which may be supplemented by taking the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification).

Co-Curricular Programmes

At the Junior School, special interest clubs develop the individual person by opening young minds to new experiences, interests, skills and challenges which in turn produce new-found confidence. These opportunities additionally provide chances for social development because pupils of all ages come together to explore new activities with teachers from different classes. We offer a range of clubs in which to take part including: Athletics Gym Dance Orchestra Wind group Chamber choir French theatre Mandarin Coding. At the Senior School and Sixth Form extra-curricular activities provide the perfect opportunity for girls to try a number of new experiences for the first time, or to invest in developing their aptitude in a particular area. Activities range from competing in school sports or performing in musical ensembles, to learning a new language or investigating engineering. Some clubs will run for the entire year, while others run on a termly basis. The range of extra-curricular activities is purposefully broad, and firm favourites include: Young Engineers; Hacksaw club; Gadgeteer club; Raving Robots; rowing; athletics; netball; pilates; tennis; dance club; and hockey; Creative Writing club; Model United Nations; Allegro; Cantore and Senior Orchestra. Additionally, one afternoon lesson per week is dedicated to the girls’ enrichment programme, in which Year 7 and Year 8 students undertake four activities on a carousel to ensure each of the girls tries her hand at a broad spectrum of activities. Students in Year 9 and above enjoy the freedom to choose which activities to pursue during the enrichment hour. The enrichment programme further enables our girls to investigate a wide range of challenges, establish leadership skills, develop new interests and skills, and work with peers from different year groups. The girls develop political, media, environmental and cultural awareness – important attributes on which to build in later life, and which university admissions teams value. The selection of activities varies from year to year, but some regular highlights include German, French, Spanish and Religious Studies film clubs; experimental skills in Chemistry; journalism; Japanese; Model United Nations; Raspberry Pi and python programming; introductory yoga; photography; extra GCSEs and Arts Award. We run a successful external speaker programme during lunch times – Ladies Who Lunch – exclusively for our Sixth Form students. We have welcomed successful Cambridge women such as Penny Hubbard who spoke to the students about her training and career path as a woman trained in Law, and Professor Alex Walsham from the University of Cambridge who spoke about her career as an historian. Moreover, we benefit from welcoming our high achieving parents and alumnae to speak to students about areas of research and topics of national and international debate. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is an internationally recognised award which has been running for over 50 years. The scheme is challenging, and seeks to develop a sense of independence, self-belief and responsibility in participants, through encouraging young people to regularly volunteer, to learn, and to adventure outdoors in three or four day camping and hiking expeditions, all the time taking on new skills and learning to lead, and work as part of a team. We offer all levels of the Award and many girls undertake and achieve the award at levels significantly beyond those achieved both locally and nationally.