“Great oaks from little acorns grow.”
14th century proverb

St Mary's School

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England

St Mary's School, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

St Mary's School

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England


St Mary's School, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England | Dickinson | British Boarding School Consulting

St Mary's is set around the University botanical gardens in the heart of Cambridge, one of England's great seats of learning. A Mary Ward School with a Catholic heritage, St Mary's welcomes pupils from all faiths and none. The School's education is tailored to the individual, achieving excellence in all areas in a 2014 ISI report. Students develop creative, critical and reflective thinking skills and become enthusiastic and committed learners, leaving the School as confident global citizens.

At a glance

Age range: 11 to 18
Total no. of pupils: 470
Percentage of boarders: 20%
Percentage of International pupils: 20%
Pupils in Sixth Form: 90
Average class size: Senior school: 20 / Sixth Form: 10
Sixth Form termly boarding fee: 22/23 £12,629
Top 6 sports:
Girls: Athletics, Cross Country, Hockey, Netball, Rowing, Tennis
Linked prep/junior school: Yes
Nearest major airports: Heathrow (119km), Stansted (47km)


The teaching staff work holistically to provide extensive cross-curricular learning based on real life experience, whilst small class sizes allow a tutorial approach that caters to each pupil's preferred learning style. 25 subjects along with the EPQ are available at A Level whilst facilities include a Learning Resource Centre, a Sixth Form Centre and a Science hub with separate Sixth Form lab. On average almost half of A Level candidates achieve A*/A and 45% go on to Russell Group universities.


All boarders live together in the warm and caring environment of the School's newly refurbished boarding house. Younger pupils share dorms for 6, whilst Years 10-12 share twin rooms and Year 13s each have their own. The ISI judged the boarding provision as 'excellent' in every category in 2014 – the highest grade that can be given. The School makes the most of the amenities of Cambridge with trips to the cinema, bowling and ice-skating along with visits to museums, galleries and the theatre.


All girls whether elite sportswomen or willing amateurs are encouraged to participate for their health and to learn valuable life lessons. The range of available sports includes badminton, golf, gymnastics, handball, rounders, squash, swimming and volleyball. The School has use of Cambridge University's athletics facilities and has agreements in place to develop new all-weather pitches, tennis courts, a pavilion and new athletics facilities and to jointly redevelop the City rowing club's boathouse.

Creative arts

St Mary's holds the Artsmark Gold Award and fine art, illustration, print-making, photography and digital media are all offered in 'No. 47', a dedicated art facility. The two purple and silver drama studios are complemented by a full-size stage in the main school hall which hosts biennial dance and musical productions. The music department boasts a musician in residence whilst the 15 or so extra-curricular music clubs include 'Tutti Flutti', a Samba Band and the Cantore and Allegro choirs.

Did you know?

  • Mary Ward, a 17th Century English nun, was a pioneer of girls’ education, founding schools across Europe and challenging the social and religious norms of the time.
  • Headmistress Charlotte Avery was elected to fly the flag for girls' education in 2017 as President of the Girls Schools Association (GSA).