My daughter is only eight years old, is she too young to come and see St Mary's ?
Not at all. There are several ways to come and visit St Mary's. Firstly, you may wish to discuss your daughter's education with Mrs Breen, the headmistress, and then be shown the school by a sixth form guide. Alternatively, we hold three Open Mornings a year, usually in May and September and November, when families can come and look at the school and meet staff and girls informally.
How far in advance do I have to register ?
You can register your daughter for a place to sit the entrance examination as soon as you wish. This ensures that the school can keep in touch with the family until your daughter comes to sit the entrance examination. We do suggest that the registration takes place at least two years prior to the entry date. All who are registered come to St Mary's to sit their entrance examination in the January and February in the year of entry.
At what age can my daughter start St Mary's ?
St Mary's main intake is at 11+, when we accept about 40 girls. There is also a smaller intake of about 20 girls at 13+. The school also has a small intake at 16+ for sixth form.
Is there an entrance examination ?
St Mary's conducts 11+, 13+ and 16+ entrance examinations at school. At 11+, girls come to St Mary's for a day in the January of the year of entry. They will sit examinations in English, mathematics, a general paper and will also have a session in the gym. Examinees are looked after for the day by a current Year 7 girl who will take her to break, lunch, to and from examinations and to see the school.
At 13+ girls come to St Mary's for two days in the February of the year of entry and candidates are invited to spend the night at school. The examinations will include English, mathematics, religious studies, science, a modern language, geography or history and a Latin paper.
Both the 11+ and 13+ examinations are set along the lines of Common Entrance, although girls have an interview with the headmistress or one of the two deputy headmistresses. The 11+ and 13+ St Marys examinations do NOT require girls to be coached or trained and examination results are not the sole factor in a place being offered.
At 16+ girls come to St Mary's for a day. They will sit a general examination paper and will also meet the heads of departments of the subjects to be studied at AS level. In addition they will have an interview with the headmistress and the head of sixth form.
Does St Mary's accept non-Catholic girls ?
St Mary's gives preference to girls who are Roman Catholic. 98% of girls at St Mary's are Roman Catholic. The catholic ethos forms a cornerstone of life at St Mary's. The whole school gathers for prayers in the chapel every morning. Our resident chaplain says mass every Sunday.
How many girls board ?
Out of 370 girls, only 10 are day boarders and these girls live very locally to the school. Day boarders participate fully in the programmes of activities organised at weekends and are required to be at school when their House is on duty at a weekend.
Day boarders have to be at school by 8.15am. Although lessons end at 4.30, day boarders must stay at school to complete their study and/or take part in sports matches, drama productions or clubs. Day boarders must attend on a Saturday morning until 12.15pm. The majority of day boarders will go on to board as they progress through the school.