Skip to main content
  • St Mary's School (Shaftesbury)
    Donhead St. Mary
    SP7 9LP
  • Head: Mrs Mary Arnal
  • T 01747 852416
  • F 01747 851557
  • E
  • W
  • A mainstream independent school for girls aged from 9 to 18
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Dorset
  • Pupils: 270
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
  • Fees: Day £15,750 - £19,950; Boarding £19,500 - £30,990 pa
  • Open days: October and November
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • ISI report: View the ISI report

What says..

In the past we have described St Mary’s as ‘a jolly nice girls’ Catholic boarding school’ but this belies its true character. A reasonably pacey school, St Mary’s is performing pretty well on all fronts …...

Read review »

What the school says...

Set in 55 acres of beautiful Dorset countryside, St Marys Shaftesbury is an inspiring educational environment. Its unique ethos sets it apart, creating a happy and friendly community. Outstanding teachers and excellent pastoral care enable girls to achieve their ambitions in a relaxed but stimulating environment; Oxbridge and Russell Group university success is realised.
At St Marys girls have the confidence to be themselves, explore the educational opportunities available and take part in all the extra-curricular activities on offer. Girls feel free to take risks, become resilient and independent and at the same time enjoy life-long friendships and being part of a close knit community.
A visit is a must!
...Read more

Thank the school

Parents and pupils often have cause to acknowledge the help and support they have received from their schools, for example in helping in the choice of further education or careers. "Say thank you" allows you to send a quick note of appreciation to the school in general or to an individual teacher.

This is a thank you to your school, teacher or careers adviser who helped you to get where you are now.

Please fill in the fields below, which we will transform into a letter of thanks from you to them.

Leave blank if you want to thank the school as a whole

Years you were there

Can be left blank but, if you can, think of a few words that will bring a smile.



What The Good Schools Guide says

In the past we have described St Mary’s as ‘a jolly nice girls’ Catholic boarding school’ but this belies its true character. A reasonably pacey school, St Mary’s is performing pretty well on all fronts …


Since January 2016, Mrs Mary Arnal MSc, PGCE, FRSA, previously head of Sherborne International School, and before that head of the prep school at St Teresa's, Effingham. She is an applied linguist with a masters from Edinburgh, and has a background in university lecturing and teaching in the UK and overseas, including being senior housemistress at St John's School Leatherhead. Her specialist subjects are English language and philosophy and she has experience teaching the IB in Spain, where she was director of studies at a school in Madrid. She has also taught and lived in Peru. She describes herself as...

Subscribe now for instant access to read The Good Schools Guide review.

Already subscribed? Login here.

Subscribe now for instant access to data. Already subscribed? Login here.

Special Education Needs

St Mary's is able to cater for pupils of at least average intelligence with mild difficulties of a dyslexic or dyspraxic nature, or mild ADD/ADHD disorders, who can access an academic curriculum. A maximum of two 35 minute individual lessons per week are taught by specialist support staff at an additional charge. There is currently no provision for in-class support. Extra Maths tuition is offered at an additional charge for pupils requiring support in the run-up to GCSE examinations, but is also available for younger pupils with weak numeracy skills.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
Not Applicable
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

  Zoopla sale properties   Zoopla rent properties   Hide Zoopla markers

Powered by Zoopla

Available from our bookshop straight-talking, invaluable, must have books and subscriptions to UK schools, Good Schools Guide International and Uni in the USA... and Beyond >>

The Good Schools Guide subscriptionThe Good Schools Guide London NorthThe Good Schools Guid 20th Edition

 GSG Blog >    In the news >


Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

This month 'Breducation'

Are you knowledgeable about Scottish schools? Would you like to review them for the Good Schools Guide? Click here for more information.