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All round excellence, helped by well-stocked staff room (overall pupil-teacher ratio of six to one). Pupils span just about everything from the mid-range and below to the giddy super-bright heights. A well-managed process steers a careful line between encouragement and pressure. The universally cheerful and confident demeanor of sixth formers just about to enter final preparation for A2 exams indicated that it was working. Pupils rated supportive ethos - ‘It’s cool to work’, said one - and extensive out of hours access to staff. ‘So many of the teachers stay late…

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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2019, Danuta Staunton BA MA PGCE. English degree and masters in Renaissance literature, both from York. Worked in publishing before joining St Mary's English department in 2010, and has been here ever since, as year coordinator, deputy head of house and then part of the senior management and education team. She spent a year as headmistress elect, working closely with the outgoing headmistress, prior to taking the helm.


Selective but not awesomely so. Siblings, while favourably viewed, need good dose of what it takes to secure a place. School gives preference to girls who are Roman Catholic (nearly all pupils are). Many from bilingual backgrounds, though no formal support offered. Special educational needs geared towards those with ‘generally mild’ dyslexia, with learning support lessons and workshops.

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

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Special Education Needs

On entry to the school all girls are given a short screening test. Where there are individual concerns, these are followed up with further tests and if appropriate referral to an educational psychologist. Girls who have been diagnosed with dyslexia or dyspraxia (3%) receive regular help outside lesson times from a specialist dyslexia teacher. Girls identified as needing support in other areas meet with teachers in the special needs team. Girls recognised as gifted and talented in each year form an express group who meet on a regular basis to explore challenging topics. They are also stretched in their lessons using differentiated work. If any girl experiences difficulties at any stage her subject teachers, tutor, Head of House or parents can refer her to the special needs team where further investigation will take place. 10-09

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyslexia Y
Dyspraxia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment Y
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
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

Who came from where

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