Learning at each stage | GCSEs and A Levels

In our small classes, each girl is valued, supported and inspired, as they experience an education tailored to meet their needs.

Our approach

We are experts in educating girls; in allowing their intellectual and social confidence to flourish, as well as the value we place on individuality.

At every stage, our curriculum offers a wide range of academic, creative, sporting and extra-curricular activities.

Length of study

Joining our Junior School

International boarders join us in Junior School from Year 5, age 9, and live in Mary Ward House, our exceptional boarding house, where they are overseen and supported by dedicated, caring staff.

Joining our Senior School or Sixth Form

We offer two-year, five-year and seven-year programmes. Your daughter can choose from the following options:

  • Pre-GCSE programme: Join us in Year 7, Year 8 or Year 9 for a pre-GCSE programme.
  • GCSE programme: Join us for a two-year GCSE programme in Year 10.
  • A Level programme: Join us for a two-year A Level programme in Lower Sixth (Year 12).

Shorter programmes

A year of cultural immersion

We also provide a year of cultural immersion and language development. This is an ideal way to improve English and learn about British culture, especially as we are a school where the majority of students are English-speaking.

Short term placements

We can sometimes offer short, one term (12 weeks) or half term placements (six weeks) for students aged 11 or 14, subject to space in our boarding house.

Curricular programmes

Junior School curriculum

Girls joining in Junior School will follow our broad and creative curriculum, investigating topics and themes through different subject areas. Core subjects are connected across the curriculum, enabling pupils to gain a broader academic understanding of how, and why, their learning is relevant to them.

They learn in small classes, where teaching is tailored to suit the learning style and needs of each pupil in a safe and nurturing environment.

Junior School Curriculum

Senior School 

Pre-GCSE curriculum (age 11 to 14)

Girls who join us in Years 7 to 9, aged 11 to 14 study a broad curriculum. In addition to English language lessons, students study a selection of the following subjects:

  • Arts subjects: Art, Drama Music and Photography
  • Humanities subjects: History and Geography, Religious Studies (Christianity & World Religions) and Classical Civilisation
  • Modern and Ancient Languages: French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Latin and Greek
  • Mathematics
  • Science subjects: Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • Technology subjects: Cookery, Textiles and IT, including Computer Science
  • Physical Education
  • PSHCE: Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship & Economic education
  • Tutorial sessions: time with tutors

More curriculum information

GCSE curriculum (age 14 to 16)

Girls aged 14 to 16 follow our (I)GCSE curriculum. In addition to studying core subjects of English Language, Mathematics and Religious Studies, most students choose between six and eight additional subjects:

  • Arts: Art, Drama, Music
  • Humanities: History, Geography, Classical Civilisation
  • Modern and Ancient Languages: French, German, Spanish, Latin, Greek
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Technology: Cookery, Textiles and IT, including Computer Science. 

Alongside these subjects, students meet regularly with their tutors to provide academic guidance and pastoral support.

More about (I)GCSE subjects

Sixth Form

A Level curriculum (age 16 to 18)

We offer a wide variety of A Level subjects, ranging from Mathematics and Chemistry to Psychology and Classical Civilisation. In addition, Sixth Form students can complete the EPQ: Extended Project Qualification. They also meet frequently with tutors for academic monitoring, tracking and general pastoral support.

Our Sixth Form students also benefit from a programme unique to St Mary's: PER – Philosophy, Ethics & Religion which is a compulsory part of their wider education programme.

More about A Levels at St Mary's

Aiming high at St Mary's

Discover how we ensure our students achieve their potential in Senior School and Sixth Form.