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Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships

Scholarships Play
 
Emma Hall
Assistant Head: Director of Studies

St Mary’s School, Cambridge scholarship provision aims to celebrate outstanding academic, creative and sporting achievement and service to the wider community. Scholarships are offered throughout the school and are designed to give girls a sense of their own worth and ability, while providing them with the opportunity to develop their gifts and talents for their own benefit and, as importantly, for the benefit of others.

In addition to a fee reduction, the scholar receives support in their area of particular talent from a teacher at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. In return for scholarships, girls are expected to act as role models to their peers and contribute to the wider life of the school, thus fostering a love of learning and commitment to service.

Scholarships are offered to girls entering Year 7, Year 9 and Sixth Form, and are usually valid for two (Year 7 and Sixth Form entry) or five (Year 9 entry) years. Scholarships are usually awarded at 5 percent of the day school fees but may be worth up to 20 percent in exceptional circumstances. In the interests of inclusivity, no student will be awarded more than two scholarships with fee remission although applicants may apply for more than two. Any scholarship can be purely honorary, with the fee remission donated by parents into our Bursary Fund to benefit students who would otherwise be unable to afford a place at the school.

Application deadlines

  • The deadline for UK applicants' scholarship applications for September 2017 has now passed. However, there is no formal deadline for international scholarship applications – these will be considered by the Headmistress on the point of application.

  • The deadline for UK applicants' Lower Sixth scholarship applications for September 2018 is 15 November 2017.

  • The deadline for UK applicants' Year 7 and Year 9 scholarship applications for September 2018 is 31 December 2017.

All scholarships are awarded at the Headmistress’ discretion. For more information about scholarships please contact our admissions team by email admissions@stmaryscambridge.co.uk, or call Tina Shannon on +44 (0)1223 224 167 (UK admissions) or Tiffany McCrea on +44 (0)1223 224 157 (international admissions) for further information.

Download scholarship application forms
Scholarship application form - Year 7 entry (for internal applicants)
Scholarship application form - Year 9 entry (for internal applicants)
Scholarship application form - Sixth Form (for internal applicants)
Scholarship application form - 2018 entry (for external applicants)

 

Academic scholarship

Applications are invited from students whose academic performance is very strong across the curriculum. Applicants must be highly motivated, enthusiastic in their academic and extra-curricular pursuits and possess the skills and characteristics that will make them strong role models to their peers.

Academic scholars are expected to set an exemplary standard in class and to get involved with extension opportunities. Award holders will be provided with opportunities to broaden their experiences and enhance their critical thinking and communication skills through participation in group activities and trips where appropriate.

Applicants will sit an essay-based paper, lasting 30 to 45 minutes depending on year of entry. In addition candidates, at an interview with a member of the Senior Leadership Team and the Scholars’ Officer, will be expected to discuss their ideas arising from their essay and defend any viewpoints that they may have articulated.

Year 7

Unlike all other awards, applications for this scholarship are not made until the students have joined Year 7, in order for candidates to have settled into the new routine of the academic year in the Senior School. The essay based paper lasts 30 minutes.

Year 9

Internal and external candidates will be assessed during the entrance examination week. The essay based paper lasts 30 minutes.

Lower Sixth

Applications are particularly invited from students whose academic performance is very strong in essay based subjects. Those scholars in the Sixth Form will be encouraged to run academic societies for the benefit of students throughout the school. The essay based paper lasts 45 minutes.

Academic (STEM) scholarship

STEM scholars should be enthusiastic about Science and Mathematics and should be keen to apply their scientific and mathematical knowledge to design, making and problem-solving tasks. STEM scholars are expected to set a good example in Science and Mathematics lessons and show commitment to at least one of the extra-curricular STEM clubs. They may be asked to contribute a piece of work for the school magazine or showcase a project at the scholars' evening.

Year 9

Applicants are required to prepare a three minute presentation on an aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics which has inspired them. They will also sit a test which will assess their thinking skills. The applicant will have the opportunity to give their presentation, talk about their interests and participate in a practical problem solving activity during the interview with the STEM Co-ordinator and another member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Lower Sixth

STEM scholars will be encouraged to attend STEM initiatives out of school that will support their university applications, such as the Headstart and Smallpeice Trust residential courses. Applicants are required to prepare a five minute presentation on an aspect of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics which has inspired them. They will also sit a test which will assess their thinking skills. The applicant will have the opportunity to give their presentation, talk about their interests and participate in a practical problem solving activity during the interview with the STEM Co-ordinator and another member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Art scholarship

Art scholars are expected to demonstrate artistic talent and creativity, as well as show a strong commitment to the subject, both at home and in school.

Year 7 and Year 9

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio and/or sketchbook of recent artwork by the application deadline: ideally this work should have been produced in the last year. A range of work should be shown and should also include evidence of:

  • Direct observational drawings (these may take the form of pages from a sketchbook or on loose paper)
  • Secondary source drawings (these may take the form of pages from a sketchbook or on loose paper)
  • At least three pieces of substantial finished artwork which can include either 2D, 3D or both (we are looking for evidence of quality and not quantity)
  • Evidence of having looked at and been interested in the work of artists and/or designers from either the past or present
  • Evidence of having participated in art clubs or workshops either in school or outside of school
  • Evidence of having visited permanent collections and temporary exhibitions to museums or art galleries within the last year

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an interview with the Head of Art and another member of the Senior Leadership Team during which they will be expected to talk about their wider interest in the subject. Shortlisted applicants are also welcome to bring along any other artwork which they feel may be of interest.

Lower Sixth

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio and/or sketchbook of GCSE artwork and any artwork produced independently i.e. participation in an art workshop or evening class. A range of work should be shown and should also include evidence of:

  • Direct observational drawings (these may take the form of pages from a sketchbook or on loose paper)
  • Secondary source drawings (these may take the form of pages from a sketchbook or on loose paper)
  • An ability to research and develop ideas for a final piece of work (these may take the form of pages from a sketchbook or on loose paper)
  • At least five pieces of substantial finished artwork which can include either 2D, 3D or both (we are looking for evidence of quality and not quantity)
  • Evidence of having looked at and been interested in the work of artists and/or designers from either the past or present
  • Evidence of having participated in art clubs or workshops either in school or outside of school
  • Evidence of having visited permanent collections and temporary exhibitions to museums or art galleries within the last year

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an interview with the Head of Art and another member of the Senior Leadership Team during which they will be expected to talk about their wider interest in the subject. Shortlisted applicants are also welcome to bring along any other artwork which they feel may be of interest.

Creative Writing scholarships - all entry points

Creative Writing scholars are expected to demonstrate a flair for the written word, creativity and imagination. They should enjoy writing, both at home and at school, and should be keen to develop their interest by taking advantage of the opportunities at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. They will also be expected to contribute pieces to the school magazine and other publications and help to run events celebrating the written word throughout the school year. Older Creative Writing scholars will also have responsibility for helping to mentor younger Creative Writing scholars throughout the school.

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of work by the application deadline. They should choose six to 10 pieces of writing to include. These can be in a range of forms (poems, short stories, descriptive writing, monologues, diary entries, autobiographical writing etc.) and should demonstrate the following:

  • Creativity and original thought
  • Exciting and interesting use of language and vocabulary
  • Sensitivity and thoughtfulness
  • A good awareness of how to engage the reader
  • An interesting and thought provoking approach to a range of themes/ideas

Applicants may, if they wish, include a short commentary on each of their pieces explaining where they took inspiration from and what they were trying to achieve. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to participate in an interview with the Head of English and a member of the Senior Leadership Team during which they will be expected to talk about their interest in creative writing.

Dance scholarship - all entry points

Dance is celebrated as a vibrant and exciting art form at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. Our Dance scholars are expected to be able to demonstrate technical skill and artistry in one or more dance genres, evidenced where appropriate through examination or competition achievement. We would expect Dance scholars to continue to show commitment to dance through study outside of school. Dance scholars will be required to participate in the Dance Showcase and other dance-related activities in school (such as running a dance club or assisting in a dance club for younger or less experienced girls).

Applicants at all entry levels are required to submit a short portfolio illustrating their dance activities and a DVD/video of them dancing. The portfolio should include:

  • Details of dance examinations and grades achieved, including the most recent certificate
  • A short description of ‘What dance means to you’ (100-300 words)
  • A short review of a recent production the applicant has seen (100-200 words)

The DVD/video must comprise two dances danced by the applicant with the following criteria:

  • One to two minutes in length
  • One of the dances must be choreographed by the applicant
  • One of the dances may be from the applicant’s current syllabus or choreographed by a teacher

Following viewing of portfolio and DVDs, applicants will be shortlisted. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to audition, presenting their choice of one of the two dances from the DVD. Applicants will meet the Dance Co-ordinator and another senior member of the school for an interview focusing on aspects of their portfolio.

While everyone’s experience of dance is different and not all dance is developed through a formal syllabus, an approximate minimum standards benchmark would be as follows:

  • Age 11+ - Grade 3
  • Age 13+ - Grade 5
  • Age 16+ - Grade 7/Inter Foundation

Design & Enterprise scholarship - all entry points

Applicants are expected to submit evidence of enterprising tasks and activities they have carried out independently both at school and at home or in clubs and competitions. They will be expected to participate in extra-curricular clubs and activities, such as STEM clubs, and to be an ambassador for the Technology department at events such as the Technology Showcase.

The work submitted should be varied and include evidence of:

  • Use of resources – finding ideas for creation from a range of different areas
  • Showing a flair for creativity and innovation
  • Independent work – adapting and adjusting to challenges, working systematically and logically
  • Visits to Design and Enterprise related exhibitions/events/fairs
  • Capacity for creative thought
  • Extended background knowledge of Technology related issues/interests

If shortlisted the applicants are invited to attend an interview with the Head of Technology and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Drama scholarship - all entry points

Drama is a dynamic and creative art form and a hugely popular subject at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. Our Drama scholars are expected, where possible, to participate fully in the extra-curricular theatre programme afforded to them and be excellent ambassadors for the Drama department. Involvement in productions may be predominately as a performer but older scholars may find themselves being a director, technician, choreographer, stage hand or stage manager, and may also find themselves running a Drama club, staffing front of house or working backstage. In any of these roles, holders of a Drama scholarship will demonstrate reliability, commitment, team work and a high level of skill.

We are fully aware that our scholars may have particular ability in one style of theatre (for example, physical theatre, mask work, musical theatre, naturalistic or comedy drama). We also understand that students may struggle with particular theatrical forms, as the performance field is so wide and varied; it’s about finding your gifts and sharing them with the drama community here at St Mary’s School, Cambridge.

Applicants are required to submit a short portfolio illustrating their drama activities and a DVD/video of a monologue. The portfolio should include:

  • Details of drama performances/projects
  • Certificates of courses/grades passed (such as LAMDA) or feedback/reviews received
  • A short description of ‘Why drama is important to you’ (100-300 words Option A)
  • A short review of a recent production the applicant has seen (100-200 words)

The recorded DVD must:

  • Comprise one monologue of two minutes in length – fully acted out, staged and performed
  • A short speech explaining ‘Why drama is important to you’ (Option B)

Please note that you do not need to do both option A and B.

Following viewing of portfolio and DVDs, applicants will be shortlisted. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to audition, presenting their monologue from the DVD and will also carry out a short improvised piece of drama. Applicants will meet the Head of Drama and another senior member of the school for an interview focusing on aspects of their portfolio.

Mary Ward scholarship - all entry points

Mary Ward scholars are expected to give support and show commitment to the whole school ethos, rooted in gospel values and expressed through the characteristics of a Mary Ward School, with particular regard to spirituality, religion, work for justice, charity, chaplaincy and community.

At present, our Mary Ward scholars assist with whole school liturgy (services) and assemblies, contribute to the decisions and activities of the school’s charity committee, represent the school at events in the Diocese of East Anglia and elsewhere, and are involved with working for justice and charity fundraising in local communities. Recent initiatives include starting small student prayer or reflection groups, relaunching Fair Trade focus in school, marking Interfaith Week, and beginning to explore a student chaplaincy contribution from the senior students.

It should be noted that not all scholars are involved in all of these activities.

Applicants for all entry levels are required to submit a letter of application, and if shortlisted will be invited to meet with the Director of Christian Life and the Chaplain for a short interview.

The letter and interview give the shortlisted applicant the opportunity to explore how she might be able to support the whole school ethos. This could involve reflecting on relevant activities and experiences in which the applicant has been involved already – in ours school, in their previous school, in their parish or community – or the applicant might reflect on ways in which they feel they would be able to contribute in the future.

It is expected that Mary Ward scholars show a greater extent of leadership and initiative as they progress up the school; demonstrating willingness and potential to develop this is an important factor to consider for those applying at 13+ and 16+.

Music scholarships - all entry points

The Music department at St Mary’s School, Cambridge is vibrant and exciting with performance opportunities for all. Our accomplished Music scholars are selected not only on their musical ability but also their ability to contribute to, and enhance, the musical life of our school. Self-motivation and leadership skills are essential as our scholars are expected to set high standards for other students.

General student requirements:

  • A high standard of performance skills relative to age and year group
  • Reliable, hard-working and enthusiastic with a sense of humour
  • Team players who are prepared to contribute fully to the extra-curricular life of the school
  • A willingness to contribute to the musical aspects of assemblies, religious occasions and concerts both formal and informal
  • Good leadership qualities
  • A commitment to continuing Music education within the curriculum from Year 9 upwards

Audition process - students should be prepared to:

  • Perform two contrasting pieces (may be on different instruments/voice) to:
    • Grade 4 standard or above if applying for entry into Year 7 (applicants who play ‘rare breed’ instruments to a Grade 3 standard or above will be considered)
    • Grade 5 standard or above if applying for entry into Year 9 (applicants who play ‘rare breed’ instruments to a Grade 4 standard or above will be considered)
    • Grade 7 standard or above if applying for entry into the Sixth Form (applicants who play ‘rare breed’ instruments to a Grade 5 standard or above will be considered)
  • Undertake a short sight-reading task
  • Undertake a selection of aural tests
  • Provide a summary of their musical experiences thus far and respond to questions about future musical aspirations at St Mary’s School, Cambridge. We would be particularly interested to hear from those students who have ideas for developing student leadership in Music
  • Have an interview with the Director of Music and a member of the Senior Leadership Team

St Mary’s School, Cambridge will provide an accompanist free of charge and we would be grateful if applicants could send copies of the music two weeks prior to the audition date. Applicants who wish to bring their own accompanist are welcome to do so.

Sport scholarship - all entry points

A Sport scholar should be: talented, committed, reliable, proactive and enthusiastic. A Sport scholar should have a high level of skill in more than one sport or be very good in a range of different sports.

They are expected to be dedicated to their sporting commitments both in and out of school and represent St Mary's School, Cambridge in at least two different sports. They are an ambassador for sport at the school.

A candidate is expected to produce a portfolio of their sporting achievements which could include:

  • School, club and national pathway representation (e.g. County, Regional and National)
  • Pictures of them taking part in their sports
  • Examples of excellence, commitment and dedication
  • Reasons why they wish to be a Sport scholar at St Mary's School, Cambridge
  • Candidates should also provide a reference regarding their eligibility and suitability for the Sport scholarship
  • Scholars are expected to demonstrate leadership skills, especially in Year 10 and Year 11, as well as encouraged to help out at lower school clubs

If shortlisted the applicants are required to take part in an assessed practical session as well as an interview with Head of Physical Education, Mrs Jackie Ewing and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Textiles scholarship

Textiles scholars are expected to demonstrate deeper interest and creativity in various areas of Textiles, both at home and school. They are also expected to contribute towards Textiles departmental events such as exhibitions and the annual fashion show.

Applicants are expected to submit a design portfolio together with some Textiles pieces of work that are made either at home or in clubs and workshops. Any assisted work will need to be clearly marked.

Year 7

A portfolio of work needs to be submitted which should be varied and include the evidence of:

  • Primary and secondary research e.g. a mood board and artist/designer research
  • Generation of ideas using different media e.g. pencil and colouring pencil
  • Development of ideas e.g. testing with different Textiles techniques (hand embroidery, patchwork applique, dyeing and printing)
  • Planning for making e.g. writing instructions
  • Minimum of one complete small scale Textiles piece of work e.g. a cushion cover, a pencil case or a tote bag

Year 9

A portfolio of work needs to be submitted which should be varied and include the evidence of:

  • Primary and secondary research e.g. visit to a museum or exhibition, a mood board and artist/designer research
  • Generation of ideas using different media e.g. pencil, colouring pencil, pen and watercolour
  • Development of ideas e.g. testing with different Textiles techniques (hand or machine embroidery, patchwork, applique, dyeing and printing)
  • Fabric construction e.g. samples of weaving, knitting or felting
  • Planning for making e.g. writing instructions with some diagrams
  • Recording making e.g. photographic evidence of different making stages
  • Minimum of one complete medium scale Textiles piece of work e.g. a cushion cover, a tote bag, a skirt, knitted accessories

Lower Sixth

A portfolio of work needs to be submitted which should be varied and include the evidence of:

  • Primary and secondary research e.g. visit to a museum or exhibition, a mood board and artist/designer research or report of work experience with a fashion designer or Textile artist
  • Generation of ideas using different media e.g. pencil, colouring pencil, pen and watercolour
  • Development of ideas e.g. testing with different Textiles techniques (machine embroidery, patchwork, applique, dyeing and printing)
  • Fabric construction e.g. samples of weaving, knitting or felting
  • Planning for making e.g. writing instructions with some photographs
  • Recording making e.g. photographic evidence of different making stages
  • Minimum of one complete Textiles piece of work e.g. a fashion item or art textiles including variety of construction and fabric decoration techniques

If shortlisted the applicants are invited to attend an interview with the Head of Textiles and a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Bursaries

Claire Hodgskiss Play
 
Claire Hodgskiss
Executive Officer

St Mary’s School, Cambridge bursaries are discretionary, means-tested and awarded on a sliding scale based on financial need. Awards are reviewed annually with the expectation that they will decrease over time in order that as many families as possible are able to benefit from the bursary funds available.

Bursaries may be made to existing or prospective families. Existing families who are committed to St Mary’s School, Cambridge but whose financial circumstances have changed will be prioritised over new applicants.

The deadline for bursary applications for September 2017 has now passed. Existing parents who have come across unforeseen financial difficulty are encouraged to contact Dr Hodgskiss to discuss financial support, which may be available.

The closing date for bursary applications for September 2018 entry is 15 November 2017.

Please contact Executive Officer, Dr Claire Hodgskiss, for more information on bursaries: chodgskiss@stmaryscambridge.co.uk