The school has a founding tradition that goes back more than 400 years, to our foundress, Mary Ward (1585 - 1645), who dedicated her life to providing educational opportunities for girls and is a wonderful role model to our school community.
Mary Ward is a personal heroine of mine: radical and strong, she was the prototype early feminist believing that by God's grace, women in time to come will do much: this is the mantra by which we live at St Mary's School, Cambridge and by which I seek to encourage the girls to do and be all that they can both at school and in their adult lives.
As many schools in Cambridge have turned away from their founding roots as boys or girls' schools, I feel strongly that there is a place for single-sex schools alongside co-educational establishments since they allow the student and parent a choice about educational matters. Educated myself at St Paul's Girls' School and thereafter at St Anne's College Oxford (originally established to promote the higher education of women) I am delighted to be in my tenth year as Headmistress here at St Mary's School, Cambridge, having spent two decades of my career focusing on how best to serve the educational needs of young women. I am consequently delighted to have been peer elected as the 2017 President of the GSA: Girls Schools’ Association
There are now Mary Ward schools all around the world and we have positive links with many of them including schools in Australia, Germany and Ireland. We gain great strength from these connections which support my desire for our students to be truly global citizens, benefiting from our own international community at St Mary's School, Cambridge as well as our Mary Ward connections abroad.
Charlotte Avery, Headmistress of St Mary’s School, Cambridge.