Hero

Curriculum

Our nurturing environment and passionate and caring teachers inspire our enthusiastic girls to reach their academic potential.

We encourage students to become more inquisitive about related areas of investigation, and to gain an understanding of how different subjects work together to build a clearer understanding of the world as a whole. Our teaching team works holistically to provide extensive cross-curricular learning based on ‘real life’ experience and, in this way, we enhance our girls’ educational journeys, and provide each one with the best possible academic focus.

The girls develop creative, critical and reflective thinking, and become excited and committed learners – demonstrated by the results they achieve across all academic and creative subjects in their public examinations. Our belief that a single-sex approach enables our students to buck gender stereotypes is evidenced by their results in both Mathematics and Science A Levels.

We continue to enhance our students’ learning experiences by ensuring our educational approach caters to their preferred learning styles, enabling their intellectual curiosity to flourish. Often taught in class sizes of fewer than 10 girls, our A Level students receive excellent teaching and personalised help. Lessons are conducted in tutorial-style groups with plenty of opportunities for discussion of ideas and development of independent thinking.

Our girls receive offers to study at the UK’s top universities – the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, University College London, and Imperial College London – to read subjects ranging from Biochemistry, and Medicinal Chemistry, to Archaeology, Economics, and Mechanical Engineering. A more comprehensive list of leavers’ destinations and courses from the past year can be seen here.

Sixth Form curriculum & A Level options

Our Sixth Form curriculum is designed to nurture individual interests and instil a passion for learning, providing a solid foundation for university studies, vocational training, and the world of work beyond. Each student’s timetable is devised around her individual A Level subject choices, and the teaching team works to accommodate each student’s particular combination of subjects – however focused or diverse her interest.

We offer a purposefully broad range of courses at A Level, and with the introduction of the new style A Level courses, the majority of students will select three subjects to study throughout the two year course, which may be supplemented by taking the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification).

The following subjects are currently offered:

  • Art and Design (aspects of Photography can selected)
  • Art and Design: Textiles
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Civilisation
  • Computer Science
  • Drama and Theatre Studies 
  • Economics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Government and Politics
  • Greek
  • History
  • Latin
  • Mathematics 
  • Further Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physics
  • Psychology 
  • Spanish
  • Theology

In addition, we also give students the opportunity to broaden their linguistic abilities by offering beginners’ GCSE courses in French, German and Spanish. All Sixth Form students participate in general studies to enrich their learning experience, and to develop new academic interests free from the pressure of examinations.

Learning support

St Mary’s School, Cambridge is an inclusive school which focuses on supporting the individual, whatever her strengths and areas for development. In all cases, the students’ progress is monitored carefully and communicated clearly and regularly to their parents. The Learning Support department also offers guidance to our subject teachers and tutors enabling them to better meet a range of individual needs. Girls are also able to take advantage of support during study periods.

Homework

Homework provides an opportunity to reinforce and consolidate the day’s learning as well as playing an important role in students being intellectually challenged, by providing an opportunity for them to develop a deeper subject understanding and to further practise the skills of unsupported study and independent learning. When homework is set, our teachers will ensure it is engaging and enjoyable, and A Level students will also be encouraged to develop their own learning outside of school hours as they are within the school day. Teachers are available before and after school, or at morning break and lunchtime, to answer queries and support the girls in their work.