Born in 16th century Yorkshire, Mary Ward (1585-1645) was called to live as a Religious in ways which would have been considered revolutionary for her time.
Committed to the education of girls and women, she sought to give practical expression to the hope expressed in the gospels of a world of equality and justice.
She believed “Women in time to come will do much.” This vision continues to inspire our girls to ‘do much’ – to aim high, not just academically - but to become confident, compassionate young women who play a positive role in society.
Mary Ward’s vision inspired the creation of schools around the world and we are part of a global network of almost 200 Mary Ward Schools.
12 Characteristics of a Mary Ward School
Mary Ward led a life of integrity, discernment, courage and love. Her vision for education is defined in 12 Characteristics, which describe a life focussed on the greater glory of God, these shape everyday life in our Junior School, Senior School and Sixth Form.
- Promoting truth, justice, freedom and sincerity
- Celebrating diversity
- Encouraging hard work and excellence
- Respecting self
- Valuing women’s role and spirituality
- Supporting each other
- Pursuing cheerfulness
- Working to eliminate injustice
- Valuing friendship
- Coping with failure
- Seeing good in all creation
- Following in Christ’s footsteps
These characteristics underpin our School Aims. Each year we explore two Characteristics in greater depth, working with students to reflect on the challenges we face in today’s society. Our 12 Characteristics provide our girls with a moral and spiritual framework that will help them to navigate their path in a rapidly changing and often uncertain world.
“Mary Ward characteristics are important because they are valid not just in school but also out of school and in almost everything we do. Several also coincide with many different religious beliefs, not just Christianity. They tell us how to be a good person, whatever we believe and whatever we are doing.” Cecilia R.B. Year 8