Admissions FAQs

Admissions FAQs

If we haven’t covered your questions below, please contact our Admissions team and we will happily answer them in person.

Additional information for international students.

How can we visit the school?

We hold a range of Open Events throughout the school year for prospective families, but you are also welcome to make an individual appointment to tour the school and to meet with relevant members of staff – please contact the Admissions team to arrange a convenient time.

Do you have to be a practising Catholic to attend St Mary's School, Cambridge?

Ours is a Christian school of Catholic heritage in which girls of all faiths and secular backgrounds are warmly welcomed and where the precious uniqueness of each individual is valued.

Significant days in the Church’s calendar and the school year are celebrated with Mass or an ecumenical liturgy (religious service) in school or the local parish church. It is expected that all students attend as part of the community and participate as far as they feel able.

Do all students attend religous education lessons?

All students attend Religious Education lessons and Religious Studies is a compulsory examination at GCSE level. Teaching is academic, rather than confessional, in approach, and a variety of Christian viewpoints are examined alongside other world faiths – principally Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. Scholarships are offered at Year 7, Year 9 and Lower Sixth entry and are worth up to 20% of the day school fees. The following scholarships are available: Academic, Academic STEM* (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Art, Dance, Design and Enterprise, Drama, Mary Ward, Music, Sport, Textiles.

More about scholarships

* Year 9 and Upper Sixth entry only

What are CEM Select tests used for applicants to Years 7, 8 and 9?

The CEM Select is an online test designed for entry to Independent Schools. It evaluates key skills including vocabulary, mathematics and non-verbal reasoning. We use this online test for applicants wishing to join our Senior School in Years 7-9, as part of a broader application process.

More about CEM


Does St Mary's School, Cambridge operate its own school transport?

Further information on transport to school and how to find us.

Are school meals compulsory?

St Mary’s School, Cambridge provides school lunches to students across the school at an additional cost.

A varied menu is offered daily including fresh fruits and salad, and food is prepared on the premises to a high standard. For Junior School pupils these lunches are compulsory but in the Senior School and Sixth Form, students can choose whether or not to have school lunches.

Students in the Senior School or Sixth Form who wish to discontinue their school lunch arrangement are required to give notice of half a term.

Further information on fees

Are instrumental music and drama lessons available and is there an additional charge for these?

Students throughout the school are encouraged to take advantage of the provision of tuition in a wide range of orchestral and other instruments by peripatetic Music staff, and to benefit from our specialist London Association of Music and Drama (LAMDA) teaching for Speech and Drama lessons.

There is an additional charge for these sessions. A term’s notice is required for cessation of Music and Drama lessons.

What is the induction process for new students?

Change is inevitable in life, and how it happens can have a great impact on how one feels about a situation. At St Mary’s School, Cambridge we strive to ensure that every student feels welcome.

It is essential to have a smooth transfer into school for the first time or as a joiner from another school. Early on we ensure there is two-way communication between school and parents. After a place is offered, a taster day can be arranged at your request. This can be for a morning or for a full day, and gives the student the opportunity to meet classmates and get the flavour of a typical school day. The school is very happy to provide several taster days.

After starting school, a classmate will be paired up with a new student to settle in as quickly as possible.

We have a strong House system at St Mary’s School, Cambridge and, after starting school, each new student is assigned to one of the four Houses. Within the House the girls are arranged into families, which are vertically grouped and therefore consist of a range of ages. There is a series of welcome events and information evenings for new parents in the first half term, where parents receive information about the curriculum and have the opportunity to meet other parents from the year group. Through these means we hope that new students to our school will integrate quickly and happily.

Do students wear a school uniform?

Yes, students from Reception to Year 11 wear a school uniform. Students in Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth do not wear a uniform but, instead, wear smart-casual clothes.

Boarders purchase the correct school uniform as part of their induction weekend at the start of the academic year. Uniform can be purchased online from John Lewis website. It is no longer possible to try uniform on in school so please ensure that you choose uniform sizes carefully.

More about uniform and equipment

Can my child, who is attending a local 4 to 13 prep school, join St Mary's School, Cambridge in Year 7?

The majority of children joining us from local four to 13 Prep schools do so in Year 9 and, unless there are particular reasons for moving, most students remain in their four to 13 Prep school until the end of Year 8.

We create an extra class to ensure that we can accommodate applicants from these Prep schools and, in addition, we offer a pre-test. This means that, if you wish, we will assess your daughter for entry while she is in Year 6 and make the offer for her to join Year 9. Otherwise, we will assess your daughter for entry while she is in Year 8, in the normal way.

Further details on assessment

Do I need to pay a deposit?

Yes. The deposit is to be paid on acceptance and is refundable once a student leaves the school.

Further information on fees