Boarding FAQs

Can we visit the school?

We hold open events throughout the year for prospective families, but you are also welcome to arrange an individual visit to tour the school and meet relevant staff.

Contact our admissions team for further information.

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.

More on scholarships

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

Do you have to be a practising catholic to join St Mary's School?

No, you don't have to be a Catholic to attend St Mary's School, Cambridge. We are 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 Religious Eduction 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 I need a guardian?

Students who do not have a family member in the country are legally required to have a guardian in the UK and we will not accept a student to the school unless they have one.

Often education agents include the arrangement of guardians in their service to families; alternatively families can apply direct to AEGIS. It is the responsibility of each family and not the school, to ensure that the guardian is in place.

More on guardianship

Do students have individual rooms?

Our younger girls will share with up to five other girls in bright and spacious dormitories. Students in Year 10 to Lower Sixth will share a room with one other student of a similar age. In the Upper Sixth, girls will usually then move to single rooms for their final year at the school.

Are school meals compulsory?

We provide 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.

Are Music and Drama lessons available and is there an additional fee?

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 and 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, 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 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 uniform?

Yes, students in Year 7 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.

Families need to buy uniform in advance, the school uniform can be purchased online from John Lewis.

More about uniform, or contact us for further information.

Do you have Exeat weekends

Due to Exeats declining in popularity they have been gradually decreased over the last five years and from September 2017 there will be no more Exeat weekends at St Mary's School, Cambridge.

Boarders may however visit their guardians or go home at the weekend providing written permission is given to the Housemistress at least 48 hours in advance.