Saint Mary’s School, Shaftesbury

‘St Mary’s girls’ have something remarkable and distinctive about them. One feels extraordinarily welcomed and ‘at home’ as soon as you meet them: confident young women who are deeply articulate, reflective, energetic, creative, outward-looking and who possess an impressively strong set of values. They are passionate about St Mary’s and keen to explain why. Mary Ward’s vision shines through their lives, still giving inspiration and meaning, four centuries on. A strong ethos is shared by the pupils and staff alike, a spiritual and moral framework by which to live: this lies firmly at the heart of the school, and it is to be treasured.


Geographic Location

The cosy campus occupies 55 acres of parkland in a rural setting, which feels very safe and secluded.

School Facilities

The school campus comprises a large venue hall, art centre, library, swimming pool, astroturf pitch, sports halls and chapel.

Academic Results

In 2019, 14% of the girls received Oxbridge offers and all of them achieved or exceeded their grade requirements, going on to take up their places. Economics and Italian A-Level students performed exceptionally well, achieving 100% A* grades. Other high-performing subjects, with 100% A* to B grades, included Chemistry, Chinese, History of Art, Photography, Psychology and Religious Studies. Creative Arts, Humanities and Languages are the school’s strengths. 

Extra-curricular Activities 

Students can opt to participate in an array of interest societies, including art, photography, theatre, cooking, debate, and politics. Yoga classes, equestrian sports, sailing, scuba diving and lifesaving training are among the more dynamic activities on offer, with specialist teaching. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Leith’s Cooking Class are also popular among students.  


Location Shaftesbury, Dorset
School Types Private boarding school
Category All-girls
Founded Year 1945
Number of Students 205
School Website
School Address Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 9LP