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St Mary's School, Calne, is an academically selective independent school at Calnemarker, Wiltshiremarker, for girls aged eleven to eighteen, with about three hundred on roll. Most girls are boarders.

The school was founded in 1873 by Canon John Duncan, Vicar of Calne, who worked for over thirty years to establish it as an outstanding girls’ school.

Admission

Entry to the school is by the Common Entrance Examination, set by the Independent Schools Examination Board, or by the School's own entrance exam.

Curriculum

Lower and Upper IV form, V form

A balanced curriculum broadly follows the National Curriculum. Girls are taught mainly in form groups, with setting in Mathematics and French. There is one lesson a week in Chinese.

In Years 8 and 9, Spanish is added, then in Year 9 another language, either German or Classical Greek. Girls may opt out of this in favour of a 'Curriculum Enrichment Course'. All girls are taught Critical Thinking and Personal Development. Core subjects are Art, Information Technology, Music, Drama, Latin, Physical Education, English Language, English Literature, Maths, Religious Studies, and Science. Most girls take ten GCSEs. As options, Geography, History, French, Classical Greek, Italian, Russian, and Japanese are available.

Good linguists can take public examinations early, and GCSE Maths is offered early to the most able. Musicians can take the AS Level Music examination as early as Year 10. Girls choosing Drama as a GCSE option begin the AS Level course, taught over two years, and the school is developing a new Foundation Course in conjunction with RADA.

Sixth form

In the Lower Sixth (Year 12) most girls take four subjects at AS Level, then three to A-Level in the Upper Sixth (Year 13), and are prepared for university entrance.

The choice of A-Level subjects is from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Classical Civilisation, Classical Greek, Economics, English, French, Geography, German, Government and Politics, History, History of Art, Information Technology, Italian, Latin, Maths, Further Maths, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Portuguese, Religious Studies, Spanish, Sports Science and Theatre Studies. There are also supplementary courses in Physical Education, Personal Development and Careers Education. Girls not studying IT to A Level follow a general Information Technology course which leads to the European Computer Driving Licence qualification. All girls continue with Critical Thinking and may sit the AS Level in it.

Houses and Companies

Between the ages of eleven and fourteen, girls sleep in dormitories in four junior houses called School House, St Prisca's and St Cecilia's, each of which has a housemistress and an assistant housemistress, and some a resident tutor. After the age of fifteen, girls have their own single room in one of three senior houses.

There is also a medical centre, with two Registered Nurses and a counsellor, which has three beds.

The School is divided into five Companies, all named after bishops with local connections: Edmund Rich (sometimes called Ed Rich), Grosseteste, Moberly, Osmund, and Poore. Each girl remains in the same Company throughout her time at the school. The Companies are similar to houses in other independent schools, except that they have nothing to do with the house a girl sleeps in. The Companies compete in sport, drama, music, and other activities such as public speaking and maths challenges. Each company has its own colour, red for Edmund Rich, green for Grosstete, blue for Moberly, orange for Osmund, and purple for Poore.

Day girls

There are only about fifty day girls in the school. Unusually, most of the boarding Houses have places for day girls in their dormitories, so that day girls can stay overnight instead of going home, making it easy for them to take part in after-school and weekend activities. Day girls are looked after by the Head of Day Girls and by housemistresses.

Meals

All girls use the dining room, run as a cafeteria. There are at least four choices at lunch and at supper-time, which are reviewed by the School Council. On Sundays of free weekends, there is a brunch. In 2005, the school won the Tatler Award for Best School Food.

Extra-curricular activities

The formal part of the school day ends at 5.20 p.m. Outside this, activities include music, drama, sailing, community service, sports clubs, riding, cooking, archery, arts and crafts, First Aid, and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.

Notable Old Girls



Bibliography

  • Stedmond, Kay, St Mary’s School Calne 1873-1986 (B. A. Hathaway, 1986)


Notes

  1. St Mary's School, Calne at tutor2u.net (accessed 22 June 2008)
  2. Stedmond, Kay, St Mary’s School Calne 1873-1986 (B. A. Hathaway, 1986, ISBN 0 948640 10 3)
  3. The Curriculum and Academic Subjects at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  4. Boarding at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  5. The Medical Centre at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  6. The Companies at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  7. Day Girls at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  8. Food at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  9. Extra-curricular activities at stmaryscalne.org (accessed 18 June 2008)
  10. Peter Hitchens, Who exactly is Dame Suzi Leather? dated 19 January 2008 at mailonsunday.co.uk (accessed 18 June 2008)
  11. Elizabeth Mary Arbuthnot at thepeerage.com
  12. Fenton, Ben, Cameron: from Eton drugs to Oxford excess at telegraph.co.uk (accessed 18 June 2008)
  13. Celebrating 135 Years of St Mary’s (1873-2008) at stmaryscalne.org
  14. Eva Rice at timrice.co.uk (accessed 18 June 2008)
  15. Calder, John, Obituary: April FitzLyon in The Independent dated September 24, 1998, online at findarticles.com (accessed 18 June 2008)
  16. Jack Grimston and Julia Llewellyn Smith, Focus: Orf to the circus, The Sunday Times, December 14, 2003


External links




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