Message from the Head

I took on the role of Acting Headmistress in October this year and am delighted to steward the school during this exciting period in its history.  St Mary’s has undergone a period of significant and positive change in the past two years, the impact of which was reflected in the excellent ISI and Diocese inspections which took place last year.

When I arrived here, I became instantly absorbed into the St Mary’s family; the school’s spirit and energy captivated me from my very first visit.  As well as the academic rigour, ambition and drive of the pupils and staff, there is something quite unique about the school’s atmosphere, which is visible in the strong bonds between the girls and collegiate ties among all who work here.

I was originally a Philosophy and Religious Studies teacher and was previously a Housemistress at Harrow in Hong Kong, where strategic leadership was central to my role and where I led whole-school pastoral development. Prior to my position at Harrow, I worked for 12 years at Stamford High School for Girls and have a deep understanding of the needs of girls who are developing into young women in the twenty-first century.  A community of well cared for girls breeds a confidence like no other, and having the freedom to tailor the education process to the specific demands of girls ensures that value can be added to all our girls’ outcomes.

As Acting Headmistress, my approach will be to retain the St Mary’s ethos which embodies traditional values and a strong moral code, while continuing to develop the school’s vision for single-sex education in a vibrant, purposeful environment which empowers our girls for life.

St Mary's Shaftesbury-Message from the Head 1
Mrs Sarah Matthews