6 smallMeet our new Head (from September 2024)

A message from our Acting Head, Mrs Diana Harrison

Welcome to the St Mary’s Calne website. I feel very privileged to be leading the school and building on the extraordinary achievements of its past.

St Mary’s Calne is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11-18, a happy, purposeful and flourishing community of around 360 pupils with an 80% to 20% boarding to day ratio.  
Founded in 1873, the school has been providing an outstanding education for girls for 150 years, and our alumnae have prominent positions in every profession from the law, politics and medicine to the arts, drama and sport. There is a strong tradition of the core academic subjects and strength in science and mathematics, as well as modern languages, arts and humanities. Our Sixth Form is flourishing and highly successful, with around 120 girls.  The girls benefit from exceptional careers advice and work hard to achieve their goals.  Their academic results are outstanding and the girls go on to study at top UK and Overseas universities; the striking range of courses they embark upon shows the wealth of choice available to our pupils.  Many of the Sixth Form also undertake extensive pieces of independent research in the form of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ).   

Located near the market town of Calne and amidst the Wiltshire Downs, an area of stunning natural beauty and historical significance, we are also within easy reach of the university cities of Bath, Bristol and Oxford and just over an hour by train from London.  Our ideal location means that our girls benefit from a huge range of curriculum-enhancing opportunities as well as co-curricular ones.   

We provide an exceptional, all-round education for girls. I believe what makes St Mary’s a really distinctive school is its special blend of excellence in pastoral care and academic development in a nurturing environment. I have been tremendously impressed by the St Mary’s girls; they are articulate and confident as well as warm and caring, taking an active part in local community service. The St Mary’s staff are highly professional: their dedication underpins the warmth and vibrancy of this boarding community where the individual girl matters most.

We offer an enormous range of opportunities for every girl in sport, music, art, drama and more. In sport we have horse riding, skiing and athletics as well as lacrosse, tennis, hockey, netball and swimming. Our girls take part in Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and school trips to extraordinary locations, from Japan to Madagascar. They sing in our renowned choirs and play in our orchestra - and take their music to faraway places from Italy to America.  Their creativity and flair are in evidence in our superb drama productions and artwork.

St Mary’s girls become independent thinkers and responsible citizens, empowered for the future and ready to take their place in the world as generations of our inspiring alumnae have done. The school has great traditions and is proud to be a vital part of the local community.  

Together with the staff and girls I encourage you to come and get a real sense of what makes a St Mary’s education so exciting, enriching and relevant. I hope that we shall see you and your daughter in school for a visit very soon and I very much look forward to meeting you.

Diana Harrison, 
Acting Head