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From STEM scholars to sports stars, students at St Mary’s School, Cambridge are set for Sixth Form with 90% of GCSEs awarded A*-B

The only all-girls school in Cambridgeshire, St Mary’s School, Cambridge, continues to prove that girls can succeed at whatever they set out to do, with 29% of students achieving straight A* – A grades.

Over a third of all examinations taken were awarded an A*, and over two thirds at A* – A; increases of 8% and 6% respectively on last year – bucking the national trend that has seen a dip in grades awarded at the highest levels. The number of A* – B grades also rose, to 90%, from 84% last year.

The all-girls school prides itself on its students’ interest and ability in STEM subjects and has once again gone against the grain of national trends, excelling across subjects often perceived to be ‘boys’ subjects’: 89% of grades achieved in Physics were A* – A, and 85% of both Chemistry and Biology grades were equally high, demonstrating the value and impact of the school’s investment in state-of-the-art Science facilities, opened last September by Dame Mary Archer.

The school’s reputation for creativity continues to impress, with a remarkable 92% of A* – A grades awarded in Art, Textiles and Music, and its humanities subjects continue to be popular areas of strength, with almost all students achieving grade A* – B in History (98%) and Geography (97%).

Charlotte Avery, Headmistress and President Elect of the GSA (Girls’ Schools Association), said: “We are delighted that our girls have achieved so highly and have been so thoroughly equipped to embark on their programmes of A Level study. The school has a wide ability intake and is determined to provide every girl with a unique learning experience that enables her to achieve excellence, and to reach her potential, in the areas about which she is most passionate. It is clear that our ethos of cherishing individuality and embracing diversity works! These super results happily build on last week’s excellent A Level results.”

Students celebrating today include Ella B., a Creative Writing, academic and Art scholar, who achieved nine A*s and an A grade. Ella enters St Mary’s Sixth Form taking Physics, Mathematics, English Literature and Art from September, and hopes to become a science journalist. Natasha C-C., STEM and Mary Ward scholar, is celebrating eight A*s, an A and a B grade; she will be studying STEM subjects at the school’s Sixth Form with an ambition to read Veterinary Science at university.

The school has two sets of twins who are staying for A Level studies. Alice and Elizabeth (or Isby) S. are both looking forward to taking Biology and Chemistry next year, Alice (STEM and sport scholar) also taking on Mathematics and Physics, and Isby (Textiles and dance scholar) opting for Textiles – for which she achieved one of her two A* grades, the other being for Chemistry.

Madeline and Katie B.’s favourite subjects are Geography, for which they achieved A and B grades respectively, and Art, for which they are both scholars and achieved A* and A grades respectively. Both subjects they have “enjoyed so much because of the teachers” and will continue at A Level, with Katie selecting Business Studies and Madeline taking History – for which she also achieved an A* today. They claim each other as their reason for success, as the girls were able to test each other during study leave – having covered much of the same ground in their studies. Both girls enjoy sports a great deal and are valued members of the hockey A team, netball A team and the cross country team at school, and also play a lot of golf outside of school.

Annabel Q., one of the school’s high-achieving sports stars (and a sports and Textiles scholar), studied for her GCSEs alongside athletics training six or seven times per week and competing in races which she often won, including: the 800m at the Cambridgeshire County Championships in Peterborough; the Eastern Young Athletics league 300m races in Sandy and Cambridge; the Sweatshop Southern Athletics League 400m in Cambridge and 800m in Luton. Annabel is now looking forward to studying Textiles, Geography, Mathematics (for which she achieved ABB grades today) and Business Studies at A Level. Coming to St Mary’s School, Cambridge in Year 9 from a co-educational school, Annabel found it much easier to answer questions in class without having to do so in front of boys. She is looking forward to continuing her studies, and her athletics training, at the school’s Sixth Form, saying: “I now feel a lot more confident”.

Charlotte Avery concluded: “Students who received their GCSE results this morning deserve to be incredibly proud of their achievements. The results are also a tribute to the school’s wonderful teachers and support staff, who inspire, challenge and encourage our girls wholeheartedly as well as to the support offered by the girls’ families and the excellent relationships we have with our parent body.”

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