MUCH like the contestants settling into Mastermind’s famous black chair, Britain’s schools show off their skills in a wide spectrum of specialist subjects. Sarah Matthews, Acting Headmistress, tells us about St Mary’s Shaftesbury’s areas of expertise…

Alongside the expected offering of a variety of sports, elite sporting pathways for talented athletes and comprehensive provision of things like the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, St Mary’s Shaftesbury has been developing its Dance programme during the past couple of years.

Because the St Mary’s timetable mirrors the working week, with no lessons but time to build confidence, ambition and curiosity at the weekends, girls are able to find time to develop and explore their passions. The timetable means we can accommodate several Elite Dancers who train to the highest levels both at a designated centre nearby, but also around the country.

One current pupil is a member of both the Royal Ballet and Rambert Youth companies, while still studying for her A Levels. The academic, pastoral and wellbeing teams meet regularly to make sure that all areas of our Elite Dancers’ lives are being carefully managed. We also benefit from one of our full time members of staff in the Sports Department being a 2012 British Olympic Triathlon Development Squad member who recognises, and knows how to meet, the demands of high level training.

Ensuring that all our girls can keep building on activities which interest or inspire them is built into provision across academic, pastoral and wellbeing departments. We’re in the business of developing confident, resilient girls who know how to overcome obstacles when they encounter them and aren’t afraid of the hard work required to reach the top of their fields.

Find out more about St Mary’s Shaftesbury at

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