St Leonards-Mayfield School
圣里梅中学 , The Old Palace, Mayfield, East
Sussex TN20 6PH
Tel: 01435 874600 Fax: 01435 872627
• GIRLS, 11–18, Day & Boarding (full & weekly)
• Pupils 380, Upper sixth 60
• Termly fees £4020 (Day), £6170 (Boarding)
• GSA, CISC, ACSC
• Enquiries/application to the Admissions Secretary (01435 874642)
What it’s like
Started in 1863 when the Duchess of Leeds gave the property to the foundress of
the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, Mother Cornelia Connelly. This comprised
the ruins and surrounding land of the Old Palace of the medieval archbishops of
Canterbury. These and the synod hall were restored and the school opened in
1872. Besides the original buildings there are extensive modern facilities and
accommodation in delightful grounds and gardens. A Roman Catholic foundation,
the doctrines and practice of the church (attendance at Mass etc) are an
important part of school life. A staff:pupil ratio of about 1:8. High academic
standards prevail and examination results are very good. Some vocational
qualifications are also offered. Drama and art departments are well supported
and music is particularly strong. A wide range of sports, games and activities
is available, including riding. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is popular.
Pupils are encouraged to participate in local community schemes.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 11–18; 380 girls (193 day, 187 boarding).
Entrance: Main entry ages 11, 13 and 16. Common Entrance and own
scholarship/entrance exams used. For sixth-form entry, school report plus 6
GCSEs at least grade C (4 grade B including sixth-form subjects). State school
entry, 25% main intake plus 20% to sixth form. Most pupils from prep schols in
Kent and Sussex, eg Holmewood House, Skipps Hill Manor, Bricklehurst Manor.
Scholarships & bursaries Scholarships, up to 50% fees: academic,
all-rounder, art and music, awarded at 11, 13 and 16.
Parents 35% live within 30 miles; 30% live overseas.
Head & staff
Headmistress: Mrs Julia Dalton, in post since 2000. Educated at Bedales
and York University (English). Previously Deputy Head at St George’s, Harpenden.
Teaching staff: 44 full time, 29 part time.
GCSE: In 2003, 58 in Year 11: 86% gained at least grade C in 8+ subjects;
14% in 4–7 subjects. Average GCSE score 62 (61 over 5 years).
A-levels: 58 in upper sixth: 40% passed in 4+ subjects; 53% in 3
subjects. Average final point score achieved by upper sixth formers 352.
University & college entrance 100% of 2003 sixth-form leavers went on
to a degree course (23% after a gap or foundation year), 7% to Oxbridge. 8% took
courses in medicine, dentistry & veterinary science, 28% in science &
engineering, 4% in law, 38% in humanities & social sciences (including 12% on
language-related courses), 15% in art & design, 9% in other vocational subjects
(eg physiotherapy, pharmacy, occupational therapy). Others typically go on to eg
retail, secretarial, nursing.
Curriculum GCSE, AS and A-levels. 24–25 AS/A-level subjects.
Sixth form: Most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level (a wide
variety taken), 3 at A-level; general studies is not taken. 32% took science
A-levels; 48% arts/humanities; 20% both. Key skills: communication and IT taught
Vocational: Work experience available; also City and Guilds cookery
certificate and Pitmans typing and word processing.
Special provision: Specialist help for dyslexia. EFL teaching for all
levels from Cambridge First Certificate to Certificate of Proficiency.
Languages: French (compulsory from 11), German, Italian, Greek and
Spanish offered to GCSE, AS and A-level and Institute of Linguists; all take one
modern language to GCSE. Regular individual exchanges.
ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject (2 lessons/week in Years 7–9) and
across the curriculum (eg in project and essay work, scientific experiments,
monitoring, graphs etc). 65 computers for pupil use (open at all times), most
networked and all with e-mail and internet access. Most pupils take Clait, some
GCSE. Some girls have laptops. Many keep in e-mail contact with families.
Music: Over 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams
can be taken. Some 15+ musical groups including 5 choirs, orchestra, woodwind,
ensemble, flute ensemble, guitar ensemble, string group, recorder, jazz band.
Drama & dance: GCSE and A-level drama, RAD, Guildhall and ISTD exams may
be taken. Dance integrated into PE/games and after school club. Majority of
pupils are involved in school productions and all in house/other productions.
Art & design: On average, 25 take GCSE art, 20 ceramics, 8 A-level art, 7
history of art. Sculpture, design, ceramics, textiles also offered. Ceramics and
design prizes in East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers.
Sport & activities
Sport: Hockey, netball, tennis, rounders, athletics, swimming,
gymnastics, table tennis, trampolining, badminton, basket ball, volley ball,
aerobics, dance, fitness activities compulsory at different stages. Optional:
volleyball, fencing, football, self-defence and karate, lifesaving, equestrian,
badminton, ballet, table tennis, snooker. Sixth form only: canoeing, yoga, aqua
aerobics, pop lacrosse, football, touch rugby, squash. BHS exams may be taken.
County team members in hockey, netball, tennis, volleyball, badminton at
different ages; one girl in England Hockey Squad.
Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s
Award. Community service optional. Fundraising for charity; family fast days
monthly. Adventure Service Challenge Scheme for younger pupils. Some 15+ clubs,
eg drama, debating, chess, bridge, Young Enterprise, engineering, modern
languages, video, photography, computer.
Uniform: School uniform worn except in sixth form.
Houses & prefects: Competitive houses. Prefects and head girl elected by
main school and staff, approved by Head.
Religion: Roman Catholic Church; voluntary forms of prayer encouraged.
Social: Debates, socials, joint activities with other schools. Trips
abroad, skiing (annual), to Italy (classics), Paris (art), individual exchanges
to France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Sixth form allowed to bring own car or bike
to school with good reason. Meals mainly self-service. Book stalls, vending
machine. Alcohol allowed in controlled situations (eg at meal with tutor); no
Discipline Few rules. Disciplinary sanctions are clearly explained
but seldom required. Pupils failing to produce homework once might expect to
discuss reason for failure and to produce it; those caught smoking cannabis on
the premises could expect immediate suspension, pending full report (all illegal
substances are banned).
Boarding All upper sixth have own study bedroom, lower sixth and
fifth in single or double rooms; remainder in small dormitories or ones
partitioned into cubicles. Houses divided broadly by age. Resident nurse; local
practice gives 24-hour cover. Pupils can provide and cook food to limited extent
at weekends. 3 or 4 optional exeats termly plus half-term. Visits to local town
allowed on Saturdays (lower sixth up); all ages to local village. Full programme
of weekend activities, including subject-specific workshops, theatre visits and
fun outings for day girls and boarders.