The Maynard School


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  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Girls
  • Type: Day
  • Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational
  • Roll: 0 (Boys) 419 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 4 - 18 years.
  • Founded: 1658

General Information

The Maynard School in Exeter is the South West’s leading independent school for girls aged 4 -18 years (Reception – Year 13). As the oldest girls’ school in the country, we pride ourselves on being experts in educating girls. Statistically it is a proven fact that girls in single-sex schools outperform their peers and The Maynard’s long history is testament to this success. League tables consistently place us as one of the highest performing schools in the South West and our latest ISI Inspection deemed us as ‘excellent’ in all five main categories. However, a Maynard education isn’t just about academic achievement. It is about so much more; we boast numerous individual and team champions in the sporting arena with access to some of the best facilities available; we celebrate our femininity and are proud to offer Food & Nutrition and Textiles & Fashion classes as a life-skill; we are one of the highest achieving schools for music and drama in the county; we relish our timetable packed with trips and workshops to be enjoyed by the whole school. The Maynard is a warm place where everyone is nurtured individually and encouraged to carve for themselves successful futures whilst creating everlasting friendships and enduring childhood memories!


The school enjoys excellent, purpose-built facilities with the newest addition being a brand new Fitness Suite due for completion in October 2018. A new Performing Arts Studio was opened in September 2017 and the Music Department also has its own teaching classrooms as well as individual music tuition / practice rooms. Biology, Chemistry and Physics each have two large laboratories plus Sixth Form research areas while the Art Department has three large studios (one specifically for Sixth Formers), two dark rooms, 2 photographic darkrooms a sculpture room and a large kiln room. We have a modern, well-equipped rooms for Food & Nutrition and Textiles & Fashion. Other facilities include a modern sports hall, a drama studio, two state-of-the-art IT teaching rooms plus a bank of laptops which can be networked anywhere in school and a purpose-built Sixth Form Centre with a new Sixth Form Bistro opened in September 2018.

Entrance Requirements

To ensure that our school will suit your daughter, our application process from Year 3 upwards involves a written assessment. We understand that, for some girls, this may be their first experience of a formal assessment so we make the session as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. Our experienced staff look for potential as well as current ability, and we advise that any extra coaching for the assessments is not necessary. Entrance Assessments can be arranged all year round although we do have set dates every January in the year of entry. Sixth Form admission is by interview, current school report and reference, with at least six level 6 GCSEs, a minimum of a Level 5 in both Maths and English GCSE at Level 7 in the subjects to be taken at A-level.


Fees assistance at The Maynard School takes two forms: Means-tested Bursaries, based on parental income, and Awards or Scholarships which are awarded to girls who are academically exceptional, have particular talents in Music, Sport, Art or Performing Arts, or are all-rounders who contribute significantly to school life. Each year we offer Academic, Sport, Art, Drama and Music Scholarships to students at Upper 3 (Year 7), Upper 4 (Year 9) and Lower 6 who display talent and show a lively interest in these subjects.

Maynard Awards are also available to girls interested in joining Upper 3 (Year 7) or Lower 6 (Year 12). These Awards offer significant reductions on school fees for the duration of a student’s education here. For girls interested in joining the Sixth Form, we are offering three free places into our Lower 6 (Year 12).

Please visit our website for further information on our Scholarships and Awards, and to download an application form. Alternatively, you can contact our Admissions Department on or 01392 355998.

Open Days

2019. Open Morning: Sat. 28th September, 10am – 12pm.

Sixth Form Open Evening: Thurs. 7th November, 6pm – 8pm.

Pre-Prep and Junior Discovery Morning: Sat. 16th November, 9.30am – 11.30am.

We encourage parents to visit at any time and offer Taster Days to pupils to experience the warmth and friendliness of The Maynard.


2018/19 (all fees include wraparound care between 8am & 5:30pm)

Senior School (Years 6 – 13): £4,416 per term. Junior School (Years 3-5): £3,670 per term. Pre-Prep (Years 1-2): £2,430 per term. Pre-Prep (Reception):£2,095 (including lunch).


ISI Inspection 2016
Good Schools Guide review 2017

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Miss Sarah Dunn, BSc (Hons) NPQH

Contact for enquiries: Registrar

The Maynard School
Denmark Road

[t]: General Enquiries: 01392 273417 Admissions: 01392 355998
[f]: 01392 355999

Location Description

Our attractive site, in a conservation area, lies close to the centre of Exeter.

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School News

The maynard School independent girls' day school Devon

41% A* GRADES; 69% A*-A GRADES

18% GRADE 9; 65% GRADES 7-9 IN NEW GCSEs

After the success of last week’s A-Level results, The Maynard School is

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thrilled to have achieved another outstanding set of results at GCSE level.

Students at the South West’s leading independent girls’ school are celebrating this morning, with a remarkable 41% attaining A* Grades, and 69% gaining A* and A grades across a broad spectrum of subjects.

In the new format 9 – 1 Maths, English Literature and English Language GCSEs 2017, an incredible 18% of students achieved a Grade 9, significantly outperforming the predicted national statistic of between 3% and 5%. Grade 9 is the top grade possible and is ranked as higher than an A*.

Maynard girls do not appear to have been phased by the new GCSEs, with an impressive 65% of all students gaining Grades 7, 8 and 9 (equivalent to A* and A Grades) in these core subjects.

Headmistress, Sarah Dunn was delighted to see such a brilliant set of results. “The girls have truly excelled and what is even more remarkable is that so many of them are also very talented in other areas.  Quite a few have already gained Grade 8 in a range of musical instruments, others sing in the National Youth Choir or play in the National Youth Orchestra and a large number are fantastic Sports’ Leaders. Once again, I am just so proud of both the wonderful pupils and the superb staff here. This is such an inspirational place to come to work each day!”

Jessica Carr (from West Hill) and Gigi Hetherington (from Lapford) are two students who certainly juggle their studies with extra-curricular achievements. Jessica, who gained an amazing 7 A*s and 3 Grade 9s, last year completed her training at the Norman Lockyer Observatory, a centre for amateur astronomy, meteorology and radio astronomy based in Sidmouth. In September, Jessica will join the Sixth Form to study Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics.

Gigi, who achieved 5 A*s and an A, as well as a Grade 9 and 2 Grade 7s, also has Grade 8 Oboe and is a member of the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music, travelling up to London every Friday evening for rehearsals.

Spanish student Laia Castella Ubeda, who joined The Maynard from Madrid at the beginning of her GCSEs, achieved 7 A*s, a B, a Grade 9, a Grade 8 and a Grade 7 despite English not being her first language. “I was quite chilled out this morning as I wasn’t expecting to do this well – I was so surprised and pleased when I saw my results!”

Meanwhile Exeter’s Eve Stevens opened her envelope this morning to find that she had achieved 7 A*s, two Grade 9s and a Grade 8, while Daisy Birkin (from Ashton) gained 7 A*s, a Grade 9 and 2 Grade 8s. “I was really nervous this morning and couldn’t eat – I only ate an apple! This year we had the new GCSEs, so we were all unsure about how these would go. I’d heard that very few people were going to get a 9 so it was a bit scary, but it all worked out really well!”

Identical twins Alice and Ellen Brion (from Exeter), who achieved 11 A*s, 3As, a Grade 9 and 4 Grade 8s between them, were thrilled with their results. They both look forward to A-Levels in Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths.

Other stand-out performers were Gaia Clark Nevola with 6 A*s, 1 A, two Grade 9s and a Grade 8, Katie Byles with 5 A*s, 2 As, a Grade 9 and two Grade 8s, Erin Maughan and Alice Sara, who both achieved 6 A*s, an A, a Grade 9, a Grade 8 and a Grade 7.


41% A*

69% A*/A

92% A*/B

18% Grade 9

39% Grades 8-9

65% Grades 7-9

Over a third of girls gained straight A*/A Grades

Maynard independent girls school Devon


With a remarkable 64% of students attaining  A*-A grades and 83% gaining A*-B in the

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new format A-levels 2017, The Maynard School in Exeter has certainly proven itself as one of the leading girls’ schools in the entire country.

“I am one very proud and happy headmistress,” said Sarah Dunn. “After two years of exceptional hard work, I am thrilled for all of our students to have gained such amazing results.

“Over a third of our students achieved straight A*s and As which is an incredible achievement,” added Miss Dunn. “All the results across the board are a direct result of the special culture and ethos here at The Maynard and what is so evident is how well the girls support each other. There is also a fabulous relationship between the students and staff which, when combined, creates a truly positive and nurturing learning environment.

The girls have all worked so hard and deserve this success to use as the springboard to pursue their own individual dreams. I am very, very proud of both the students and their teachers.”

The class of 2017 have some exciting prospects ahead of them, covering a huge range of options – from Natural Sciences, English, History and Music right through to Mathematics, Medicine, Economics and Theoretical Physics.

One such student is Fiona Shi, from China, who joined the school at the start of the Sixth Form and achieved A*AA to seal her place to read Electronic Engineering at the University of Exeter. “I am very happy with my exam results and I’m very glad that I made the right decision to come to The Maynard. I’ve had a great experience and I love all of my teachers who have been very friendly and helpful.”

Scarlett Gray from Silverton near Exeter was also in celebratory mood. “I’m so pleased that I got the offer I wanted and all my friends have their first choice of universities as well. It’s such a relief!” she said. “I couldn’t have done this without The Maynard – the guidance and the help I’ve had is just so much more than I could have got anywhere else!”

In a first for the school, Charlotte Toptani, with A*AA, is off to study at Tokyo’s Waseda University, which is an exceptional achievement bearing in mind she was competing against international fields for her place. Additionally, Emily Barlow, who gained AAB and has turned down a place at Bristol, is off to London to gain first hand business experience and qualifications in one of the new government backed Higher Apprenticeships. “I did so much better than my predicted grades and I can’t thank my teachers enough!” she said. “I am hugely excited about my next chapter and can’t wait to head to London!”

Other stand out performers were Emily Staddon (3A*s and an A) and Kate Middleton (A*, A*, A, B) who will both go to Durham University to read Natural Sciences whilst Lucy Byles, who achieved 3A*s and an A, will read Theoretical Physics at Birmingham University. “I am just so, so happy. For weeks, I have been praying that I would get my grades and I can’t even begin to explain how relieved I am feeling! It’s all so exciting and worthy of a large celebration with all of my truly amazing friends!”



64% A*/A

83% A*/B

100% Pass Rate

Over a third of students achieved straight A*s and As

100% A*-B in Extended Project Qualification

30% of A-levels were for STEM subjects

The Maynard School Girls Independent Devon Robotics Team Wins UK's Only Trophy At Denmark Championships

“It was thoroughly well deserved,” said the Maynard School’s Head of Computing, Laura Burt, of the robotics team winning the UK’s only trophy at the

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FIRST LEGO League Open European Championship in Aarhus, Denmark over the weekend of 27-28 May 2017.

With 50 countries represented from across the world and a total of 118 teams, only five of whom were representing the UK, the Maynard Wine Gums was the sole all-girls’ team from Europe and just one of only two in the entire competition.

Aimed at 9-16-year olds, the teams had to build a robot to tackle a series of missions, each representing a different aspect of animal-human interaction. Over the course of two days, the judges assessed all the students on their skills in robotics, computer programming, teamwork, research, problem solving and communication.

“At the end of what was an incredibly busy weekend, it was absolutely fantastic that our team was awarded second place overall for the ‘Inspiration in Core Values’ category. This section of the competition looks for the team that embodies extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit throughout the FIRST LEGO League experience and we were so excited that the Maynard ‘can do’ attitude was rewarded with the UK’s only trophy from the entire championship,” said Mrs Burt.

The team of Kitty Guinness, Bella Brent, Anna Harries, Miri Cooper Wedge and Anya Hitt (all in Year 9) had worked tirelessly in the weeks beforehand to perfect their robot, Sir Killalot, and he thankfully behaved on the day!

“Given our robot was the smallest one there, we didn’t really have very high expectations and it was a bit daunting to start with. Compared to the previous qualifiers, this was much bigger with so many more teams covering a huge array of cultures,” said Kitty Guinness. “The atmosphere was just amazing and we all spent any free time helping each other and discussing our different projects although much was lost in translation with some of the teams who couldn’t speak any English! I suspect that all of this socialising accounted for winning our trophy for ‘inspiration’!”

“In one of the tasks we had to stand on a table and flip the tablecloth without touching the floor and our lifting and jumping tactics had the judges almost crying with laughter!

It was a fantastic weekend and we all really enjoyed this rare opportunity to meet so many other like-minded young people from around the world,” she added.

On the back of this unique experience, the Maynard girls have been invited to act as ambassadors at the FIRST LEGO League International Open Championship, a four-day STEM challenge organised by the Institution of Engineering and Technology that will be held at the University of Bath later this month.

“The girls should be incredibly proud of these achievements and it is just so special to be flying the flag for women in STEM at these prestigious events and in such successful fashion,” added Mrs Burt.

The Maynard School Girls Independent Devon

The Maynard School in Exeter welcomed a new recruit this week with the arrival of Nula, a former working guide dog who has recently retired

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from service and is looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.

“The Junior School girls absolutely adore her and she has settled in just brilliantly,” said Keagh Fry, Year 4 teacher and official guardian for Nula. “Being an ex-guide dog means she is impeccably well behaved and she is just lapping up all the fuss and attention from everyone at the School. It couldn’t have worked out better!

“Each class takes it in turn to walk her during break and lunch times and it’s just such a sweet sight watching them all totter off happily with their dog! Equally, if someone is feeling a little sad, a cuddle with Nula soon cheers them up. She has certainly added a completely new dimension and all the girls have renewed purpose in sharing the responsibility of looking after her during the day.

“I have to say, though, that she wouldn’t make a very good pupil as she sleeps through every lesson!”

The notion that ‘pets are good for us’ is by no means a new one and all research states that a dog can boost mental wellbeing and raise self-esteem. At this leading girls’ school, pastoral care is key to the success of its students and The Maynard prides itself on its warm and friendly appeal. Having its own dog is certainly testimony to the school’s ethos that happiness matters.

“It’s almost as though I have become invisible overnight,” said Mrs Fry. “Whenever I am with Nula no one even registers me anymore as they are too busy bending over and talking to the dog!”

Maynard girls' independent school Devon

The Maynard School in Exeter capped off an excellent spring sporting season on Saturday 18 March 2017 with students travelling across the country for two

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major championship competitions. The under 14 Netball team, the reigning Devon Champions and Regional runners-up, were competing as the South West representatives in the National Schools Netball Championships at Welwyn Garden City whilst 15-year old student, Amelia Moody, was running the biggest race of her career at the National Schools Cross Country Championships in Norwich.
Used to training on Dartmoor mostly in the dark after school, Amelia was hopeful of a hilly track to sap her fellow competitors, so the flat conditions on the day were a huge disappointment. However, she ran a tremendous race to finish 67th out of the 345 competitors in an incredibly close contest with just one second splitting her from three other runners. Her result placed her as the second best runner in Devon and 7th from the entire South West, comprising Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
“It was an incredibly nerve wracking experience, made worse by a ten hour journey because the bus was stuck in fourth gear all the way!” said Amelia. “Conditions were perfect but there were so many people to navigate around that I got a bit stuck behind at the start and had to work my way up gradually when there was space. All I wanted was to finish in the top 100 so I’m really pleased with my result!”
Meanwhile, the netball team had drawn the short straw ending up in the most competitive pool that fielded the eventual winner and runners-up of the championships but they battled through their initial matches with tenacity, determination and success.
“It was a tough draw and losing our first match to the eventual winners was hard to come back from but we drew the next game against Headington School and won the one after that against Durham High School for Girls,” said Team Coach, Cathy Gabbitass. “The pivotal moment came when our goal shooter was injured in the fourth game and somehow the team never quite got back to form after that. Once I knew we weren’t going to make it through to the semi-finals, I took the strategic decision to let the whole squad have a play in the final few games so everyone could enjoy, and learn from, the experience.”
“Ultimately, we finished 11th= nationally from every state and independent school in the country which is an amazing achievement for a school of our size. More importantly, however, we flew the flag high for Devon as a county and had a really memorable time in the process. And that’s what it should be all about at this level.”

The Maynard School Girls Independent Hampshire

The Maynard scoops two prestigious UK awards

The Maynard School is celebrating another enormous marketing victory by winning the prestigious Edurank ‘Social Media Performance of the

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Year 2017’ to beat competition from all other independent schools from across the UK and Ireland.

The all-girls’ school based in Exeter, which regularly tops the DfE Performance Tables in the region whilst promoting its home-from-home atmosphere, also scooped the ‘Best YouTube Performance’ in the Independent School category for its award-winning film #MadeForGirls.

“These awards recognise and celebrate the success of social media marketing within the education sector, and are based on our performance across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube,” said Joanna Conway, the Marketing Manager at The Maynard.

“We are conscious that we live in a digital age and our marketing has evolved over the past few years to embrace this. We work hard to promote the School as well as the many achievements of all our students using the likes of Facebook and Twitter as they are effective platforms through which to reach a maximum audience. It is wonderful to have the team’s efforts applauded by winning not just one, but two, cutting-edge awards!”

“Equally, the power of our campaign can be gauged by our admissions enquiries which have doubled over the past 12 months, which only goes to show the strength of social media!”

The Maynard’s Marketing Department is no stranger to success, having also fended off international competition to win The Drum Network’s ‘Ad of the Week’ last year for the #MadeForGirls advertising campaign. In an unprecedented success for an independent school in Exeter, the 40-second film and corresponding print advertising campaign was voted ahead of global giants such as L’Oreal, McDonald’s, Samsung, Renault, Ambrosia and Cancer Research UK.

“The Drum Network champions innovation and has a huge member network boasting up to 1.1 million visitors to its website each month,” said Joanna. “To have achieved more votes than these huge international brands – so much bigger than ourselves – was truly fantastic and made us very proud of our campaign.

“Whilst we champion success, professionally and in terms of the enormous academic, sporting, musical and many more achievements of our students, we are quintessentially a warm and nurturing school where happiness matters so much more than a trophy!”

The Maynard School girls independent da school Devon

The Maynard School’s Under 14 Netball team is now officially ranked as one of the top netball teams in the country, following a fantastic performance

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at the Regional finals of the National Schools Competition on Saturday 21 January. In an action packed tournament, they beat some major competition to book their spot at the national finals to be held in Welwyn Garden City in March.

Representing Devon as the County Champions, the team won against rival netball heavyweights including Millfield, Cheltenham Ladies College, Royal High School (Bath) and Talbot Heath to finish top of their pool and meet Truro School in the semi-finals of this gruelling all-day tournament.

“This was the most tense of all their games and not fun to watch,” said Director of Sport, Catharine Gabbitass. “All bar three of our team had been off school with a nasty virus in the days leading up to the Regionals and, at one point, I wasn’t sure if we would have a team to play at all. But they weren’t going to pass up the opportunity lightly and it was a blessed relief when they all appeared at the bus for a 6.30am start on the morning. However, by the semi-finals many were beginning to wane, energy levels were sapped and some players, including our captain, were really beginning to show the strain. Despite a slow start, they got into their rythmn and pegged back an early disadvantage to score comfortably in the end.

“The top two teams automatically win a place at the finals and, safe in the knowledge we had achieved this, I took a strategic decision to rest some of our more poorly members. So we played the whole squad, changed a few positions in the process and went with the attitude that what happened in the final was of no particular consequence. As a result, we lost against a very strong Canford side but it didn’t matter as we had done what we set out to do and that was go through to the national finals!”

This incredible performance puts The Maynard team as one of the top two teams throughout the South West, including the whole of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Avon, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire.

“It’s a fantastic result to qualify but I’m not surprised,” added Mrs Gabbitass. “I’ve always considered them the South West’s dream team and they have a very bright future ahead of them. But what pleased me most was their attitude and one referee even alluded to their great sportsmanship on our Facebook page saying, “They were a pleasure to umpire too, all very responsive and clean players.” Now that makes me proud!”


The Maynard Girls Independent Hampshire

The Maynard School in Exeter has been ranked as the leading independent school in Devon in key areas of the Department for Education’s Schools Performance

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Tables, based on A-level and GCSE results from 2016.

As the second oldest girls’ school in the country, The Maynard specialises in educating girls and last year’s examination results are certainly testimony to this. With a 100% pass rate (grade C or above) at Maths and English GCSE, it was the top school in the whole of Devon for its English Baccalaureate, a performance measure that scores schools according to how well pupils have performed in up to eight core GCSE subjects including Maths, English, the sciences, a language and History or Geography.

“These are outstanding results from very talented, hard-working girls and I am extremely proud that The Maynard has been recognised as Devon’s best with a 93% English Baccalaureate scoring, But what is also so pleasing is to be ranked as the leading independent school in the county across the entire GCSE Performance Tables board,” said Headmistress Sarah Dunn. “Happy girls are successful girls and these tables are testament to the fantastic pastoral care of our students and the warm, friendly environment we promote here.”

The Maynard was also the top scoring independent school in the county at A-level for the highest percentage of students to achieve AAB or higher in at least two facilitating subjects. These include all those most commonly required for entry into leading universities including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Further Maths, Geography, History, English Literature and Classical or Modern Languages.

“I am not only delighted to be recognised as the best in the South West and 16th nationally for our GCSE results by The Daily Telegraph but also to achieve such

marvellous A-level results. The expert staff here strive daily to deliver the best independent education possible and it is just brilliant to have this officially recognised. It is utterly inspirational to witness the girls progressing so well, both academically and emotionally, in this bespoke all-girls environment that allows them to follow any career path they aspire to. The wonderful staff and exceptional students at The Maynard should be very proud of their achievements! Well done, to them all!” said Miss Dunn.

“January is always an exciting time for us and right now we are looking to the future as we busily process all of our entrance and scholarship applications. We have welcomed many talented young women over the past couple of weeks and I am really looking forward to announcing our scholar intake and, in particular, those who will be awarded the highly coveted 100% awards we are offering under the new Maynard Award Scheme, funded by the St. John’s Hospital Trust donations. Given the very high standard of all these applications, the selection process will be very difficult for us!”

The Maynard independent girls day and boarding school Devon

Following the recent launch of 19 new Maynard Awards, offering significantly reduced fees for families who couldn’t otherwise afford it, the Headmistress of the Maynard

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School in Exeter has spoken about the importance of making the best education accessible for all.

“This isn’t any response to the very topical educational arguments that are ongoing in Parliament at this time. It is a subject I have always felt very strongly about,” said Sarah Dunn. “It is our moral obligation to provide opportunities to bright, talented and ambitious children in our area, regardless of their financial background.

“We should be inclusive by celebrating individual excellence in every field whether it is academia, sport, art, drama or music. I would say to anyone reading this, don’t be put off by the word ‘fee’ until you have had a chat with us about how we are able to offer very significant support. Our extensive scholarships, bursaries and new Maynard Awards can make a huge financial difference. I am proud to be able to deliver such a community initiative here in Devon.”

The application deadline for any of the awards and scholarships is Friday 9 December 2016 and the Assessment Days will take place in January 2017. “We would urge parents to apply on behalf of their daughters for these very significant awards. You just never know what the outcome will be – filling in our entry form may yet be the greatest opportunity you will ever provide for your daughter.

“As a single-sex school, we are not just experts in girls’ education but experts in all their needs, every step of the way. Our students love their school and are enormously proud to be a part of such a warm and supportive community. The Maynard lives by the ethos that happy girls are successful girls and to expand our horizons to a wider community is very important to me. Through these amazing new awards, on top of all the other means-tested bursaries and scholarships already on offer, I hope to prove our desire to be more accessible!” added Miss Dunn.

The Maynard Awards will run in conjunction with the other 26 scholarships already on offer for entry from 11+ (Year 7 entry) up to the Sixth Form. Interested applicants should contact the Admissions Office ( or 01392 355998) for further information on how to apply.


After the success of last week’s A-Level results, The Maynard School is thrilled to have posted yet another outstanding set of results at GCSE level.


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at the South West’s leading independent school for girls have outperformed the national average to an extraordinary extent with 66% achieving A* and A grades and 91% gaining A*, A and B grades across a broad spectrum of subjects.

By contrast, nationally the GCSE results show the sharpest decline on record and the national average for A* – C grades is only 66.9%, proving just how well the Maynard girls have done.

Despite being predicted 10 A*s there was still an element of surprise for Exeter’s Amy Chambers when she peeled open her envelope this morning to find that she had lived up to expectations. “I felt the pressure going into the exams and I was really nervous but everything was absolutely fine. I got my 10 A*s and an A in my Higher Project so I’m just so happy and relieved.” Amy can now look forward to A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry with a view to a career in Engineering.

By contrast Jasmine Reay from Torquay will be veering towards the Arts after also achieving 10 A*s and an A* in her Higher Project. “I know I was predicted these results but I never thought it could happen. I was really worried about my Maths and Physics after the exams so I’m just so pleased.” In September, Jasmine will join the Sixth Form to study English, History, Latin and German.

A huge proportion of the Maynard students juggle their studies with incredible extra-curricular achievements and none more so than Sabella Attenburrow (from Kenton) and Hazel McCorriston (from Exminster) who both achieved 9 A*s as well as an A Grade in their Higher Projects.

Sabella, who is an outstanding actress, found her revision period over Easter was hugely interrupted with rehearsals for a London show with the National Youth Music Theatre. “I decided I wanted to do the show which was really risky. It basically meant that I just had to work as hard as possible during the exam period which clearly paid off. It was a bit of a worry as I didn’t have as much sleep as I should have sometimes but it all turned out fine thankfully.”

Likewise, Hazel juggles her studies with a place on the GB squad in Dressage and has a firm eye on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. As such she competes in the Premier League most weekends, travelling the length and breadth of the country, and has a gruelling training schedule each day. “It’s pretty difficult to juggle sometimes. Some days I have to get up really early to get all my homework done but it’s paid off so I’m really happy. I’ve just got to keep both balls rolling so I don’t close off any career options and just see where I go from here.”

The GCSE results could not be a better endorsement for the School and its team of dedicated and professional staff. Bee Hughes, the outgoing Headmistress, was delighted to be moving on to pastures new in the knowledge that the Maynard is clearly thriving as one of the top performing schools in the country.

“Once again, students at The Maynard have performed remarkably well at GCSE, with exceptional achievements at A* and A Grades. This will form a wonderful foundation for students moving on to A-Levels, and we are very proud of all our girls,” she said in her final official statement.

Miss Sarah Dunn, the current Deputy Head and Director of Sport at Plymouth College takes up the reins as Headmistress from 1 September 2016.


Students in the Upper Sixth at The Maynard School in Exeter were in celebratory mood this morning when they received some outstanding A-Level results across

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a broad range of subjects in both arts and sciences.

“I am so relieved,” said outgoing Head Girl, Anna Broad, from Woodbury. “I went away travelling across Europe and forgot all about my A-Level results but I had a couple of weeks to think about them when I came back. I didn’t get much sleep last night and this morning I was really nervous. But it’s so good now and such a good feeling to know I have the necessary results to study Medicine. I haven’t liked to think too much about the future but, now I know everything is going to plan, I can start looking forward.”

With a 100% pass rate, over half of all Maynard students gained A* and A grades, and 84% achieved A*, A and B grades.  

The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is worthy of a special mention, with 86% of students gaining A* grades, and 100% achieving A* and A Grades. The girls studied an extraordinary range of topics, from how we should treat and respond to dementia, to the strategies that the British government should use to limit ISIS recruitment.

The Maynard is delighted that so many students are going on to study at Russell Group Universities including Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Manchester, UCL and Warwick. They have successfully gained places in a diverse range of courses including Aeronautical Engineering, Architecture, English, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, History, Natural Sciences, Physics, Physiotherapy, Politics and Psychology; six students have gained places to study Medicine.

Esther Maltby from Sidmouth scored 3 A* Grades and 1 A Grade (in Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Art) and was absolutely delighted. “I didn’t think that my exams had gone well and I’m just so relieved and happy. I’m going to Imperial College, London to study Aeronautical Engineering but I’m off Interrailing tomorrow with a bunch of other friends from the Maynard so instead of celebrating tonight, I’ll be packing my rucksack!”

Another student who is in celebratory mood is Olivia Crawford who was awarded 2 A* Grades and 2 A Grades to secure her place at Birmingham University to study Medicine. “To be honest it hasn’t hit me yet. It’s a complete shock and I’m over the moon! It’s been such a long process. I decided on medicine when I was 12 years old so to be finally able to go to Medical School is just fantastic”

It was rather a nostalgic morning for outgoing Headmistress Bee Hughes who likewise departs the Maynard School’s gates to take a place at Manchester University to study for her PhD. “In my final year as Head I am proud of every student who has achieved so highly through hard work and determination. I am confident they will continue to be successful in their chosen fields of endeavour and I am most grateful to the professionalism of our staff who have contributed to their achievements. I wish the school community every success in the future.”


The Maynard School in Exeter is proud to be ranked the top school in the whole of the South West following last week’s publication of

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the Department for Education’s School and College Performance tables.

“We are delighted to report that once again the performance tables have recognised the outstanding achievement of Maynard girls at A-level,” said Tom Hibberd, Director of the Sixth Form. “The Maynard is the highest ranked school in the South West* and 17th** nationally, outperforming the likes of Colyton Grammar, Exeter School and Cheltenham Ladies’ College. This reflects the girls’ wonderful performances in the most rigorous and recognised A-levels available.”

The table is based on the percentage of students gaining AAB or above, with at least two of these subjects facilitating subjects at A-level. Facilitating subjects are those A-levels recognised by the prestigious Russell Group of universities as essential grounding. They include the traditional core of a rigorous education – Mathematics, Sciences, History, English, Geography, Modern Languages and Classics. “The Maynard girls’ success in these subjects was reflected in our university admissions where 100% of our students gained access to their first choice university, successfully competing for the most competitive courses at the country’s finest universities. They are also regarded as essential qualifications in many professional careers, enabling our girls to thrive at university and beyond,” said Mr. Hibberd. “Indeed the girls performed splendidly in every measure provided.”

The league tables reflect an incredible year for The Maynard in which it was voted as one of the top ten best value independent schools in the country (by the Telegraph) and the Headmistress was awarded ‘Teacher of the Year’ at the Pride of Exeter Awards in December 2015. In addition, the school boasts the U13 Devon hockey champions and the U14 Devon netball champions as well as a host of elite individual sportswomen succeeding at both national and county level. Just recently, six students gained Merits or Distinction in their Associated Board of Music examinations at Grade 6 and above.

“As a school we continue to go from strength to strength,” said Bee Hughes, the Headmistress, “and I am thrilled that we are now officially recognised as the top achieving school ahead of all our competitors in the West Country. This is testament to all the wonderful staff and the sheer hard work of our students – clearly we are collectively quite a force to be reckoned with! Earlier this week I received an email from a former student who has just been offered a place at Queens’ College, Cambridge (to read Natural Sciences) which perfectly sums up the Maynard experience:”

“I couldn’t have done it without your help and the help of all the amazing teachers at the Maynard. I am really excited about going to Cambridge but still can’t quite believe that it is true! Thank you so much, not just for the help you gave me with my university application but also for all you’ve done for me over the years. Everyone was so supportive, and I am so grateful. The Maynard is amazing and I couldn’t think of a better place to have gone to school,” said Eloise Kidner, who left in summer 2015.

“Whilst we are brilliant academically we also excel at so many other levels and I am most proud of the fact that everyone here is supported in finding their niche. Essentially, our greatest achievement is turning out fantastically well-grounded, happy and able adults when they graduate from the school,” said Ms Hughes.

The Maynard School is delighted to announce that Mrs Emma Cook has been appointed as the Head of the recently established Pre-Prep Department, after a

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rigorous and searching selection process. Emma, who was brought up and educated in Devon, is currently the Head of Years 1 and 2 at Beaudesert Park School in Gloucestershire and has a depth of experience forged throughout a career specialising exclusively in this age-group.

“I am thrilled and very excited to be returning to Devon to take up this role in such a successful and nurturing school. As a little girl growing up in the area I was always aware of The Maynard and then when I studied for my Primary Education degree at the University of Exeter, I was only just around the corner. And now, finally, I shall be inside those hallowed gates, doing what I absolutely love best which is teaching young children in a happy environment and watching them grow in confidence.

“I adore my job and it is such a privilege to be in a position to make a significant impact on the very earliest footsteps that our precious girls take in learning. As a parent myself, I am committed to ensuring that all of our daughters have the best possible start to their lifelong learning journeys and social development. I am excited at the prospect of being an integral part of this process: leading the team, inspiring our girls to develop a passion for discovery and to thrive within a safe and nurturing environment. It is a truly unique opportunity and I can’t wait to start my new post in April!”

In response to growing demand, the Maynard School took the decision to open its gates to an influx of Year 2 students in September 2015 and this will be enlarged upon at the beginning of the next academic year when Years 1 and Reception will be welcomed for the first time in many years.

“We have had a terrific response to this new enterprise,” said Steven Smerdon, Head of the Junior School, “and it really is a landmark decision for the school to be able to provision for students from the beginning to the end of their school careers. A number of parents have been calling for this over the years and I’m thrilled that we have finally been able to arrange the facilities in such a way as to provide the perfect environment for the younger ones at the Junior School.

“We are delighted at the appointment of Emma Cook who was an outstanding candidate with a wealth of experience in this sector and I am confident that her drive and enthusiasm will grow the Pre-Prep Department into a huge success. It makes me especially proud that the Junior School here at The Maynard is synonymous for its happy and nurturing environment and I am looking forward to working with Emma to make sure that the Pre-Prep becomes a natural extension of this.”

The Maynard School in Exeter is delighted to announce that Miss Sarah Dunn, currently the Deputy Head at Plymouth College, has been appointed as the

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new Headmistress from September 2016.

“The appointment of Miss Dunn to the role was a unanimous decision taken after a rigorous and searching interview process following applications from a number of very strong candidates,” said Lady Stanhope, the Chair of Governors for the Maynard School.

Following her undergraduate studies at the University of Exeter and her Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Oxford, Miss Dunn began her career as a Biology teacher at Torquay Boys’ Grammar School in 1986. During her tenure there she worked her way up the ranks to become the Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Head of Careers and a member of the senior academic leadership team.

In 1995, Miss Dunn was appointed Deputy Head of Plymouth College where she has been instrumental in times of exciting, radical and successful transformation.

“My first challenge as Deputy Head was to introduce girls to the school throughout all year groups. As Plymouth College had been a boys’ school for 110 years, and only had three female members of staff on my arrival, turning this supertanker around was no easy task!” said Miss Dunn.

“My education philosophy is straightforward: Maynard girls should continue to receive the very best in terms of teaching, in a happy, caring environment, with a wealth of opportunities to discover and develop their talents. I care deeply for both the students and the staff and have always had a collaborative approach to all that I do, leading by example from the front and maintaining the highest expectations of myself and others.

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be the next Headmistress at such a prestigious school as The Maynard. It is such an excellent school, full of vibrancy, opportunities and a love of learning. It really does live up to the motto: Imagine, Aspire, Achieve.

“I was so wonderfully impressed with the warmth and positivity of the girls and staff during my interviews and am looking forward to joining the Maynard family. It is an exciting journey ahead and I will be working closely with Ms Hughes over the next couple of terms to ensure a seamless transition.”

Lady Stanhope paid tribute to Ms Hughes as an “outstanding headmistress” saying she had built on the success of her predecessors and had taken the School to a new level, most recently being voted the ‘Teacher of the Year’ at the Pride of Exeter Awards in recognition of these successes.

“The Governors and members of the selection panel are confident that Sarah Dunn will maintain this momentum and continue the tradition of constant improvement whilst safeguarding the unique culture and ethos of the Maynard School,” Lady Stanhope added.

Students at the Maynard School enjoyed a pre-Christmas treat when Victoria Holmes, creator and editor of the hugely popular Warriors series, hosted all day workshops

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and book signings in the library on Tuesday 1 December 2015.
The author had been invited to the school on the insistence of a number of girls who have been completely fascinated by the best-selling books depicting an exciting fantasy world of wild cats who live in clans in the forest.

Victoria talked about how the Warriors series came about and how she and her publishers thought up the name Erin Hunter, a collective name for the collaboration of authors involved in the series. She described what it was like to be an international best-selling author, touring the world to promote her books, then coming home to her beloved horses. The girls were fascinated by the idea of working in writing teams and some girls in particular were delighted that Victoria was involved in a favourite series from their younger days, the Rainbow Magic Fairies!

After reading from the first Warriors book, Victoria gave the girls a very interesting creative writing exercise in which they each invented a story about an unidentified animal, then read it aloud for the other girls to guess which animal it was. Stand-out stories were the turkey facing a grim Christmas, the sheep planning a daring escape in spite of the lurking fox, the hippo who wallowed in his river with such perfect authority and the fiery-eyed owl.

Quite apart from the girls being slightly awe-struck in the presence of their writing heroine, it appeared that the author herself enjoyed an incredible day, subsequently writing her thanks to the school:
“A thousand grateful purrs for inviting me to take part in your Warriors Day! What an honour! I have rarely been so feted, in all my years of travelling around the world to discuss my feral cats. I was overwhelmed by the warmth of your welcome, the enthusiasm for Warriors, and the zeal with which everyone took part in the creative writing exercise.
The standard of writing was impeccably high, and I loved discussing each piece with the students. It almost made me miss my days as an English teacher! (Almost, but not quite, because I am very, very blessed to lead the life that I do now.) I left feeling proud of my feral cats, impressed by the girls’ energy and creativity, and half-wistful that I am not a Maynardian myself.”

For Dulcie Fraser, a Warriors superfan and whose brainchild it was to invite the author in to the school, the visit was a dream come true: “It was incredible, it couldn’t have been better! All the activities were really fun and meeting Vicky was amazing!”

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