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Red Maids School
Grange Court Road, Westbury-on-Trym, BS9 4DP, UK Bristol
+44 (0)117 962 9451


At The Red Maids’ School we aim to develop the academic ability of girls’ from many different backgrounds and to fulfil their potential by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the modern world.

We encourage them in their social, personal, moral and spiritual development and we foster a sense of community through a friendly and caring environment, a strong pastoral system and a diverse range of extra-curricular activities.

These aims are underpinned by a commitment to the roles of young women in 21st century society and by a strong awareness of the unique Red Maids’ heritage.


Walking in the School gate, the first thing that always strikes me is how peaceful and totally calm the grounds seem, with the trees’ leaves casting shadows on the drive and the amount of open space there is. Even having been at the school for five years, I still appreciate it every morning. However, as soon as you open the door into a building, you realise that although the setting seems tranquil, the School is very much alive and the atmosphere vibrant.

Katharine Salisbury, Lower Sixth





Red Maids’ is the oldest surviving girls’ school in the country. Pupils are proud of their unique history and enjoy Founder’s Day, the annual celebration of the life and vision of John Whitson, Mayor and MP of Bristol, who founded the Red Maids’ School in 1634. His original Red Maids’ Hospital provided a secure home and the training by which to go on to earn a living for the orphaned or destitute daughters of freemen or burgesses of the City of Bristol.

Like our Founder, we continue to be forward thinking and innovative; we provide an education for girls that equips them with the skills, confidence and independence that life in the twenty first century demands.

In 2007 Founder's Day will be held on Friday 16th of November.


   Weekly diary

   Term dates


   Head's letter

   Extended day





Termly Fees 2007-08 : £2840



Major and Minor Scholarships are awarded for outstanding performance in the entrance examinations (4 Major and 9 Minor awarded in 2004).


Major and Minor Music Scholarships are awarded at 11+ (1 Major and 1 Minor awarded 2004).


Whitson’s Sixth Form Scholarships are awarded on academic merit, scholarship examination and interviews held in January of Year 11. They are open to students from inside or outside the school (4 awarded in 2004)


Sibling Discount

A sibling discount is available to those with sisters in the school or with
brothers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital school.


Financial Assistance Criteria

- Acceptable academic standard in entrance examination.

- Completion of application form declaring financial circumstances of parents.

- Parents satisfy income conditions (gross annual income in excess of £30,000 is unlikely to qualify).



Year 7
Offers of a place in Year 7 are made on the
basis of entrance examinations held in January of Year 6 and an interview with Mrs Tobias, our Headmistress.
The Head Teacher’s report is also taken into consideration. The examination is made up of multiple choice verbal and non-verbal reasoning papers an English Paper and a Maths paper.


Years 8-11
Places are sometimes available in Years 8 to 11. These are offered on the basis of examinations suited to the chosen year of entry and an interview with Mrs Tobias.


Sixth Form
Sixth Form Places are offered on the basis of GCSE results (or equivalent) and an interview with Mrs. Tobias and the Head of Sixth Form.




The Red Maids’ Development Office supports the school’s commitment to providing excellent facilities and to offering assisted places in line with the founding principles of John Whitson.


In the competitive world of independent education in Bristol, professional fundraising is an essential part of every school’s life. We aim to foster, in all those linked to the school, a life long interest in securing its future and helping the school to grow.


Contact our Development Officer for information about the role – however small – you might play in the future of Red Maids’.


Contact Information


Clare Anning

Development Officer

Tel: 0117 989 8256




Everyone who visits The Red Maids’ Junior School remarks upon its friendly, family atmosphere and the fun our pupils and their teachers have in lessons. With only 80 pupils, we specialise in giving plenty of individual attention, nurturing the academic and sporting talents of each one of our girls.
Just like the best of families our older girls look after our new pupils and like the best of families we encourage everyone to contribute to making decisions about what we do.

This really is a very special school with a very special character. You are welcome to come and see for yourself.





Right from the start we encourage the Junior Red Maids to be confident and out-going. Our 7 year olds are given the time to make decisions about their school just as our 11 year olds are. Indeed, we expect everyone to express their ideas both in and out of lessons and we are enthusiastic about new ventures.

Every week the whole school meets to discuss what’s been happening.
Anyone can speak and we all know our opinions matter.

Sophie, Year 6

We chose blue and yellow paint with fishes when the Year 3 cloakroom was decorated. It’s much nicer now, although their bags still fall on the floor!

Emma, Year 4

Our school production is my favourite thing. I was a tomato sauce bottle this year and the whole audience laughed and laughed. I can’t wait for next year.

Alison, Year 3




We want our children’s parents to feel that this is their school as much as it is their daughters’. A thriving Friends’ Association running fun family events, termly feedback about pupil progress and a warm welcome into our classrooms all strengthen the home/school partnership.

What I like most is that there's something for everybody at Red Maids' The children are valued as individuals.

Current Parent





We are justifiably proud of our broad, balanced curriculum; a typical day could include performing African drum music, learning to use a protractor, long jump in athletics, reading and writing magical stories, plus Simon Says in French.
We know that learning has to be lots of fun and so staff invest time practising lively and imaginative teaching methods.
Frequent visitors and visits to places of interest are a vital part of our work, they bring the curriculum to life and help to make it meaningful.

Kim the Viking showed us how to make Viking coins. Now I understand how they used money.

Lauren, Year 3

We spent a long time organising our Roman birthday party writing the invitations in Latin, ordering the food. I was a serving girl and I had to do everything my mistress wanted.

Hannah, Year 4

Everyone said that my school was really academic but I thought it was just fun.

Anna, ex Junior Red Maid




Each year there are approximately twenty places for prospective Year 3 girls, subject to an entrance assessment. In September 2007 a new Year 5 class and a new Year 6 class will open creating extra places for girls who want to join the Junior School.

If you would like to register your daughter please send or telephone for a prospectus and application.
We will then arrange a visit for you and your daughter and a day visit for prospective pupils.


£1750 per term

Contact information
n McCabe
0117 962 9451


For Senior School admissions click here


The Red Maids’ School is a happy and purposeful place where students and teachers engage together positively in the collaborative business of teaching and learning and where all our activities are characterised by energy, enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity.

At Red Maids’ every student is encouraged to discover and develop her own abilities and to strive for the best she can achieve whether it is in academic success, on the sports field, in the creative arts or practical technologies.

Every Red Maid is talented and every Red Maid is valued.






Academic courses are modern and stimulating, technology makes a central contribution to the way we work and learn and the students themselves play a vital and dynamic part in every aspect of the daily life of the school.


Key Stage Three 11-13

The broad and balanced curriculum extends the experience of school; pupils are equipped with the skills and learning needed for GCSEs and beyond.


Key Stage Four 14-16

Every effort is made to offer a wide and flexible choice so that pupils can pursue their interests and achieve a broad academic foundation. From Year 10, two-year GCSE courses are followed in 9 or 10 subjects.


Sixth Form 17-18

Breadth of choice and flexible combinations allow students the freedom to follow what really interests them. This may be a continuation of subjects enjoyed at GCSE or new options like Philosophy and Ethics or Psychology. Careful advice is available about how subject decisions may affect University and career choices later on.


Four subjects are studied to AS, three of these are continued to A2.


   - Art

   - Careers

   - Classics

   - Design and Technology

   - Economics, Business and ICT

   - English and Drama

   - Geography

   - History

   - Maths

   - Modern Foreign Languages

   - Music

   - Physical Education

   - Religious Studies

   - Science




Clubs and Societies
The programme of activities is varied and gives opportunities for personal, artistic and spiritual development.

ISI Inspection Report, January 2004


There are activities to interest every student at Red Maids. Any lunchtime might find sixth form tackling topical issues at The Thinkery, Year 7s and 8s in action in the Performing Arts Centre at Drama Club or students raising awareness of international issues at the Amnesty International group meeting.


All are welcome, with many groups run either wholly by girls or in working partnership with members of staff. Participation is encouraged and initiatives welcomed and supported.


The following activities run at lunchtime and after school in addition to sport and music groups:-


Amnesty International (Year 10 upwards)

Art Club (Year 7)

Board Games Club (Year 8)

Careers Talks

Chatterbox (Year7)

Christian Union

Drama Club (Year 7 and 8)

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme


Greenhouse Club

Life Drawing

Maths Club (Year 7)

Science Club

Secret History Club

The Thinkery

World Wise Quiz

Young Enterprise


The extra-curricular programme
(for music) is particularly strong.

ISI Inspection Report, January 2004


There are many opportunities for involvement at every level. More than twelve groups rehearse and perform on a regular basis ranging from the Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra to the Junior String Ensemble and Samba Band.


The biennial musical is a popular whole school production as is the inter-house Music Competition, with hundreds of entries right across the school. Concerts and recitals are regularly featured on the school calendar and play to packed audiences.


Musicians enjoy the opportunities to perform in the local community, regularly singing for the Lord Mayor, for the elderly and in public venues to raise money for charity.


The following activities run before school, at lunchtime and after school:-



Year 7 Choir
Youth Choir
Senior Choir
Chamber Choir
Samba Band
Wind Band

Concert Orchestra


Symphony Orchestra
Chamber Orchestra
Year 7 and 8 String Ensemble
Middle School String Ensemble
Recorder Ensemble
Grade 6-8 Aural Class
Theory of Music


School trips

an impressive number of school trips both in this country and abroad

ISI Inspection Report, January 2004


Red Maids have numerous opportunities to discover new, exciting experiences beyond the classroom.

Each year a wide range of trips abroad are offered. These include musical tours to destinations such as Poland, Tuscany and America, annual ski trips and
a water sports holiday in France and various Language trips to European Countries and Russia. Geographers may travel as far away as Iceland and Peru but also enjoy the Mendips, Devon and Dorset a little closer to home.


Regular visits to local and national attractions include art workshops with the Royal Academy in London, visits to museums around the country and numerous theatre trips to productions in Bristol and beyond.


These experiences cement friendships and build on the breadth and richness
of life at Red Maids’.



The sports hall is an excellent facility and when the promised Astroturf is installed (September 2004) the provision for games will be outstanding.

ISI Inspection Report, January 2004


Excellent on-site facilities mean Red Maids can make the most of the wide range of sporting activities through lunchtimes and after school. Opportunities are open to all, of whatever standard or experience, to try something new or to hone existing skills. There are girls in action every day, trained and encouraged by skilled and enthusiastic staff.


The extensive fixtures list sees Red Maids playing competitively against a wide range of local schools and in county and national tournaments. Red Maids regularly represent the county in many different sports. In addition, the school inter-house competitions every term mean plenty of opportunities to play in teams at every level.


The following sports activities run before school, at lunchtime and after school, in addition to time-tabled PE lessons:-


Athletics (Years 7-10 + Senior)

Badminton Club

Cricket (Years 7-10 + Senior)

Dance Club

Football (Years 8 and 9)

Hockey Clubs (Years 7-10 + Senior)

Hockey Goalkeeper practice


Judo Club

Netball Clubs (Years 7-10 + Senior)

Netball Shooting Practice

Rounders (Years 7-10 + Senior)

Running club

Tennis (years 7-10 + Senior)

Touch Rugby



Discover more about yourself, enjoy the independence of life as a young adult, take responsibility for yourself and make your own decisions ….


All students in the Sixth Form at Red Maids’ will be enabled to achieve their full academic potential in a challenging but supportive atmosphere.





Academic excellence is certainly on offer at Red Maids’, with the school consistently appearing in the First Division of the National League Tables. With the help of our team of talented, hardworking and dedicated teachers, it is difficult for a student not to reach their own individual point of excellence.

In a typical year the Sixth Form achieves 100% pass rate at A’ Level, with the majority of our passes at A and B grades.
Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Warwick are featured annual destinations for courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Economics.  However, other students choose the newer universities, following such exciting courses as Disaster Management or Oceanography. Each year students also go on to Art or Music College

Red Maids’ also values and encourages achievement in areas outside academic study.  We are very proud of our Young Enterprise Groups who regularly win awards for their business acumen and marketing skills, our musicians who play in county orchestras and our many sportswomen who play in the county squads, with a few going on to play at national level.

Equally important, and a particular strength of the school as a whole, is “the emphasis upon charitable undertakings and involvement in the wider community” (ISI Report January 2004). Ably led by the Sixth Form, a school-based programme of fundraising is carried out each year, enabling thousands of pounds to be donated to charities.

Young Enterprise 2005-06 Spoken




The Sixth Form at Red Maids’ acts as a bridge between the tight structure of the GCSE years and the freedom of university life. With a full programme of pastoral care and guidance, students grow in many areas of their lives, ready to take up the challenges of life after school. In the Lower Sixth, a weekly session of Citizenship Debate challenges the preconceptions held by many on such diverse issues as the role of media in society, the criminal justice system and political thinking.  In the Upper Sixth all students attend sessions of ‘Life Skills’ covering such topics as student cookery, budgeting and first aid.

All students in the Lower Sixth undertake an element of Community Service, ranging from helping in local primary schools, in residential homes for the elderly or in schools for physically and mentally disabled children. This is seen by many of our students as being a particularly rewarding experience, with many of them choosing to continue into the Upper Sixth.

Leadership opportunities are available for all students in the Sixth Form, ranging from Head Girl, House Captains, Head Almoners, membership of the Sixth Form Committee and Common Room leaders. Many students also elect to act as mentors to younger girls in the school.

With all these opportunities available to them, students in the Sixth Form gain vital experience in taking responsibility, decision-making, organisation and communication skills. They are well prepared to move on in life!





You are guaranteed an excellent academic education at Red Maids’ but so much more is on offer. Whilst our students study hard they still have time to participate in an amazing number of enrichment and extra-curricula activities. Their main problem is how to fit them all in!

Sporting activities continue in the Sixth Form with all students involved, whether it be for recreation or at a higher level. What is different is that each student can choose her own activity from a range including hockey, netball, swimming, basketball, volleyball and aerobics to quote just a few.

There are many extra-curricula activities. Students become involved in Drama productions or participate in one of the many musical activities, choosing from a wide range of choirs and orchestras. There are opportunities to join a Debating team, to become involved in Public Speaking through the ‘Gabblers Society’, to exchange ideas in the student led club known as ‘The Thinkery’ or to join Amnesty International.

You can reward yourself after your labours by joining one of the groups travelling abroad, whether it is with the Geographers in Iceland, the Classicists in Italy, the Musicians in Poland or America, or a Water Sports or Skiing Trip.

A little nearer to home you can relax in the purpose-built Sixth Form Centre. Alongside the teaching rooms, there is a large Common Room, with catering facilities, music and a pool table.


Survival Guide



I hope you will find this guide useful in giving you some idea of what life is like in the Sixth Form.

Marta Tomaszewski
Head of Sixth Form


   - Leadership

   - Privileges

   - Sixth Form Committee

  - The Sixth Form Ball

   - The Sixth Form Centre

   - Studying at Sixth Form

   - More than A' Levels

   - What happens next?

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