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The Maynard School
Denmark Road, EX1 1SJ Exeter
01392 273417

Why Choose the Maynard School? Print E-mail


Classics Dept. Roman Banquet

We understand that choosing a school for your daughter can be a difficult decision. We encourage parents to visit the school in the first instance, to meet the Headmistress and key staff members. We also offer Taster Days, when your daughter can spend a day in class to experience what the Maynard has to offer.  There is no substitute for a personal visit to the school; but on these pages we offer some background that might help you make this important decision.

The Maynard School is the third oldest girls’ school in the UK, founded in 1658 by Sir John Maynard, a man who, unusually for his day, felt that girls as well as boys should receive an education. Thus began the Maynard School’s long history and expertise in teaching girls.

The school has long been recognised as one of the top performing schools in the UK; in 2006 we were placed 55 in the top 100 schools by The Sunday Times, much higher than any other local school.


What type of girl is a Maynard girl?


An impossible question to answer! We welcome girls of all 'types' — gregarious and shy, extrovert and introvert, those who love sport and outdoor pursuits, and those who prefer to be absorbed in a book (or even writing one!). Girls who thrive with us enjoy our busy pace of learning and the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Amongst our current pupils we have excellent sportswomen, equestrians, sailors, musicians, mathematicians, poets, actresses and authors, all of whom have discovered or furthered their interest at the school, with the support and encouragement of our excellent staff. We have just as many 'all rounders', girls who excel academically and at a range of other activities, and those who devote a great deal of time to serving the school and their local communities through volunteering and fundraising activities. Our pastoral support is second to none and our nurturing approach can often work wonders with less confident girls. We can also offer support to girls who need help with their organisation or study skills, or who may have a specific learning disability (such as dyslexia), via our dedicated Study Skills and Learning Support Department.

The qualities we find most abundant amongst Maynardians, and this is true of our old girls as much as our current ones, are

confidence without arrogance, inquisitiveness, compassion for others and a cheerful, "can-do" attitude.

Why choose girls-only education?

Why choose girls-only education?    


In the top 100 independent schools:

51 are girls-only schools
24 are boys-only
19 are co-educational
6 are boys-only with mixed 6th forms

Source: The Sunday Times Parent Power Survey (Nov 2006)


What do girls' schools do differently?

Girls’ Schools:

  • Create a safe, risk-taking environment where girls can learn from their mistakes without fear of being put down or dismissed. They provide an environment where there is no shame in working hard or being successful. This enables girls to develop confidence in their own abilities as individuals, and not define themselves by gender.
  • Counter mass media influences by freeing girls from the pressure to conform to sexist patterns of behaviour, and providing them with a framework with which to judge the image of girls in today’s media.  Girls are free to grow up at their own pace.
  • Support a ‘can-do’ philosophy.  Girls hold all the senior positions in the school: all the scientists are girls, all the mathematicians are girls.  There is no subject area or activity of the school in which girls do not excel.  This leads undoubtedly to a ‘can-do’ philosophy in the school.
  • Recognise the qualities of girls and how they learn.  Girls’ schools are expert in recognising the qualities of girls and understanding what makes them tick and how they learn.  This knowledge is built up over years of experience of teaching girls. This experience has led to girls’ schools adopting specific girl-centred learning strategies.
  • Celebrate learning without social distractions.  Girls’ schools offer an environment in which girls can concentrate on learning without the distraction of boys.  Without the presence of boys, girls tend to display their intelligence and curiosity regardless of powerful age-determined notions of popularity, attractiveness or negative peer pressure.
  • Provide staff that are experts in the teaching of girls.
  • Ensure that there is no sex stereotyping of subjects.  Girls are more likely to take subjects that are less traditionally popular with girls because subjects don’t acquire a masculine or feminine connotation.
  • Provide leadership opportunities and models.  Girls’ schools are institutions where all the leadership positions in the school are held by girls and where girls can find strong role models amongst the staff, ethos and philosophy of the school.
  • Celebrate the female perspective.  Girls’ schools celebrate the female perspective and way of doing things, are places where girls are accustomed to being heard and being valued for who they are, irrespective of what they look like or what they wear.  The girls’ school environment affirms and encourages young women in their capacities as confident individuals, leaders and agents of social change.

Junior School

'The best thing about the Maynard is everyone makes you feel special ... '

Junior Dept.

... so said one of our youngest juniors on returning home after her first day at the Maynard. The special atmosphere of purposeful endeavour in a caring and nurturing environment is not just reserved for day one. There is a busy, lively feel every day in the Junior Department, where teachers take care to design lessons which stimulate curiosity and encourage a love of learning which stays with each child throughout the juniors, into the senior school and beyond.

The Junior Department is very much part of the Maynard family. Housed in its own building within the main school campus, the juniors have ready access to all of the senior school facilities for specialist learning. Each girl receives plenty of individual attention and is encouraged to develop her own skills, talents and interests.

The girls would be delighted to show you what makes the Junior Department such a special place; you are very welcome to visit us.

Mr Steven Smerdon
Head of Junior Department

Senior School

'There wasn’t a day when my daughter didn’t love the Maynard'

Senior Dept.The Maynard Senior Department offers girls in the South West outstanding opportunities to excel academically in a friendly, caring environment. The girls thrive in the school’s purposeful atmosphere where success comes through a sense of motivation and a determination to do well. Dedicated, talented teachers support and encourage each individual girl to exceed her expectations, in whatever context — from concert platform or playing field to the classroom. Throughout the school there is evidence of the girls' enjoyment, and their enthusiasm for learning is tangible.

Combining a happy, relaxed atmosphere with a stimulating working environment, the Maynard is known nationally for its outstanding academic achievements, and public examination results place the Maynard consistently amongst the top independent schools in the country. Happy, successful, well-educated young women are the hallmark of the Maynard School.

Our attractive site, in a conservation area, lies close to the centre of Exeter. The school enjoys excellent, purpose-built facilities including a superb sports hall and modern, spacious science facilities — Biology, Chemistry and Physics each have two large laboratories plus Sixth Form research areas and full back-up space for teachers and technicians. The Music Department has four teaching classrooms, plus a further seven individual music tuition/practice rooms. The Art Department has three large studios (one specifically for Sixth Formers), two dark rooms, a sculpture room, a large kiln room and an Art Resources Room housing the Art library and IT.

Other facilities include a drama studio, two state-of-the-art IT teaching rooms plus a bank of laptops which can be networked anywhere in school, and well-equipped specialist rooms for our Food & Nutrition and Textiles Departments.

We are confident that the Maynard School offers the very best in educational opportunities for girls and invite you to experience for yourself what makes this school so outstanding.



 Junior PEGirls who are bright and eager to learn will find the pace of the school a stimulating and enjoyable experience. To ensure that the school will suit your daughter, our selection process involves written tests. We understand that for younger girls this may be their first experience of formal testing so we make the day as relaxed and enjoyable as possible. Our experienced staff look for potential and we advise that coaching is not necessary. The main ages of entry are: at 7+ for entry to Lower 1 (Year 3); 10+ for entry to Lower 3 (Year 6); 11+ for entry to Upper 3 (Year 7); 12+ for entry to Lower 4 (Year 8); 13+  for entry to Upper 4 (Year 9) and 16+ to Sixth Form. Girls can be admitted to other year groups if places become available. Applications to the Maynard should be made on the application form enclosed with the school prospectus. We encourage candidates to visit the school prior to the entrance examinations and they will also have the option of spending a day in class to experience life at the Maynard for themselves.


If you would like to discuss entry to the school for your daughter, request a prospectus, or arrange a visit or taster day, contact our Admissions Team on 01392 355998 or click on Contact Admissions.


Entrance Examinations

With the exception of Sixth Formers, selection for entry is by written examination. Entrance Tests are held in the January prior to entry the following September (testing later than January is possible, see below). The deadline for applications is, therefore, 15th December each year for entry at the start of the next academic year. A fee of £50 is charged for the January entrance test which should be enclosed with the application form. The Maynard policy is to keep costs to parents as low as possible, so the £50 fee represents the cost of administering the test only. No preferential waiting list is operated. All applications received by the deadline will have an equal opportunity to qualify. Once a girl has passed the entrance test and has accepted an offer of a place in the junior or senior department, she automatically has a place until the end of Sixth Form with no further qualifying examinations or registration fee required. Information on the Maynard Entrance Tests can be found in the General Information Booklet, available with the School Prospectus.

Supplementary Test

A later test date can be arranged for girls who are ill on the main Entrance Examination day. Places and awards are not fully allocated until these candidates have had their opportunity to qualify.

Late Tests

Late testing can be arranged for girls applying after the main Entrance Test date in January. Late tests can take place at any time up to the beginning of the school year applied for (subject to places still being available); late tests can also be arranged for entry during an academic year (again, subject to places still being available). A fee of £200 is charged to cover late testing arrangements, administration and marking, which reflects the additional costs of administering a late test for one girl. This fee is non-refundable but a sum of £150 is offset against the Registration Fee (see below) should a place be offered and accepted. Offers to late entrants will depend upon availability of places. Governors’ Bursaries and Awards are allocated soon after the January test date, therefore it is unlikely that financial help would be available to latecomers.

Acceptance of a Place

Offers of a place are made in writing as soon as possible after the entrance test has been taken (this is usually within seven days at the latest). Included with the offer letter is a copy of the Maynard Terms and Conditions (including school rules); parents are asked to sign the offer form to confirm acceptance. A non-returnable Registration Fee of £150 is charged on acceptance of a place offered.

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