St Marylebone School
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|Motto||"An Opportunity To Excel"|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Headteacher||Ms Kathryn Pugh|
|Location||64 Marylebone High Street
|DfE URN||137353 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
Coeducational (Sixth Form)
|Houses||Dickens, Barret, Hardwick, Nightingale, Wesley, Ada Lovelace|
St Marylebone C of E School is a secondary school for girls in Marylebone, London. It specialises in Performing Arts, Maths & Computing and Special Educational Needs (Communication and Interaction). In the sixth form, boys can also attend. On 1 September 2011 the school became a converter academy having previously been judged "outstanding in every respect" by Ofsted.
Founded in 1791, St Marylebone Church of England School is now a multi-faith comprehensive school for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. The main site is located just behind St Marylebone Parish Church, at the top of Marylebone High Street, with the Sixth Form Centre based in another building in nearby Blandford Street, 7 minutes away.
Since 2013, the school's studio has been the main filming spot for Spirit Young Performers Company. Popular videos shot at this location include "Little Miss High and Mighty" and "Hard Knock Life". The videos shot here have achieved millions of views every month.
The St Marylebone School began as the Marylebone "Day School of Industry", founded in 1791 in what was then Paradise Street, now Moxon Street, to educate the children of the poor in the parish. Boys and girls were taught skills such as needlework and straw plaiting. The school was funded by donations, charity sermons and income from the children's handiwork. In 1808, with the support of local philanthropist and social reformer Sir Thomas Bernard the school moved to 82 Marylebone High Street, which is now the boutique store Rachel Riley. Subsequently, to make room for growing numbers, it moved to a site on Paddington Street, which is identifiable today as a Mission Church. Then in 1858 the 5th Duke of Portland and his wife Lady Lucy Howard de Walden bought a plot of ground near the top of Marylebone High Street and covenanted the site to be used for a girls' school in perpetuity. The main site of the school has been there ever since.
The Day School of Industry had been incorporated with Sir Thomas Bernard's school under the direction of the Governors of the Church of England's United National Schools. In 1858, it became known as Central National School, to distinguish it from the Eastern (now All Souls CE Primary) and Western National Schools (now St Mary's Bryanston Square CE Primary) founded in 1824 at nearby parishes.
The boys' section was eventually closed and it became a girls' school, adopting its current name. In the 1960s-70s the school used a building in Penfold Street, about 15 minutes from the main site, for domestic science lessons; this building is now used by the Westminster Youth Service. In 2005, the sixth form moved to part of a building that had housed a convent; in 2008-9 this was demolished and rebuilt as a five-story, university-style Sixth Form Centre.
During the school's grant-maintained period, it was highly selective and the school used to interview parents and prospective pupils.
Between 2005 and 2010, the main site saw extensive building and refurbishment work. Major new facilities were opened in 2007, including an innovative below-ground gymnasium and dance studios as well as a music recording studio space and a three-story visual and performing arts space.
Houses and local connections
Historically, the school had four houses - Dickens, Barret, Hardwick and Wesley. In September 2010, a fifth house, Nightingale, was added and, in September 2017, a sixth house named after Ada Lovelace. The houses are named after these significant people as they have had some kind of connection with the school (e.g. Thomas Hardwick designed the St Marylebone Church). The houses have the following colours: blue (Barret), yellow (Dickens), red (Hardwick), green (Wesley), purple (Nightingale) and orange (Ada Lovelace). When joining the school, pupils are assigned to one of the houses.
It was designated a Specialist Arts College by the DfES in 1998, gaining a second specialism as a Mathematics and Computing College in 2006 and a third specialism in Special Educational Needs (Communication and Interaction) in 2009; this makes it one of the very few high-performing Specialist Schools in the country with three specialisms. The school offers a huge range of enrichment activities across the performing arts, and in 2012 was accredited a Gold Standard Arts Mark for the third time in succession. St Marylebone is also a Woodard School, part of a small family of state and independent church schools which prioritise pastoral care with academic excellence.
From a failing school with only 26% of students achieving 5 A*-C GCSE grades, St Marylebone become the most improved school in 2007 as the percentage of *A-C GCSE grades rose to over 90% where it has remained for the last ten years with 90+% including English and maths for the last two years. The school focused on outstanding teaching which is seen as the foundation of the school’s success. The school was named by the Mayor of London as first in its group of 56 similar schools and a member of the Mayor’s Gold Club. St Marylebone is now one of the outstanding academies, one of the original 100 teaching schools and has opened a free special school meeting the needs of pupils with speech language and communication needs. Mrs Phillips, who is a National Leader of Education, was appointed executive head teacher of the St Marylebone Academies Trust in 2010 and was chair of the Westminster Secondary Heads Forum, representing secondary headteachers on the 14-19 Executive Board.
At the latest Ofsted inspection, St Marylebone was judged "outstanding in every respect". In 2013, exam results were the best in Westminster and the school topped the DfE League Table comparing all schools nationally with a similar intake. For the 11th year running, well over 90% of GCSE entries received A*-C grades and more than half received A* or A. St Marylebone is one of the most oversubscribed schools in London; in 2013, almost 7 students applied for each of the places available in Year 7. It is the top non-selective school in London.
In September 2013, St Marylebone School opened an affiliate school, The St Marylebone Bridge School. The Bridge School is a co-educational Free Special School providing "an innovative education to students with statements for Speech, Language and Communication". As part of the Teaching School Alliance, St Marylebone School is working with various partners to support the development of other schools in London, including the expansion of St Mary and St John's Primary School in Hendon into a through-school from nursery through to sixth form. The former headteacher Elizabeth Phillips advised on the bid to establish a new free secondary school for boys in Marylebone, the Marylebone Boys' School, which opened in 2014. The new school will receive support and guidance from St Marylebone through the Teaching School Alliance.
From 1993 to 2013, the headteacher of St Marylebone School was Elizabeth Phillips, OBE, one of the most influential and successful headteachers in recent secondary education. The new headteacher is Kathryn Pugh, who took over in January 2014.
Notable former pupils
- Lily Cole, model and actress
- Naomie Harris, actress
- Layla Kayleigh, actress and TV personality
- Hamilton MacCarthy, sculptor
- Marion St John Webb, author
- Quality Indicators at Edubase.gov.uk, DCSF
- "Historical notes on Westminster schools" (PDF). Westminster City Council.
- "Top head attacks league tables". BBC News. 16 November 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Marylebone Boys' School". Marylebone boys. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840-1911
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