The Maynard School

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The Maynard School
Denmark Road


Coordinates50°43′22″N 3°31′16″W / 50.7227°N 3.5211°W / 50.7227; -3.5211Coordinates: 50°43′22″N 3°31′16″W / 50.7227°N 3.5211°W / 50.7227; -3.5211
TypeIndependent day school
MottoManus Justa Nardus
(A just hand is a healing balm)
FounderSir John Maynard
Local authorityDevon
Department for Education URN113608 Tables
HeadmistressMiss Sarah Dunn
Age4 to 18
Colour(s)Blue, Green
Former pupilsOld Maynardians

The Maynard School is an independent and selective day school for girls aged 4–18 in the city of Exeter in Devon. It is one of the leading girls day schools in the UK, with an excellent academic reputation in both public exams and university entrance.[1] Founded in 1658, the school is the third oldest girls' school in the country. Its mission statement is 'Imagine, Aspire, Achieve'.


It was founded by Sir John Maynard, a trustee of Elize Hele's charity, in 1658. Initially named the Blue maid's Hospital, the school received extensive funding (alongside fellow beneficiary Hele's School) under the express condition that it be spent for "some godly purposes and charitable uses".[2] Robert Vilvayne, a local landowner, further endowed the school by donating premises on Exe Island, while further significant donations were given to the school by Edmund Prideaux and Gilbert Keate. In the 1870s, on the basis of a recommendation from the Endowed Schools Commission, the school split in two. One became the Bishop Blackall Girls' Grammar School (which later merged with the Blue Maid's sister establishment Hele's School), while the second became Exeter High School for Girls. New premises were built in the suburb of St Leonards, and the school recommenced teaching in 1882. In 1912, shortly after its 250th anniversary, the school was renamed by headmistress E L Trenerry as The Maynard School for Girls.[3]

During the blitz of 4 May 1942, three bombs fell on the school. Two hit the tennis courts – one demolished a wall and caused blast damage to windows and the roof, while the second severely damaged the boarding house and kitchen garden. The third bomb exploded in the front of the main building, severely damaging both the school and the houses on the nearby Barnfield Hill. The school was visited by King George VI following the destruction.

The current Headmistress is Miss Sarah Dunn, who took over from Ms Bee Hughes in September 2016.

Academic Environment[edit]

Although previously a boarding school, Maynard's now caters exclusively to day students. Many of the original buildings constructed following the split with the Bishop Blackall School in the late nineteenth century remain largely unchanged, even in spite of the damage from the blitz. In addition to these buildings the school has expanded; creating indoor sports facilities, new tennis courts and libraries, a large sixth form center and most recently a new ICT facility, funded by the Wolfson Foundation.

The school offers numerous extra-curricular activities to its students; from team sports competing at the regional and national level, to language clubs and trips abroad. Participation in the annual Ten Tors hiking competition has been a particular staple in the school's history. Maynard teams have had great success over the years, including being the first all-girls' teams back in 2005 and 2012.[4]

Academic Standards[edit]

The school performs consistently well in UK school league tables, the 2016 results placed the school 16th in the country at GCSE in the Daily Telegraph Independent Schools League Tables. 2017 Department for Education League Tables ranked the school as the best independent school in Devon in key areas. In a recent ISI inspection, the school was rated excellent and its teaching staff were given the highest praise; the assessors noting that academic standards were above average even when compared to other selective schools.[1]

Notable Alumni[edit]

Alumnae are known as "Old Maynardians" and are members of the Old Maynardian Society.[5]


  1. ^ a b "ISI Inspection - The Maynard School". Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  2. ^ Kellys Directory of Devonshire 1923
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 August 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Ten Tors Expedition".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Biography: Gibson, Quentin Howieson". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 27 March 2017.

External links[edit]