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This article is about the school in London. For the school in Edgbaston, Birmingham, see St Paul's School for Girls
St Paul's Girl's School
Established 1904
Type Independent all-female
High Mistress Ms. Clarissa Farr
Grades 7-Sixth Form
Location Hammersmith, England
Website St Paul's Girls' School website

St Paul's Girls' School is a senior independent school, located in Hammersmith, London, England.



In 1904 a new day school for girls was established by the trustees of the Dean Colet Foundation (founded by John Colet), which had run St Paul's School for boys since the sixteenth century. The buildings for the school were designed by the architect Gerald Horsley, the son of the painter John Callcott Horsley and one of the founder members of the Art Workers Guild.

The school has had several distinguished directors of music, most notably Gustav Holst (1905-34) and Herbert Howells (1936-62). Holst composed his St Paul's and Brook Green suites for the pupils at the school.

Present day

Students range from 11–18 years old, with approximately 720 pupils in total. The school emphasizes both academic and extracurricular activities. It has a strong musical tradition: Gustav Holst was Director of Music at the school during the period he composed his orchestral suite, The Planets; and John Gardner followed in his footsteps, writing many memorable pieces for the School, including his popular Christmas carols Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day and The Holly and the Ivy. Students progress to university after their secondary education, with 40-45% gaining entrance to the Oxbridge Colleges. Former and current pupils are known as Paulinas. There is no uniform (except for sports uniform for the younger years), which encourages individuality within the school community. St Paul's is a prestigious school with "many opportunities to offer". It is well known for its academic excellence, the girls' confidence and freedom throughout the school and always tops league tables in the UK. According to the Good Schools Guide, "For the bright, talented, motivated and confident girl, [it is an] exhilarating start to the big adventure."[1]

As measured by its position in the national league tables of GCSE and A level performance, and by its excellence in Music and the arts, the School has earned a reputation which today places it foremost among girls' schools in the country. In 2007, the school gained the highest ever recorded GCSE results, with 87.1% gaining A* grades, and 99.1% of entries gaining A* or A.

Subjects studied at the school include:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Religious Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Art History
  • Economics
  • Classics (Ancient Greek, Latin)


The school is in this area, and has several sports fields, halls and tennis courts at its disposal. Generally regarded as the schools' main sport, lacrosse remains a focus, with teams regularly touring. Netball is also popular, as is rowing. In sport, the school is a traditional rival of Lady Eleanor Holles, Godolphin and Latymer, and Latymer Upper.

Extra Curriculars

  • Amnesty International
  • Athletics
  • Baroque ensemble
  • Basketball
  • BMAT preparation
  • Book club
  • Chamber music
  • Chamber orchestra
  • Charities committee
  • Chemistry help
  • Chess
  • Chinese club
  • Junior choir
  • Senior choirs
  • Christian Union
  • Clarinet ensemble
  • Classics society
  • Concept game
  • Concert band
  • Creative writing
  • Cricket
  • Cross country training
  • Dance society
  • Debating
  • Design workshop
  • Diving
  • Drama club
  • Economics society
  • Environmental committee (SPEAC)
  • Fencing
  • Flute ensembles
  • Football
  • Geography society
  • Guitar group
  • Gymnastics club
  • Harpsichord
  • History society
  • History speakers
  • Holy Communion
  • Horn group
  • Jazz dance
  • Jazz ensemble (Jazz 5),
  • Joint literary discussion group (with St Paul's School)
  • Karate
  • Kickboxing
  • Kirillitsa (Russian club)
  • Lacrosse clubs
  • Law society
  • Life drawing class
  • Lifeguarding club (working towards NPLQ)
  • Literary society
  • Literary speakers
  • Madrigal group
  • Maths society
  • Maths team training
  • Medical society
  • Model United Nations
  • Modern languages magazine (Babble)
  • Multi-gym
  • Music appreciation societies
  • Muslim Assembly
  • Netball clubs
  • Newspaper (The Marble)
  • Percussion ensemble
  • Philosophy society
  • Photographic society
  • Physics help
  • Platform concerts
  • Political discussion group
  • Psychology society
  • Recorder group
  • Rounders
  • Rowing
  • Saxophone ensemble (Saxidentelles)
  • Scale circle
  • Science club
  • Science society
  • Scuba diving club
  • Sight singing clinic
  • Sinfonia orchestra
  • Students Supporting Street Kids
  • Swimming
  • Swimming training
  • Swing band
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Tennis
  • Trampolining
  • Wind band
  • Wind quintet
  • Yoga
  • Young Enterprise


The school has numerous pupil-run magazines and newspapers: these include 'The Marble', 'M2', 'Marmor' (the classics magazine), 'The Concourse', exclusive to the sixth form, and 'Words', a creative writing magazine. The main school creative writing competition, the Monica Dickens, runs once a year, although there are others, and the school is also represented at national creative writing competitions: in the past two years alone Paulinas have won or been placed in the Foyle Young Poet of the Year competition, the BBC Wildlife Poet of the Year competition, the Christopher Tower Poetry Competition with Corpus Christi, the Martin Wills (three Paulinas were shortlisted in the 2009 competition), the Artsrichmond Young Writers Festival. Every year a delegation attends the Arvon courses, entry into which is competitive.


For students joining in Y7, Y8, Y9, or Y10, the fee per term is £4,841, including lunch and personal accident insurance but excludes textbooks and other extras. For students joining in Y12, the termly fee including lunch and insurance is £5,204. Music lessons, extra sports coaching and life drawing classes are charged extra, thus the costs on average amount to roughly £20,000 a year.

Scholarships and Bursaries



The school awards up to ten means-tested bursaries to students who join in Y7(two of which are funded by HSBC), and up to five more bursaries for students arriving in Y12. For candidates who join in Y12, there is also the Ogden Trust science award for a UK citizen currently at a non-independent school who wants to study both physics and maths at A level. Bursaries fund up to 100 per cent of tuition fees on a sliding scale depending on annual family income, assets and other information, plus exam entry fees and a grant towards textbooks. Holders of 100 per cent bursaries entering in Y12 also receive an extra package to cover the cost of sports uniforms and equipment, travel (where not covered by free London bus travel for under 18s), an annual contribution towards school visits and free tuition in one musical instrument.


Y7 The school awards up to four academic scholarships and two music scholarships to 11+ entrants (worth £100 a year; the music scholarship also includes free tuition in one instrument). Y12 The school may also award two music scholarships to current students and two more to new joiners (worth £250 a year plus free tuition in two instruments), and two art scholarships (worth £250 a year) to internal and external candidates. The Nora Day music scholarship (worth up to 50 per cent of school fees plus free tuition in two instruments) is awarded every other year to a new joiner who shows exceptional music potential. St Paul's also awards scholarships worth £250 a year for academic distinction in the 'Senior Scholarship', a dissertation written by students in Y12 during the Summer holiday following their AS exams.

High Mistresses of St Paul's Girls' School

The headmistress of St Paul's Girls School is known as the High Mistress.

  • Frances Ralph Grey OBE (d.1935), High Mistress 1903-1927
  • Ethel Strudwick CBE (1880-1954), High Mistress 1927-1948
  • Margaret Osborn (1906-1985), High Mistress 1948-1963
  • Dame Alison Munro DBE (1914 - September 9, 2008), High Mistress 1964-1974
  • Lady Brigstocke CBE (Heather Renwick Brigstocke, created Baroness Brigstocke 1990) (1929-2004), High Mistress 1974-1989
  • Helen Elizabeth Webber Williams (b. 1938), High Mistress 1989-1992
  • Janet Gough (b. 1940), High Mistress 1993-1998
  • Elizabeth Mary Diggory (1945-2007), High Mistress 1998-2006
  • Clarissa Mary Farr (b. 1958), High Mistress 2006-

Notable Old Paulinas

Alumnae of the school, known as Old Paulinas, include -



The arts


  1. ^
  2. ^ REYNOLDS, Barbara at Who's Who online (accessed 26 November 2007)
  3. ^ TATE, Mavis Constance at Who's Who online (accessed 26 November 2007)
  4. ^ Shirley Vivien Teresa Brittain Williams from UXL Newsmakers (2005) (accessed 27 December 2007)
  5. ^ Liz Hoggard "Queen i9of the Jungle", The Observer, 27 November 2005. Retrieved on 8 February 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 51°29′42″N 0°13′08″W / 51.4951°N 0.2188°W / 51.4951; -0.2188

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