Ethos

As soon as you walk through the door of St Paul’s you feel its warmth and creative energy.

Founded in 1904, St Paul’s was one of the first schools to believe in the importance of educating women to fulfil their potential, giving them the skills and confidence to take their place with pride in a modernising and fast-moving world. That tradition remains at our core.

The academic heart of St Paul’s is enhanced and lightened by the warm relationships between staff and girls, the sheer joy they have in learning, and the encouragement everyone is given to dig deeper; to explore ideas, to challenge preconceptions and to develop their own ideas. Learning here is not just about passing exams. It is about a love of academic pursuits, inspiration and imagination. It is about the quest for ‘very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore’.

From its very beginning, and in advance of its time, St Paul’s embraced a liberal ideology. We believe that true potential can only be unlocked when given the freedom to grow. Our rules are few and relationships are relaxed, yet respectful. We have no uniform and girls are encouraged to develop their own passions and interests. Our curriculum is broad with plenty of opportunity for individual research, discussion and debate. Music and drama are open to all and are performed to a very high standard. The art studio is an oasis of creative energy. Sport is played with verve and distinction, and opportunities of all sorts are magnified many times over in the clubs and societies on offer. There is never a dull moment at St Paul’s!

Success here is not a collective measure. What matters to us is the happiness and achievements of each girl according to her own lights and ambitions. Our students take ownership of their lives, to embrace opportunity and to grow in resilience and self-reliance.

St Paul’s is a caring and generous community. Laughter is never far from the surface and friendships abound. The girls are encouraged to develop a strong spirit of philanthropy, and to engage with those around them who are less privileged than themselves. The school itself has links with groups at home and abroad who benefit from our support. Our bursary scheme provides us with a wonderful opportunity to offer the full breadth of our education to talented girls whatever their background, and to enrich the school beyond measure with their energy and inspiration.

We are proud of our school, and proud too that over the years our alumnae have contributed significantly on a national and global stage. An education at St Paul’s is an extraordinary preparation for life.