Mayfield School - where girls learn they can do anything

Inspiring girls to have the confidence to make their dreams reality results in individuals who are successful inside and outside the classroom at Mayfield School.

Whilst academic success is important, Mayfield believes a good education is more than just exam certificates – it is about creating confident girls ready to face the wider world.

This Catholic independent boarding and day girls school gives pupils the confidence to be themselves and provides them with the opportunities to learn they can do anything they set their minds to.

Pupils’ academic experiences are designed to challenge and enrich. Pupils not only work hard, leading to outstanding exam results and places at the top universities, but they also play hard. Girls enjoy hockey, netball, tennis and swimming, use the fitness suite, dance studio and fabulous Equestrian Centre. Art and ceramics, displayed throughout the school, are exceptional. Textiles, film, photography, cookery, music and drama develop their creative side. All these elements are seen as just as important as Maths, English, Science, Humanities and Languages in creating well rounded young women.

Mayfield understands girls. As a result Mayfield girls feel comfortable taking risks and asking questions so they become more resilient and sure of themselves. They learn it is alright to make mistakes and realise that nothing is impossible with hard work, commitment and self belief. They are encouraged to question and challenge.

Headmistress Antonia Beary described Mayfield girls as “original”. “We help each girl find out what she is good at and then do it really well,” she explained. “The girls do interesting things because they are worth doing, not simply to get exam grades, and we give them the confidence to make the right choices for them. We want our girls to make things happen, but be altruistic: to have a sense of responsibility and be grateful for what they have received. We expect them to contribute and to learn that the more you give the more you get from life. Our girls are committed to each other and the school.”

Mayfield is home to 356 girls aged 11 to 18, a size Miss Beary thinks is crucial to its success. “We are big enough to have the full range of subjects and facilities for the girls but small enough that we know every girl.”

The school’s Catholic beliefs ensure pupils are taught to be respectful of themselves and others, to be dignified, to contribute to the wider community and use what they have received at Mayfield to make a positive difference.

Founded more than 150 years ago, Mayfield combines historic buildings and traditions with modern teaching and technology. Newly built Sixth Form Centre is a perfect example – state of the art design and cutting edge technology create a fabulous learning space in the most historic part of the school, next to the 14th century chapel. This beautiful, tranquil space is used for liturgy, mass and prayer as well as the school’s highly popular live crib event at Christmas.

Although housed in historic buildings, Mayfield’s classrooms are light and airy. Wide wood panelled corridors lead to beautiful stone staircases overlooked by leaded windows. Never afraid to mix the old and the new, the ICT room has state of the art computers sitting atop glass and chrome desks.

The Hub cafe provides girls with a place to meet, relax and socialise. Concert Hall is used for assemblies, fashion shows, drama and music. Mayfield has a strong tradition for choral singing, with a host of choirs covering every genre of music. Most prestigious of all is Schola Cantorum which regularly performs at top venues across Europe including Westminster Abbey, York Minster and the Vatican.

Pastoral care at Mayfield is exemplary. It is seen as a crucial element if girls are to be successful academically. The chaplaincy door is always open and the sixth form Oratory is a tranquil haven overlooking the chapel.

Mayfield girls are grounded, eloquent and charming. They leave the school with strong friendships that support them through the good and bad times and excellent exam results that stem from the confidence the school gives them.

The words of the school’s founder, Cornelia Connelly, are still relevant for Mayfield pupils today: “To educate young women to `respond to the needs of the age’ in which they live”.

Note from the Head

I hope this site will give you an insight into life at Mayfield, and the expectations and aspirations we have for the girls who make this school such a lively, happy and successful place.

In joining us you will be welcomed into a community which dates back to 1863, when Cornelia Connelly founded the School, and which reaches as far afield as our SHCJ sister schools in Africa, America and Europe.

At Mayfield, we accept each girl for who she is and instil in her the confidence to find her strengths and build on them. We give her the time, space and emotional support she needs to flourish. We encourage her to think independently and help her to become a woman of faith and reason. We stimulate her imagination and nurture her creativity in every subject she studies. Our enthusiastic teachers will inspire in her a lifelong love of learning.

A Mayfield girl is challenged to set herself demanding targets and helped to find strategies to achieve them. She will learn to question her own and other people’s ideas and we expect her to make informed decisions. Her actions will be inspired by a sense of justice and integrity, sustained by her own faith and a respect for others. All in all, she will have the chance to grow to be herself.

Mayfield is a vibrant community. Traditionally we have attracted pupils from all round the world, as well as locally. Such a cosmopolitan ethos helps the girls to understand and appreciate different cultures and perspectives and to value diversity. Friendships are forged here which sustain and support not only through School, but on into the future and we are proud to welcome successive generations of girls back to Mayfield.

If you are interested in finding out more, please log onto our website for further information. More importantly, come and visit Mayfield to meet our girls and staff in person. We look forward to seeing you – we can assure you of a warm welcome.

Antonia Beary MA MPhil (Cantab), PGCE


“Actions not Words - Mayfield influenced me more than words can say. It defines who I am, what my values and beliefs are and how to cope with many situations. Mayfield taught us to be who we are, and to go out and spread our wings and do things we are passionate about. That mentality was ingrained in me and inspired to achieve great things.”

Some things have changed but not the girls. I know that I was lucky to go to Mayfield but I didn't realise at the time just how much love and support we all received... that realisation comes after being out in the real world for a while.”

“For me, Mayfield is unique – a close-knit, caring community where the level of individual support and encouragement is exceptional. My years here have inspired me to work hard, to aim to succeed and do the things that I enjoy the most. There are no right or wrong answers at Mayfield, you can just be yourself.”

School news

11th Nov 2016
Mayfield School Equestrian Squad was riding high after once again winning a number of titles at the National Schools Championships at Addington Manor recently. A weekend of Championship team successes saw Mayfield take the National Schools Dressage Team Champions title, become the National ... more

Coming events

Open Morning
Tuesday, 13th March 2018
Location: The Old Palace, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6PH
Open Morning
Thursday, 26th April 2018
Location: The Old Palace, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6PH

School details

Address: The Old Palace, Mayfield, East Sussex TN20 6PH
Phone: 01435 874600
Head: Antonia Beary
Founded: 1863
Pupils: 356; Day: 179; Boarding: 177
Ages: 11 - 18
Prospectus: Request a Prospectus