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Malvern St James
Malvern St James
Malvern St James
Malvern St James
Malvern St James Great Malvern, Worcestershire Visit
Malvern St James
Great Malvern
330 pupils, ages 11-18
Girls only
Day and Boarding

Malvern St James

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Our View

Malvern St James is one of only a handful of all-through, all-girls boarding-schools in the UK. Pupils from the age of four are carefully nurtured in this warm and confidence-building environment, which is unashamedly all about the girls.

Small numbers and exemplary pastoral care give children the opportunity to discover what they enjoy and what they’re good at – the foundations for positive self-esteem and successful learning. Malvern St James really believes in the virtues of girls being educated around other girls, giving them the space to be themselves without social constraint or construct.


Malvern St James’s buildings and boarding houses are dotted around a few quiet streets just outside the centre of the picturesque Worcestershire town of Malvern. It’s easily accessible by car and within walking distance of Great Malvern train station, which serves the local area and has a direct route to London. An extensive network of buses also beetles around the surrounding areas, bringing children to what was once a fashionable hotel where guests took Malvern’s famous water cure.


Former head Olivera Raraty retired at the end of the autumn term 2023, with new head Dr Gareth Lloyd picking up the reins from January 2024. Dr Lloyd is the first male head in the school’s history, arriving from his previous headship at Stoke College in Suffolk. A keen musician and sportsman (he’s represented the country in ultra-marathons), we’re very much looking forward to meeting him once he’s got his feet under the table.


This part of the girls’ school encompasses the seniors (Years 7 to 11) and sixth form (Years 12 and 13). The main entry points are in Years 7, 9 and 12, although MSJ will accept girls in other years if spaces are available. Girls are encouraged to attend a taster day and then register to sit entrance examinations. Along with a confidential report from their current school, and an interview with key staff, the results of these exams are reviewed to assess potential and inform future teaching. MSJ isn’t overly selective, and a girl’s overall ability and personality is more relevant than exam results alone.

Academics and destinations

In Year 7, the curriculum remains deliberately broad and diverse, with a great deal of topic-based teaching to help girls explore a variety of subjects and better understand their skills and interests before deciding on GCSEs. With this in mind, MSJ recently appointed a new head of STEAM – a philosophy of education that embraces the teaching of skills and the subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts and maths in a way that better resembles real life. The head is a huge advocate of this approach as a multidisciplinary way of creatively applying logic.

A broad range of GCSE and IGCSE subjects are available, with pupils studying the five core subjects and then selecting the remainder in accordance with their passions, future plans and abilities. The majority of girls are expected to study three A-levels, as well as an EPQ or AS-level.

Most lessons are taught in subject-specific areas around the campus, all of which have the most beautifully planned and presented display boards. The main teaching corridor is also home to the tutor offices, which all genuinely have ‘open doors’ for the girls to pop in with any questions or concerns.

Destinations are varied and the school’s small size means that girls get an impressive amount of support in applying for university, apprenticeships and gap years, with the majority securing their first choice.

MSJ is a recognised testing centre for SATs – a bonus for those wanting to head to US universities – and career choices are further informed by a diverse variety of lectures from inspiring alumnae. Talks extend far beyond the workplace to examine childcare, menopause, the gender pay gap and many of the other issues that women have to face throughout their working lives.


Expressive arts are stellar at MSJ; there’s a 100 per cent participation rate in music, drama, dance and art, which is testament to the teaching, the facilities and the understanding of their importance in a rounded education packed with individuality.

The art and design block is enormous, with stunning works gracing the walls and textile and 3D creations hanging from the high ceilings. The department boasts a brazing hearth and the recent addition of programmable kilns, which have allowed girls to experiment with a far wider range of materials and techniques such as precious metal clay and glass fusing.

Sixth-formers have their own vast, light-filled art room on the top floor, with a dedicated space for each student and the freedom to work on their portfolios until 9pm each night and over the weekends if they wish.

Drama is taught as part of the curriculum in the lower end of the seniors and can then be taken at GCSE and A-level. With its tiered seating, the drama theatre is the perfect environment for rehearsals and smaller performances, while major productions spill into the vast York Hall. The foyer is adorned with photographs that would impress the most discerning West End theatre-goers, and there is even a personal note from author Michael Morpurgo, thanking the girls for sending him the programme for the recently staged Adolphus Tips.

The music department is housed in its own building slightly apart from the main school site and has 20 practice rooms, a large rehearsal area and a space for percussionists. Girls are encouraged to join the schools’ ensembles and choirs, and the latter perform for the community as well as within school.

Smaller numbers mean that MSJ is, by its own admission, not a big hitter for team sports, although that doesn’t mean that sport is any less important or inclusive – and there are plenty of team fixtures against local rivals such as Hereford Cathedral.

The sports hall and pitches are located across the road from the main campus; seniors, after a road-safety course, may make their own way here unescorted. Hockey, lacrosse, netball, athletics and tennis are the core sports, with specialist cricket coaches recently appointed to extend the portfolio.

A further jewel in the co-curricular crown is the on-site Leith’s cookery school, where older pupils can take part in courses teaching everything from knife skills to wine pairing – a real bonus, and a recognised qualification that’s especially valuable for those looking at gap-year job opportunities or a career in hospitality.

Community outreach is an important part of the ethos here, and we were particularly impressed by the biennial extended trip for the sixth form to MSJ’s sister school in Gambia. Girls teach, paint and care for the school while gaining a first-hand insight into life for children and their families in the developing world.


MSJ is home to around 100 boarders; flexi, weekly, full and B&B options are all available, and day girls get three free nights a term to use as and when they wish. Girls tend to board more as they go up the school, with around 80 per cent boarding by the time they reach the sixth form. Boarders are allocated to year-group houses, two of which have been recently refurbished (a third is currently closed for a total spruce-up).

Batsford is home to the prep-school boarders, and a further four houses accommodate Years 8 and 9, 10, 11 and 12, and 13 respectively. We had a sneaky peek around Greenslade, the Year 13 boarding house, which was purposefully refurbished to create a university-style accommodation with stacks of communal spaces. Every girl has her own study room, with a bed, desk and sink area, and each floor has a kitchen, pantry and laundry facilities to further prepare them for life beyond school.

Pastoral care is excellent, perhaps best exemplified by the recent Gold-standard School Mental Health Award delivered by the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools. MSJ was deemed to offer outstanding provision, including youth mental health first-aid training for both staff and sixth form, mindfulness and wellbeing lessons as an integral part of the curriculum and impressive and creative peer-support structures – a very worthy accolade indeed.

School community

With a strong local contingent and the universal buy-in to the single sex ethos, MSJ parents have a lot in common, and this makes them a really supportive and cohesive bunch. In addition, the school goes to great lengths to be part of the community, whether it’s renting out sports facilities to local groups or reaching out to the 24 local schools that form part of a wellbeing collective initiated by MSJ.

And finally....

In a world so influenced by social media, self-esteem has never been more important. Staff at MSJ work incredibly hard to help girls find their strengths and pursue their passions in order to build confidence in their own abilities and establish values that will influence their behaviour far more than peer pressure or gender stereotypes. It is a calm and thoughtful environment where every girl can and will shine brightly.

Gallery See All

  • Academic results

    GCSE results
    A level results
    Download results as PDF
  • Subjects offered


    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Food Technology
    Physical Education
    Religious Studies

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Business Studies
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Design and Technology
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    Further Mathematics
    Religious Studies
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£6,850
    Year 8 £6,850
    Year 9 £7,525
    Year 10£7,525
    Year 11£7,525
    Year 12£7,525
    Year 13£7,525
    Boarding fees per term

    Year 7£12,370
    Year 8 £12,370
    Year 9 £15,410
    Year 10 £15,410
    Year 11£15,410
    Year 12£15,410
    Year 13£15,410

    Malvern St James spends more than half a million pounds on means-tested bursaries each year. Bursaries are available to pupils throughout the school (in both the prep and senior), and the school’s bursary pot currently helps more than one in four pupils with fee remission of up to 40 per cent. Pupils do not need to win a scholarship in order to be considered for a bursary. Day girls entering the sixth form can apply for a Founders Award, which can provide fee remission from 40 to 110 per cent. The Elmslie House Award supports a fully funded place in the sixth form for a pupil who has come from the state sector. By 2025, the school aims to quadruple the amount of support available and provide more bursaries of 100 or 110 per cent.

    Bursary contact:
    Finance Manager Mrs Joanna French
  • Transport links

    School Transport
    School daily bus network

    Public Transport
    Nearest mainline train station: Great Malvern
    Journey time to London by train: 150 minutes
    Nearest international airport: Birmingham (44 miles)

School Updates

  • Malvern St James Girls’ School Appoints New Head

    Dr Gareth Lloyd has been appointed as the first male Head in the history of Malvern St James Girls' School
    Malvern St James Girls’ School Appoints New Head
  • Outstanding GCSE Results for Malvern St James Girls' School Pupils

    MSJ Pupils are celebrating outstanding GCSE Results, with pupils faring exceptionally well in STEM subjects including Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science and Further Maths.
    Outstanding GCSE Results for Malvern St James Girls' School Pupils
  • First Choice University Destinations for Malvern St James

    Pupils at Malvern St James Girls’ School are celebrating achieving places at their first choice university destinations on A Level Results Day.
    First Choice University Destinations for Malvern St James
  • TeenTech Success for Malvern St James Girls’ School

    A team from Malvern St James Girls' School secured first place at the TeenTech Awards in London.
    TeenTech Success for Malvern St James Girls’ School
  • WATCH: Why study STEAM at MSJ?

    WATCH: Why study STEAM at MSJ?
  • View from the Top: Olivera Raraty on why schools need to build a bridge between science and the arts

    View from the Top: Olivera Raraty on why schools need to build a bridge between science and the arts
  • See Malvern St James Girls' School in our All-through Schools Guide.

    See Malvern St James Girls' School in our All-through Schools Guide.
  • See Malvern St James Girls' School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.

    See Malvern St James Girls' School in our Senior Boarding Schools Guide.
  • WATCH: Malvern St James - All-through School Focus

    WATCH:  Malvern St James - All-through School Focus
  • WATCH: Malvern St James - Senior Boarding Focus

    WATCH:  Malvern St James - Senior Boarding Focus
  • WATCH: Malvern St James - 10 Questions with the Headmistress

    WATCH:  Malvern St James - 10 Questions with the Headmistress
  • WATCH: Malvern St James - School Tour 2021

    WATCH: Malvern St James - School Tour 2021


15 Avenue Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3BA

01684 892288


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