THE start of the new school year has been particularly poignant for former pupils of St Mary's Worcester as they begin their studies elsewhere.

The city's only all girls school, which also had a mixed kindergarten on site, closed its doors for good at the end of last term leaving 270 pupils looking for alternative education.

Around a third of the students began their first day at Royal Grammar School Worcester today (Wednesday).

The school, based in The Tything, welcomed 81 St Mary's pupils on the first day - but has confirmed it is not looking at taking on any St Mary's property in Battenhall as rumoured.

New headmaster John Pitt said they were delighted to welcome a number of former St Mary's pupils and six former members of teaching staff to RGS Worcester.

"Today the girls will meet their form tutors and the senior member of staff especially allocated to help them with any pastoral issues whilst they settle in, as well as receive their timetables and be guided around the school by sixth form prefects.

"There has been a buzz of excitement in the air and one mother spoke of how excited her daughter was to be starting at RGS this morning.

"We wish them all the very best as they settle in for the new term."

Catherine Mawston, headteacher at Dodderhill in Droitwich said she was confident the 11 former St Mary's pupils would quickly settle in.

"It's their first day today and the girls here will be making them feel at home.

"We're a lovely little school and, like St Mary's, we are an all-girl school so it is as close as they could get from moving one school to the next.

"For the girls who come here, it will be like being part of a big family and very quickly they will be able to find their way around."

A spokeswoman for King's School Worcester said they had taken in a few students in year nine who had started at the school today (Wednesday).