|91 Lexden Road, CO3 3RB, UK Colchester|
+44 (0)1206 572544
St. Mary’s School in Colchester has been described as ‘outstanding’ by education inspectors who praised the school’s unique atmosphere and excellent academic achievements.
As the only independent girls’ school in North Essex, we pride ourselves on offering a special educational experience for pupils aged 4 to 16, where every student is encouraged to attain their very best.
We hope this website will give you a real insight into the exciting events, activities, and developments within our vibrant community here in Colchester.
St. Mary’s School is an independent day school for girls in Colchester, Essex. The Lower School, based at Comrie House on London Road, accepts pupils aged 4 to 11 while the Senior School on Lexden Road welcomes pupils from 11 to 16.
The school is renowned for its caring, enjoyable and well-disciplined atmosphere, and every pupil is encouraged to play an active part in school life.
We provide a balanced and dynamic curriculum, with plenty of sport, drama, music, art and extra-curricular activities, encouraging each pupil to achieve their very best.
Our 11+ exam results are regularly among the best in the area, preparing girls for entry to a range of schools, including the local selective grammar schools for which we are consistently one of the largest feeder primary schools.
Our GCSE results position us among the top local schools in the national league tables. Although we do not have a Sixth Form, there is plenty of provision in the area, and most of our students move on to take their A levels at the local selective grammar schools or the town’s Sixth Form College.
The school’s motto, ‘Scientia et Veritas‘, translates from Latin as ‘Knowledge and Truth’ – underpinning the school’s desire to help all our pupils derive pleasure from learning.
If you would like further information about the school, please complete an Enquiry Form, or call us on (01206) 572544. We look forward to hearing from you.
Lower School : About us
Set in nine acres of playing fields and woodland, with netball and tennis courts as well as a fun nature trail, St. Mary’s Lower School in Colchester provides the perfect environment in which girls can play and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Named Comrie House after Miss Comrie, who was St. Mary’s head teacher from 1935 to 1957, the school is an extended Victorian building and is well equipped, with light, airy classrooms, hall/gymnasium, library, drama studio and excellent sports facilities.
The school has Infants and Junior sections: Infants includes the Prep Class, Years 1 and 2, while the Juniors are Years 3 to 6.
Youngsters starting at St. Mary’s when they are 4 years old are invited to attend the ‘Kitten Club’ before they join so they are eased gradually into school life and become familiar with their surroundings.
Lower School : Curriculum
Children in the Prep Class undertake the Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is based on six areas of learning and development rather than subjects. They comprise: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; problem solving, reasoning and numeracy; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; and creative development.
By the summer term, they are working towards their Level 1 National Curriculum, with a more structured day which prepares them for their move to Year 1.
From the ages of 6 to 11, all girls study the full range of National Curriculum subjects, with the emphasis on literacy and numeracy. There are lessons in verbal reasoning and French, an annual Science Week, and all girls are taught to read music.
Pupils are continually assessed and receive homework from Key Stage 1, SATs tests take place at the end of Years 2 and Year 6 and reports are issued twice yearly. Parents have regular opportunities to meet teachers formally to review progress and discuss learning targets.
In their final year, all girls take the assessment test for the Senior School; many also choose to sit the 11+. Those who sit entrance tests and scholarships for other schools are prepared accordingly.
Senior School : About
St. Mary’s Senior School, on Lexden Road, is walking distance to Colchester town centre. It combines fine Victorian architecture with award-winning modern buildings, including a drama studio, which was opened by television celebrity Griff Rhys Jones in 2002.
A transformation in the entrance hall area and a refurbishment programme has recently started, to ensure all facilities are kept up to date. As well as having two large halls, music rooms, ICT suites and a library, we also have a food technology department.
The school has a playing field, with netball, tennis and basketball courts, and an outdoor heated swimming pool. We also have the use of other nearby facilities.
Senior School : Curriculum
Pupils enter the school in Year 7, at the age of 11, and are taught in mixed ability classes. Setting occurs in certain subject areas higher up in the school.
A wide variety of subjects is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum, with French from the outset, and other languages such as German or Italian, are introduced from Year 8. Spanish is also available at GCSE. Exchange trips overseas and field trips are a popular way of helping pupils to learn.
Our Year 8 has been very successful in the National Maths Challenge, winning numerous bronze, silver and gold medals.
All girls in Year 8 take the RSA Certificate in Computer Literacy and Information Technology.
For GCSE, all girls take English Language, English Literature, Maths and a modern foreign language, plus four or five other subjects of their own choice, of which at least one must be science.
We have a particularly strong tradition in Textiles and as part of the GCSE Textile course, students model clothes they have designed and made at our prestigious fashion shows.
Our pupils’ artwork is regularly singled out for praise and we have an ‘Eat Your Art Out!’ gallery in the dining room to display their excellent efforts. Pottery, painting, sculpture and printmaking are inspired by visits to local and regional museums and art galleries.
Plus our Home Economics courses in the food technology kitchen ensure all girls have basic catering skills, along with a knowledge of food hygiene.
In Years 10 and 11, girls are encouraged to take part in the Duke Of Edinburgh award scheme, while work experience and careers advice is also offered, giving our girls confidence and creating a lifelong interest in the world around them.
Our Year 11 pupils certainly look very smart in their business suits as they prepare to take the next step in their education. Most choose to go on to Sixth Form studies and then to University, knowing that St. Mary’s has played a vital part in helping them on their way.
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