Lower School

Every pupil at St Mary’s Lower School is known, supported and appreciated. In this friendly, caring environment, girls are happy to make a real contribution to the school community and, in turn, they develop the confidence and independence to make the most of all the opportunities school life can offer.

The school is set in a comfortable Victorian house surrounded by nine acres of beautiful grounds. Although non-selective, this is primarily an academic school, also offering a huge range of creative and lively activities designed to develop pupils’ personalities for a balanced, all-round education.St Mary’s Lower School is a happy, nurturing environment for girls aged four to eleven to learn, thrive and grow!


A wealth of opportunities

At St Mary’s the opportunities are many and varied! Whether acting or dancing in our professional studio, studying the local flora and fauna in our Forest School, playing as a member of a team on the games field or taking part in lively lessons, our girls throw themselves in to all their endeavours whole-heartedly.


Academic excellence

Academic achievement of all pupils at St Mary’s is impressive, despite the fact that St Mary’s is not an academically selective school. Girls score highly in the national tests – SATs – and consistently perform well above national averages and far beyond. St Mary’s girls are successful in the Essex 11+ examination and each year a proportion of girls achieve places at the state selective (grammar) schools.

This is achieved through focused academic teaching and a tailored programme of support for each individual to ensure that every girl works to achieve the best she can. The Lower School curriculum is varied and exciting. Core academic subjects are taught with passion and girls' horizons are broadened through music, art, drama and sport, as well as philosophy, which is taught from Year 1 to help children to develop their thinking skills and their own opinions. 


Moving on with confidence

Girls leave St Mary’s Lower School as independent learners, ready to move on to the next stage of their education with enthusiasm and confidence. Each year many of our pupils move on from Year 6 to the highly-regarded state selective (grammar) schools and some achieve academic scholarships to St Mary’s Senior School. All St Mary's Lower School pupils are guaranteed a place at St Mary's Senior School.


Facilities, fields and Forest School

Set in a peaceful location just a few miles from the centre of Colchester and the A12, St Mary’s Lower School’s home is a Victorian mansion, Comrie House. Named after one of St Mary’s first head teachers (1935-1957), the school has gradually expanded and now has bright, spacious classrooms, a hall/gymnasium, a library, a drama studio and excellent sports facilities. All around are nine acres of playing fields and grounds, complete with hard courts for netball and tennis. There is even an outdoor classroom and nature area, ideal for exploring the local environment.  


Mrs Emma Stanhope,
Director of St Mary’s Lower School

In this section