Girl in a classroom at Prep Class At St Mary's Colchester in Essex

The Sunday Times ranks St Mary’s Colchester as the UK’s 9th best prep school for the 2nd year!

19 November 2018

For the second year running, The Sunday Times has named St Mary’s Lower School as the ninth highest performing preparatory school in the country.  The Lower School, located in Copford, Colchester, not only placed in the top ten in England in yesterday’s Sunday Times Parent Power list, it was also the leading Prep School in Essex!

“We are absolutely delighted to be ranked ninth out of the top 90 independent preparatory schools in England by the Sunday Times for the second year running,” said Mrs Emma Stanhope, Director of St Mary’s Lower School. “This result is made even more impressive by the fact that we are not academically selective on entry. It showcases the excellence of the education on offer here at St Mary’s Lower School, along with the support and dedication of our highly experienced staff.”

The latest Parent Power listing ranks independent preparatory and state primary schools according to the outcomes of the national Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) in reading, maths, and spelling, punctuation and grammar taken by Year 6 children in 2017.

“Whilst this position is a reflection of our girls’ academic ability, we work very hard to get the balance right between academic achievements and a wonderfully broad education that prepares girls for senior school and beyond,” continues Mrs Stanhope. “Our girls not only get a fantastic grounding in English, Grammar and Maths, they are also encouraged to take advantage of all that our School has to offer – from Forest School to Philosophy, and from Ballet to Japanese!”

New-style SATs were introduced in May 2016, with a ‘scaled score’ replacing the previous ‘levels’ method of assessing children’s performance in tests covering reading, SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and mathematics. In 2017, 83% of St Mary’s Year 6 pupils were judged to be working at a higher level than national expectations (a scaled score of 110 or above) in reading, 56% in maths and 78% in SPaG. National expectation is a scaled score of 100.

“These results once again prove that ‘happy girls are high achievers’, concludes Mrs Stanhope. “Our pastoral support is at the centre of all that we do – our girls thrive in confidence as a result of our warm and happy environment.”

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