St Mary’s is an academic school and our students’ achieve impressive exam results. This is despite the fact our school has a broad academic intake. In December 2022, the Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’ list ranked the Lower School as 12th highest performing preparatory school in the country. It also ranked the Senior School as 20th highest performing fee pay secondary school with small or no sixth form in England.
The key to our academic success is the fact that every student is well known in our close-knit community. For example, our classes are small and we are experts in contemporary girls’ education. In addition, our teachers are passionate about their subjects. They do all they can to support the girls with their learning on an individual basis. Whether this is in the classroom, in specific sessions or by suggesting extension work tailored to suit the student’s needs.
In such a supportive, all-girl environment, our students develop self-confidence. For example, the girls put up their hands even if they’re not sure of the answer and push themselves to try a new activity or a more challenging task. In addition, our pupils are taught that making mistakes is an important part of learning. They are also taught that they should never be afraid to try. In this way, our students often discover they are capable of much more than they had ever imagined. This develops self-belief that’s so valuable in life.
Our teaching staff are very experienced. Many teachers have taught at St Mary’s for many years. Staff enjoy their work and are always on hand to provide support and guidance. Several members of staff are highly respected in their fields and act as mentors to staff at other schools. They are experts at teaching the girls in their subject or year group. They also share new ideas and approaches with other members of the Girls’ Schools Association and the Association of Independent Preparatory Schools.
Former students of St Mary’s achieve success in all walks of life. We encourage our pupils to make the most of all the opportunities St Mary’s offers. This includes opportunities to develop their talents as well as maximise their learning. By choosing university courses and careers that really interest them, they are more likely to succeed and find fulfilment in life. So our students are inspired to aim high and do all they can to achieve their goals in life.
Please enjoy reading our pupils’ results for the academic year 2022-23 and historical data.
We use a selection of tests to monitor our pupils’ progress and to make sure they are achieving to the best of their ability. Our school is not academically selective, so these excellent results demonstrate the effectiveness of teaching and learning at St Mary’s.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Achieving a Good Level of Development means that pupils have met the Early Learning Goal or Exceeded in all the Prime Areas of Learning (Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) as well as achieving the Early Learning Goal or Exceeded in Mathematics and Literacy.
83% of pupils in Prep attained a Good Level of Development against the Early Years framework. This is compared to the national average of 63%.
94% of pupils in Prep attained a Good Level of Development against the Early Years framework. This is compared to the national average of 72%.
82% of pupils in Prep attained a Good Level of Development against the Early Years framework. This is compared to the national average of 72%.
Statutory Assessment Tests – Attainment and Progress
Progress scores compare pupils’ key stage 2 results to those of other pupils nationally with similar prior attainment. Therefore, only pupils who took KS1 and KS2 tests are used in this data task. Progress scores are centred around 0 with most schools within -5 to +5.
A positive score means pupils in this school on average do better at KS2 as those with similar prior attainment nationally. Value added scores are not comparable year on year as the data reflects the different cohorts.
Attainment data shows all pupils who took the KS2 tests.
|End of KS2 SATs Results 2023||St Mary’s Results||
Greater depth % may need adjusting
|Reading – Expected Standard||100%||73%|
|Reading – High Standard||71%||28%|
|Reading – Average Scaled Score||113||105|
|Writing* – Expected Standard||100%||71%|
|Writing* – Greater Depth||29%||13%|
|SPaG – Expected Standard||100%||72%|
|SPaG – High Standard||43%||36%|
|SPaG – Average Scaled Scores||110||105|
|Maths – Expected Standard||100%||73%|
|Maths – High Standard||57%||23%|
|Maths – Average Scaled Score||111||104|
From 14 pupils who took KS2 SATS 29% achieved a higher standard across all 3 subject areas – Reading (110+), Maths (110+) and Writing (working at greater depth)
|End of KS2 SATs Results 2022||St Mary’s Results||National (2019)|
|Reading – Expected Standard||94%||73%|
|Reading – High Standard||64%||27%|
|Reading – Average Scaled Score||112||105|
|Writing* – Expected Standard||94%||78%|
|Writing* – Greater Depth||44%||20%|
|SPaG – Expected Standard||91%||78%|
|SPaG – High Standard||49%||36%|
|SPaG – Average Scaled Scores||109||106|
|Maths – Expected Standard||97%||79%|
|Maths – High Standard||49%||27%|
|Maths – Average Scaled Score||109||104|
From 33 pupils who took KS2 SATS 30% achieved a higher standard across all 3 subject areas – Reading (110+), Maths (110+) and Writing (working at greater depth)
Value added data
InCAS Testing (National Average 100)
The InCAS (Interactive Computerised Assessment System) provides a wealth of information. It highlights pupils’ strengths and weaknesses so that teachers can determine the extent of the pupils’ knowledge and skills. The pupils at St Mary’s sit these tests at the beginning of the academic year and the results enable us to track progress. These results show the mean standardised scores in the year groups tested and shows that the pupils are working above expected level (national 100).
|2022-23||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
|2021-22||Year 2||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
|2020-21||Year 2||Year 4||Year 5||Year 6|
11+ CSSE (Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex)
36% of pupils in St Mary’s Year 6 took the 11+ CSSE examination in September 2022 for entry to Essex state selective (grammar) schools (Sept 2023), which is open to girls of all abilities.
83% of St Mary’s candidates, who took the test, were successful in achieving places at Colchester High School for Girls.
St Mary’s Year 6 pupils are encouraged to apply for Scholarships to St Mary’s Senior School, which are awarded solely on merit (not means-tested). In the academic year 2022-23, 10 St Mary’s Year 6 pupils achieved St Mary’s Senior Scholarships. This included 4 Academic, 2 Drama, 1 Art, 1 STEM, 1 Music and 3 Miss Comrie.
We are very proud of our students’ success in their GCSE examinations. Our results are particularly impressive considering we have a broad academic intake – the Senior School entry assessment is for academic tracking purposes only and to ensure that the school can best cater to each girl’s particular needs.
Classes are small and each individual is well known by all members of staff, who identify her preferred method of learning and ensure that she is supported, encouraged and extended so that she is able to do her best in all subjects.
The Senior School girls achieved excellent GCSE results in August 2023, these are a testament to their hard work and determination, combined with the commitment and support from their teachers.
The headline GCSE results for 2023 are as follows: