At Work

St Mary’s Kindergarten follows the Early Learning Goals as set out in the ‘Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage’ document, published by the Department for Education including the Seven Areas of Learning and Development:

Three Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
  • Physical Development (PD)
  • Communication and Language (C&L)

Four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy (L)
  • Mathematics (M)
  • Understanding of the World (UW)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (EA&D)

At St Mary’s Kindergarten we understand that the Characteristics of Learning and the prime and specific Areas of Learning are interconnected. The prime areas are fundamental to provide an essential foundation to enable development of the ‘whole child’ and the specific areas help to reinforce, enhance and progress these. We aim to deliver all the areas with a balance between adult led and child initiated activities depending on the needs and the interests of the children.

Assessment, recording and monitoring

At St Mary’s we adhere to the principles of assessment for learning. For example, we analyse and review what we know about each child’s development and learning, and then make informed decisions about the child’s individual progress. This enables us to plan the next steps to meet their specific development and learning needs. All practitioners who interact with the children contribute to the observation and assessment process.

Parent meetings

Kindergarten staff meet with parents at regular intervals to share their child’s progress. In the Kindergarten, focus is primarily on the Prime Areas of Learning, ensuring that children are secure before branching out into the four specific areas.

There are also opportunities for parents to come in to the Kindergarten to share their children’s learning developments.


We believe that children flourish when they know how they are expected to behave. Children gain respect through interaction with caring adults who show them respect and value their individual personalities. Positive, caring and polite behaviour is encouraged at all times in the Kindergarten.

“Children in the EYFS and pupils in the lower school make excellent progress.”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

Our Locations

St Mary's Colchester
Two St Mary's Lower School pupils sitting in a Library holding books and laughing
Additional places now available

Due to increasing demand at St Mary’s, additional places are now available from September.


Enquire today to find out more: