Lower School

A message from the Director of the Lower School, Mrs Emma Stanhope

Welcome to St Mary’s Lower School! We’re an independent Preparatory School situated in an impressive historic building, set within nine acres of beautiful grounds on the outskirts of Colchester.

The following pages will give you a sense of the academic excellence, brilliantly balanced education and caring environment we offer here. But nothing will give you a better insight into our vibrant school than coming along to visit us. So please take a look at whether you can make an upcoming Open Morning or arrange a private tour at a time that’s convenient to you.

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Academic excellence

I was so proud when The Sunday Times ranked St Mary’s Lower School as the 9th highest performing Prep School in England and the leading Prep School in Essex for the second year running. It’s particularly impressive considering we’re non-selective.

The pupils here are performing at over twice the national average in spelling and grammar, reading and writing. We also have a high 11+ pass rate for those who choose to sit the exam, alongside a consistently strong record of scholarship offers to independent secondary schools, including our Senior School, where Lower School girls along with siblings are given priority for places offered.

We’re able to achieve such success by tailoring the education to suit the needs of each individual in our small classes, and by giving the pupils the encouragement and support they need to aim high. We also strive to ensure our education is brilliantly balanced and we seek to provide opportunities for the girls to grow and develop wherever we can.

Caring environment

Our pastoral support is at the centre of all we do and we’re delighted the national Wellbeing Award for Schools recognises our excellence in this area. Pupils thrive when they are happy and as a small school, every girl is known and understood.

The atmosphere at the school is calm, supportive and nurturing. Every pupil is valued and the girls here are not afraid to have a go at something new, to take risks or put themselves forward to be a leader. It is in this positive environment where the girls develop the self-confidence needed to really blossom.

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

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