Lower School Life

Gain an insight into the varied and lively Prep class (Reception) curriculum at St Mary’s


Before girls even start at St Mary’s we take time to get to know them and their families. For those joining our Preparatory Class (Reception), we hold a series of familiarisation sessions. These starting in the spring before the girls are due to join.

For those looking to join us in other year groups, where spaces are sometimes available, we offer Taster Days. This is where girls have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of school life. They also get a real sense of what it’s like to come to school at St Mary’s.

“The school has a sustained track level for high achievement”

National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)

The Lower School day

Parents bring their daughters to school from 8.30am and the school day begins at 8.40am. The school is easily accessible with ample parking for a convenient and safe school run.

Following Registration the girls have Assembly. These are led by our Principal, Head of Lower School, special guests or the pupils themselves. Lessons then take place until 10.15am when the girls have break. During this time, pupils put on their wellies and are free to explore the outdoor environment. They often play with friends or relax in our beautiful grounds.

At 10.35am, lessons continue until lunch at 11.45am for infants or 12.15pm for juniors. The girls are all served a hot meal, where table manners are instilled and conversation encouraged. During the lunch break, girls can join a club or play outside with friends.

Lessons resume at 1.20pm until 3pm for infants or 3.25pm for juniors. Infants who have a sibling in the juniors can join activity club until the juniors finish at 3.25pm. There are numerous clubs are available, from ballet to chess. Alternatively, our finishing time allows pupils to continue with any clubs, interests or hobbies they have outside of school.

8.00am Breakfast Club
8.30am Girls may enter their classrooms
8.40am School day begins (parents leave school)
8.45am Registration
8.50am Assembly
9.15-10.15am Lessons
10.15-10.35am Break (snack and drink provided)
10.35am-12.10pm Lessons
11.45/12.15-1.15pm Lunch (hot and cold options provided) and outdoor play
1.20-3.00pm Lessons for infants
1.20-3.25pm Lessons for juniors
3.25-4.30pm Selection of optional after-school clubs
3.00-6pm After school care provision available for infants
3.25-6pm After school care provision available for juniors


“Pupils’ academic and other achievements are excellent, in confirmation of the school’s aspiration to help pupils develop creative flair, sporting prowess and other talents”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

Wrap around care

In addition to clubs, wrap around care is available from 7.30am. Our daily Breakfast Club begins at 8am, designed to help busy families. Children enjoy a light breakfast and a chance to catch up with friends before the school day. Year 2 to Year 6 pupils go to the After School Room for after school care. Younger girls go across to our Kindergarten until 4.30pm, before joining the after school care if staying until 6pm.

School holiday clubs

School holiday clubs run throughout all our school holidays. Days run from 8.15am-6pm and individual days or whole weeks can be booked. Sessions often include arts and crafts, drama, sports, adventure and games.

Moving on with confidence

On leaving the Lower School, most Year 6 girls move up to our Senior School or go to one of the state selective (grammar) schools. We prepare pupils for the move by familiarising them with the Senior School. For example, girls often use the facilities and are taught by the specialist teachers there. The Eco teams, choirs and orchestra from the Lower School and Senior School also often come together. This gives Lower School pupils an insight into Senior School life and helps them take the next step with confidence.

“Pupils have high aspirations”

National Association for Able Children in Education (NACE)

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