Senior school student in a Science lab at St Mary's Private school, holding a beaker and wearing safety goggles

Senior School

Senior school pupil conducting a science experiment with fire at St Mary's Senior School in Colchester

Welcome from the Head of the Senior School, Miss Anwen Jones

Welcome to St Mary’s Senior School Colchester!

St Mary’s Senior School is a private senior school located on Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex.

The following pages will give you a sense of the academic excellence, endless opportunities and outstanding pastoral care provided at St Mary’s Senior School Colchester. But nothing will give you a better insight into our vibrant school than taking a look around. So please arrange a private tour or reserve a place at an upcoming Open Day.

A truly independent secondary school in Colchester, Essex

We’re the only truly independent secondary school in Colchester, Essex with charitable status. This means all fees go to providing the outstanding education we offer here, with no profits to owners or shareholders.

We’re also the only single-sex independent school in Colchester, Essex. We’re part of the Independent Schools Association (ISA) and the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA). We are experts in contemporary girls’ education.

Academic excellence at St Mary’s Senior School Colchester

At St Mary’s Senior School, every girl is not just known but understood. In our small classes we’re able to tailor our teaching to each and every student. This is not just in terms of level but also preferred method of learning. We also monitor progress closely to ensure each girl is fully supported, encouraged and stretched in every area.

Despite not being a selective school, 37% of results at St Mary’s were graded at 9-7 (equivalent to A*-A) in comparison to the national average of 22% in August 2023.

Over half of results were graded at 9-7/A*-A in nine subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Drama, Classics and History with an incredible 92% of results in Fashion and Textiles awarded at A*-A (equivalent to new grades 9-7) this year.

We believe in providing a complete education and as a result don’t just see excellent academic results, but success across the board, from The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) to public speaking.

Rated excellent by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI)

St Mary’s was rated excellent by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) in February 2023. This ‘Excellent’ rating is the highest award given and covers both ‘the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements’ and ‘the quality of the pupils’ personal development’.

The key findings emphasised the high levels of attainment across the curriculum for Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), in National Curriculum tests for Year 6 and at GCSE level.

Our emphasis on the importance of pastoral care was also documented, with inspectors commenting on the school’s culture of monitoring pupils’ progress and wellbeing, which allows the girls to develop and express themselves to be reflective learners.

Caring community at St Mary’s Senior School Colchester

Our pastoral support is at the centre of all we do. We spend time getting to know every girl and their families, and when students join us at the Senior School they are assigned a buddy and become part of a buddy family consisting of a girl from each year.

Carefully chosen and trained Year 11 girls act as Listeners to provide peer support, and staff are all trained in the area of wellbeing. We have many initiatives in place to support the welfare of our students and really do believe that happy girls are high achievers.

If you’re looking for an excellent private secondary school in Colchester, Essex, that delivers an excellent academic and all-round education with outstanding pastoral care, arrange to visit us today.

Miss Anwen Jones, Head of St Mary’s Senior School Colchester

Anwen Jones, Director of Senior School, St Mary's, Colchester

Meet a group of St Mary’s Senior School Colchester students, who joined the Senior School in Year 7

The girls give an insight into their time at St Mary’s so far, and what to expect as a new starter.

“Pupils reach excellent levels of attainment in lessons, work and public examinations”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

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