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

Meet a group of St Mary’s 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.

A message from the Head of the Senior School, Miss Anwen Jones

Welcome to St Mary’s Senior School, situated in impressive historic buildings on Lexden Road, Colchester, Essex. We’re the only truly independent secondary school in Colchester with charitable status, meaning all fees go to providing the outstanding education we offer here, with no profits to owners or shareholders.

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

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. 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.

Academic excellence

At St Mary’s Colchester, every girl is not just known but understood. In our small classes we’re able to tailor our teaching to each and every student, 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.

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

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

Caring community

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.

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

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

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