Senior School Curriculum

St Mary’s curriculum at the Senior School is broad and balanced. We promote intellectual curiosity and an enquiring mindset.

St Mary’s curriculum challenges girls academically

Girls learn differently and our teachers know how to challenge, engage and support our pupils so they achieve their very best. With small class sizes and high standards, our focus is on individual success.

At the Senior School we consistently see strong GCSE success in subjects from STEM to the arts and humanities, reflecting the school’s commitment to delivering a strong and enriching education.

St Mary’s curriculum challenges girls creatively

The creative and performing arts are highly regarded at St Mary’s and as well as providing a rich arts curriculum and extra-curricular activities in school, we also support girls to perform outside of school, both locally and in the West End.

There are opportunities for the girls to find, develop and extend their talents and passions across the creative and performing arts at St Mary’s, both within the curriculum and through clubs and enrichment. Girls’ confidence in performing is grown through workshops and opportunities in a range of drama productions and concerts, from small informal music concerts to large scale productions. We also see incredible success in competitions and exams across the creative and performing arts.

St Mary’s curriculum challenges girls physically

We place a great emphasis on participation in sport and physical activities and support top athletes to compete within and outside of school. We introduce the girls to a variety of activities, teaching a broad range of skills and techniques.

Sports on offer have ranged from tennis and basketball to climbing and golf. Pupils take part in local and national competitions such as netball tournaments and swimming galas throughout the year, often with great success. There are also opportunities for the girls to become Sports Leaders at St Mary’s, developing their coaching and leadership skills.

St Mary’s curriculum for Years 7 to 9

In Years 7 to 9, students study the following:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • ICT
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Physical Education (PE)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Music
  • Art
  • Textiles
  • Drama
  • Classics
  • Latin
  • Religious Studies
  • Hospitality and Catering
  • Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)

St Mary’s curriculum for Years 10 to 11

English, Maths and Science are all compulsory GCSEs with girls who are excelling having the option of taking Triple Science and sometimes Further Maths.

All other subjects are available as options and PE and PSHE are taught to all students all the way through to Year 11.

In our small classes we’re able to tailor our teaching to each student. We monitor progress closely to ensure each girl is fully supported, encouraged and stretched in every subject.

You can find out more about the different areas of St Mary’s curriculum at the Senior School on the following pages and see our impressive results here.

“Pupils’ attainment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), in National Curriculum tests in Year 6 and at GCSE is excellent”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

Bringing learning to life

During every school day, students receive engaging academic teaching and endless learning opportunities. We often have special guests visit to give inspirational talks and run interactive workshops. Themed days and weeks, from charity days to Activities week and Science week, are packed with practical classes, fun activities and opportunities to try something new.

Students also have opportunities to go on fieldtrips, visits and exchanges in the local area, around the UK and overseas.

Students take part in local and national competitions such as Junior and Intermediate Mathematical Challenges, public speaking contests and sports tournaments. The girls are always very proud to represent the school and we see much success, which is particularly impressive for a small school where we encourage all the girls to take part in different activities, whatever their ability.

We also have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. With iPads being part of the equipment list, every student has access to a device and they can be used in all subjects, as appropriate, to enhance learning. Not only does this mean students have access to the Microsoft Office Suite whenever they need it, but also the Internet and Apps such as Maths Watch.

From making digital videos in Modern Foreign Languages to creating news reports in Geography and manipulating digital images in Art, iPads are used in many ways to enrich the curriculum.

St Mary’s curriculum is designed for girls

Girls have different educational needs. At St Mary’s we provide an enlightened, empowering and complete education, designed specifically for girls to thrive. Academic excellence is just one of the benefits of an all-girls education. You can read more about the benefits on the Girls’ Schools Association website.

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: