Core Subjects


English Literature and Language are studied with great enthusiasm at St Mary’s! Students learn to express themselves articulately and with confidence in a variety of speaking, listening and written activities. They also develop critical, personal and imaginative responses to a variety of literary genres.

A recent addition to the curriculum is preparation for the English Speaking Board examinations in public speaking, which enhance students’ Speaking and Listening skills and encourages the girls to feel confident about forming and expressing their own opinions, giving presentations and speaking in public.


The overall aim of the Mathematics department is to encourage students to enjoy the subject and to nurture their confidence. Students learn to think and communicate mathematically – precisely, logically and creatively. Importantly, they also learn to use their mathematical knowledge and understanding to solve problems outside the classroom.

We use a wide range of teaching methods and resources, ranging from investigation and practical work, to computer and calculator assisted study, as well as teacher-led learning. The focus in every lesson is on mathematical fluency, problem-solving, progression (and fun!)


Science at St Mary’s is progressive, active and vibrant. Students are enthused, challenged and motivated through practical hands-on experience, modelling, role play, ICT and direct involvement with all three sciences.

In Years 7 and 8, students follow a broad-based programme that covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It provides a good practical-based foundation which challenges the girls to think about science in a variety of ways, assess their results and ask questions. In Year 9 students begin the GCSE science syllabus, in line with other schools, to make sure that the syllabus is covered in sufficient depth.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

ICT lessons at St Mary’s aim to give students an understanding of creating well-structured, reusable code on the latest systems and devices, applicable in a wide variety of situations and environments. Students have the use of two ICT suites equipped with recently upgraded technology, plus a mini-suite.

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 and continually develop ICT skills.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE)

PSHEE ensures students are prepared to make informed decisions at appropriate stages of their lives. Many lessons involve in-depth discussions where students voice their opinions and are encouraged to listen, value and be sympathetic to the views of others.

Communication, social and life skills are developed so that students leave St Mary’s as confident, articulate, mature young women, with high self-esteem. These qualities stand them in good stead throughout their lives and are valued by employers. Careers Advice is also given and there is preparation for further education, ensuring a smooth transfer to the sixth form of the students’ choice.

Learning Support

The Learning Support department supports students throughout their school careers, according to their individual requirements, so that all girls are able to make the most of their education at St Mary’s. Students really benefit from the support we offer and go on to enjoy success in their future education and the workplace.

Students for whom English is an additional language are welcomed into the school and are offered support as needed. This may be through additional support, scaffolded lessons, visuals such as pictures, photographs or small group work or 1:1 sessions. The school requests that they are informed by parents or guardians, at time of admission, of any children for whom English is an additional language.

Further information about Learning Support at St Mary’s School can be found at the end of the SEN Policy in the Policies section of the website.

Our teaching staff can provide more in-depth information on all subjects at our Open Mornings so please come along if you have any questions or would like to find out more.

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: