Two St Marys Senior school girls walking in the grounds of the secondary school in Colchester Essex

Senior School Life

Meet a group of new Year 7 St Mary’s students who gave an insight into Senior School life at St Mary’s in the first few weeks, and what to expect as a new starter.

Before girls even start at St Mary’s we take time to get to know them and their families. Girls looking to join Year 7 are asked to attend an informal interview, where we start to get an insight into their talents and passions.

We offer Taster Days to those who have registered. The girls have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of school life and get a real sense of what it’s like to attend St Mary’s. Upon starting, every girl is assigned a buddy, helping them to settle in well. They then become part of a buddy family consisting of a girl from each year group.

School day

The school opens to students at 8am and the day starts at 8.50am with registration. Assemblies are held twice a week. They are led by our Principal, Head of Senior School, special guests or the students themselves.

Lessons and enrichment sessions take place until lunch at 12.30, with a break mid-morning. During break and lunch times, the girls spend time chatting to friends or relaxing in the grounds. They can also work in the Quiet Room, read in the Library or attend the various clubs on offer.

At lunch, the girls are all offered a choice of hot meal options. There is also an extensive salad bar and a dessert station. This is a time where conversation is encouraged and relationships are built. You can often hear ‘Happy Birthday’ being sung to friends and conversations about the girls’ day taking place.

Afternoon registration takes place at 1.30pm before lessons continue until 3.40pm. Many students travel to school by school bus or public transport. Therefore most clubs and activities are not scheduled after school, apart from sports matches and rehearsals. This also means the girls can continue attending any clubs or activities they enjoy participating in outside of school.

Moving on with confidence

On leaving the Senior School, a number of students go to one of the state selective (grammar) schools. Others move up to Colchester Sixth Form, one of the largest and most successful 16-19 providers of general academic sixth form education in the country, where St Mary’s girls are guaranteed a place. A number also go to boarding schools.

“The many leadership opportunities within the school enable pupils to develop a strong understanding of their responsibilities to each other and the local community”

From ISI inspection report 2023 - rated 'excellent'

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