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8 of the best schools in Essex

PUBLISHED: 11:20 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 07 March 2018

We look at some of Essex's best schools

We look at some of Essex's best schools

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Deciding where to send your child for their education is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. To help you get it right, we’ve put together a handy guide outlining 8 of the best schools Essex has to offer

1) Dame Bradbury’s School

Every child that joins Dame Bradbury’s School takes an individual journey through which they flourish and succeed. Set in the beautiful town of Saffron Walden, we pride ourselves on getting to know every child and their family.

As part of the renowned Stephen Perse Foundation, Dame B’s are not afraid to do things differently. Our approach encourages young people to become independent thinkers – preparing them for life way beyond school. Creativity and fun is everywhere - from the Forest School to the inspiring art facilities, as well as in our clubs. From ballet to photography, rugby to rock band, there’s something to capture the imagination of every child at Dame B’s.

From ages 3 to 11, Dame B’s students share a willingness to experiment, to question and to take on new challenges. They leave the school full of enthusiasm, equipped with a love of learning and ready to take their next steps in life.

But don’t take our word for it - visit us in Saffron Walden to see us in action and understand for yourself what makes their learning environment so special.

Ashdon Rd, Saffron Walden CB10 2AL

t: 01799 522348

Dame Bradbury's School Dame Bradbury's School

2) St. Anne’s Preparatory School

Here at St. Anne’s we instil politeness and good manners from an early age. We set our standards high, and aim to encourage our pupils to develop as well-rounded individuals, academically, creatively, socially and spiritually.

Academically, we have an excellent track record as demonstrated by our national ranking of 13th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Preparatory Schools list. We put our success down to small class size – maximum of 20 - and the excellent teaching, motivation and encouragement provided by our dedicated team of teachers.

Sport is an important strand in the life of the school and everyone is encouraged to participate, resulting in St. Anne’s receiving the Gold School Games Mark for two consecutive years. Our specialist teachers of music, drama and choreography ensure that each child’s artistic potential is nurtured and, throughout their time at school, the children gain valuable experiences for personal and social development.

We aim to provide an education for life and pride ourselves in preparing the children to face the future with confidence and enthusiasm.

154 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0AW

e: admin@stannesprep.essex.sch.uk

St Annes Preparatory School St Annes Preparatory School

3) St Michael’s School

Pupils and staff at St Michael’s Church of England Preparatory School, Leigh on Sea, have moved into a suite of new classrooms that are revolutionising learning. The new, Google classrooms are the most recent innovation in the school’s IT development plan which aims to transform pupils’ learning through adopting forward-thinking approaches to the use of IT within the curriculum. Through the virtual classrooms, pupils have immediate access to learning resources, are engaging in individual and collaborative learning tasks, responding to questions set by their teachers and contributing their comments to on-line class discussions.

The introduction of the Google Classroom to lessons has been enthusiastically welcomed by pupils, staff and parents. Head, Mr Steve Tompkins said, “Within hours of being introduced to Google Classroom, pupils were discovering the benefits of this new way of learning. Within the first few weeks, pupils have already been actively engaging in new and innovative learning activities that are sparking their imaginations and are promoting in pupils the essential qualities of independence, confidence and responsibility.”

This latest innovation is just part of the school’s wider aims to promote in pupils a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning. It comes as the school is promoting habits of curiosity, cooperation, resilience, resourcefulness and reflectiveness for high performance learning and personal development in order to prepare them for each new step in their education and to equip them for life and work in the digital age.

St Michael’s School, 198 Hadleigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2LP

t: 01702 478719

e: kipps@stmichaelsschool.co.uk

St Michael's School St Michael's School

4) St Aubyn’s School

In January 2017 St Aubyn’s School opened a purpose-built Nursery building to accommodate two classes of 30 enquiring three-year-olds, supported by 2 outstanding practitioners and 5 assistants. The building shows off an impressive design specification which takes the demands of the EYFS into consideration. With wide, open-plan classes that include conservatories and bespoke furniture to complement the impressive building, the teachers have every resource at their disposal to ensure the children have the best start to their academic careers and are thus well prepared for their life at St Aubyn’s beyond the Nursery years.

During the Summer of 2017, the three Reception classes were refurbished to complement the standard of the new Nursery building with design features to ensure optimum development of the children during their early years’ development. The facilities, together with outstanding teachers and early years’ leadership, ensure that the children are well prepared for their prep years and beyond.

We invite you to contact our Admissions Registrar to arrange a visit to tour the facilities and see the School in action, or come to our next Open Morning on Thursday, 15 March.

Bunces Ln, Woodford, Woodford Green IG8 9DU

t: 020 8504 1577

St Aubyn's School Head Mr Leonard Blom St Aubyn's School Head Mr Leonard Blom

5) Brentwood School

Brentwood School is one of the UK’s leading independent day and boarding schools for boys and girls aged 3-18. Founded in 1557 and set within a 72-acre site in the heart of Brentwood town, the School’s extensive campus provides a stimulating environment for innovative teaching and a first-class education.

Brentwood School is steeped in history and tradition and the School’s motto, ‘Virtue, Learning and Manners’, is taken from the School statutes of 1622. The principles of academic achievement within a caring Christian ethos remain a cornerstone of the School’s philosophy today.

Brentwood School is not only committed to academic rigour; it is a community where talents and ideas flourish. Don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourself at our Open Morning on Saturday 9th June 2018.

It is the perfect opportunity for you to explore our expansive grounds, historic buildings and boarding houses. You can discover first-hand how we inspire and nurture every pupil so they can flourish at all ages. Generous scholarships and bursaries are available. Register online now by clicking here.

Middleton Hall Ln, Brentwood CM15 8EE

t: 01277 243243

Brentwood School Brentwood School

6) St Mary’s, Colchester

At St Mary’s the emphasis is on encouraging pupils to be happy and to make the most of all the opportunities school life brings. When they feel secure and supported, pupils are able to do their best academically and also to develop as individuals, finding confidence, talents and interests that will bring them pleasure and fulfilment throughout their lives.

Lessons at St Mary’s are lively and designed to encourage a real enthusiasm for learning among girls aged 3 to 16 (and boys aged 3 to 4 in the Kindergarten). Art, drama, music, sport and all manner of other activities are also entered into with great energy and our pupils’ achievements across the board never cease to amaze us.

St Mary’s has a happy and caring atmosphere. In this very positive culture, pupils are keen to achieve, and this leads to success. St Mary’s pupils’ GCSE results are consistently among the best in the area – in 2017, 92% of all GCSE entries at St Mary’s were graded A* to C or grade four and above and SATs results are well above the national expectations, with many pupils achieving grammar school places and Senior School scholarships. All this despite the fact that St Mary’s is not an academically selective school.

To reserve your place at our next Open Day or to arrange an individual visit to the school, please contact the Registrar on 01206 216420, or email registrar@stmaryscolchester.org.uk. For more information see the website linked above.

91 Lexden Rd, Colchester, CO3 3RB

t: 01206 216420 e: registrar@stmaryscolchester.org.uk.

St Mary's, Colchester St Mary's, Colchester

7) Soaring High Montessori Primary School

Nestled in the heart of the Essex countryside, Soaring High Montessori Primary School is an established independent co-educational primary school for children aged 4-11 years. Our pupils are taught upholding the Montessori philosophy and ethos whilst ensuring that all National Curriculum requirements are met.

Learning is tailored to each child, as an individual, within our broad-based curriculum allowing children to advance at their own pace. With a wide variety of extracurricular activities on offer, including cross-country running, school choir, individual music and LAMDA lessons, yoga, and science club, our children are able to follow and celebrate their own unique talents.

With staff to pupil ratios of 1:10, the highly qualified and dedicated staff body at Soaring High will ensure the best possible start for your child. It is the school’s aim for the children to transition to their secondary school of choice as motivated, enthusiastic learners that have a thirst for knowledge, a deep respect for themselves, their community and the environment.

Assessed by Ofsted (January 2017) to be outstanding in pupil development, behaviour and welfare, we would love you to see what Soaring High can offer your child.

t: 01376 564 392 e: soaringhigh@coggeshallmontessori.co.uk

Facebook: Soaring High Montessori Primary School

Soaring High Montessori Primary School Soaring High Montessori Primary School

8) St Margaret’s Preparatory School

Choosing a ‘big’ school for your child can be a daunting time. But at St. Margaret’s we’re here to hold their hand – and yours!

Our Reception classrooms are beautiful, bright and spacious, equipped with everything little learners needs to make every day special! A separate outdoor area, specifically for our EYFS children, allows for exploring and building new friendships within our seven acres of peaceful listed parkland.

Class sizes are small, with dedicated, enthusiastic, well qualified class teachers and teaching assistants. French, Music, Music & Movement and PE are taught by specialists, taking advantage of our wonderful music and sports facilities.

We strive to make every child a confident, enthusiastic reader using the ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘Letters & Sounds’ programmes. Maths is taught daily to build solid foundations for their mathematical journey through school. Science, topic work, computer science, creative play and art add extra fizz to the week.

Extracurricular activities such as Forest School, exciting school trips and visitors and taking part in school productions allows the children to build confidence and instils a lifelong love of learning.

We know St. Margaret’s can provide your child with the best possible start to their educational journey - visit us soon!

St Margaret's Preparatory School St Margaret's Preparatory School


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