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St Mary’s Preschool opens its doors and welcomes new pupils

The new pre-school at St Mary’s School in Cambridge has opened its doors, extending the independent school’s offering to girls aged as young as three for the very first time in its 123-year history.

The wider school was a buzz of excitement as the dedicated pre-school team welcomed the new children for their very first day. The new pre-school is set in the spacious grounds of St Mary’s Junior School building, which is located on Chaucer Road. The existing Coach House building was reconfigured to create an Early Years Centre that includes space for pre-school pupils, plus reception and Year 1 students.

St Mary’s Preschool is open. Picture: St Mary's
St Mary’s Preschool is open. Picture: St Mary's

On their first day, the children all enjoyed exploring the new facilities at the pre-school, which consists of three dedicated areas. There is a large room for free-flow activities for all early years children, which also acts as a base for pre-school aged pupils; a smaller room for structured teaching and reception class activities; and a Year 1 classroom. A spacious outdoor learning area also includes a new outdoor stage and sandpit.

Jo Christian, head of juniors at St Mary’s School, Cambridge, said: “It was so exciting to open the doors to our new pre-school cohort. Having a pre-school provision on-site will ensure an even smoother transition into the junior school for our girls. All of our pupils learn free from gender stereotypes, in an educational environment that helps develop their independence, initiative, creativity and problem-solving skills. Pre-school children will benefit from our specialised experience of teaching and empowering girls - giving them the head start in their academic journey that they truly deserve. We can’t wait to see how our new pre-school girls flourish and grow here at St Mary’s.”

Children at the pre-school follow an individualised learning programme tailored to each child's own developmental needs. Learning is predominantly based on experiential play, with support and challenge activities provided by a dedicated group of pre-school teachers. There is also some direct teaching, in small groups, with a focus on early phonics skills and mathematics, and lessons from specialist teachers, including computer science, music and woodwork.

St Mary’s Preschool has a minimum attendance of two full days, or four half days, with the flexibility to choose which days children attend. There is also a pre-school uniform, which helps children to settle in and feel a part of the wider junior school community.

If you are interested in finding out more about admissions, please visit the school’s website at https://www.stmaryscambridge.co.uk/ or contact: admissions@stmaryscambridge.co.uk.

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